Tag Archives: The The

Bold, Bald, Beauty – Sinéad O’Connor – The Lion and the Cobra

Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 8 1988

Again one of those vinyl albums I bought, simply because I could not resist the cover.

With a look completely unseen at the time, with a voice intense, and full of honest emotion, Sinéad O’Connor evolved what a female singer could do, when she released her debut “The Lion and the Cobra” back in 1988. After disagreements with producer Mick Glossop, O’Connor was allowed to produce the album and writing most of the material herself, it became very much her creation, unusual for a debut at the time.

Rolling Stone wrote: “With The Lion and the Cobra, Sinéad O’Connor joins the ranks of Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson and Jane Siberry — all women who are shattering the boundaries of pop music.”

The album range from very low melancholic songs, to fast speed radio friendly songs, mixed in a straight uncomplicated and rather raw way, especially compared to the hugely commercial successor, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” with the major international hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” , one of the bestselling albums in 1990. While “I do not want…” sold a massiv amount of albums, in retrospective, I think The Lion and the Tiger, is a lot more interesting today, due to its cleaner more unpolished sound.

In 1989 O’Connor was guest vocalist on The The’s “Mind Bomb”, singing the duet “Kingdom of Rain”, again showing just how brilliant a vocalist she is.

Sinéad O’Connor was and is a hugely talented vocalist, and she have got some very clear opinions, but she is also a very controversial person, admittedly fighting with manic depression, something that could explain why she often have been making comments to the press, that she would later have to take back.



Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 6 1986

The The : Infected
My friend got “Infected”, I think shortly after it was released back in 1986. At this point The The, was a Matt Johnson solo project, supported by friends and session musicians.

This boy was angry, not that fake Sex Pistols kind of angry, we are talking totally pissed off by the world, no matter if he was talking about love or politics, he was not sweet about it, something that made him perfect for my 80’s, where everyone else seemed a bit, well nice and boring. He did not seem to aim only for MTV fame, he seemed to have a message. Something as rare as a 80’s protest songs.

Infected strength lays in its contrast, at first glance it’s a powerful but relatively radio friendly 80’s Rock, with a good solid beat and some great melodies, but when the frontman starts screaming: “I can’t see for the tear gas, & the dollar signs in my eyes.” Into your ears, it creates a different energy. Energy in line with the one you would get from the much harder 90’s bands, same aggression, very different music.

By 1988 The The frontman had recruited The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, and created a great live band.
Despite the fact that the attitude was tough, the music was accessible and their mid to late 80’s albums did do well in UK and New Zealand, and fairly well in other countries. The The haven’t played live since 2002, but Matt Johnson have made some film soundtrack. In 2011 “This Is The Day” was covered by Manic Street Preachers.

The The was and is one of my favourite 80’s bands, managed to see them live in 2000 while they was still active, they were fantastic, a concert to never forget