Sinéad O'Connor is one of the most iconic and influential Irish artists of modern times. In the course of twenty years of music making, she has produced an enduring body of work which has been both commercially successful and critically acclaimed on a global scale. One of a small band of recording artists who can truly be classed as maverick, she has intuitively ploughed her own furrow, trusting instinct rather than following fashion, and above all else, being honest and true to herself.
Sinead released her debut album 'The Lion And The Cobra' (a reference to Psalm 91) in 1987 to great critical acclaim – "easily one of the most distinctive debut albums of the year": Rolling Stone., which spawned two alternative hits in the shape of 'Mandinka' and 'Troy'.
Her second long player, "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" was released in 1990, and with the release of "Nothing Compares 2 U", a song Prince composed for Paisley Park protégés The Family which has since become synonymous with Sinead, global success followed. The frank, confessional tone of the album became a template for intense singer / songwriters of the 90's, from Tori Amos to Fiona Apple
As the multi platinum discs and international plaudits poured in; Sinead sidestepped expectations with the lush "Am I Not Your Girl?" an orchestral collection of torch songs and noir – ish standards including "Don't Cry For Me Argentina", acknowledged by the composers Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to be the definitive reading of the Evita anthem.
In 1992, appalled by the emerging evidence of child abuse in Irish Catholic schools; Sinead infamously tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on NBC's 'Saturday Night Live'.
Condemned and pilloried for her actions by the media, she was slated and abused by an audience at a Bob Dylan tribute in Madison Square Garden. The huge furore that surrounded this incident temporarily derailed her career as a mainstream pop performer.
Keeping a low profile in Dublin, it would be almost three years before the release of 'Universal Mother', which included the hit single 'Thank You For Hearing Me' and another amazing cover in the shape of Kurt Cobain's 'All Apologies'. The six track mini album 'Gospel Oak' appeared in 1997 and the new millennium saw Sinead re – emerge with a new label (Atlantic) and a new album 'Faith And Courage'.
In 2002, Sinead released 'Sean Nos Nua', a vital reinterpretation of familiar Irish traditional material, which was warmly welcomed by critics and fans alike, and once again illustrated her ability to reinvent herself irrespective of prevailing fads and notions. This was swiftly followed by (take a deep breath) 'She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty', a delightful compendium of B – sides, rarities and covers coupled with a knock 'em dead live performance recorded at Dublin's Vicar Street.
Exploring spirituality as interpreted by Jah Rastafari, Sinead decamped to Jamaica in 2005 to record 'Throw Down Your Arms', a collection of conscious reggae classics, recorded under the tutelage of Sly & Robbie with some of JA's finest musicians. Work was already under way on Sinead's new album 'Theology'.
The end of 2006 sees Sinead embracing life, her growing family and a new record. Recorded in Dublin and London, 'Theology' is a collection of beautiful songs which address universal themes from Sinead's personal point of view - spirituality, the quest for understanding and the journey of life. The album features nine new Sinead O'Connor compositions, and three inspired covers – Curtis Mayfield's brooding 'We People Who Are Darker Than Blue', Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice's 'I Don't Know How To Love Him' (from 'Jesus Christ Superstar) and the traditional spiritual 'Rivers Of Babylon', with new lyrics added by Sinead.
'Theology' is a double album presenting the songs in both stripped down and full band form. As the world at large deals with the uncertainties and tribulations of this still new Twenty – first century, 'Theology' seeks not to offer immediate answers or a universal panacea; but instead provokes timely and thoughtful questions from an artist who is still pushing herself and inviting her audience to come with her.