For most of us, music has always played an important role in our lives. Music is one of the most cherished human experiences. Greek philosopher Plato once said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” I find it remarkable how certain songs can become attached to life experiences that will live on for as long as we do. Sometimes the visual counterpart to a song can leave an equally significant impression.
Traditionally, music videos were only meant to be a means to stimulate record sales, but they can do much more than that — they can also help to capture the essence of a particular song and complete the performers artistic vision. For me, the music video for “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor is the perfect example of this fully realized vision.
With all her recent drama with Miley Cyrus and her very public battle with depression and mental disease, it’s easy to forget what a talented artist Sinéad O’Connor really is. When Sinéad hooked up with British producer Nellee Hooper in 1990, the result was a fantastic cover of the Prince penned “Nothing Compares 2 U”. The song is easily one of the most iconic songs of the ’90s, and the video is equally as captivating.
In the John Maybury directed video, after singing “All the flowers that you planted, Mama, in the back yard, all died when you went away,” tears begin to run down each of Sinéad’s cheeks. This moving visual was totally unexpected and unplanned. According to Sinéad, she cried because she was thinking about the troubled and complex relationship she had with her late mother, who allegedly abused her as a child. Speaking in a recent interview about the video for “Nothing Compares 2 U”, the Irish singer said: “It wasn’t what we had planned for the video. So what happened, happened accidentally and we decided to keep it.”
For both a song and its video to make such a deep connection with me is a rare occurrence, but “Nothing Compares 2 U” did just that. The emotional music video, which took home three moonmen at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, represents the heartfelt lyrics impeccably.
Sinéad is expected to release her new studio album, The Vishnu Room, later this year.