As a Prince fan from way back, I have to admit that I've been pretty lax in my purchases of late. "The Rainbow Children" was an interesting foray into his jazz fetishes, while "Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic" (his attempt at 'Santana'-type blockbuster status once more) was capable at best, but I haven't been as interested as I once was... why?
It's because of that elusive 'live' gig.
With "Sign 'O' The Times" still out there on laserdisc and VHS, and a plethora of perfect-sounding/masterfully performed bootlegs out there, I can't give this 5 stars, because it's far from perfect, but for now, it will do.
With the exception of the drummer and the pointless go-go dancing foils, Prince's line-up for this performance is pretty solid. Larry Graham especially shines, no matter how mannered and overdone these particular songs might be in the Prince live show. Highlights: "Everyday People", "American Woman", "Red House", "She's Always In My Hair", "Raspberry Beret", "Purple Rain", and "The Cross/Christ".
The lowlights? An excess of religion (although nobody should be surprised by this), a lack of really EXTENDED jams as on the '88 Lovesexy tour, and unnecessarily spotless production. It should sound a lot grittier at times, but doesn't.