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I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

4.5 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Before Sinead O'Connor became conservative America's most reviled musician when she ripped up a picture of the Pope on TV and refused to perform live at a New Jersey venue following "The Star Spangled Banner," she vocally supported the IRA at home in Ireland and generally roused the rabble. Indeed, she's one female pop star who's truly earned her army boots. Though her once meteoric musical career has suffered due to her outspokenness, the powerful voice and presence found on her second album is beyond reproach. Best known as the source of O'Connor's breakthrough cover of Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U," this is a moving, intensely passionate work full of dark beauty and longing, constructed with a fierce independence and a taste for the unique. This undeniably pop album (albeit with modern-rock and folk elements) has more than held up through the years. --Lorry Fleming
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 28, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: March 20, 1990
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B000003JB7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,501 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Through all of the controversy and scorn she's endured for her beliefs and public behaviour, Sinead O'Connor remains a formidable talent, and in the end, her music should always be the focal point. Her 1990 release _I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got_ was her biggest breakthrough, and what's astonishing is how well it holds up nearly a decade and a half since it's release.

Sinead also possessed one of the most powerful and moving voices in all of rock music: beautiful and ethereal, and at other times, frightening and disturbing. This album is a perfect showcase for that, as well as her most introspective, soul-searching lyrics. These lyrics mostly deal with Sinead's relationships, failed and/or unfailed, her strength to preservere through hardships, and ultimate resolution.

"Feel So Different" opens up with a spiritual soliloquy before turning into a slow, moody orchestral ballad. Sinead's vocals slowly and steadily progress from hushed and calm, to climactic cathartic releases. The strings, which steadily increase in dynamics during these vocal progressions, add a sense of drama to the whole thing. The orchestral arrangements in general are lovely and elegant.

"I Am Stretched On Your Grave" is mostly a Frank O'Connor poem set to music, but arranged by Sinead herself. A progressive mix of exotic, Gaelicesque vocal musings with a funky, hip-hop drum beat, along with a steady, one-two note bassline sandwiched inbetween. Later in the song, there are some violin scrapes which add an extra dose of atmosphere.

"Three Babies" is an acoustic-folk track with subtle use of orchestration.
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Format: Audio CD
People tend to forget that O'Connor truly became a star in 1987, when her breathtakingly feral debut album, 'The Lion and the Cobra,' went platinum, astonished critics, garnered a Grammy nomination, and thrilled modern rock fans and college kids on both sides of the Atlantic. The fact that people forget she had already scored big is all the more testament to the power of her 1990 follow-up, 'I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.' Truly one of the most acclaimed albums of the 1990's, this Grammy-winning set deservedly rocketed O'Connor from sensation to global superstar. Though much of that success is due to her phenomenal and definitive cover of the Prince-penned 'Nothing Compares 2 U' and the stark accompanying video, it was really the impact of the entire album--O'Connor as superb singer-songwriter--that won her legions of fans and paved the way for the coming slew of angst-ridden girl-power pop/rockers. Every one of this album's originals has been remastered and the sound is a major improvement upon the prior mix. O'Connor is even more crytsalline, if that's possible. All her classics shine--"Emperor's New Clothes," "Three Babies," "Black Boys on Mopeds," "Last Day of Our Acquaintance" and, naturally, her monster-hit, "Nothing Compares 2 U." Though the bonus disc has excellent extras (esp. a haunting Daniel Lanois-produced version of 'Night Nurse'), it's the long overdue remastering of this groundbreaking classic pop/rock album that makes this purchase mandatory. Though O'Connor derailed subsequently for a variety of reasons, few artists since have been able to come close to the perfection of this set.
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Format: Audio CD
Sinead O'Connor burst onto the music scene in the last months of 1987.As an artist, she seemed fully formed.An arresting look, a voice from a siren and some of the most interesting and lyrical songs ever heard.An opiniated artist who never backed down from controversy,she seemed too good to be true-then came her second album! A breathtaking,ambitious and personal album,I'm amazed it sold so many copies in an era of Paula Abdul and Vanilla Ice. I can't begin to describe the beauty and emotion of this album.Every track is a stunner! The album opens with a prayer for understanding and wisdom with 'Feels so different'and ends,with her lone voice,singing of her own affirmation and strength.'Three Babies' and 'Black Boys on Mopeds' are political songs that are so personal and sung with such heartbreak even Margret Thatcher must have been in tears.Sinead's power of interpretation,in covering a Prince song and the traditional 'I am stretched on your grave',is so inventive it puts the original versions to shame. it's hard to believe it's been ten years since this album came out.The lyrics and arrangements are as fresh and relevant today as they were then.A timeless masterpiece and easily one of the top ten albums of the decade.Thank you Sinead, for enriching my life with this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Other reviewers have addressed the remastering quality of this reissue; I'm going to address the packaging and song selection.

If ever an artist deserved to be re-evaluated and appreciated by another generation, it's Sinead. The anniversary of "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" (which is really *2010*, but who's counting?) should have been the perfect opportunity for this, but instead, it's a lackluster effort that got almost no promotion and has gone largely unnoticed.

One glaring oversight is the printed lyrics--where'd they go? They were in the original release. These songs are some of Sinead's finest examples of songwriting, so personal and so moving that not including the lyrics almost seems like Sinead is pulling back from the openness and intimacy that she gave us in the original release.

Second, there are almost no notes about the songs on the bonus disc. When were "Night Nurse" and "Mind Games" recorded? (I still have no idea. They don't sound contemporary with the rest of IDNWWIHG.) Who played on them? Where did "My Special Child," "Damn Your Eyes," and "Silent Night" first appear? (As a 1991 single, a b-side of 1990's "Three Babies", and a 1991 made-for-TV film in the UK, respectively). Why is "Silent Night" marked as "long version"? (Because the 1991 single of the same name had a shorter version, and the long version appeared only on the hard-to-find TV soundtrack.) You get the idea. Without notes, these bonus songs do little to help us interpret and understand the album, and Sinead's mindset when she wrote and recorded it.

Speaking of Sinead's mindset, why didn't she contribute any notes to this release, which was the highlight of her career?
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