The Cranberries – Everybody Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
Quintessential Albums

Continuing with June’s theme of Women of the ’90s, let’s take a look at why The Cranberries, Everybody Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We?, is one of my Quintessential Albums.

The Cranberries Quintessential Albums

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. (from Wikipedia)

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. (from Wikipedia)

Dolores QA

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. (from Wikipedia)

What Makes This “Quintessential” to me?

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? is so completely ’90s 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. I could usually be found wearing baby doll floral dresses and crushed velvet leggings, staying up late at the Winged Heart Cafe, and being utterly confused with who I was. I fell out of love that year, and then in it anew not so long after. I had no idea what I was doing with my life, but I was trying hard to figure it out.

This album, every song, it reminds me of sitting in the cafe down the road, after hours, this album playing. I felt lost, but some small part of me felt like I was finding people to belong with. I was trying hard to figure out how to be a Mom, how to go to school still, how to turn a bad relationship into a functional family. It never could.

That year, I met the man who I’d spend a huge chunk of my life with. Who I would live in four different states with, ever chasing the chance to be okay. Together. We had so many dreams. He was broken in ways I could never fix, though I tried. I tried so hard. All the broken parts in me, the times I needed help, he couldn’t stand. He needed me to be the strong one. Always.

We took this album with us. Every step of the way. Every state line, new home, to every stop-and-start. It was part of our shared favorites. We new ever song, we knew every line. He even played one on the guitar, singing to me in our first apartment bedroom, and later, singing it as a lullaby to our first child together.

The Cranberries Quintessential Albums

Though the “hits” on this album suffered from mass overplay for awhile, they persist as great songs, twenty-six years later they still sound incredible.

And the non-radio “hits”? They are gorgeous, emotional, and stunning. The whole album is really.

 

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).”

2. “I Still Do”

“Need some time to find myself.”

3. “Put Me Down”

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

4. “Linger”

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

5. “I Will Always”

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

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