Released in 2002, O was the debut album from a singer-songwriter from Kildare who was barely known at the time, but is now an international star, Damien Rice.
Rice originally recorded with the band Juniper but became frustrated by compromises he had to make with his music for the sake of sticking with the record label, and so departed, eventually setting up his own mobile studio.
O was recorded during 2001 following the release of the hugely successful The Blower’s Daughter and consisted of a number of haunting tracks concerning the end of a relationship and unrequited love. The album is stuffed to the gills with emotions, love, loss, pain, heartbreak, confusion and everything else in between with stories which are weaved beautifully with Hannigan’s vocals and Vyvienne Long’s haunting cello playing.
Interestingly, Rice’s track Amie actually represents himself, “amie” being the middle of Damien even though many consider O to be mainly about his collaborator and muse, the wonderful Lisa Hannigan.
The tracks from the album have appeared in everything from Grey’s Anatomy and The OC to the film Closer. Rice won the Shortlist Music Prize for O and the album itself has sold millions of copies.
Yet, when speaking about his fame to Hot Press just a few years ago, Rice commented: “I would give away all of the music success”, he says, “all the songs, and the whole experience to still have Lisa in my life. Like that!” snapping his fingers. “No question.” That’s pretty much the most heartbreaking fact of all.
The Blower’s Daughter