Sinead O'Connor then known as Mother Bernadette O'Connor, arrives at the Heineken/Hot Press Rock Awards in Dublin, Ireland, accompanied by friend BP Fallon in October 1999.
Photo by: PA Archive/PA Photos
She’s been off the radar screen for some time now, but Sinead O’Connor is ready to step back into the limelight this month with the re-release of her second and most successful album, "I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got," on April 21.
That work spawned her number one single, a remake of the Prince song “Nothing Compares to U,” and the album sold more than two million copies in the U.S. Sinead also scooped up a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance.
Why the re-release after 19 years? Profit with a capital P, of course! The brainiacs at O’Connor’s record label, EMI, have repackaged the album with two unreleased tracks and eight other “bonus” cuts, not to mention an eight page color booklet. Oooh!!!
Hard to know if the CD buying public – what’s left of it – will go for the new offering, though, as reheated oldies, even with a few new bells and whistles, are for the most part notoriously bad sellers.
Sinead’s life and times since the release have been controversial for sure – she shredded a picture of the Pope on "Saturday Night Live," became a “Catholic” priest, declared herself a lesbian before marrying her second husband and revealed her bi-polar disorder – but perhaps, at age 42, the mother of four is finally mellowing out.
“Faith and courage is my motto. I used to have it written above the fireplace in my house in London, but not here in Dublin because my kids won't let me. They rebelled by being fuddy-duddy, my kids. They're all really normal. But there's time yet,” Sinead recently told The Observer newspaper in England.
Her public battles of the past, especially in the U.S. where she took the most flack for the Pope thing , and for barring the singing of the National Anthem at a concert she headlined in New Jersey in 1990, certainly took their toll.
“I was really wounded when everyone said I was a wanker. I regret that when I was younger and all that happened that I lacked self-esteem,” she said.
Sinead played a concert in London on Monday night, her first live performance in some time. She plans on recording new material throughout this year for a CD release of new music in 2010.
What else did Sinead have to say to The Observer? If she was just starting her career now she’d have no hesitation to going on a reality show. "The X Factor" is the equivalent in Ireland and the U.K. of American Idol over here, and she’d love to give it a go.
“If I was starting out now I'd go on a TV talent show. I've often thought about going to an 'X Factor' audition in disguise to see if I got anywhere. I'd be gutted if I didn't,” she says.
Barbra Streisand proved to be her inspiration for embarking on a career in music. “I'm a massive Barbra Streisand fan. When I was a little girl I'd watch 'Hello Dolly' and scream at the TV. I sang ‘Evergreen’ at a wedding when I was 14 and that led to me going into a recording studio for the first time,” she said.
But don’t talk to Sinead about Prince. His Purpleness was none too impressed with her potty mouth during her media interviews to promote her career early on.
“I didn't hit it off with Prince. I met him after I'd recorded ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ and he said he didn't appreciate how I used bad language in my interviews. I told him to go f*** himself, and he wasn't very happy.”