Sinead O'Connor - Goodnight, Thank You, You've Been a Lovely Audience - Live in Dublin
Warner Vision/Warner Vision .
R4 . COLOR . 69 mins .
E . PAL
Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor had a turbulent upbringing as a child. Being raised in an abusive household she rebelled as a teenager and was kicked out of Catholic school and sent to reform school after being caught shoplifting. She found solace in music and after singing at weddings and writing a few songs she was discovered and signed to record label Ensign Records. She was regarded as an alternative artist and had her first alternative radio hit Mandinka in 1987 from her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. 1990 saw the release of her second album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, containing the smash hit cover of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U. and she was quickly propelled to stardom. This was not solely due to her singing ability; it was also due to her outspokenness on many issues.
Can this girl sing or what?
She had strong opinions on a lot of things and was not afraid to share them with the world. She was continually in the American press for her statements supporting the IRA and her refusal to accept the four Grammy Awards she won for the album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. 1992 saw the release of her next album, entitled Am I Not Your Girl?, which was completely overshadowed by her memorable appearance on the American variety show Saturday Night Live where, at the completion of her set, she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II and proclaimed “fight the real enemy”, satisfying the world media and upsetting the Catholic community in general.
Songstress and band.
1992 also saw her appear on the brilliant Peter Gabriel album Us, which saw her sing some incredible duets. After the Saturday Night Live episode, however, she seemed to disappear from the spotlight for a few years, studying opera in Dublin and later touring with the WOMAD Festival. 1994 saw her release the album Universal Mother and despite some terrific reviews, the stigma from her previous antics was now haunting her. She was decidedly absent from radio airwaves and record production until the release of the EP Gospel Oak in 1997. This was followed by her appearance at the 1998 Lilith Fair but again she was very quiet until 2000 when she signed with Atlantic Records and announced the release of her first album in six years, entitled Faith & Courage. This album was a very spiritual collection and it seemed that Sinead no longer saw chart success as a driving force, if in fact she ever had. She followed up this spiritual album in 2002 with Sean-Nos Nua, a very traditional Irish album.
Goodnight, Thank You, You’ve Been a Lovely Audience – Live in Dublin is a live concert that predominantly features her latest style of music, that of the traditional Irish kind. Fans of “pop Sinead” will not be totally disappointed though as she does include many of her songs from previous albums, including a wonderful version of her biggest hit Nothing Compares 2 U.
Oro Se Do Bneatha Bhale
The Singing Bird
My Lagan Love
I Am Stretched on Your Grave
Nothing Compares 2 U
John I Love You
The Moorlough Shore
You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart
Thank You for Hearing Me
Fire on Babylon
The Last Day of Our Acquaintance
Whether you are a fan of the direction this talented artist has taken or not, there is no disputing her incredible voice. She has the ability to belt out an ear shattering note and a whisper in the same verse without missing a beat, a truly unique style. A talented collection of musicians accompany her for this show and they seem to be as much into this traditional style of music as the singer herself.
Most fans of Sinead's heyday may not like this direction she has taken, but it is quite clear how much it means to her. The inclusion of a large amount of previous releases should satisfy those fans though, even if they do now have a more Irish feel to them. Put simply, she has a unique singing style and a wonderful voice; lovers of this kind of talent will not be disappointed.
Vision is supplied courtesy of an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16:9 enhanced. Sharpness is quite impressive and colours are generally solid. There are some of the usual problems encountered with concert footage with the main problems being aliasing, halos and some shimmering, but overall this looks very good. Subtitles are only supplied for the documentary featured in the extras, but sadly there is no option for English.
Not always serious.
The most important thing for a concert feature is the sound and this release delivers, offering a choice of three soundtracks. First up is a Dolby Digital stereo mix that, although quieter than its surround counterparts, offers a nice width across the front channels. Second is a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix that delivers great warmth from this performance. The bass and surround channel use are increased and really give the feeling that you are there. Last up is a DTS 5.1 surround mix that is of similar quality to the DD 5.1 mix, althoguh it does offer a slightly better quality with cleaner vocals and a little more oomph. Most viewers, however, will be satisfied with either of the surround mixes.
The extras for this release are quite substantial and a nice addition to the main feature.
This collection of six videos are all from Sinead's album Sean-Nos Nua and are not of the high production quality of clips seen on MTV but are an interesting addition nonetheless. They are basically simple clips showing the singer and her band performing a collection of songs. The songs featured are Peggy Gordon, Molly Malone, The Moorlough Shore, The Singing Bird, My Lagan Love and Oro Se Do Bneatha Bhale.
The Song of Heart’s Desire
This 52-minute documentary is an interesting feature that looks at the reasons for Sinead’s need to record this style of music. It includes interviews with Sinead and other musicians along with footage of the recording process and some traditional Irish singers offering their views. The documentary is also presented in 16:9 widescreen and is well paced.
This is perhaps not a concert that will please fans of Sinead O’Connor from her heyday, but fans of this incredible voice and lovers of traditional Irish music will see it as a treat. The video transfer is impressive overall and all three audio mixes are terrific. The extras provided are well suited and are of great quality so if you are a fan, take the time to relive this wonderful singer's talent.