Nothing Compares 2U
As a rule, I don’t care for cover versions of original songs that I already like. There are some exceptions though, and this is perhaps one of the best examples.
In 1985, Prince, always the innovator, and searching for new ways to express his talent and ideas, released an album titled ‘The Family’. This was the result of one of his many diversions from his normal recording and performing, and something he hoped to run alongside his regular appearances and record releases. This track was included, but the album achieved only moderate success. The song was soon forgotten, and the project abandoned.
Five years later, Irish singer and outspoken advocate of womens’ rights, also known for her many controversial opinions on the Catholic religion, Sinead O’Connor, recorded a cover version. It was included on her best-selling second album, ‘I Do Not Want What I haven’t Got’, in 1990. Crucially, the accompanying video was produced to cinema quality. Almost entirely a close-up of her face, and shot in a muted colour palette, she was able to portray emotions rarely seen in the pop video output of the day. With her stunning looks, cropped hair, and amazing vocals, this combination took the song to the top of the charts in countries all over the world.
Even though I was already a fan of Prince’s original version, I could not deny the superiority of this recording. It took the song to a new level; the power of the vocals, combined with the emotion in the video, was irresistible. It is just sublime, and I invite you to enjoy it.