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Nothing Compares 2 U

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Nothing Compares 2 U

Through the summer of 1990 Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O'Connor was not only pervasive but quite inescapable. It was a huge international hit. You could hear it in taxis, shops, friends' houses in London, New York, Berlin, Sydney and O'Connor's home city of Dublin. It was No 1 in them all, and was the biggest selling single of the year in the US.

Nothing Compares 2 U

"Nothing Compares 2 U" is a song originally written and composed by Prince for one of his side projects, The Family. The song is the sixth track on first and only album The Family (1985). Prince wrote seven of the eight songs on the album, but "Nothing Compares 2 U" is the only track for which Prince takes official credit. The album failed.

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'The Family' album, cover

 

Prince began playing the song live, and in 1993, he released a live version (sharing lead vocals with Rosie Gaines) as the eleventh track (one of two new tracks) on The Hits 1. He has played it live consistently since 1990, and in 2002, released another live version as the twelfth track on the second disc of his first live album, One Nite Alone… Live! Prince’s own studio version remains unreleased, however.

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Rosie Gaines & Price

 

Prince was inspired to write the song about Sandy Scipioni, his personal assistant in 1980, who had to leave suddenly after her father’s death (Prince and Scipioni were not in a romantic relationship, however).

What launched the song was the video. Most of it shows O'Connor's almost shaven head – it's said that she had her hair cropped in response to her record company's demand that she grew it long to make herself look more attractive – her eyes registering every line of the lyric. When she sings "all flowers in the backyard that you planted, mama, all died when you went away" (the "mama" reminding us that the song was written for a man singing to a woman), two tears run down her cheeks. Later it was said that this was because she was reminded of her abusive mother, though who can tell?

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Sinéad O'Connor

 

"Nothing Compares 2 U" became the third best-selling single of 1990, the 82nd best-selling single of the 1990s, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 1990. The song's popularity sent O'Connor's album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got to the top of the Billboard 200 where it stayed for six consecutive weeks.

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Prince

 

Nothing Compares 2 U lyrics


It's been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since you took your love away
Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing ...
I said nothing can take away these blues,
'Cause nothing compares ...
Nothing compares to you

It's been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong?
I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they'd only remind me of you
went to the doctor guess what he told me
Guess what he told me?
He said, girl, you better try to have fun
No matter what you do
But he's a fool ...
'Cause nothing compares ...
Nothing compares to you ...

All the flowers that you planted, mama
In the back yard
All died when you went away
I know that living with you baby was sometimes hard
But I'm willing to give it another try
Nothing compares ...
Nothing compares to you ...

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Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U, single

 

 

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