Sign O’ The Times
The great rock writer Nik Cohn was unequivocal: he’d seen Jimi Hendrix and James Brown play, but for him the greatest live performer of all time was Prince. Thanks to his run of 21 nights at the O2 Arena, half the country has had the chance to make their own assessment of the purple genius’s merits this summer. But few could claim that these shows have touched the heights of his Sign O’ the Times tour 20 years ago. The film of those gigs was purportedly taken over four nights in Rotterdam and Antwerp but the quality of the footage meant that reshoots were necessary at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios, when a spurious narrative was created through a sequence of inter-song dramatic devices. The viewer couldn’t care less when the results were this exhilarating.