This summer, BBC Radio 6 Music is celebrating iconic albums, 33 1/3rd years after they were first released. The celebrations begin on Thursday 30th July on Mary Anne Hobbs’ show (1pm-4pm) as she explores Prince’s critically-acclaimed album Sign O’ The Times and plays out the record in full.

Sign O’ The Times was released on 30 March 1987 by Paisley Park Records and Warner Bros. It followed Parade, Prince’s final recording with The Revolution, and the commercial breakthroughs, 1999 (released in 1982) and Purple Rain (1984). Rolling Stone described it as ‘tough and inventive and exuberantly experimental’ while the New York Times said that ‘virtually all by himself’ Prince was ‘more versatile, more eclectic than ever'.

Mary Anne will be speaking to the people who were right at the heart of the album's creation and hearing their behind-the-scenes stories. She’ll reflect on the incredible influence of the record across all four sides of the vinyl which embraces funk, pop, rock, gospel, dance music, slow jams and more.

She’ll talk to journalist and super fan Mobeen Azhar and hear from some of the musicians who’ve been inspired by Prince. In part shaped by the reception to his previous two projects, 1986’s Parade and the film Under The Cherry Moon, the stories surrounding Sign O’ The Times include smashed guitars, the dissolution of The Revolution, record label battles and happy accidents in the studio with engineer Susan Rogers.

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