When you think of iconic videos, you might name Michael Jackson’s Thriller or A-ha’s Take On Me, or perhaps Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance and Beyoncé’s Single Ladies – all videos with a lot going on or a hefty budget attached. But sometimes the simplest of videos can become a classic, and Sinead O’Connor’s tearstained face in the video for Nothing Compares 2 U has certainly earned its place in the hall of fame.
Composed by His Purpleness himself, Prince – the title is a bit of a giveaway to anyone familiar with Prince’s love “4” using numbers and letters – Sinead’s version of Nothing Compares 2 U is often mistakenly labelled as a Prince cover.
It was in fact originally recorded in 1985 by one of Prince’s side-projects The Family. The sonng appeared on their debut album but was never released as a single – until Sinead got her hands on it, of course.
Prince had recorded versions of Nothing Compares 2 U; in 1993 one, a duet with Rosie Gaines, was released on his hits compilation.
Sinead’s version of Nothing Compares 2 U was the second single off her sophomore album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got and soared up the Official Singles Chart to land at Number 1 this week in 1990. Deposing Kylie Minogue’s fourth chart-topper Tears On My Pillow, Nothing Compares 2 U began a month-long residency at Number 1.
It seemed like Sinead’s sobbing would never end, but after four weeks, she was sent off to cry somewhere else, when Beats International’s Dub Be Good To Me took over at Number 1 towers.
Certified Platinum in the UK, Nothing Compares 2 U finished as the second bestselling single of 1990 and would be Sinead’s only Number 1.
Altogether, Sinead has scored eight Top 40 hits, her most recent being her 2007 collaboration with Ian Brown – Illegal Attacks. That’s not to say Sinead hasn’t been in the charts – she did make an uncredited appearance on 2014’s version of Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid 30.
The rest of the Top 10 this week in 1990:
2: Kylie Minogue – Tears On My Pillow
After just a week at Number 1, Kylie took a tumble with this cover version of Little Anthony & The Imperials’ track, which had also been covered on the soundtrack to 1978 movie Grease. It was the second time a song called Tears On My Pillow had hit Number 1 – Johnny Nash’s 1975 chart-topper was a totally different song, however. Tears On My Pillow would be Kylie’s last Number 1 for a decade. It wasn’t until Spinning Around in summer 2000 that the spell was broken.
3: Technotronic FT Ya Kid K – Get Up (Before The Night Is Over)
A second Top 10 hit for the Belgian dance group, this time fronted by the person actually providing the vocals, unlike debut hit Pump Up The Jam. Ya Kid K’s moment in the sun gave them another song to peak at Number 2, and there’d be seven more Top 40 hits to follow.
4: Mantronix FT Wondress – Got To Have Your Love
Headed up by DK Kurtis Mantronik (not his real name) and with a little help from guest vocalist Wondress (wonderfully, it is her real name), Got To Have Your Love gave the group the first of two Top 10 hits. Peaking here at Number 4, the song yo-yoed about the Top 10 for five weeks. Wondress was also on the follow-up Take Your Time, which peaked at Number 10 later in 1990.
In 2002, the song was covered by reality show runners-up Liberty X, who took their version to Number 2!
5: The 49ers – Touch Me
Piano-heavy Italo-house was still a pretty big deal in early 1990, and the 49ers’ sample-heavy Touch Me was a classic. Fronted by the lovely Dawn, who didn’t really sing on this one, the 49ers managed three Top 40 hits in 1990, before coming back with a new singer and having one more – Rockin’ My Body – in 1995!
6: Halo James – Could Have Told You So
7: New Kids On The Block – Hangin’ Tough
8: Jimmy Somerville – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
9: Lonnie Gordon – Happenin’ All Over Again
10: Phil Collins – I Wish It Would Rain Down
Chart Fact: This week’s Top 10 features three cover versions.
This time last year…
It was the start of something pretty big for Clean Bandit FT Jess Glynne, as Rather began a month-long stay at Number 1. The track would go on to be a million-seller. See the full Top 40 from this week in 2014, with new entries from Vamps, Neon Jungle, OneRepublic and Miley Cyrus.