As you probably know by now, The Analog Kid lives for b-sides and non-album cuts. In this continuing series, I will share some of my favorite EPs and 12″ singles from over the years in their entirety. And since it’s digital, you don’t have to worry about correctly setting the turntable speed to 33⅓ or 45!
I first heard Sinéad O’Connor’s voice on “Heroine,” a song from a 1986 film soundtrack from U2’s The Edge. I first saw Sinéad when she performed her debut single “Mandinka” on the Letterman show a year later. She was obviously nervous and her voice was a little shaky, but her presence was still completely captivating. I had already purchased The Lion And The Cobra by that point, and it’s still one of my favorite albums.
Of course, O’Connor would become an international star with the release of that song in 1990. Many still consider her a one-hit wonder, and she does technically fit the description (“Nothing Compares 2 U” was her only Top 40 hit in the U.S.). The truth is that Sinéad has been making great records for more than 25 years now, and that voice is still every bit as powerful as it was back in 1987.
“Three Babies” is one of my favorite tracks from I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, Sinéad’s second album. The 1990 U.K. 12″ for “Three Babies” also includes some wonderful b-sides– there’s a beautiful cover of Etta James’ “Damn Your Eyes,” and The Smiths’ Andy Rourke co-wrote the rocking “The Value Of Ignorance” with O’Connor. There’s also a great live version of “Troy,” perhaps her most intense song.
Sinéad rarely tours the United States, but I was lucky enough to see her live during the summer of 1990 at Dallas’ now-defunct Bronco Bowl. She stopped the show after three songs and announced that she couldn’t continue because her voice was failing. Most of the sold-out crowd was irate, and I suppose that was understandable as no refunds were given. I was certainly disappointed that the performance ended so quickly, but I also know that I saw more intensity in those three songs than most bands give in a two-hour show. It may have been the shortest concert of my life, but it’s a moment that will always be with me.
Sinéad O’Connor: Three Babies [U.K. 12″]
Chrysalis Records, 1990
1. “Three Babies” (O’Connor)
2. “Damn Your Eyes” (Wyrick/Bogard)
3. “Troy” [Live] (O’Connor)
4. “The Value Of Ignorance” (O’Connor/Rourke)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
The Edge & Sinéad O’Connor: “Heroine” (The Edge/O’Connor)
From the album Captive
Island Records, 1986
Sinéad O’Connor: “Mandinka” [Extended Version] (O’Connor)
From the U.S. Promo 12″ Mandinka
Chrysalis Records, 1988
Sinéad O’Connor: “Nothing Compares 2 U” (Prince)
From the album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
Chrysalis Records, 1990