235: Love Sign

1-800 New Funk (1994) / Crystal Ball (1998)
The big follow-up hit to TMBGITW that never was. Prince’s duet with Nona Gaye was pressed as a promotional single for the 1-800 New Funk compilation and featured remixes by Blackstreet’s Teddy Riley and Digital Underground’s Shock G. A full retail release was planned but nixed by a record label still smarting from the backfired decision to let Prince release his last single independently. However, Shock G’s Silky Remix found refuge on Crystal Ball four years later and has dated the least out of all the versions, probably due to owing a heavy debt to the timeless DMSR. Love Sign is a soulful rose placed in the barrel of a g-funk rifle. An appeal for throwing up love signs instead of guns, which (in spite of the relentless “pop, pop, pop go the pistol” refrain on the original) is a poignant song to give a woman whose father was fatally shot. It’s also arguably the chillest track Prince put out in the 90s. One for the Lotus-eaters. I’ve heard it said that listening to music can alter your heartbeat – if so, Love Sign could be prescribed as a high-strength beta blocker and should be avoided being taken with alcohol.