When the news broke of Sinead O’Connor’s death on July 26, 2023, there were a couple of different reactions. One was “Who’s Sinead O’Connor?” That wasn’t terribly surprising. Her last hit album was released in 1990. A couple of generations have gone by since she was on the charts and may have never heard of any of her songs.
The second reaction came from readers of tabloids and gossip columns, those who had at least peripherally heard about her struggles through middle age.
The third reaction came from those who remembered not only what a talent she was, but that she was also a force of nature unlike almost anyone we had ever seen in music. That is why her death was front page news around the planet.
Sinead O’Connor took a position—many positions, in fact—with her art and her public persona and never, ever backed down… she was always herself…she was a nonconformist. She would not be put in a box and refused to be silenced.
Sinead spoke up on things few people would dare talk about, including her own personal struggles (of which there were many). She spoke up on women’s rights, children’s rights, organized religion, the struggles of gay, lesbian, and transgender people, aids patients, racial minorities, and the patriarchy of the recorded music business. Did you know that she donated her house in Hollywood to a family of refugees from Somalia?
When she died, she left behind an intriguing body of work that includes solo material and collaborations. Two of those solo albums are all-time classics.
But if you know Sinead O’Connor, you already know this and what you’re about to hear will bring back a flood of memories. But if you’re late to the party, you may still be asking yourself “What’s the big deal about Sinead O’Connor?” Here: let me show you.
Songs heard on this show (all by Sinead O’Connor)
- I Am Stretched on Your Grave
- Heroine (with The Edge)
- Nothing Compares 2 U
- All Apologies
- No Man’s Woman
This is Eric Wilhite’s playlist.
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