So I just finished reading Sasha Frere Jones new blog post about Sinead O Connor and it totally blew my mind for two reasons, 1- I love Sinead O Connor and have been a major fan since I was introduced to Lion And the Cobra about five years ago. Previous to that I just thought she was nuts and sang Nothing Compares to You, since, she has become one of my favorite musicians in the world, Lion and the Cobra is often one of the major contenders on my ever rotating, theoretical, holy, desert island disc list. I think it probably, if worse came to worse and the boat was sinking and I had to jump into the water, hold LATC in my right hand and B52's Wild Planet in my left, take a last look then toss Wild Planet into the abyss, tuck LATHC into my bra and start swimming. It's like the Great Gatsby, or The Handmaids Tale, about as perfect as a piece of art can get.
The other reason the post was great is that Sasha pointed out the very important fact that in the clip he posted, in which Sinead is performing at the Grammy's, Sinead is trying her hardest to sing above a pre-recorded track of her own voice, to break free from what she probably, most likely feels is an artistic prison. The antithesis of creation: regurgitation. Through the clip you can see her fight the song and the performance takes on an electric, defiant quality. She wins.
But as the nineties rolled closer, Snead's integrity and unwillingness to play into the corporate game would destroy her commercially, she retained a huge fan base and still dose, but she could never move past her perceived missteps. It makes you realize how much the music industry is not aligned for artists, real ones -similar things happened to Fiona Apple- and how unless you are willing to shape shift, you've got your work cut out for you. Even in the music industry, a breeding ground for ego's, maniacs, drug addicts and chauvinists, Sinead was just too much of an unfamiliar woman. It was her passion in her art and her intellectualism, it was her willingness to challenge authority, even the authorities giving her her supper, it was obvious from the beginning that her rebellion against 'the man' was more than just a shaved head, that was probably embraced only because of her beauty. Sinead is a badass. Let the industry crumble. Let all the big labels go under. There's nothing to miss. Viva music.
Click on Sasha's link under 'peeps' to the left to read his post.
Troy, my favorite Sinead song from LATC.