Thursday Night Music Byte
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor (pronounced /ʃɪˈneɪd oʊˈkɒnər/, shi-NAYD-oh-KON-ər; born 8 December 1966) is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Since then she has regularly courted controversy with her views on religion, while still maintaining a career in music.
O’Connor’s time as singer for Ton Ton Macoute brought her to the attention of the music industry, and she was eventually signed by Ensign Records. She also acquired an experienced manager, Fachtna O’Ceallaigh, former head of U2’s Mother Records. Soon after she was signed, she embarked on her first major project, providing the vocals for the song “Heroine”, which she cowrote with U2’s guitarist The Edge for the soundtrack to the film Captive. O’Ceallaigh, who had been fired by U2 for complaining about them in an interview, was outspoken with his comments about music and politics, and O’Connor began to adopt the same habits; she made controversial comments about the IRA and directed negative remarks towards U2.
Things were contentious in the studio as well. She was paired with veteran producer Mick Glossop, whom she later publicly derided. They had differing visions regarding her debut album and four months of recordings were scrapped. During this time she became pregnant by her session drummer John Reynolds (who went on to drum with the band Transvision Vamp). Thanks largely to O’Ceallaigh’s persuasion, the record company allowed O’Connor, 20 years old and by then seven months pregnant, to produce her own album.
O’Connor’s first two albums (1987’s The Lion and the Cobra and 1990’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got) gained considerable attention and mostly positive reviews. She was praised for her voice and her original songs. She was also noted for her appearance: her shaved head, often angry expression, and sometimes shapeless or unusual clothing.
Please enjoy this video clip of Sinead O’Connor performing her Irish protest song, “Famine“. Pay close attention to the lyrics which provide a truly realistic portrayal of the “real Irish Problem”.