Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Nothing Compares 2 U

First recorded by The Family (1985).
Hit version by Sinead O’Connor (US #1/UK #1/CAN #1/IRE #1/AUS #1 1989).
Also recorded by Prince & The New Power Generation (1993), fDeluxe (aka The Family) (2016).

From the wiki: “‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ was 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.

“The Family’s origins started with the disintegration of The Time in 1984. Lead singer Morris Day had left the band to pursue a solo career and guitarist Jesse Johnson became the de facto band leader. Prince invited the remaining members of The Time – Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton, and Paul Peterson – to his home and presented them with his new project. They agreed to become a new band called The Family, with Peterson renamed ‘St. Paul’ as the new frontman and bassist. The Family was a relatively important album in Prince’s musical career because it allowed him to test several musical concepts that he would later fully integrate in his music. ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ appeared on the album but it was not released as a single, and received little recognition. (A mix of the song, featuring Prince on vocals, was released in 1993 under the guise of The New Power Generation.)

“O’Connor’s rendition reflected on her mother’s death in 1985. A music video, which has been described as iconic, was shot and received heavy rotation on MTV. O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ became a worldwide hit, topping charts in Sinead’s native Ireland, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“The Family reunited in 2016, as fDeluxe, to pay tribute to Prince ‘7 hours and 13 days’ after his passing in April 2016, with a rerecording of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ using the original string arrangement by the late Clare Fischer and featuring members of STRINGenius (who had recorded on Prince’s last 3 records).”

Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1989):

Prince & The New Power Generation, “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1993):

fDeluxe (aka The Family), “Nothing Compares 2 U” (2016):

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