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Nothing Compares 2 U

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Title: Nothing Compares 2 U  
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Subject: Peach (song), Chyp-Notic, So Far... The Best Of, Musicology Live 2004ever, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Prince song)
Collection: 1985 Songs, 1989 Songs, 1990 Singles, 1990S Ballads, Billboard Alternative Songs Number-One Singles, Billboard Hot 100 Number-One Singles, Dutch Top 40 Number-One Singles, European Hot 100 Singles Number-One Singles, Irish Singles Chart Number-One Singles, Mtv Video Music Award for Best Female Video, Mtv Video of the Year Award, Number-One Singles in Australia, Number-One Singles in Germany, Number-One Singles in Italy, Number-One Singles in New Zealand, Number-One Singles in Norway, Number-One Singles in Poland, Number-One Singles in Sweden, Number-One Singles in Switzerland, Pop Ballads, Prince (Musician) Songs, Rpm Top Singles Number-One Singles, Sinéad O'Connor Songs, Singles Certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, Song Recordings Produced by Nellee Hooper, Songs About Loneliness, Songs Written by Prince (Musician), Torch Songs, Uk Singles Chart Number-One Singles
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Nothing Compares 2 U

"Nothing Compares 2 U"
Single by Sinéad O'Connor
from the album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Released 8 January 1990 (1990-01-08)
Genre Pop[1]
  • 5:10
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Prince
Sinéad O'Connor singles chronology
"Jump in the River"
"Nothing Compares 2 U"
"The Emperor's New Clothes"
Music video
"Nothing Compares 2 U" on YouTube
Music sample
Sinéad O'Connor's version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" from I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

"Nothing Compares 2 U" is a song originally written and composed by Prince for one of his side projects, The Family. It was later made famous by Irish recording artist Sinéad O'Connor, whose arrangement was released as the second single from her second studio album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. This version, which O'Connor co-produced with Nellee Hooper, became a worldwide hit in 1990. A music video, which has been described as iconic, was shot and received heavy rotation on MTV. Its lyrics explore feelings of longing from an abandoned lover's point of view.


  • Background 1
  • Commercial performance 2
  • Music video 3
    • Concept 3.1
    • Reception 3.2
  • Relationship with Prince 4
  • Legacy 5
  • Track listings 6
  • Credits and personnel 7
  • Charts 8
    • Weekly charts 8.1
    • Year-end charts 8.2
    • End-of-decade charts 8.3
  • Certifications 9
  • Release history 10
  • References 11


In 1985, The Family, a funk band created as an outlet to release more of Prince's music, released their first and only album, the self-titled The Family. "Nothing Compares 2 U" appeared on the album but it was not released as a single, and received little recognition.

O'Connor's rendition reflected on her mother's death in 1985.

Prince performed the song as a live duet with Rosie Gaines, subsequently released on his 1993 compilations The Hits/The B-Sides and The Hits 1. Prince also recorded a solo version of the song for his concert film, Rave Un2 the Year 2000, as well as for his 2002 live album, One Nite Alone... Live!

Commercial performance

The song became a worldwide hit, topping charts in O'Connor's native Ireland, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also became a top-five single in France and a top-20 in Denmark. The single was certified platinum in Austria and the United Kingdom, and gold in Germany and Sweden.

In the United States it spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100; in addition, it was a number-one in Billboard Alternative Songs chart and reached number two on Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It became the third best-selling single of 1990, the 82nd best-selling single of the 1990s, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April 1990. The song's popularity sent I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got to the top of the Billboard 200 where it stayed for six consecutive weeks.

Music video

The lone face of O'Connor made the video one of the most recognisable of the 1990s.


The clip consists mostly of a closeup on Sinéad O'Connor's face and her different stages of sadness as she sings the lyrics; the rest consists of her walking through an area of Paris, known as the Parc de Saint-Cloud. Toward the end of the video, two tears roll down her face, one on each cheek. In the middle and at the very end of the video there is a shot from O'Connor's photo session for the I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got album cover.


The clip won three moonmen at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards: Video of the Year (O'Connor became the first female artist to be awarded with it), Best Female Video and Best Post-Modern Video. It was nominated for Breakthrough Video, Viewer's Choice and International Viewer's Choice during the ceremony. The video also became the subject for many parodies and spoofs, such as Gina Riley's parody "Nothing Is There" on Fast Forward, referring to the fact that O'Connor tended to shave her head bald.[2]

Relationship with Prince

Speaking about her relationship with Prince in an interview with Norwegian station NRK in November 2014 Sinéad said, "I did meet him a couple of times. We didn't get on at all. In fact, we had a punch-up." She continued: "He summoned me to his house after 'Nothing Compares 2 U.' I made it without him. I'd never met him. He summoned me to his house—and it's foolish to do this to an Irish woman—he said he didn't like me saying bad words in interviews. So I told him to fuck off." Sinéad alleged the row became physical: "He got quite violent. I had to escape out of his house at five in the morning. He packed a bigger punch than mine."[3]


  • In 2004, Rolling Stone placed the Sinéad O'Connor single at number 162 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, which contains only two songs of the 1990s ranked higher.
  • In a 2006 poll for a Channel 5 program "Britain's Favourite Break-up Songs", Sinéad O'Connor's version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" was voted fifth.
  • VH1 Classic listed Sinéad O'Connor's version as the second greatest classic love song, behind Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."
  • In 2002, VH1 ranked the song the 18th greatest one-hit wonder.
  • In 2007, VH1 ranked O'Connor's rendition number 10 of the "100 Greatest Songs of the 90s".[4]
  • In 2008, VH1 ranked the song the number 1 on "Final Countdown - Top 50 Heartbreakers".
  • On July 4, 2009, VH1 Classic ranked #12 on "Top 20 Flashback from the 90s".
  • In September 2010 Pitchfork Media included the song at number 37 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.[5]
  • The song was listed at number 77 on Billboard's "Greatest Songs of All Time".[6]
  • TIME magazine included "Nothing Compares 2 U" in its 2011 (unranked) list of "All-TIME 100 Songs".[7]
  • On 28 May 2012 on the 'Magic' channel, the song was ranked number 1 of the 1990s Popbox Mega Power Ballads.

Track listings

Credits and personnel



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[28] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[29] Platinum 30,000x
Germany (BVMI)[30] Gold 250,000^
Sweden (GLF)[31] Platinum 50,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history

Country Release date
United Kingdom 8 January 1990 (1990-01-08)
Worldwide 4 February 1990 (1990-02-04)
United States 11 February 1990 (1990-02-11)


  1. ^ Gilbert, Sophie (April 21, 2015). "How 'Nothing Compares 2 U' Endured".  
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kelly, Aoife (2014-11-18). I told him to f*** off' - Sinéad O'Connor reveals she had punch-up with Prince"'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2015-09-27. 
  4. ^ Breaking Dawn Soundtrack: Posted (2007-12-13). "Top 100 Songs of the ’90s | VH1 Blog". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  5. ^ "Staff Lists: The Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s: 50-21 | Features". Pitchfork. 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Tightrope' | 100 Greatest Popular Songs: TIME List of Best Music |"'". 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Medien, Hung. "SINÉAD O'CONNOR - NOTHING COMPARES 2 U" (in French). Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  9. ^ Medien, Hung. "SINÉAD O'CONNOR - NOTHING COMPARES 2 U (NUMMER)" (in Dutch). Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  10. ^ Medien, Hung. "SINÉAD O'CONNOR - NOTHING COMPARES 2 U (CHANSON)" (in French). Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Volume 51, No. 25, May 05 1990".  
  12. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 51, No. 25, May 05 1990".  
  13. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi.  
  14. ^ "Top 100 single" (in German). Retrieved August 17, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Irish Singles Chart – Search for song".  
  16. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 20. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  17. ^ "Archive Chart: 1990-02-03" UK Singles Chart.
  18. ^ "Sinéad O'Connor – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Sinéad O'Connor.
  19. ^ "Sinéad O'Connor – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Sinéad O'Connor.
  20. ^ "Sinéad O'Connor – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Sinéad O'Connor.
  21. ^ 1990 Australian Singles Chart (Retrieved 3 September 2008)
  22. ^ 1990 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved 3 September 2008)
  23. ^ "Single top 100 over 1990" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  24. ^ 1990 Swiss Singles Chart (Retrieved 3 September 2008)
  25. ^ Music Week End of year Charts, 1990. pub.January 1991
  26. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  27. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s.  
  28. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. 
  29. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Sinéad O'Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U" (in German).   Enter Sinéad O'Connor in the field Interpret. Enter Nothing Compares 2 U in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  30. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Sinéad O'Connor; 'Nothing Compares 2 U')" (in German).  
  31. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish).  
  32. ^ "British single certifications – Sinéad O'Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U".   Enter Nothing Compares 2 U in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  33. ^ "American single certifications – Sinéad O'Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
"Tears on My Pillow"
by Kylie Minogue
UK Singles Chart number-one single
3 February 1990
(four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Dub Be Good to Me"
by Beats International
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