Cat, We Need You To Rap

Cat Times

As the Prince weeks on are coming to an end, I thought this might be my chance to sneak in a story about one of my favourite record covers, the Sign ‘O’ The Times single. Released by Prince in February 1987 it was the lead single for the album of the same title.

At that time I was very nervous when a new Prince single or album was released, especially if it was the lead single revealing the new Prince look.

This was before the internets hit the streets and therefore, or maybe because I was living in a small village in Germany, not much was known about the new record or look. So, I made my way to the record store on the day of the release and there it is: Sign “O” The Times.

For a moment, I was very surprised. Did he really do drag? On a closer look and by flipping the cover it was clear that the woman’s styling was done with Prince in mind. Hilarious. But who was this person and why is she on the cover of the new Prince single? I was desperate. Maybe the video would be more helpful. I was so disappointed when I saw the video for the first time. No Prince sighting during the whole video, only text rolling left and right and up and down. Times.

The album was finally released in April 1987 and it basically continued the theme: Prince wears peach and black. For the Sign ‘O’ The Times tour it would later read on the tickets: “Wear something peach or black”.

The woman on the cover is Cat Glover. It was her introduction into the Prince world. As a member of the band she joined the Sign ‘O’ The Times and Lovesexy tours and is featured in a couple of videos, like Glam Slam and I Wish U Heaven. Her raps can be heard on Cindy C. (of the Black Album, the rap was originally written by Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley and included on Music is the Key) and Alphabet St.

Years later, I read an interview with Cat (can’t find the magazine anymore) that Prince and her thought it would be fun if Cat would be on the cover dressed as him. Easy.

By the way, the B-side was written by Prince as he was challenged by Sheena Easton who thought he could not come up with a song to the title of La, La, La, He, He, Hee. It’s a 10 minute funk workout with a dog barking drum pattern about a sexually charged romance between a dog and a cat.