Sinead O’Connor | I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got – 1990

I began the year with a restaurant in Eastwood, by the end I’d lived in Japan, partied in Munich, & the West was heading to war in the Gulf

This was a busy year for me and for the world.

I was 31 years old, living in a shared house in Lewisham in Sydney. I’d been with a loose collection of housemates for the last four years. We had just moved from Darlinghurst the previous year. I was running Cha Che’s Restaurant in Eastwood.

The restaurant business was draining on my social life, but not as bad as the previous year. In 1989 I was manager of a Bar in Canberra. In those days Canberra’s centre would shut-down after Friday night and would be a ghost town for the weekend. I would return to Sydney on Saturday to sleep and try to catch up with friends, returning to Canberra on Monday morning. Apart from work, there was very little. I was single and the Food Service industry was consuming me.

In the wider world, I remember watching Nelson Mandella being released in South Africa. The Soviet Union was rapidly breaking apart, Maggie Thatcher resigned, Lech Walesa won in Poland, and Iraq invaded Kuwait, but I missed all this as I spent a deal of time travelling through Japan or partying in Munich during the East/West German reunification.

I followed a girl. I’d met this girl at the previous year’s Mardi Gras whilst living in Darlinghurst. She was an American tourist visiting a mutual friend in Sydney. I was single and setup. After leaving Australia, she began working in Beijing, leaving as the Tiananamien Square riots began and finally settling into Osaka, Japan.

I was very tired of work and no life, so I left the restaurant and went to Japan.

I first heard the song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ driving back from a rugby game in Japan. I was playing for some unknown corporation. No memory of how I got into the game, maybe from a conversation in an English pub in the middle of Osaka called the Pig & Whistle (unfortunately now closed). We lost magnificently.

The song made a great contrast to the Kylie M songs I’d been hearing played over loudspeakers in Japanese Temples, (although the most inspiring temple I visited, Sanjusangendo, was as quiet and reverent as a gathering of Buddhists listening to Sinead O’Connor).

I had heard and recommended Sinead’s début album (Lion and the Cobra – 1987) to friends 3 years earlier, and was later stunned to hear a track from it in the film Nightmare on Elm Street 4. Thought her voice was well worth a listen, that album was as strident in voice, lyrics and instrumentation as you now expect from Sinead O’Connor. This second album is a revelation of restraint, and not how I remember it.

Her voice, though always interesting and passionate, has never been strong. She has a good range, and always made good use of multi-tracking her voice. The songs and arrangements help her on this album. Lots of tasteful string arrangements and acoustic guitars. The first track is a capella, the second with only strings and Irish fiddle.  This album sounds spiritual and soulful. Not sure if it’s in-spite of, or because of the lyrics. The songs are passionate and heartfelt. There appears to be a personal belief behind the songs and their delivery.

This album is so much more than the single ‘Nothing compares 2 U’  (Prince recently made comments to the affect that cover versions should be banned.)

This is an album that surprises and should be revisited. Hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and the girl I’d followed -lost the girl, found a country. There were much better things ahead for me in the future, and possibly far worse things for the world.

Some great albums were released during 1990:
Aztec Camera | Stray
They Might Be Giants | Flood
The Sundays | Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
The Chills | Submarine Bells
Midnight Oil | Blue Sky Mining
Pixies | Bossanova
Cocteau Twins | Heaven or Las Vegas
John Cale & Brian Eno | Wrong Way Up
Enigma | MCMXC a. D.
Public Enemy | Fear of a Black Planet
Track listing for ‘I do not want what I haven’t got’ :-
“Feel So Different”
“I Am Stretched on Your Grave”
Anonymous, King
“Three Babies”
“The Emperor’s New Clothes”
“Black Boys on Mopeds”
“Nothing Compares 2 U”
“Jump in the River”
O’Connor, Pirroni
“You Cause as Much Sorrow”
“The Last Day of Our Acquaintance”
“I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got”
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One Response to Sinead O’Connor | I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got – 1990

  1. Pingback: A life in albums | michaelsprott

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