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'Rasta record' from Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor (left) chats with Ibo Cooper at the launch of her album Throw Down Your Arms, held at the Liguanea Club, Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston on Monday. - winston sill

THE SINEAD O'CONNOR on the cover of her latest album, 'Throw Down Your Arms', is in appearance a very different person from the one who addressed the audience briefly at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston on Monday evening.

The picture on the album is of a young girl with long hair, all in white; the person who defined her album as a "Rasta record" on Monday night, was all grown up, with close-cropped hair and in a T-Shirt with Ireland written across the front.


She was unwavering about the kind of album she had made, with a cast of Jamaican musicians, singers and engineers that included Sly and Robbie, Mikey Chung, Pam Hall, Fatta and Bulby.

"To me, I have not made a reggae record, but a Rasta record," she said.

The album of remakes is dominated numerically by Burning Spear, from whom the title comes, and also includes choice cuts from Buju Banton, The Abyssinians, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Junior Byles and Peter Tosh.

O'Connor told THE STAR that she had been introduced to Burning Spear's music at 17, when she moved to England from Ireland and said that he is her favourite solo reggae artiste. She said she was looking forward to touring with the album, beginning in Dublin, Ireland, and going through to next summer, with a stop in Kingston in mid 2006. "It is also to have fun," she said, adding that "sometimes when you get successful in music, the music is more spiritually bereft."

"It is good to sing songs that have meaning," she said.

The album is also a payback, as O'Connor told the audience that "I would not be alive on this earth today if not for the teachings of Rastafari. When somebody saves your life, you owe them. I dedicate my life entirely to the teachings of Rastafari."

- Mel Cooke.

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August 10, 2005

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