Why is Sinéad O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Sure, it’s the “Nothing Compares 2 You” album, but there’s a range of Celtic-influenced rock and gorgeous pure pop to enjoy besides.
Some stats & info about Sinéad O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Indie Rock, Pop Music, Alternative Pop, Celtic Rock, Singer Songwriter
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #457
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got released? 1990
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #900 out of 1,000
Sinéad O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does Sinéad O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
If you’re of a certain age and disposition, you’ll recall that “Nothing Compares 2 You” was a huge song back in 1990. Which was a little bit of an odd in between time for music generally, as an aside. Between the ‘80s and ‘90s, of course, and certainly the sounds that would come to define them, but also this was sort of the latter age of hair metal (and its nephew sub-genre, hair metal ballads), yet before a certain band and music scene out of Seattle, Washington would redefine music for a generation.
But it was also a time where college radio and would become known as indie rock and alternative rock was starting to break through to the mainstream. And it’s through that prism that I think the phenomenon of “Nothing Compares 2 You” makes sense.
But also, it’s a really good song! O’Connor has an amazing voice, and it meshes perfectly, with the keyboard-y orchestral backdrop. And while a lot of slower pop songs of its ilk get very boring very quickly for yours quickly, “Nothing Compares 2 You” holds my interest very nicely, building in momentum and emotional impact throughout. There’s probably even some pangs of some long lost to memory high school crush that ties me to this song still – thus is the power of a damned good song.
What’s really interesting about I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got is that it spans the gamut from the emotions of “Nothing Compares 2 You” to Celtic-influenced pop rock. And then there’s more purely pop stuff as well, that O’Connor pulls off as well as anything else. I particularly like the lighter and catchy tone of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” in that mode.
Side note: there’s a song on the album called “I Am Stretched On Your Grave,” which while not among my favorites has a compelling quality to it. It had me wondering if graves as a source of pop cultural content might have hit a peak in the 1980s to early 1990s? There’s Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery, for one, but really this is an excuse to gush about one of my all-time favorite songs by The Smiths, though one with really odd and opaque lyrics with the really odd and provocative title, “Pretty Girls Make Graves.”
And here’s “I Am Stretched On Your Grave.”
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Sinéad O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
When I started doing research for I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, my memory got jumbled, thinking that the infamous incident in which O’Connor rips up a picture of the pope during a Saturday Night Live appearance (her final one, as it turns out) was during a performance of “Nothing Compares 2 You.”
In fact, though, that incident occurred a few years after that song was released, in 1992. O’Connor’s explanation for the unvetted performance art: “she was making a statement against child abuse and allegations that would rock the Roman Catholic Church nearly 10 years later.”