Yesterday HE commenter “Correcting Jeff,” a consistently irritating bringer of nagging neghead vibes for several years, took issue with my…actually the world’s opinion that the sad legend of the late Sinead O’Connor was launched and powerhoused over an eight-year period — Dublin ‘85 to late ‘92, or between age 17 and 24.

HE reply: It’s a FACT, Clarabelle. I know, I get it…the concept of peak years and career arcs is so upsetting to you. Hell, to most of us. Why can’t we just say that Sinead’s career was simply and radiantly wonderful from start to finish?

Brilliant surges come and go, ebb and flow. What are artists but mere conduits of random lightning bolts?

What mental health issues, right?

Why can’t we at least agree that Sinead saved and freed herself by ripping up that Pope photo?

Well, here it is…

Like it or not, those of us with a semblance of drive and ambition tend to experience the same chapters — early stirrings, ascending, peak crackerjack, settle-down and gradual decline.

John Lennon’s peak Beatle years numbered seven or eight — ‘62 Hamburg to ‘69 or ‘70. His peak solo years came to four or five — Plastic One Band (‘70) to the L.A. lost weekend / Harry Nilsson phase of ‘74 and early ‘75. His last act rebound happened mostiy in late ‘79 and ‘80.

After charting her abusive childhood, the acclaimed 2022 Sundance documentary Nothing Compares focuses on Sinead’s mid ‘80s Dublin breakout and ends with the harshly negative reaction to her SNL Pope trashing in ‘92. It doesn’t dismiss her career since that climactic incident but it adheres to the basic summary, the basic rise-and-fall dynamic of those eight years.