G.O.A.T.: Mandinka by Sinead O’Connor (1987)

As I write this, Mandinka is my “most played” song on iTunes, with 583 plays–way above next-contenders “When I Write the Book” by Nick Lowe and “Float On” by Modest Mouse. Sinead has may other great songs that break my heart (“You Cause Just As Much Sorrow”), covers that shatter the original (“Nothing Compares 2U”), give me chills (“Jackie-O”) and rock the fuck out (“Fire on Babylon”), so why am I picking Mandinka as my G.O.A.T.?

THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, ranking my favorite songs of all time.  The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so.

Mandinka was the first song I heard by Sinead O’Connor. I was in college, and there was this one room occupied by two girls from California who always played New Order and Joy Division. At the time, I was a huge “real instruments” snob and eschewed synth-driven music. But one day I heard the most powerful voice I’d ever heard since Aretha…And fell in love instantly.

So, after the break, you’ll find covers of some of Sinead’s hits–like Mandinka, my G.O.A.T. of the day.

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