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Quintessential Album Series :: Everybody Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We? :: The Cranberries

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A Little History:

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? is the debut album by The Cranberries. Released in 1993, it was their first full-length album after having released four EPs, and is also their first major label release.

The album was written entirely by the band’s lead singer Dolores O’Riordan and guitarist Noel Hogan. It reached # 9 in the Irish charts and # 1 in the UK.

The album was re-released in 2002, under the title Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (The Complete Sessions 1991-1993). This version of the album featured bonus tracks as well as B-sides from the singles lifted off the album.

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After the release of a first single, Dreams in September 1992, The Cranberries proposed their debut album,Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, in March 1993 (which Dreams is featured on). Neither the album nor the single gained much attention, nor did a second single, Linger, also on the album.

When the band embarked on a tour supporting Suede, they then caught the attention of MTV, which put their videos into heavy rotation. Although Linger was first released in the UK in February 1993, peaking at # 74, it was later re-issued in February 1994 peaking at # 14.

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This was followed by Dreams (re-released in May 1994, peaking at # 27) which helped their debut album to reach # 1 on the UK Album Chart, becoming one of only five artists to ever achieve a re-entry at that chart position.

After a North American and European Tour, O’Riordan married the band’s tour manager, Don Burton, in July 1994.

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What Makes This “Quintessential” to me?

So completely 90’s to me, not just in sound and style, but in the way it makes me feel like I am back there, back in 1993, living in my favorite apartment on Wilshire with my then husband (though in the same year we would split) and our year old daughter, wearing baby doll floral dresses and crushed velvet leggings, staying up late at the Winged Heart Cafe, being utterly confused with who I was, falling out of love, and then in it not so long after, and with what I wanted to do with my life. Though the “hits” on this album suffer from mass overplaying, even now, twenty years later, they are still great songs, and the non-radio “hits” on the album are gorgeous, dark, emotional, and stunning.

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My Top 5 Favorite Songs:

1. How

“Now you’re just walking away (walking away),
when you said you always would stay (always would stay).”

I was the one to want to walk away, and then to walk away, though you were so quick to remind me that I promised forever. But your definition of forever was cold and calculating, without fidelity, without tenderness, without any thought to my heart. How could you be the one so angry?

2. I Still Do

“Need some time to find myself.”

I needed time by myself, I needed to live alone (well, alone with my daughter), and find my bearings, figure out how to just be me. But, I was terrified, and vulnerable, and I let myself fall in love again too fast. Regardless of what I should have done, I do not regret it, I do not regret anything.

3. Put Me Down

“I can’t take this anymore.
I decided to leave,
Walked out through the door.”

I boarded a plane with two bags and a baby girl. If you’d asked me then if I knew what I was doing I would have screamed yes, but I honestly had no idea at all. The leaving was the right thing to do, but the going after, the timing, I’m not so sure.

4. Linger

“I swore, I swore I would be true,
and honey, so did you.”

We had a sky full of hope, open eyes and clasped hands, and a tangled maze of dominoes waiting to fall down that we called our life together. I did believe in the words we traded, in that courthouse, in the city by the Bay, and maybe you did, too. It’s hard to make a family work at twenty-four though, especially when you were still getting to know you, and I was still getting to know me.

5. I Will Always

“I will always,
go beside you,
You will always,
understand.”

I played this as a lullaby, singing you to sleep in my arms, rocking back-and-forth on the hardwood floor. In my lowest moments, in my most painful days, I would look at you and think that I did something right, that I helped make something beautiful. You were the one thing I knew I would never leave.

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