Watch Chris Cornell Slay Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

The amount of Prince covers that exist in the universe are incalculable, right? I mean – dude is an unstoppable genius. Among the swarm of wannabes and homages to the man in purple, Sinead O’Connor’s take of “Nothing Compares 2 U” just might be the most notable. It dominated 1990, hitting #1 in 17 countries, and topping the charts here in the U.S. for four weeks straight. While the song is a masterpiece in its original incarnation, O’Connor took it above and beyond; its newfound arrangement making it even that much more heartbreaking and emotionally charged. It is definitively the best Prince cover song of all time.

Though I would never turn my back on the bald beauty that is Sinead, one man has recently given her a run for her money: Chris Cornell.

Cornell is currently on the road supporting his latest solo album Higher Truth. He’s been kicking around his own version at gigs along the way, yet the Soundgarden singer finally recorded it officially for SiriusXM’s Artist Confidential series. He’s backed by a cellist and seecond acoustic guitar, and if you know anything about Cornell’s vocal abilities…well…you should really just hear it for yourself.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” is such a real slice of human emotion and to this day remains incredibly evocative. I used to enjoy the track ironically as a guilty pleasure, but as it and I have aged, it has truly transcended my formerly unfair categorization; it’s one of the most relatable breakup songs in history, and is completely malleable to each individual’s own meanings and feelings.

There are some damn good covers of this track abound, too, even beyond O’Connor and Cornell. Each artist’s rendition adds a new spin to the track, but the feelings behind it are unwavering and indomitable – exactly what great art (and a great cover!) should be. Here are a couple other choice versions of it that can often be heard undulating from the windows of my Honda Civic (and yes, OK, sometimes lowered in volume when I approach a red light…GUILTY!)

Capital Cities

The first time I saw this band live, they pulled this rabbit of their hat and my jaw slammed on the ground. It’s vibey, easy to digest, and smothered in melody and harmony. It’s delicious.

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

This punk supergroup tackled the track as part of their R&B-themed album Take a Break. It’s calm and slower at the start, and picks up speed and energy at all the right moments. It makes you yearn for the 90’s in more ways than one (despite the album’s 2003 release date).

The Coconutz (aka Daniel Ho)

This version was popularized from the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Ho puts a Hawaiian spin on the Prince jam and unsurprisingly: it’s a beautiful take and totally meshes with the aloha spirit. Mahalo!

Nothing Compares 2 U

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group International Nothing Compares 2 U · The Coconutz Forgetting Sarah Marshall Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ℗ 2008 Universal Studios Released on: 2008-01-01 Author, Composer: Prince Rogers Nelson Music Publisher: Universal Music Corp. Auto-generated by YouTube.


And for good measure, I can’t not embed Sinead O’Connor‘s aforementioned and world-dominating version:

Sinead O’Connor Nothing Compares 2 You 16:9 HD

Watch funny video Glorious Era of Music. 1990. Make a comment, please.


Enjoy these. Really let them sink into your soul as you try not to cry yourself to sleep tonight.

And Prince – keep collecting those royalty checks, buddy – you deserve them!