#629: 1990, Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U

by Jackie_South on February 24, 2013

For song three of our covers week, I thought I would turn to an artist yet to feature and her version of a song that she not only makes her own but completely eclipses and even eradicates the original, in a similar way to Johnny Cash’s Hurt.

The original was a fairly unremarkable piece of electronica written by Prince for his Family side project,with none of the vocal drama of O’Connor’s version, atonal synth and a rather annoying use of saxophone.

Sinead striped away this superfluous musical garnish, added piano, drums and backing singers, and concentrated on the emotion and atmosphere.  She sings it beautifully, with a mixture of tenderness, hurt and despair.  She adds variation into the tones of her voice in contrast to Prince’s rather flat original.

Twenty-three years on, the iconic video still pulls at the heartstrings as she paces the Parc de Saint-Cloud and sings in her black poloneck against a black background.

Even when I know it is coming, when she sings the lines

“All the flowers that you planted, Mother/ In the back yard/ All died when you went away” 

and those tears well up in her eyes before rolling down her cheeks(her complex memories of her own mother spurred them unconsciously), it still gets me.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

George_East February 24, 2013 at 11:47 pm

The video is a nod to the legendary close ups on Falconetti’s tear stained face in the title role in Carl Dreyer’s sublime The Passion of Joan of Arc – one of the most iconic (and one of the greatest) films of all time.

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