Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Sinéad O’Connor: Top 50 Songs

Sinéad O’Connor

Top 50 Songs

Alternative-rock singer born Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor on 12/8/1966 in Glenageary, County Dublin, Ireland. She was also known by the names Magda Davitt and Shuhada Sadaqat. She died 7/26/2023.

While she is generally viewed in the United States as a one-hit wonder for her #1 iconic 1990 smash “Nothing Compares 2 U” and its chart-topping, multi-platinum parent album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, she had other chart entries in her native Ireland, the UK, Australia, and other parts of the world. She released ten studio albums from 1987 to 2014. She was working on a new album at the time of her death.

She led a troubled life, being sent to an asylum for eighteen months at the age of 15 for shoplifting and truancy. She said her mother psychologically and physically abused her. She died in a car accident when Sinéad was 18. She struggled with mental illness including bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She was married and divorced four times and had four children. She attempted suicide in 1999 on her 33rd birthday. In 2022, her 17-year-old son Shane committed suicide.

She often generated controversy, most notably during a 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live in which she tore up a picture of the Pope in protest against sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church. In her 2021 memoir Rememberings, she said that “A lot of people say or think that tearing up the pope’s photo derailed my career. That’s not how I feel about it…I feel that having a number-one record derailed my career and my tearing the photo put me back on the right track.” PP

In the late ‘90s, she was ordained as a priest by the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church. In 2013, she berated Miley Cyrus for her “Wrecking Ball” video (in which she appeared nude) that she was sending the message that it was cool to be prostituted. In 2018, she converted to Islam and called non-Muslims “disgusting.”

For a complete list of this act’s DMDB honors, check out the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry.

Click here to see other acts’ best-of lists.

Spotify Podcast:

Check out the Dave’s Music Database podcast R.I.P. Sinéad O’Connor: A Dozen of Her Best Songs based on this list. Premiere: July 26, 2023, at 7pm CST.


Top 50 Songs

Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists, appearances on compilations and live albums by the featured act, and songs’ chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Comments and footnotes after the song indicate the album(s) the song is featured on.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Nothing Compares 2 U (1990) 2,5,11

DMDB Top 10%:

2. Mandinka (1987) 1,5,11
3. Troy (1987) 1,5,11
4. The Emperor’s New Clothes (1990) 2,5,11
5. You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart (from In the Name of the Father soundtrack, 1994) 5
6. I Want Your Hands on Me (1987) 1,5,11
7. Silent Night (single, 1991)
8. The House of the Rising Sun (B-side on “Fire on Babylon,” 1994)
9. Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home (1992) 3,5,11
10. Someone to Watch Over Me (1992)

DMDB Top 20%:

11. Black Boys on Mopeds (1990) 2,11
12. No Man’s Woman (2000) 7
13. All Apologies (1994) 4
14. Fire on Babylon (1994) 4,5
15. Jump in the River (from Married to the Mob soundtrack, 1988) 2,11
16. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (1992) 3,5,11
17. Three Babies (1990) 2,11
18. You Do Something to Me (from the Cole Porter tribute album Red Hot + Blue, 1990)
19. My Special Child (single, 1991)
20. Danny Boy (with Davy Spillane, from his The Sea of Dreams album, 1998)

21. Blood of Eden (with Peter Gabriel, from his Us album, 1992) 9

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

22. Drink Before the War (1987) 1
23. The Last Day of Our Acquaintance (1990) 2,5,11
24. Jerusalem (1987) 1,11
25. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (1992) 2
26. Famine (1994) 4
27. Thank You for Hearing Me (1994) 4
28. This Is to Mother You (1997) 6
29. Someday My Prince Will Come (from the Disney tribute album Stay Awake, 1988)
30. I Am Stretched Out on Your Grave (1990) 2

31. Illegal Attacks (with Ian Brown, from his album The World Is Yours, 2007)
32. Sacrifice (from the Elton John tribute album Two Rooms, 1991)
33. Take Me to Church (2014) 14
34. Mother (live with Roger Waters & The Band, from Waters’ The Wall – Live in Berlin album, 1990)
35. Kingdom of Rain (with The The, from their album Mind Bomb, 1989) 9
36. Visions of You (with Jah Wobble, from his album Rising Above Bedlam, 1991) 9
37. 4th and Vine (2012) 13
38. I Believe in You (from the collection A Very Special Christmas Vol. 2, 1992)
39. I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990) 2,11
40. This Is a Rebel Song (1997) 6

41. I Wanna Be Loved by You (1992) 3
42. Streets of London (B-side on “Fire on Babylon,” 1994)
43. Jealous (2000) 7
44. Just Like U Said It Would B (1987) 1,5
45. Empire (with Bomb the Bass, from their album Clear, 1995) 5,9
46. Jackie (1987) 1
47. Special Cases (with Massive Attack, from their album 100th Window, 2003) 9
48. Tears from the Moon (with Conjure One, from their album Conjure One, 2002) 9
49. Just Call Me Joe (1987) 1,9
50. The Wolf Is Getting Married (2012) 13


1 The Lion and the Cobra (1987)
2 I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)
3 Am I Not Your Girl? (1992)
4 Universal Mother (1994)
5 So Far…The Best Of (compilation, 1997)
6 Gospel Oak (EP, 1997)
7 Faith and Courage (2000)
8 Sean-Nós Nua (2002)
9 Collaborations (previously released recordings with various artists, 2005)
10 Throw Down Your Arms (2005)
11 Essential (compilation, 2005)
12 Theology (2007)
13 How About I Be Me and You Be You? (2012)
14 I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss (2014)

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First posted 7/26/2023; last updated 8/7/2023.

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