Front cover image for Why Sinéad O'Connor matters

Why Sinéad O'Connor matters

Allyson McCabe (Author)
"Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O'Connor burst onto the pop scene in 1987 with her album The Lion and the Cobra, and followed it with the Grammy-winning I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (1990), which featured a cover of Prince's song "Nothing Compares 2 U." In 1992, she infamously tore a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live to protest the sexual abuse committed by priests and covered up by church authorities. O'Connor was immediately castigated for her politics, which were already radical, and her career has suffered ever since. For many people--including, for many years, the author--what they know of O'Connor stops there. Allyson McCabe argues that both that moment and O'Connor's long career deserve re-examination. For McCabe, hindsight suggests that O'Connor "was right." Right about the church, right about how the music industry uses women, and "most of all, she was right to seek and speak her own truth" no matter the price she's paid for it. O'Connor continues to be controversial, with public breakdowns and problematic statements (to say nothing of changing her name twice). She also has released 10 albums in addition to one-off collaborations and singles. She is a hero (as this book makes clear) to Fiona Apple and other influential women in music. McCabe plans to address both triumphs and struggles, to offer "a fresh look at Sinéad O'Connor's life through the lenses of music criticism, cultural analysis, and personal reflection." The book works through O'Connor's life and career in chronological order, from her abused childhood to initial success, stardom, and the ensuing fallout. McCabe compares O'Connor with Madonna, digs into how she aspires to be a protest singer rather than a pop star, and McCabe explores O'Connor's attempts to de-stigmatize mental illness"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2023
First edition View all formats and editions
University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, 2023
209 pages ; 22 cm.
9781477325704, 1477325700
Take 1
The lion and the cobra
As seen on MTV
Rock-'n'-roll Cassandra
SPINning Sinéad
She'll talk but you won't listen
The takedown
Is she not your girl?
This means war
We do not want what she has got
Wrecking ball
Things need to change
We need to talk about Prince
Hurt people hurt
Truthful witness