Welcome to another edition of The Original Vs. The Cover. This time we are going to compare the song “Nothing Compares 2 U” to the original and the best cover of the song. The Original was performed by the band The Family and the Cover was famously performed by Sinead O’Connor. The song was written by Prince and he did perform this song in 1984 or so and it was finally released in 2018 so I can’t count that as the original since it wasn’t released before The Family’s version. Prince did release a version with Rosie Gaines in 1993 which was again after both versions
The Family? What? You never heard of them? Not surprising. The band was a creation of Prince as another outlet for HIS music to be released. He was very controlling and involved in every aspect other than singing and performing. As a result, after they released 1 album, 2 singles (which this song was not one) and after only 1 show, the lead singer, Paul Peterson aka. St. Paul, quit. He felt Prince was too controlling and he felt restricted.
The Family’s version was never released as a single and you probably never heard this version before. I hadn’t until I decided to do this song for the post. I had trouble finding it and only found it on that Tube of You.
The is very stripped down. It is mostly an organ playing with horns and keyboards. No percussion whatsoever. Paul Peterson’s vocals are really great and the backing vocals of Susannah Melvoin played nicely with Paul’s vocals. Paul had a haunting, painful feel to them which the song seems to have a lot of pain.