Doing a 180: Happy Mondays and Sinead O'Connor
This week brings a pair of reissues on 180-gram vinyl which can't really said to be cut from the same musical cloth, but they'd still both likely appear on most anyone's lists of albums that best defined the sound of 1990.
Happy Mondays, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches: In the late '80s and early '90s, if you were an Anglophile whose tastes in music were defined predominantly by what bands were on the cover of New Musical Express, then you could hardly have avoided Happy Mondays, whose grooves were all the rage at the time. Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches was neither their first album nor their last, but it remains the closest thing to a masterwork in the band's back catalog, and while it may be best recalled for its singles - their cover of John Kongos' “Step On” and their original composition “Kinky Afro” - it's a strong album through and through, hence its appearance on Q's list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.
Sinead O'Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got: Like the preceding album, Sinead O'Connor's sophomore studio album would've remained fondly remembered forever simply for providing the world with her cover of Prince's “Nothing Compares 2 U,” but the entire affair is a must-hear, with the additional singles “Jump in the River” and “The Emperor's New Clothes” sitting alongside such astonishing tracks as “Black Boys on Mopeds” and “I Am Stretched Out on Your Grave.” O'Connor has continued to release strong material throughout her career - hear 2014's I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss for proof - but nothing has had the mainstream impact of I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, which is why it remains most people's pick as her one absolute-must-own album.