catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Weekend YouTube

with 21 comments

This weekend YouTube is a trip down memory lane for me. Even when I was a kid, I never much followed contemporary music. But there were a few exceptions. This song and its associated video which you can see below the fold rose to the top of the charts when I was 15 and her album was one of the few contemporary albums I actually bought. And I savoured every song in it, even the one that was having a go at Margaret Thatcher.

I haven’t really followed her career closely since then but the song is ‘Nothing compares 2U’ written by Prince and the artist (and yes she is an artist in the true sense of the word and it’s a pity her weird public behaviour since then has copped her a lot of flak and detracted from her talent) is Sinead O’Connor.

I watched it over again twice before posting this and it’s still powerful stuff to me. It’s the combination of that hiphop beat with the lilting Celtic melody and that very eerie and emotionally charged voice of hers. And the visuals are superb too.


Written by Admin

November 24, 2006 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

21 Responses

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  1. I was 18 or 19 when this one emerged, and like you I bought the album. One line written in Sinead’s scrawly hand on the sleeve art (yes, my copy was vinyl) has always stayed with me, if only because it’s a proverb in quite a few cultures:

    God’s place is in the world, but the world is not God’s place.


    November 24, 2006 at 10:18 pm

  2. hmm that’s weird, the original one I used just disappeared. I’ve substituted another one.

    Jason Soon

    November 24, 2006 at 10:30 pm

  3. Something more contemporary?


    November 25, 2006 at 7:33 am

  4. Daniel Barnes

    November 25, 2006 at 8:19 am

  5. Good choice Jason, its a great song.

    Steve Edney

    November 25, 2006 at 8:39 am

  6. It made me think how amazingly, um, fecund Prince was in his peak. Nothing against Sinead of course – she’s a genuine original – but many artists made either breakthroughs or entire careers out of Prince’s off-cuts. And of course as well as writing them and his own triple album of hits, the little guy himself can sing, dance, and play guitar insanely well. As Barney Hoskyns once said, it’s like Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Marc Bolan in one body. He really was/is something. I suppose it’s only fair then that he can’t direct…;-)

    Daniel Barnes

    November 25, 2006 at 8:54 am

  7. Yair it’s a pity he’s turned into a JW now. Mind you I suppose he could argue he’s one of the ‘elect’.


    November 25, 2006 at 9:07 am

  8. I hear he’s playing Vegas these days…

    Daniel Barnes

    November 25, 2006 at 9:19 am

  9. You have been FXH’s album collection again Jase.

    What next Bony M?

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 25, 2006 at 3:53 pm

  10. rack off homer

    Francis X Holden

    November 25, 2006 at 4:58 pm

  11. I see Homer has added bad manners to his bad musical taste.

    Jason as compensation I have put up some pics of when I visited the Bad Ass Cafe last month in Dublin. Sinead worked here when she was just starting out.
    Bad Ass photos

    Francis X Holden

    November 25, 2006 at 6:15 pm

  12. thanks for that, FXH.

    Homer, being a Dylan fan only goes so far in immunising you against claims of bad musical taste.

    Jason Soon

    November 25, 2006 at 7:22 pm

  13. JW?

    Rodgers-Nelson is a JW?

    What does this mean?

    Help me keep up with the kids.

    Yeah that was a great song and terrific interpretation but for me it was done to death on the TV and the radio.

    The version by Rodgers-Nelson is also terrific.

    But now you’ve got me wanting to check you-tubes for OTHER Sinead songs.

    Like I’ve heard some of them over the years and I’ve always said to myself….. “ know I must get round to checking this girl out…”

    So I’m going to see what else YouTube has on her.

    I’m looking for something about……..

    Black boys on Mopeds?

    Something like that.


    November 25, 2006 at 7:54 pm

  14. JW = Jehovahs Witness

    Black boys on mopeds is a great song. But it’s the one where one of the lines has a go at Thatcher.

    Jason Soon

    November 25, 2006 at 8:01 pm

  15. She’s an odd fish alright.

    Makes me think that someone has to be a bit nutty to be a top-flight artist.

    One thing YouTube hasn’t got DOWN yet is the audio production.

    They had Sinead doing a Cole Porter number.

    She was doing something pretty special with the mike.

    She must have been singing very quietly with this real powerful mike and that gives you that WARM effect.

    But then the levels were all over the place. I suspect it must sound just a million dollars on a good stereo.

    If YouTube gets that side of it right why would you want to buy any CD’s anymore?

    Perhaps they just need to double the sampling rate or something?


    November 25, 2006 at 8:31 pm

  16. Just had a look at the Beccy Cole clip rog. It’s a clever piece of satire, certainly throws a few spanners in the whole ‘protest song’ genre.


    November 25, 2006 at 9:29 pm

  17. satire? i think she was being quite sincere

    Jason Soon

    November 25, 2006 at 9:34 pm

  18. Jason Soon

    November 25, 2006 at 9:40 pm

  19. I think she was too, Jason, but she also manages to satirize the whole protest song genre, which generally makes the opposite point to the one she is making.

    She exploits many of the tropes of the protest song – images of the military, images of foreign war zones, lilting guitar-based vocal, strongly political chorus. Almost like a Joan Baez in reverse.


    November 25, 2006 at 9:42 pm

  20. Sinead does a killer version of Nirvana’s “All Apologies”. Better than the original.

    Daniel Barnes

    November 25, 2006 at 10:52 pm

  21. I’m sorry, but I just can’t get my head around the concept of protest songs that are in favour of government policy…;-)

    A proper protest song is something more like this:

    Daniel Barnes

    November 25, 2006 at 11:04 pm

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