Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#1 for 4 weeks) & Modern Rock (#1); 1990

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Although Nothing Compares 2 U marked Sinead O’Connor’s first appearance on Billboard‘s Hot 100, she was no stranger to music lovers. Her debut album had risen to #36 in 1988 without the support of a mainstream hit single. Two tracks – Mandinka and I Want Your Hands (On Me) – caught fire with the dance crowd, and another – Jump In The River – captured Married To The Mob movie goers. On her second album, Sinead included a song suggested by Fachtna O’Ceallaigh, her close friend and manager since the early pub-performing days in Dublin. Although composed by Prince, the original 1985 recording of Nothing Compares 2 U was by Minneapolis funksters The Family. A striking video, featuring a teary eyed O’Connor who just days before had split from O’Ceallaigh, accompanied Sinead’s version. The compelling sound and imagery propelled Nothing to #1 and attracted Grammy nominations for Record, Song, and Pop Female Vocalist of the Year.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Sinéad O’Connor
  • Nellee Hooper

Lyrics Written by:

  • Prince