Old Music Tuesday: Sinead O'Connor's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

Capitol/EMI has been busy reissuing albums this year. There's all the Beatles recordings coming out in September, not to mention the "deluxe" reissues of Radiohead's first three CDs that just came out. Now, on top of reissued albums by Beastie Boys and Lenny Kravitz, EMI is dropping a new version of Sinead O'Connor's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.

O'Connor's 1990 album holds a couple of distinctions in my personal music library: First, it was the last vinyl LP I bought as my primary way of listening to an album. At the time, I was a poor college student, and a vinyl record was simply cheaper than a CD. Not long afterward, I got a new job and never bought a record again, except as a novelty.

The second distinction is that it was the first time in many years that I was able to truly love something from Top 40 radio. In fact, it was the beginning of a new period for me — one in which I was able to turn on mainstream commercial radio and consistently find something I liked. We were coming out of the '80s (a period I really didn't care for) and into the '90s (a decade I absolutely loved), and I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got gave me hope for what might come next.

By the way, the job I got was at an NPR member station. I worked the morning news shift and had to be at work by 4:30 a.m. every day. One morning, while sorting through the day's top stories, I turned on the newsroom television and saw this video for the first time:

I'm not sure why that moment has stuck with me nearly 20 years later. But I've always remembered it as the moment I started to think we might finally be free from the ridiculously exaggerated aesthetic of the '80s.

We've been talking a lot about the value of reissues and remastered albums at All Songs Considered. I'm on the fence: I definitely think labels are trying to cash in on past classics, particularly as they struggle to find an answer to the devastating impact digital downloads have had on CD sales. At the same time, I love getting the extras — outtakes, demos, videos of live performances — that "deluxe" reissues offer, and remastered CDs are often much better than the original releases. I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got has some nice extras, including a second disc with some remixes and previously unreleased songs. And the remastered audio sounds much, much better than the original release. But what I'm happiest about is that it simply inspired me to remember an album that used to mean so much to me.

Tell us what you think in the comments below. And let me know what you think of Sinead O'Connor's album. Love it? Hate it? Does it hold any special meaning or memories for you?

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