Catalog # 016/17
2CD Length 77:24 | 70:00
Date/Venue TV Broadcasts 1980 - 87 & Concert Video
The release begins with a decent quality version of the American Bandstand broadcast introduced by Dick Clark. This is evidently a re-broadcast from the mid/late 1990's as it includes a commentary intro from Dick Clark where he refers to Prince as "The Artist Formerly Known As". The performances are lip-synched to the released versions which is of zero interest and rather pointless on an audio disc, however it also includes the non-interview-interview. This is followed by Prince's first Saturday Night Live appearance with 'Partyup' which again is decent, if a little grainy. The trio of live performance promos follows including the complete 13 minute 'Baby I'm A Star'. The quality of the American Music Awards performance of 'Purple Rain' is the first low point of the release and there is a distracting loud humming throughout, and the audio is rather thin and slightly piercing - not the best source recording I've heard. Onwards and upwards, we come to the unedited lengthy 10 minute version of 'America' which is slightly wavy during the beginning, but settles down nicely and is of a pretty high quality.
The only real disappointment of this release comes with the MTV Video Music Awards which is appallingly bad. 'Sign O' The Times' itself has a few slight glitches, but in comparison to the following 'Play In The Sunshine' they are minor. 'Play In The Sunshine' is tinny, thin, grating, piercing and very, very poor quality - I'm surprised this ever made it past Sabotage's quality control and it has to be one of the worst source recordings I have ever heard. Disc 2 is a CD-Rom and features the professionally filmed (in)famous Benefit Show for the Minnesota Dance Theatre at First Avenue and I'm puzzled as to why it was included on this release as it was never broadcast, and cannot be classed as "TV material". The quality is average at best, and since this release it has been surpassed greatly which makes this particular version obsolete.
Overall this is not a great start to Sabotage's "Sound & Vision" series, but the
releases do get better and this is the only volume with some serious flaws in
the source recordings. The horrendously flawed 'Play In The Sunshine' is pretty
much unforgiveable, however look past that (and the pretty woeful quality of the
First Avenue 83 CD-Rom) and it's not a bad release for it's time...I guess.