Friday, July 17, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 150: Sinéad O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

By: March

Album - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Artist - Sinéad O'Connor
Key Players - Sinéad O'Connor - vocals, guitar, percussion, keyboards
Produced By - Sinéad O'Connor, Nellee Hooper, Chris Birkett and Sean Devitt

Release Date - March 1990

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Sometimes I feel like I am just "coasting" when I re-listen to a record from a band/artist that is their biggest selling. Even that being said it doesn't mean I listen to it all that often, so I just need to deal with that.

Overview - This was the second release from Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor. This record would follow here critically acclaimed debut and go on to sell over 7 Million copies world wide and reaching #1 in more than nine countries. It was nominated for four Grammy Awards and won for Best Alternative Music Performance. In 2003 the album was ranked number 406 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The record got the deluxe make over in the middle part of 2009, here we look at the original release. "Feel So Different" slowly fades up with a spoken verse that is accented with strings. The spoken section is actually the "Serenity Prayer" that was written by Reinhold Niebuhr. The vocals are hushed, but still very strong. The listener can feel her urgency. About the 2:30 mark of the song O'Connor goes up higher in range and it really punches off the speakers. She would repeat this later in the track and the track would not stray from just the vocals and string section. The 17th century poem "I Am Stretched On Your Grave", follows. The poem was written in Irish and translated to English. The back beat of the track sounds like a rap song sample, a sort of scratchy basic looping drum beat. The translator of the song (Phillip King) set the tone of the vocal delivery with the arrangement. There seems to be a keyboard tossed in there as well that plays some simple single notes here and there. The drum loops for the bulk of the song before a fiddle and drum interlude play at the end of the track. The hauntingly beautiful "Three Babies" showcases O'Connor on guitar, again with a string section. Her vocals are hushed and she really hits her stride on some of the verses by really sounding off. It can startle the listener almost, it sounds like a lullaby at times. She hits some high notes that are just off the charts and if in the right setting will induce some chills. With the four clacks off the drum sticks "The Emperor's New Clothes" begins. This is the first full band feel, up tempo track on the record. Marco Pirroni, the guitar player for Adam Ant plays the electric on this track. This track also features Andy Rourke of the Smiths (FDF Looks at The Queen is Dead) on bass, (he plays on a few others as well). This was one of the singles from the record, but it did not chart as well as "Nothing Compares 2 U". The bass playing is strong from Andy Rourke and O'Connor has a great acoustic guitar lead on the track. The vocals are over dubbed and O'Connor harmonizes with herself in doing so. The band really clicks on the final few bars of the track, ending on a very high note. "Black Boys on Mopeds" is one of my favorite songs on the record. The solo O'Connor with acoustic guitar is just a stunning beauty. The song which was arranged with the help of Karl Wallinger (World Party) is a very dark track. O'Connor sings about how England is not a mythical land, and they have the same political issues as any other place. The final picture on the cd liner notes is one of Colin Roach what appears to be his parents holding vigil by his picture. The album and perhaps O'Connors watershed moment comes next on "Nothing Compares 2 U". The song, written by Prince is a pretty song full of orchestration and the video image of a solo O'Connor in a black turtleneck, and crying during the song are etched in the collective memory of millions of viewers. This single was a massive hit for O'Connor, and would remain at #1 for 11 weeks in both Ireland and Germany. The tempo is brought back up with "Jump in the River". Andy Rourke plays both bass and acoustic guitar on the track, but O'Connor set the drum program, played guitar and keyboards. This is a rocking tune by her standards. A little more gruff that "emperor" but a real up tempo affair for the record. Rourke is also on "You Cause as Much Sorrow" which begins with a very hushed O'Connor singing with piano and acoustic guitar. The song gets more up tempo as it progresses and turns out to be a full band of guitar, bass and drums. It starts off slow, but gets going. To me, "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance" is the best song on the record. After all these years it still destroys me. A solo O'Connor sings in hushed voice over acoustic guitar for the bulk of the track hitting some terrific places vocally and then it happens. The acoustic gets strummed even harder, the drums kick in the bass swoops over (played by original Public Image Limited bassist Jah Wobble). O'Connor barks some "oh oh oh" between each line on the final verse. The bass playing smokes and compliments O'Connor crashing to a stunning ending. The album wraps up with the title track "I do Not Want What I Haven't Got". Once again, a solo O'Connor sings hushed. The track is a Cappella and is, once again, a haunting beautiful sounding track. O'Connor is in her element here.

Where are they now? - Coming off this record Sinéad was a hot commodity. She joined the Roger Waters "Wall" concert in Berlin in 1990 and was guesting on benefit records. In 1992 during an episode of "Saturday Night Live" at the completion of her second song (an a Cappela version of Bob Marley's "War") she held a photo of Pope John Paul II, and tore it to pieces and shouted "Fight the Real Enemy". Thus began a huge backlash with her being boo'd from the stage at a Bob Dylan Tribute at Madison Square Garden. Two years earlier she caused a rift when she refused to allow for the American National Anthem to be played before she came to the stage at a concert in New Jersey. She never has really recovered in the US market. She has been married twice, has children and admits that she attempted suicide on her 33rd birthday. After all this, she hopes to have an album of new material out in 2010.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I have never seen Sinead O'Connor live.

FDF Overall Take - As noted it is a little easy to do a record so many people might know (even if its for 1-2 songs). The beauty of this record is some of the most delicate moments backed to some of her more driving moments. Going from a whisper to a howl in just a few notes you can hear her breathe between verses, you are sucked in. All "odd ball" analogies aside, she is, and this is, really a great collection of songs.

Official site here and a decent looking fan? site here. Also, Sinéad on myspace

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

The mp3's have been removed.

The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
The Emperor's New Clothes

Bonus Download!
Prince doing Nothing Compares 2 U

Tracks taken from "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" which you can buy here.

The Prince version you can find on "The Hits 1" which you can get here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


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