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Sinéad O'Connor


Country of origin:

Ireland

Type of music generally:

Beautiful & fierce alternative pop/rock and some mainstream pop, with some Celtic and world music elements; she has also recorded an album of jazz standards and one of traditional Irish songs

Status:

Most recent release, I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss (2014)

See also:

Sinéad O'Connor's official site

Wikipedia's entry on Sinéad O'Connor

Comparisons:

Her first album is a little like the Kate Bush of "Get Out of My House." (Neile)

Much of the work of The Cranberries (the vocals, some of the subject matter) and Alanis Morissette (the anger, some of the vocal incantations) stems directly from Sinéad, and her influence on certain vocalists, like Fiona Apple ("Never is a Promise", etc), Sarah McLachlan ("Fire in the Sky", etc), and Heather Nova ("Maybe an Angel"), is great. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu).

Covers/own material:

Writes own, a few covers

General comments:

Gutsy, intense singing, at least early on. Later her work became much more toward the soft pop sound and doesn't do that much for me except I still love the power of her voice. But The Lion and The Cobra totally knocks me out every time I listen to it, even years after I first picked up the vinyl album on spec at the record store. (Neile)

Severely underrated. One of the greatest singers and songwriters of the last few decades. Consistently engaging even twelve years after her masterful debut. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

I think that woman has shown more brilliance than *any* of the artists discussed here (ok, besides Kate Bush), even more so than Happy Rhodes and Tori Amos (and it *pains* me to admit that). She should be listed as one of the goddesses. (Plasterofstevie@aol.com)

i for one have to say that i liked her first two albums, but found Universal Mother, well ectobland. not enough fierceness in it for me. *shrug* sorry. i did (do) give her props for the Am I Not Your Girl? album. great CD, even if her voice did sound a little thin on it. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Comments about live performance:

I saw her at the 1998 Lilith Fair in Detroit. Not exactly the best venue to see her in—to massive and too outdoor—but she was still great. Great versions of old songs like "Emperor's New Clothes" and "I Am Stretched on Your Grave", and I'm slightly embarrassed to say I absolutely wept during "Nothing Compares 2 U" (which was aided heavily by Bonnie Raitt's wonderful steel guitar). She also duetted with Sarah on "Angel" (awesome), and the whole gang came out and sang "Last Day of our Acquaintance". It was really emotional, this being Sinéad's last date on the tour. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

We were lucky enough to hear her during her first tour of the States. She played at a bar that usually held remnants of bands from the '60s and '70s. She was clearly nervous and held herself very still, nearly invisible and almost nunlike in a long grey dress—until she sang. Then she filled the room. An amazing experience. (Neile & jmgurley@drizzle.com)

Sinéad had a seven piece band. And they made a big sound. Created some interesting multi-layered soundscapes but somehow I didn't feel emotionally involved. High point of Sinéad's set was when she did an a cappella song—started off with just her singing into a microphone centre-stage. After one verse she was joined by her cellist, also singing into the same microphone, then one by one the whole band came out over the course of a few verses. All unaccompanied and totally captivating. (martin@mandab.co.uk)

Recommended first album:

The Lion and The Cobra is the most acclaimed; So Far...The Best of Sinéad O'Connor offers a nice span of her work. For me Faith and Courage and I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got battle it out for the top spot. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Recordings:


The Lion and The Cobra

Release info:

1987—Chrysalis, U.S.—VK 41612 DIDX 2352

Availability:

Widely available

Ecto priority:

Must have

Produced by:

Sinéad O'Connor, Kevin Maloney

Comments:

This is an powerful, emotive collection of songs. Sinéad's voice is strong and she uses it exceptionally well. This is a winner. If I were making a list of the most powerful, affecting songs I've ever heard "Troy" would be pretty near the top of the list. It's the most wrenching songs on an incredible album. The Lion and the Cobra was a revelation to me & still whenever I play it I can't believe its freshness & power. Her other work can't (and probably shouldn't) compare. (Neile)

I have to agree that I'm not nearly as fond of Sinéad's other albums as I am of The Lion and the Cobra. It's very powerful, very moving, and the way she uses her voice is just superb. The album also sounds raw and unpolished, and although the others' lyrics are very personal too, still, in my opinion, they sound a little too over-produced. The Lion and the Cobra has a very honest, live-sound to it. I'm going to join in the chorus: run, don't walk to your nearest record emporium and get this album. It's one of the best ever, period. Such a shame that everything Sinéad's done since then has really sucked. :( And "Troy" is really a killer, even after all these years.... (meth@smoe.org)

You don't know what "emotionally affecting" is until you've been blasted with Sinéad's "Troy" (based on William Butler Yeats' "No Second Troy," which was also the basis for The Cranberries' "Yeat's Grave"). Ouch. Sinéad's first album is so unbelievably different from anything else she's released. Traces of the old fire show up in occasional brief moments on I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got and even less so on Am I Not Your Girl? (particularly the title track). Universal Mother begins perhaps returning toward the early power, but trust me, you're in for a treat with The Lion and The Cobra. I stand by my statement. "Troy" is the single most intense outpouring of emotion I've ever heard in a "pop" song. And, yeah, I've heard some damned affecting stuff by plenty of people, including Happy Rhodes, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Sarah McLachlan, you name it. (burka@jeffrey.net)

Well, in my opinion, the second album can't hold a candle to the first. The Lion and the Cobra has a raw immediacy and artistic density that comes from a headstrong person doing her first album her way. It's almost all original compositions, and she sounds like she means every note of it. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

Okay, I had to buy it after all the raving about how it's one of the best albums, period. Now, I hate to be the voice of dissension here, but I really disagree. I think it's an all right album, with some really good moments, but I haven't been struck all THAT hard by the thing. I enjoy "Jackie", "Jerusalem", "Just Like U Said It Would B" and "Troy", but the rest is either okay or unpleasant (I really can't take "I Want Your Hands On Me"). And, by the way, regarding "Troy", I LOVE it as a song, but it doesn't move me, emotionally, in the slightest, mainly because of a few clumsy lyrics, and Sinéad's delivery, which sounds as though she's trying to sound like she means what she's saying (as opposed to just plain sounding like she means what she's saying, you know?). So I guess I'll have to go back to my original stance vis à vis Sinéad—I find Sarah McLachlan much much much more emotionally affecting than Sinéad. (Nyxnight@aol.com)

The lion and the cobra (indeed far superior to her 2nd album) must be one of the most powerful albums I ever heard. "Troy" is just fantastic. (lombaeg@donald.interpac.be)

A lot of folks think The Lion and the Cobra is her strongest album, but I just don't get it. Sure, it's got some great songs—"Troy" is perhaps one of the greatest showcases of voice and emotion I've ever heard, and I love "Drink Before the War" and "Just Like U Said It Would B"—but the '80s synth sound of songs like "Mandinka" and "Jackie" sound dated and don't do much for her voice, in my opinion. That's just me, though. I'd put it behind even Universal Mother in terms of quality. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

When I heard that I was eighteen and it became the soundtrack to my life in a way a new album by Sinéad can't be. The Lion and the Cobra is still one of my desert island discs. I still remember the shock of seeing the "Troy" video in a shop. Who was that creature with the volcanic voice? I wondered. "And i will rise like a phoenix from the flame". Trite words maybe but no one has ever sung them better. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

Release info:

1990—Chrysalis U.S.—F2 21759

Availability:

Wide availability

Ecto priority:

Must have

Group members:

Sinéad O'Connor—vocals, acoustic guitar, string arrangements, drum programming, electric guitar, keyboards

Guest artists:

Nick Ingman—string arrangement, string direction
Steve Wickham—fiddle
John Reynolds—drums
Andy Rourke—bass, acoustic guitar
Marco Pirroni—electric guitar
Dave Munday—acoustic guitar, piano
Jah Wobble—bass

Produced by:

Sinéad O'Connor, Nellee Cooper

Comments:

I don't like this quite as well as the previous one, but it has wonderful moments, particularly with the song that played on MTV till everyone got sick of it, "Nothing Compares 2 U". (Neile)

And if you think "Nothing Compares 2 You" his Sinéad's first single, there's an absolutely wonderful whole album that came out before called The Lion and the Cobra for you to discover. "Nothing Compares 2 You" is from her second album which, in my opinion, is far weaker than her first. (pmcohen@voicenet.com)

I like this album more than I expected to, but not as much as I wanted to. Make sense? Pretty voice, but bit too quiet for my taste. Not enough actual music, too dirge slow for my general tastes. A nice album to play in the background, except for that one about the grave, which is rather loud. ;) (Nyxnight@aol.com)

Well, in my opinion, the second album can't hold a candle to the first. (jzitt@humansystems.com)

At the time of release I didn't like "Nothing compares 2U" either. Maybe because it was everywhere, and I have this strange sense of rebellion against anything that's really popular musically *grin*.. Or maybe, at the time I just wasn't ready yet for that kind of music. Now, I really like Sinéad. (lombaeg@donald.interpac.be)


Am I Not Your Girl?

Release info:

1992—Chrysalis U.S.—FW 21952

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Low. For fans of big band jazz standards and Sinéad only.

Produced by:

Phil Ramone, Sinéad O'Connor

Comments:

I've listened to it, but am not fond enough of this type of music generally to buy the collection. (Neile)

A collection of big-band covers. It's somewhat mystifying why she released it after her huge hit I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, but it does speak to her individuality as an artist and desire to do only what she wants. I'm not a huge fan of this type of music, but love Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Sinéad's not one of them. That's not to say, however, that a few moments don't shine through..."Success Has Made a Failure of our Home" is brilliant and edgy. Sinéad starts softly, then builds it up into this bitchy rant that recalls her earlier angry work. "Gloomy Sunday" and "I Want to be Loved by you" are also magnificent. Still, Sinéad's voice often sounds thin against Phil Ramone's overpowering production, and a cover of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" is particularly weak. Despite the bright spots, we're left wondering...why? (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)


Universal Mother

Release info:

1994—Chrysalis U.S.—F2 30549

Availability:

Wide availability

Ecto priority:

Must have

Group members:

Sinéad O'Connor—vocals, instruments not listed

Guest artists:

John Reynolds—drums, bass, programming, keyboards
Dave Clayton—keyboards, programming
Marco Pittoni—guitar Tim Simenon—programming
Matthew Seligman—bass
Van Gililand—guitar
Nicky Scott—bass
Phil Coulter—piano
John O'Kane—cello
Irish Chamber Orchestra—strings
Voice Squad—backing vocals
Clare Kenny—bass

Comments:

universal mother is a way underrated album. it is very slow and mellow, don't expect another lion and the cobra or i do not want.... it is more moody and there are some real highlights on the album. i think a lot of people bought it because they wanted another angst-filled powerful album like her first two, and instead got an album less dramatic in a sense, but more dramatic in another. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Just a little too therapeutic for me, and a little too produced. Still, it's Sinéad and her voice and sensibility. (Neile)

I had been meaning to pick up Universal Mother ever since I heard a negative review.... this guy was going on about how trite and hackneyed this "mother/goddess" stuff was, and I said, "well, if it can push this jerk's buttons so hard, it must be excellent..." and I wasn't too far off. It is a bit intense emotionally for some moods, but that's ok (being a fan of Lisa Germano and Patti Smith, Heather Nova and PJ Harvey, well...intensity is often a *good* thing...). She really is moving on this one...it's sometimes disturbing, but this is really great stuff.... Anyway, I've found to be an incredibly powerful album. I like it the more I hear it, but that line about "little street fighter / little ninja" in my opinion is buying into the stereotypes a bit much for me, and the song itself seems like it was written by someone who has thought a lot about having children, desires one greatly, but hasn't yet. I mean, it's just a little bit *too* mushy. (rholmes@cs.stanford.edu)

Although I initially didn't like the "Fire on Babylon" single very much, it has since grown on me. But I'm still not overly impressed with it. However, after listening to the album, my faith in Sinéad has been restored. It's a very eclectic collection, with everything from a cappella to rap (with samples from Fiddler on the Roof!) to voice and piano compositions to dance-pop. And, it works. I must admit I like Nirvana's version of "All Apologies" better than Sinéad's, but that's a minor complaint and there's nothing particularly wrong with Sinéad's cover.... I'm not quite as enamored with this as I was when I first bought it. But I still think it's a very strong, moving album. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)

I would like to join the voices that praise the new Sinéad album. It is *really* good. I miss the anger and passion of The Lion and The Cobra but the heartfelt and deeply honest songs on Universal Mother still captivated me on first listen. 'All Babies' is a really great song, and 'Famine' and 'Thank you for hearing me', and of course 'Fire on Babylon'. I need to listen to it more though, so that I can remember the softer songs, which are also very very good. (kyrlidis@earthlink.net)

Whether the public forgives her for her many political blunders remains to be seen, but those with an open mind should really give this album a strong listen...Universal Mother is quite a return to form and also highly recommended. (pmcohen@voicenet.com)

I had no trouble with "Fire on Babylon." I enjoyed it right from the start. But from there, everything changed abruptly. I had heard that the album was to be sparsely arranged (most frequently employing only a piano or guitar), but I still wasn't quite prepared. "John I Love You" and "My Darling Child" are simplistic to the point of monotony. This wasn't the Sinéad I knew. Where was the anger she displayed on The Lion and The Cobra? It could well be that she finally *does* want what she did not have, namely: forgiveness. She forgives the media, the public, the government...and herself. But in order to forgive, as she points out in one of the last songs, there must first be grieving. It is this journey through the grief that finally made me love this album.
     After the simple declaration of love for husband and child, she shows how it felt to be bashed by the media so frequently. In "Red Football," she says the experience made her feel like a crocodile in the Dublin zoo. I do see what she's saying, but hope also that she realizes the crocodile would be treated with more hostility were it to bite off the hand that feeds it (Sinéad was not always fair to the media, either). The first song that really hit me was "Scorn Not His Simplicity," which reminded me a little of the TV movie "David's Mother (for which Kirstie Alley won an Emmy for). Another gripping moment for me was on "All Apologies," which is sung as a ballad with a bite bubbling under. "Tiny Grief Song" put a lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes. And I'm glad that she allows the listener to come to his/her own decision. "Famine," though not a rap in the traditional style, does have a hip-hop backbone and a political message. Sinéad's bound to be compared to Oliver Stone on this one, since she claims that there never was a famine in Ireland, but rather a governmental conspiracy. But in the process of delivering this statement, she makes a case for healing the country's inner child.
     The last track, "Thank You For Hearing Me," actually gave me a bit of a creepy feeling. Even though it's an optimistic song, it does speak (between the lines) of a painful journey. For some reason, I started to hear the song as a goodbye. But goodbye to who (the media, the music industry, the world?), I wasn't sure. Considering her recent suicide attempt, is it such a stretch to believe that this album might have originally been intended as a note of explanation?
     There is a glimpse of light in her world, however. In the credits, she thanks everyone involved with the making of the record, which, she says, would include herself. So she adds the line "Thank you Sinéad." As some of us here know,accepting one's self can be difficult, but allowing yourself to take credit for something that makes you proud is a good step toward acknowledging your worth, both to yourself, and to others.
     I highly recommend this album. (I_SW@zis.ziff.com)

Angelos commented on the mellow yet anger-soaked nature of this album, and I agree wholeheartedly. As much as people mourn the fact, I don't think we'll ever see the fire of The Lion and The Cobra again, but that's okay, 'cause I like what she's releasing now just fine. One thing I find interesting is that a bunch of music on this album somehow sounds ecclesiastical to me (particularly "All Babies", but that one's pretty obvious), despite Sinéad's continued opposition to the Church (as expressed quite clearly in "Fire on Babylon"). Great stuff. Wonderful! (burka@jeffrey.net)

I don't think that the anger of The Lion and The Cobra is gone. I don't think Sinéad's lost any of her power. The new album is a bit softer, but still has an undeniable edge. I didn't have any Sinéad on CD before I bought this one, and it reminded me how much I enjoy her music. Now I have them all. No matter what anyone else says (grin), I think each of Sinéad's albums have their own inescapable energy and nerve. Universal Mother is a wonderful disc, in loud and quiet moments. (cinnamon@one.net)

I think Universal Mother is one of the best albums ever recorded, by *anybody*. In my, of course, opinion. Though I liked her, she wasn't in my Pantheon until that album. If you don't have it, get it. If you have it and haven't listened to it for a while, try it again. Try it a couple times. (vickie@enteract.com)


The Gospel Oak ep

Release info:

1997—Chrysalis U.S.—F2 58651

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sinéad O'Connor—vocals, electric guitar

Guest artists:

Donal Lunny—bouzouki
Graham Henderson—keyboards

Produced by:

John Reynolds, Donal Lunny

Comments:

A six-song ep released in between albums, this should have been noticed more when it was released. It features some of Sinéad's best material ever. A very quiet, lullaby-like album, Sinéad nonetheless is able to convey deep emotion in her vocals and songwriting. "This Is To Mother You" is eloquent and gorgeous, covering many of the same themes as her last album. We hear light R&B and Celtic vibes in "Petit Poulet" and "4 My Love". But nothing is better than the metaphorical, deeply beautiful "This IS a Rebel Song," one of Sinéad's most stunning vocal marvels ever. A very quiet, soothing, and healing collection of songs. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

So Far...The Best of Sinéad O'Connor

Release info:

1997—Chrysalis U.S.—F2 7243

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for new fans and huge fans

Comments:

It's laughable to expect one CD to cover Sinéad's illustrious career, but this CD tries to. It does well in including such classics as "Troy", "Nothing Compares 2 U", "Mandinka", and "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance" alongside rare cuts like "Heroine" and "You Made Me The Thief of Your Heart". It errs considerable in not including such choice cuts as "Black Boys on Mopeds," "Drink Before the War," and recent classics like "Red Football," "This is to Mother You," and "Famine". A solid collection, to be sure, but don't expect completion. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Faith and Courage

Release info:

2000—Atlantic—83337-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sinéad O'Connor—vocals, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Skip McDonald—guitar, keyboards, bass, background vocals
Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie—bass, reggae piano
Adrian "Professor Stretch" Shortman—drum programming, additional keyboards
Rusty Anderson—guitars
Scott Cutler—guitars
Paul Bushnell—bass
Scot Coogan—drums
Jeff Turzo—drum programming
David Campbell—string arrangement, viola
Joel Derouin—violin
Larry Corbett—cello
Dave Stewart—guitars
John Reynolds—drums
Jah Wobble—bass
Kieran Kiely—low whistle, whistles
Caroline Dale—strings
Andy Wright—programming
Mark Price—programming
Blandinna Melky Jean—additional vocals
Chris Sharrock—drums
Chucho Merchan—additional bass
Reece Gilmore—programming
Little Roy—background vocals
Steve McClaughlin—programming
Alan Branch—programming
Zak Rae—keys
Dave Levitta—keys
Anne Preven—background vocals
Derek Scott—guitar
Lil John—drums
Kerren Berz—orchestral arrangement, conducting
Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs—conducting, midi
Simon Mundey—programming
Brian Eno—piano
Justin Adams—guitar
Matthew Seligman—bass
Bonjo !—percussion, spoken word
Abinghi Noah—percussion
Bim Sherman—background vocals
Ghetto Priest—background vocals, spoken word
Brenda Coa—background vocals
Junior Delgado—spoken word

Produced by:

Adrian Sherwood & Skip McDonald (4 tracks), Scott Cutler & Anne Preven (2 tracks), Dave Stewart (4 tracks), Wyclef Jean & Jerry "Wonder" Duplessis (1 track), Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs (1 track), Brian Eno & John Reynolds (1 track)

Comments:

I like "No Man's Woman" quite a bit. I'm hoping there are things more substantial on the new CD, but the single demonstrates to me that Sinead's newfound religosity and priesthood is not going to change her for the worst, as I had feared. The song clearly represents faith in God, but also smacks of the feminism, independence, and anger that fueled her previous works. My $0.02, at least. It's worth a listen.
     Later:Wow, what an album.
     I've been playing it non-stop since I bought it yesterday. It's her best work since I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, by far. The worry I had about too many producers was all for naught—they all manage to accentuate Sinéad, never overshadowing her.
     I enjoyed Universal Mother, and think it had some great tracks. But there also was a significant tentativeness to that album, and its eclectism sometimes backfired—there were a couple of real wonkers on that album. This album replaces that tentativeness with the type of fierce beauty that I missed about Sinéad.
     Favorite tracks so far are "No Man's Woman", "Daddy I'm Fine", "The Lamb's Book of Life", "Jealous", "Dancing Lessons", and "The State I'm In". But there's really no weak tracks here. I'm discovering more and more with every listen. This is her best work in years, if not ever.
     It's great to have you back, Sinéad.
     This is going to be a tough one to top for Best of the Year. She's ba-a-ck! And in stunning form. While it doesn't match the consistency of I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got or have as many standout tracks as Universal Mother or The Lion and the Cobra, this is still a return to form for the owner of the best voice in pop music. The song "Daddy I'm Fine" is an early pick for recording of the decade, while worthy stunners like "Jealous" (her vocals have never been more beautiful), "No Man's Woman", and the sexy "Till I Whisper U Something" stand out as well. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Interesting. So far, the only "killer tracks" as far as I'm concerned are "No Man's Woman" and "Daddy I'm Fine." Give me an album full of stuff like that and I'll be in heaven.
     Overall, Faith and Courage is quite good, but it tends more toward the mellow than I expected. I'm not sure it's all that big a departure from Universal Mother and the stuff on the Gospel Oak ep. It's definitely got some quieter moments, but it's nothing like even I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. That album is notable for its acoustic guitar and half-whispered vocals on half the tracks. The new album has Sinéad definitely *singing* again. And I'm telling you, "Daddy I'm Fine" is worth the price of admission. It's a song that just needs to be played over and over again, cranked to 11. (burka@jeffrey.net)

I like it a lot. Welcome back to her! (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

FABULOUS! I recommend everone take a listen and buy. "Jealous", & "Hold Back the Night" are killer tracks. (annedeming@hotmail.com)

I agree!
     After playing through Faith and Courage several times now, I'm convinced that the genius that is Sinead is back with us. I couldn't be more pleased.
     Some other favourites:
     —"Daddy I'm Fine" (if only for the naughty words. (; )
     —"The Lamb's Book of Life" (an epic track, and I adore every sound, even the faux machine gun sounds)
     —"Till I Whisper U Something" (the groove on this track gets me movin!)
     —"The State I'm In" (what *is* that lyric, "Circle around the Sun..."?)
     —"Emma's Song" (this song deeply affects me, and I love the way it references "the Healing Room", the first song)
     —"Kyrie Eleison" (a great song to listen to loudly through headphones...I'm still trying to sort out the spoken/screamed parts!)
     When I get right down to it, there's not a song on this work of art that I don't like. This one's *highly* recommended. (mickl@texas.net)

My opinion is that this is the best thing she's done in ages. "Daddy I'm Fine" is great to shout along to, the quiet songs are great to listen to. "The State I'm In" got stuck in my head immediately. No, it's not as good as her first. So damn good still. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


Sean Nós Nua

Release info:

2002—Vanguard—79724-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of Sinéd and/or traditional music

Group members:

Sinéad O'Connor—vocals

Guest artists:

Alan Branch—percussion (12)
Abdullah Chhaden—quanun
Nick Coplowe—Hammond
Peter Lockett—percussion
Cora Venus Lunny—violin (1,3,5,6,7), viola (1,9)
Dónal Lunny—acoustic guitar, bousouki, keyboard, bodhrán, bodhrán bass
Kieran Kiely—whistle (2,3,8,9,10,12,13), accordion (9)
Skip MacDonald—electric guitar
Christy Moore—vocals (12)
Rob Ó Géibheannaigh—flute, strings, whistle (5,10), piano (9), guitar (3), banjo (1,4)
Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie—drums, bass, piano
Bernard O'Neill—acoustic bass
Professor Stretch—drum & bass programming
Sharon Shannon—accordion
Steve Wickham—Fiddle, mandolin, banjo

Produced by:

Dónal Lunny, Alan Branch, Adrian Sherwood, and Sinéd O'Connor

Comments:

This is the first album of Sinéad's I've been interested in for years—she just went too smooth pop for me. However, I thought I'd like to hear her try traditional material, and while I don't think the whole of this is successful and it's not going to be a particular favourite, I do quite like this. The echo sound on "Lord Franklin" is a bit too much, but mostly the electronic additions work well. My favourites here are "Her Mantle So Green", "Óró Sé Do Bheatha 'Bhaile", "Paddy's Lament", "The Moorlough Shore", and her duet with Christy Moore, "Lord Baker". (Neile)

How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?

Release info:

2012—One Little Indian Records—TPLP1122CD

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sinéad O'Connor—vocals

Guest artists:

Clare Kenny—bass (1-9)
Justin Adams—guitars (1-3, 5, 8)
Julian Wilson—keyboards (1-4, 6-8)
John Reynolds—drums (1-9); piano (10)
Caroline Dale—cellos (2, 5, 6, 10)
Kevin Armstrong—guitars (2-9)
Sam Dixon—bass (3, 6)
Marco Pirroni—guitars (3)
Tim Vanderkuil—guitars (3, 4, 6, 9)
Damien Dempsey—acoustic guitar (4)
Kenny Bogan—acoustic guitar (5)

Produced by:

John Reynolds

Comments:

God how I love Sinéad. I missed last year's release of "Lay Your Head Down," her contribution to the Albert Nobbs soundtrack, which was just superb. When I finally discovered it in late January of this year, I was even more thrilled about the impending release of the new album. It pleases me to say: I was not disappointed. Some of these songs even hearken back to Sinéad's greatest album of all, The Lion and The Cobra, like "Reason With Me" does with "Drink Before the War" or "Queen of Denmark" with "Mandinka." (raschee@gmail.com)

I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss

Release info:

2014—Nettwerk—0 6700 31022 2 3

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Sinéad O'Connor—all vocals and some guitars on tracks 2, 3, and 5

Guest artists:

John Reynolds—drums, keys & programming
Clare Kenny—bass
Graham Kearns—guitars
Graham Henderson—keys
Brook Supple—acoustic guitar
Tim Oliver—keys
Rupert Cobb and Fred Gibson—trumpet arrangements
Caroline Dale—cellos
Justin Adams—guitars
Seun Kuti—sax
Ruby Reynolds—piano
Brian Eno—keys

Produced by:

John Reynolds

Comments:

A really good, powerful album with lots of energy. (jjhanson@att.net)

Not as great as her previous record but one can tell that she had a lot of fun recording this. Rating: 56/100. Best tracks: "Take Me to Church," "The Vishnu Room," "Your Green Jacket," "8 Good Reasons." (raschee@gmail.com)


Further info:

Sinéad commits herself to many compilations and collaborations. I love her duet with Shane McGowan. His gruff, raspy voice contrasts deliciously with Sinéad's, and the song is a riot. Also, check out her duet with Bono, called "I'm not your mother", on the The End of Violence soundtrack. She has a number of wonderful covers on compilations as well; she's a fine interpreter of such fare as "Me and Billy Jo" (Bobbi Gentry, on the Help! compilation), "The Streets of London" (Dylan, on A Very Special Christmas 2), "On Raglan Road" (On Celtic Moods) and "House of the Rising Sun" (On "This IS a Rebel Song" single). (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Mailing list info.

Sinéad O'Connor has released the following video collections:

  • The Value of Ignorance (VHS, 1989)
  • The Year of the Horse (VHS, 1991)
  • Goodnight, Thank You, You've Been a Lovely Audience (DVD, 2003)
  • Live at the Sugar Club (DVD, 2008)
Compilation work includes:

  • "Someday My Prince Will Come" on Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films (1988)
  • "You Do Something to Me" on Red Hot + Blue (1990)
  • "Sacrifice" on Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin (1991)
  • "I Believe in You" on A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992)
  • "Secret Love" on Ruby Trax: The NME's Roaring Forty (1992)
  • "You Make Me Feel So Free" on No Prima Donna: The Songs of Van Morrison (1994)
  • "My Man's Gone Now" on The Glory of Gershwin (1994)
  • "Ode to Billy Joe" on Help: A Charity Project for the Children of Bosnia (1995)
  • "On Raglan Road" on Common Ground: Voices of Modern Irish Music (1996)
  • "Someone to Watch Over Me" on Red Hot + Rhapsody: The Gershwin Groove (1998)
  • "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" on the You've Got Mail soundtrack (1998)
  • "Chiquitita" (ABBA cover) on Across the Bridge of Hope (1999)
  • "Lullaby for Cain" on The Talented Mr. Ripley soundtrack (1999)
  • a live version of "Fire on Babylon" on Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music, Vol. 2 (1999)
  • "Dagger Through the Heart" on Just Because I'm a Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton (2003)
  • "Back Where You Belong" on The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep soundtrack (2007)
  • "Angel" on the Bones soundtrack (2008)
  • "Silent Night" on Alternative Rock X-mas (2007) and Merriest Time of the Year (2009)
  • "Song to the Siren" (Tim Buckley cover) on Music of Ireland: Welcome Home (2010)
  • "Lay Your Head Down" on the Albert Nobbs soundtrack (2011)
  • "Property of Jesus" on Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan—Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (2012)
  • "Black Is the Colour" with Brian McFadden on his album The Irish Connection (2013)
Collaborations include:

  • "Heroine" with The Edge on the Captive soundtrack (1986)
  • "Visions of You" with Jah Wobble on his album Rising Above Bedlam (1991)
  • "Ship Ahoy" with Marxman on their album 33 Revolutions Per Minute (1992)
  • "Blood of Eden" with Peter Gabriel on his album Us (1992)
  • "Don't Give Up" with Willie Nelson on his album Across the Borderline (1993)
  • "Be Still" with Feargal Sharkey, Nanci Griffith & Peter Gabriel on Peace Together (1993)
  • "Religious Persuasion" with Billy Bragg and Andy White on Peace Together (1993)
  • several songs with Manu Dibango on his album Wakafrika (1994)
  • "Haunted" with Shane MacGowan on the revised edition of his album The Snake (1995)
  • "Foggy Dew" and "He Moved Through the Fair" with The Chieftains on their album Long Black Veil (1995)
  • "Empire" with Bomb the Bass and Benjamin Zephaniah on Bomb the Bass's album Clear (1996)
  • "Va, Pensiero" with Zucchero on his album The Best of Zucchero... Greatest Hits (1997)
  • "Factory Girl" with The Chieftains on their album Tears of Stone (1999)
  • "Wake Up and Make Love With Me" with the Blockheads on the Ian Dury tribute album Brand New Boots and Panties (2001)
  • "Fairytale of New York" with Damian Dempsey on It's All Bells: Jingle All the Way (2002)
  • "Guide Me God" with Ghostland and Natacha Atlas on Ghostland's self-titled album (2002)
  • "Tears From the Moon" (Lunascape cover) with Conjure One on their self-titled album (2003)
  • "1000 Mirrors" with Asian Dub Foundation on their album Enemy of the Enemy (2003)
  • "Special Cases" with Massive Attack on their album 100th Window (2003)
  • "Illegal Attacks" with Ian Brown on his album The World Is Yours (2007)
  • "A New Born Child" with Armand Amar on his album Le premier cri (2007)
  • "Jackie, Is It My Birthday" with The Wolfmen on their album Married to the Eiffel Tower (2009)
  • "It's Only Life" with Elaine Page on her album Elaine Page and Friends (2010)
  • "When a Child Is Born" with Danny O'Reilly on the compilation A Murray Christmas (2012)
  • "Don't Take All Night" with Meshell Ndegeocello on her album Pour une âme souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone (2012)
  • "Black Is the Colour" with Brian McFadden on his album The Irish Connection (2013)


Thanks to Mark Miazga, Cathy Sandifer, and JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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