The Cranberries came into my life in 1993, a year after my oldest daughter was born, a year before I would leave a bad marriage and take my life into my own hands. Or, our lives. Today is my daughter’s birthday, and today we lost Dolores O’Riordan, so I’m feeling both nostalgic and melancholy, all at once. When I feel this way Music is what I go to, and it seems only fitting to have a listen to The Cranberries, and write a little something about them.
I wanted to start a new weekly feature called “The Quintessentials” that would feature quintessential (to me) Albums, Artists, Songs, and sometimes Films and Books. Today was when I planned on starting this series, on Mondays. So, in honor of Dolores, of my daughter who turns 26 today, and of the nineties, this week’s Quintessential is The Cranberries.
The Cranberries were formed in Limerick Ireland in 1989 by lead singer Niall Quinn, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler. They were then known as The Cranberry Saw Us. Niall left after one year in with the band and he was replaced by Dolores O’Riordan in 1990, after winning an audition to be in a Band called The Cranberry Saw Us (later changed to The Cranberries).
Here is an early version of “Dreams” from the start of The Cranberries, with Dolores. You can hear the youth in her voice.
The Band released 5 Albums during the span of their career, and one Greatest Hits compilation. They went on hiatus in 2003. Dolores would go on to have a solo career. She married Don Burton, the former tour manager of Duran Duran, in 1994. She reunited with the band in 2009. She has three children, Taylor Baxter, 20, Molly Leigh, 16, and Dakota Rain, 12. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, in 2017. She is said to have struggled with an eating disorder and suicidal issues. She left this earth today, reasons undisclosed at this time.
My favorite Album of The Cranberries was 1994’s No Need To Argue, followed very closely by their debut, 1993’s Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? Let’s take a look at these 2 Albums and my favorite Tracks of each.
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
The debut studio Album released in March of 1993. Prior to Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We The Cranberries had released 4 EPs. All Songs were written by Dolores O’Riordan and Noel Hogan. It reached #1 in the UK and Irish Album Charts. (from Wikipedia). It was the 50th best selling Album in Australia, in 1995, and it reached # 18 on the US Billboard Album Charts, selling over 5 million copies in the States.
2. “I Still Do”
3. “Put Me Down”
5. “I Will Always”
No Need to Argue came next, in 1994. This was the year I would see The Cranberries Live, with the man I would marry years later, in 2000, and have two kids with. We were both in love with her voice and those first two Albums, and we were in love with each other.
No Need to Argue was the second studio Album. It was released in 194. It became the band’s best-selling Album, selling about 17 million copies worldwide. “Zombie” was the enormous hit off the Album.
My Top 5 Favorite Songs:
1. “I Can’t Be With You”
2. “Twenty One”
4. “Ode To My Family”
5. “Dreaming My Dreams”
The Cranberries did a few Cover Songs that I love, as well. My favorite is their version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”. They also covered “Close To You”, originally by The Carpenters, and “In the Ghetto”, originally by Elvis Presley.
“Go Your Own Way” (live)
I will miss your voice, Dolores, and the Music that you had not made yet. I hope you have peace and Music and love wherever you are now. Much love to your family that are still here. Thank you for all the Music.