In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.
When we do our monthly Best Covers Ever countdowns, paying tribute to different versions of a given artist’s songs, it’s fun to surprise people with something unexpected. But a couple months ago, when we counted down covers of Prince, it was only ever a race for number two. The best cover of Prince is, in this case, also the most famous. Most famous for a reason. I’m talking, of course, about Sinead O’Connor singing “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Here’s a bit of Seuras Og’s writeup from that list:
“Arguably a pretty slim item in the hands of its composer, O’Connor gave it a remarkable polish, inhabiting the lyric and bleeding out the meaning. OK, she had, and still has, the vocal chops to squeeze emotion into and out of almost anything, and this song is a masterclass in voice control, of volume and microphone technique. The video, especially as she sheds unprompted tears, clearly adds to the overall heft, but even without that visual, still the power is immense. Completeness also insists on showing how timeless her ownership of the song has been, with a live performance or two, decades apart, each as striking, in different ways, as the other.”
But Sinead O’Connor had a lot more to offer than just her one big hit—and that’s even just limiting ourselves to the covers world. Sure, she topped our Best Prince Covers list, but she also appeared on our Best Elton John Covers list, our Best ABBA Covers list, our Best Dolly Parton Covers list, our Best Nirvana Covers list. How’s that for range?