Sign of the Times (Petula Clark song)
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|"A Sign of the Times"|
|Single by Petula Clark|
|from the album My Love|
|B-side||"Time for Love"|
|Genre||British Invasion, Pop, Vocal|
|Label||Pye 7N 17071 (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Vogue STU 42223 (DEN)
|Writer(s)||Tony Hatch Jackie Trent|
|Petula Clark singles chronology|
"Sign of the Times" was the followup to Petula Clark's #1 US hit "My Love", continuing her association with writer/producer Tony Hatch Jackie Trent though with a more percussive sound than was evident on Clark's previous singles – or would be evident on her later ones.
Clark introduced "A Sign of the Times" on The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast of February 27, 1966. The single would debut on the Billboard Hot 100 dated March 26, 1966 and reached its peak of #11 that April 23. It peaked at #2 on Billboard's "Easy Listening" survey.
Beginning with her American breakout "Downtown", Clark's singles had all had higher chart peaks in the US than the UK. (The 1966 #23 UK hit "You're the One" was not released in the US.) "A Sign of the Times" became the most extreme example of this discrepancy by spending only one week – that of April 23, 1966 – in the UK Top 50 at #49. Although this trend was reversed with Clark's next single: "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love" (UK #6/US #9), Clark's last two 1966 single releases: "Who Am I?" (US #21)and "Colour My World" (US #16) both failed to rank in the UK Top 50.
"A Sign of the Times" also served as the title cut for a live CD by Petula Clark released by Varèse Sarabande 13 November 2001 comprising footage from her concert dates at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, Virginia on 20 and 21 May 2001 featuring guests Richard Carpenter and Lou Rawls.
TRACK LISTING: 1 A Sign Of The Times 2 I’m Not Afraid 3 At Last (with Lou Rawls) 4 Downtown 5 I Dreamed A Dream 6 Don’t Give Up 7 I Need To Be In Love (with Richard Carpenter) 8 The Wedding Song (There Is Love) 9 With One Look 10 Celebrate 11 I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love (with Lou Rawls and Richard Carpenter) 12 Here For You 13 Look For The Silver Lining 14 Vivre (Notre Dame de Paris)
The Chrysler Hall engagement was also broadcast by PBS as the television special Petula Clark: A Sign of the Times which – augmented with archive footage from Clark's career – was released on DVD 26 March 2002.
In 1986, "A Sign of the Times" was played in the video documentary An Amazin' Era: The New York Mets. The song was heard over films of Mets' baseball fans carrying banners with messages on them.
In 1999 Target department store ran a series of television commercials featuring "A Sign of the Times." The song's use as a jingle for Target was masterminded by the company's marketing director John Pellegrene who had been responsible for "A Sign of the Times" being used in the 1960s' B.F. Goodrich ad campaign.
In 2001, the radio giant Clear Channel Communications listed "A Sign of the Times" on their list of temporarily banned records in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the title possibly being construed to refer to a portent of the end of the world.
A brief clip of "A Sign of the Times" was used on Dickie Goodman's 1966 novelty record "Batman and his Grandmother".
- Simon Frith Popular music. Vol. 4: Music and identity 2004- Page 287 ".."Who Am I?" was the fourth in a remarkable series of songs which established the American career of Petula Clark. Released in 1966 and preceded the year before by "Sign of the Times" and "My Love," it laid to rest any uncharitable notion ..."
- Paul Simpson The Rough guide to cult pop 2003- Page 133 "Much of the other pop he produced and/or co-wrote is listenable, though some is risible. Many songs, like Petula Clark's Sign Of The Times, are almost too infectious. The hook is ruthless, the backing so bright and breezy you almost forget it's ..."
- Billboard 22 Oct 1966 - Page 15 SIGN OF THE TIMES-Petula Clark, Warner Bros. 5802
- Georges Leroux Partita for Glenn Gould: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Genius 2010 Page 221 "It was in a truck stop along Highway 17 that Gould discovered Petula Clark's songs: first “Who Am I?,” then “Sign of the Times,” “My Love,” and finally “Downtown.” He stayed in a motel in Marathon and listened to them all. I am attracted to this ..."
- Rowley, Laura (2003). On Target: how the world's hottest retailer hit a bull's-eye. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Inc. p. 57. ISBN 0-471-25067-8.