Personnel: Sinead O'Connor (vocals, electric guitar); Enya, Leslie Winer (vocals); Rob Dean (acoustic & electric guitars); Marco Pirroni (guitar, bass); Mike Clowes (keyboards, synthesizer); Spike Hollifield (bass); John Reynolds (drums, programming).
Recorded at Oasis Studios, Camden, London.
Personnel: Sin?ad O'Connor (vocals, electric guitar); Kevin Mooney, Kevin Moloney (guitar, bass guitar); Marco Pirroni, Rob Dean (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mike Clowes (keyboards, synthesizer); Spike Hollifield (bass guitar); John Reynolds (drums, programming).
Audio Mixers: Chris Birkett; Lloyd Phillips ; Fachtna O'Ceallaigh; Teeroy Morris; Kevin Moloney; Sin?ad O'Connor.
Photographers: Kim Bowen; Kate Garder; Kate Garner.
Unknown Contributor Role: Marco Pirroni.
Arrangers: Teeroy Morris; Sin?ad O'Connor.
Though Sinead O'Connor's THE LION AND THE COBRA did not have the market impact of her follow-up I DO NOT WANT WHAT I HAVEN'T GOT, and lacks that album's polish and sense of assurance, the Irish spitfire's debut is still arguably her finest recording. There is an edge here that dazzles, and the dark atmosphere of the album--its unsettling tension, Celtic flavors, and dynamic contrasts--is completely seductive.
Most of the tracks are characterized by a sound that is at once minimal, intimate, expansive, and contemporary. O'Connor's vocals seem fully formed here, and her trills, swoops, sharp turns, and snarls are let loose on "Troy," "Jerusalem," and "Just Like You Said It Would Be." The brighter rock song "Mandinka" and the dance-flavored "I Want Your (Hands on Me)" were radio hits, they help vary the set while blending seamlessly with the moody cast of the record. This was one of the most impressive debuts of the late-'80s, and though O'Connor's volatile public persona would eventually undermine her career, the power and passion of THE LION AND THE COBRA still hold up today.
CMJ (1/5/04, p.22) - Ranked #5 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1988"
CMJ (3/27/00, p.26) - "...Provocative....decorated with electronic beats and traditional Celtic fiddles. Her voice was a sickle blade that sliced down former loves, heads of state and clergy..."
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