Thursday, April 28, 2016

Retro Videos of the Week: "Manic Monday" by The Bangles and "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor

Continuing the Prince love fest, this week, we're going to have two Retro Videos of the Week.  Both are songs Prince wrote, but that became hits for other artists.

When you hear "Manic Monday" by The Bangles, it sounds like a classic mid-'80s Prince pop hit.  Because it was.  Prince originally wrote the song in 1984 for the band Apollonia 6, but then pulled it from their album.  A couple years later, he offered it to The Bangles (allegedly in an attempt to bed Susanna Hoffs, which I have to assume was a worthy trade for both sides), under the pseudonym Christopher (his character's name from Under the Cherry Moon).  The Bangles took it, and it became their first hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 -- starting a string of 8 consecutive Top 40 songs for the band in the U.S. -- and cracking the top five in several other countries.

Four years later, cue ball Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor covered another Prince song and basically made it her own.  "Nothing Compares 2 U" was originally written in 1985 as part of Prince's side project, The Family, but it was never released as a single.  O'Connor covered it five years later -- apparently without letting Prince know beforehand, which isn't unlawful or anything, but maybe just a common courtesy thing in the music industry.  From what I have read, Prince and O'Connor got in a fight about it.  But regardless, O'Connor's version became a huge hit, so Prince couldn't be too mad about it, given the songwriting royalties he reaped from its success. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in April and May 1990, and hitting #1 in 14 other countries.  And it's almost impossible to hear the song without getting a mental image of the now-classic video, with the close-up of O'Connor's pained face as she sings.

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