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VINE VOICEon January 13, 2004
5 stars is nowhere near the mark for the film collection of these 2 tours. If you were fortunate enough to catch Sinead before the meltdown at the Dylan Tribute and the Peter Gabriel breakdown, you know that there has rarely been an artist who blazed across the pantheon like O'Connor, and this DVD is an absolute must. When I wandered into the Mann Music Center all those summers ago to catch a singer whose CDs were profoundly moving, I had no idea how thoroughly Sinead would shred what I thought a performer could get across. The band, including then husband John Russell, who would prove to be her most reliable confidant, included Dublin's best musicians, U2 notwithstanding. Sinead riveted your attention and she delivered her heart and soul with such an incandescent intensity that it was as though you were watching a white star go supernova. In retrospect, how could she have kept it up?
In any case, the poetry of Frank Harte has never been more categorically delivered than Sinead's "I Am Stretched Out On Your Grave." She embodies the entire Gaelic and English history of Irish Poetry in this performance. The beautiful "Black Boys on Mopeds" and the ultra sexy "Nothing Compares to U" are hall marks of her early repertoire.
Theses are wonderfully shot performances, and they underscore the tragedy of Sinead having lost her grip on her sanity, reality and career. Before she turned into a mess, she was the single most protean force in rock music ever. What happened was absolutely a tragedy, first for herself. Someone had the foresight to shoot these shows and preserve the tapes. They've done all who love great music and incredible performance art an enormous service. This DVD is absolutely essential.
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on January 23, 2004
As the audience sings along you will too. This DVD is one of those live performances that only legends make. I love both concerts equally. The Value of Ignorance is so raw. Some have complained about how little the camera moves. Though I think the true entertainment value of this performance is Sinead's face, because there is such emotion in her songs. Mandinka is sooo awesome, but the visual best here is the beginning of Jeruselum. All in all this video seems like it was shot by a student. Though I love to see my favorite artist in their first days. There's some kind of unblemished purity that hasn't affected their performance "technique".
The Year of the Horse is definetly has more money behind it. Though still simple with the songs only being accented by lighting & camera editing. Sinead is still so pure, but you see the growth. Here you see everything from the band to a dancing Sinead. Incredibly saturated in nuiance. I love this show. I think nothing is more beautiful than how she brings all of these thousands of people together by her music...the entire audience sings along during some songs, & Sinead just smiles. I would too, I mean it's such a reality check to see what you've done & how you've affected others when the whole world sings with you. Chilling, & spiritual. I love this woman.
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on January 18, 2004
What a difference two years makes! 1988 was the year after the release of Sinéad's spectacular debut album, The Lion & the Cobra. While this first album got ample alternative/college radio support, it was far from the attention garnered by the second album, and in particular "Nothing Compares 2 U."
This 1988 concert showcases a somewhat callow, but still powerful, Sinéad backed handily by The Smiths' recently released Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce. That you don't see the backing musicians is perfectly forgivable. Doubly so for not seeing the audience. The effects *are* a little bit distracting, but not as distracting as the lack of continuity between songs. Still...Sinéad's performances excel by dint of her earnestly passionate expressions of emotion. Sinéad's fiery vocalisations and defiantly shaved head contrast ironically with her consciously feminine cheerleader outfit. At times, she looks just a teensy bit nervous in spite of herself.
Cut to October, 1990. "Nothing Compares 2 U" has already pushed Sinéad into the proverbial limelight. The pleated skirt and leotard top of 1988 have been replaced with an intelligent jacket, flowing dress, spectacles, and earpiece. She positively reeks of maturity and self-confidence as evidenced by her theatrical gestures, provocative dancing, and playful (but in-control) banter with the audience. The 1990 performance showcases a woman who has had to grow up very quickly. She may not have known what she wanted when she was 21, but you get the feeling she knows exactly what she wants at 23.
The rub? For me, it was that neither performance of "Troy" was backed with string arrangements like those used in the studio version--both are performed using a single acoustic guitar and, in case of the 1990 concert, some help from the audience.
Even if you don't know what you want at 21, 31, or 41, odds are pretty good you will enjoy this DVD. :)
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on February 23, 2015
I enjoyed the video, but it wasn't one of the better video concerts I've seen. This is actually two shows.

The first is early in her career after the Lion and the Cobra. The filming was very static with mostly head shots. But it was great to hear her perform some of the more obscure songs from the first album.

The second was from after her second album, when she was a big star. This one was more of a concert that you'd expect, with a bit of repition from the first.

Overall, a pretty good show.
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on February 26, 2004
Finally a DVD! I have both VHS of Live: Year of The Horse/Value of Ignorance. Not only is the sound excellence (5.1 Surround sound) Sinead's Voice is so crisp & pure: you can close your eyes & it feels like your there. The DVD CASE is a must have. Beautiful Cover by Jill Furmanovsky on font! Inside is the original picture covers on the VHS Year of The Horse/Value of Ignorance. You need to purchase your personal copy today from Amazon.
James
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on May 20, 2011
You'll never regret buying this DVD is absolutely amazing especially the second concert, "The year of the horse. " I have seen a lot of concerts of many artists but without a doubt this spectacular concert is one of my favorites for all times. Sinead O'connor shows that an artist don't need dozens of dancers and special effects to achieve an excellent show, just her powerful voice, charisma and personality make an artist to achieve that all the audience enjoy a wonderful presentation. Sinead has nothing to envy to Madonna.
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on September 1, 2006
surely "value of ignorance" would have been better without all those strange visual effects but... it doesn't matter... anyway "the year of the horse" is something absolutely AMAZING... she's one of the best performer on earth... I LOVE YOU GIRL

buy it!!
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on January 13, 2008
YES YOU ARE !!!!! i was lucky enough to see sinead this past october, and what an incredible performance. she was a bit more sedate, being pregnant, but this dvd shows what she is like in concert, more raw energy than the law should allow. with beauty, poise, self-effacing grace.
buy this, and you will see why she is as well loved as she is.
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on July 10, 2014
Had this on VHS back in 88. The DVD arrived today, in great shape, like new, and I can't wait to watch it again, since it's never been available on youtube.
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