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A perfect blend of lush vocals and distorted guitars made The Cranberries one of the major successes of the 90's.

About The Cranberries


The Cranberries were an Irish rock band[2] formed in Limerick, Ireland in 1989 by lead singer Niall Quinn, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler. Quinn was replaced as lead singer by Dolores O'Riordan in 1990.[3] The band officially classify themselves as an alternative rock group,[4][5] but incorporate aspects of indie pop, post-punk, folk rock and pop rock into their sound.[6][7][8][9][10]

The Cranberries rose to international fame in the 1990s with their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, which became a commercial success, and achieved five top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart : Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, No Need to Argue, To the Faithful Departed, Bury the Hatchet and Stars: The Best of 1992-2002[11] as well as having eight top 20 singles on the Modern Rock Tracks chart : "Linger", "Dreams", "Zombie", "Ode to My Family", "Ridiculous Thoughts", "Salvation", "Free to Decide", and "Promises".[11]
Their fifth studio album Wake Up and Smell the Coffee was released in October 2001.

In early 2009, after a six-year hiatus, the Cranberries reunited and began a North American tour followed by shows in Latin America and Europe.[12][13] The band recorded their sixth album Roses in May 2011, and released it in February 2012. Something Else, an album covering many of the band's most popular songs along with new orchestral accompaniments provided by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, was released in April 2017.[14] The album also included three new songs: "The Glory", "Rupture" and "Why?.[15][16]

On 15 January 2018, lead singer Dolores O'Riordan was found dead of drowning in a London hotel room.[17] She had recently arrived in London for a studio mixing session on her D.A.R.K. album and to discuss the band's latest album with record label BMG.[18][19] The Cranberries confirmed in September 2018 that they would not continue as a band, releasing their final album In the End in April 2019 and disbanding afterward.[20] Noel Hogan stated: "the Cranberries was the four of us. We don’t want to do this without Dolores. So we’re going to leave it after this."[21]

The Cranberries have sold over 40 million albums worldwide as of 2018.[22][23][24] The band ranks as one of the best-selling alternative acts of the '90s which garnered them an MTV Europe Music Award, a World Music Award, an International Group nomination at Brit Awards, a Juno nomination and a Juno Award win. The band was nominated for the Ivor Novello Awards and received an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. In 1998 they performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert. In The End earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album.


Formation and early years (1989–1992)[edit]

In 1989, brothers Mike (bass) and Noel (guitar) Hogan formed The Cranberry Saw Us with drummer Fergal Lawler and singer Niall Quinn, in Limerick, Ireland. Less than a year later, Quinn left the band.[25] The remaining band members then placed an advertisement for a female singer. Dolores O'Riordan responded to the advertisement and auditioned by writing lyrics and melodies to some existing demos.[26] When she returned with a rough version of "Linger", she was hired and they recorded Nothing Left at All, a three-track EP released on tape by local record label Xeric Records, which sold 300 copies.[26] The group changed their name to "The Cranberries". The owner of Xeric Studios, Pearse Gilmore, became their manager and provided the group with studio time to complete another demo tape, which he produced. It featured early versions of "Linger" and "Dreams", which were sent to record companies throughout the UK.[26]

This demo earned the attention of both the UK press and record industry and sparked a bidding war between major British record labels. Eventually, the group signed with Island Records.[26] The Cranberries headed back into the studio with Gilmore as their producer to record their first EP Uncertain and created a music video for the title track, which was not released.[27] The EP received poor reviews in the press and led to tension between the group and Gilmore.[26] After a difficult recording session, intended for their first album on Island Records in January 1992, the band scrapped their work and fired Gilmore.[25] After hiring Geoff Travis as their new manager, the Cranberries headed back into the studio in Dublin in March 1992 to restart working on their first LP with Stephen Street, who had previously worked with The Smiths.[25]

During that time period, the Cranberries toured in Ireland and the UK, getting the attention of the British press. The band also recorded several studio and live sessions intended for Irish and British radio and television shows, including 2fm's The Dave Fanning Show and BBC Radio 1's John Peel Show. The band's debut single "Dreams" was released in September 1992. In October 1992, Dreams was released in the UK, becoming Melody Maker's Single of the week.[28]

Mainstream success (1993–1995)[edit]

O'Riordan onstage with a large acoustic guitar
O'Riordan singing onstage at the height of their fame, 1995

Their first full-length album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? was released in March 1993.[25] Neither the album nor the single gained much attention, nor did a second single, "Linger". When the band embarked on a tour supporting Suede, they 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. "Linger", the band's first big hit, peaked at number three in Ireland and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 list for 24 weeks.[29] This was followed by "Dreams" (released again in May 1994, peaking at No. 27) which helped their debut album to top the UK Album Chart in June. In January 1994, Dolores injured her knee when skiing in the Swiss Alps[30]

The group reunited with Street for No Need to Argue, which was released in late 1994. It would go on to peak at No. 6 on the US charts and eventually outsold its predecessor. Within a year it went triple platinum, spawning the number one hit "Zombie" and the No. 11 "Ode to My Family" on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[11] By March 1994, The Cranberries won the Top International Act of Music Week (UK).[31] On 13 August 1994, during their US tour, The Cranberries performed at Woodstock II festival, Saugerties, New York.[32] In 1995, the band continued to tour, and released two more singles "I Can't Be with You" and "Ridiculous Thoughts". The album went 5× platinum in Canada, platinum in Switzerland, and 7× platinum in the United States.[33][34][35] The band received a nomination at the Brit Awards in the International Group category, at the 15th edition of the annual pop music awards in the United Kingdom, on 20 February 1995.[36][37] On 23 May 1995, at London’s Grosvenor House, The Cranberries were nominated for Best Contemporary Song at the Ivor Novello Awards.[38] In mid-1995, The Cranberries had broken the American market, at that time the band was Ireland’s biggest musical export since U2.[39] In 1995 they performed "Ode To my family" at the World Music Awards, winning the Award for Best Irish Recording Artists.[40] The Cranberries were named Best Irish Recording Artists at the 10th annual Irish Music awards, held at Dublin's Burlington Hotel.[40][28] On 23 November 1995 The Cranberries won the "Best Song" award for "Zombie" at the 1995 MTV Europe Music Awards, beating out Michael Jackson's “You Are Not Alone”.[41][28] During the No Need To Argue European tour '95, The Cranberries performed to more than 500,000 people.[6]

Middle era (1996–2000)[edit]

The Cranberries performing in Milan, 1999

On 10 March 1996, The Cranberries received the Best-Selling Album Award for No Need to Argue at the 26th Annual Juno Awards.[42][28][43] The band's third album To the Faithful Departed peaked at No. 2 in the UK and No. 4 on the Billboard 200.[11][44] To the Faithful Departed sells to 4 million copies in six weeks.[45] Despite favourable reviews, the album did not match the sales of No Need to Argue. The album went double platinum in the US and Gold in the UK.[33][46] The first single from the album was "Salvation" which topped the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[11] The second single from the album was "Free to Decide"; the single's peak in the UK was 33[44] and placing on the Billboard Hot 100. In September 1996, The Cranberries' video for "Salvation" was nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction.[47][48] In November 1996 "When You're Gone" was released as a single in the United States, peaking at 22 on the Hot 100.[11] In late 1996, the group cancelled their Australian and European tour, O'Riordan re-injured her knee during a concert in Cairns.[49] On 9 March 1997, Bruce Fairbairn and The Cranberries were nominees at the Juno Awards for their work on "Free to Decide" and "When You're Gone".[50] The band received an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement, on 19 May 1997, at London’s Grosvenor House.[51][52] On 12 November 1998 Dolores O'Riordan and Fergal Lawler made an appearance at the 1998 MTV Europe Music Awards in Milan and were they presented the award for Best Song.[53][54] The band played "Dreams", "Promises" and "Linger" at The Nobel Peace Prize Concert 1998, on 11 December at Oslo Spektrum, Oslo, Norway. "Promises" is performed live for the first time, four months before the release of the album Bury the Hatchet.[55][56][57] In 1999, the group released Bury the Hatchet. The first single "Promises" was released in February. "Promises" would be the only single from the album to chart in the US and last single before their hiatus.[11] The album peaked at 7 in the UK and 13 in the US[11][44] and was certified gold in the US.[33] The second single from the album was "Animal Instinct", which didn't chart in the UK, although it did chart in France, Austria and many others.[58] The third and fourth singles were "Just My Imagination" and "You & Me", respectively. The band had a guest appearance on popular television series Charmed, performing "Just My Imagination" on the fifth episode of the second season, "She's a Man, Baby, a Man!". The group started a world tour in April 1999 and it finished in July 2000. The group partnered with to be the first artists to sell tickets for a national tour exclusively online.[59] It was the biggest and most successful tour of the Cranberries' career. The tour brought them back to Ireland for their first date since May 2000. They performed at Millstreet in County Cork. As the tour rolled on, the band released Bury The Hatchet – The Complete Sessions, a double CD featuring B-sides as well as live tracks taken from a show in Paris.[60]

Later years (2001–2003)[edit]

In October 2001, the album Wake Up and Smell the Coffee was released. The band's old producer Stephen Street had returned and produced their new music video. The album peaked at 46 on the Billboard 200,[11] No. 2 on Spanish, Italian and French album charts. It went to No. 8 in Canada's Billboard Chart and reached No. 61 in the UK.[61][44] The first single released from the album was "Analyse", which charted in the US Adult Top 40 at a peak of 26.[11][44] In January 2002, they released the second single "Time Is Ticking Out", and some months later another one, "This Is the Day".

The following year a greatest hits album was released entitled Stars – The Best of 1992–2002 which was released alongside an eponymous DVD of music videos. The album peaked in the UK at 20.[44] The song "Stars" was released as a single from that album. They started a European tour in mid-October 2002 and ended in December.

At the end of February 2003, the Cranberries started working with Stephen Street and debuted their work for the first time in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 29 May 2003 performing the songs "Astral Projection" and "In it Together".[62] That September, the band announced they were taking some time to pursue individual careers and scrapped sessions for a sixth studio release.

Between 1994 and 2004, The Cranberries undertook several world tours and performed in front of crowds of 10,000 to 20,000 each night.[28][6][63]

Hiatus and solo careers (2004–2008)[edit]

O'Riordan singing with a guitarist behind her
O'Riordan singing solo, 2007

Dolores O'Riordan started collaborating with other musicians in 2004 before launching her solo career with the album Are You Listening? in 2007, following it with No Baggage in 2009. Dolores O'Riordan performed "Linger" in the 2006 movie Click.

Noel Hogan started a new project called Mono Band, whose first full-length self-titled album saw a limited release in 2005. He went on to form Arkitekt with singer-songwriter Richard Walters.[64] He has also been working as a producer with Supermodel Twins, from his native Limerick and Remma. Fergal Lawler was a member of The Low Network, whose first album was released in 2007. He has also worked with Walter Mitty and the Realists[65] as well as Last Days of Death Country[66][67] as both producer and musician. Mike Hogan and his wife Siobhan opened a café on Catherine Street in Limerick called The Sage Café in mid-April 2006. The award-winning café closed on 25 September 2017.[68]

Reunion and Roses (2009–2015)[edit]

The Cranberries reunited in January 2009 to celebrate O'Riordan becoming an Honorary Patron[69][70] of University Philosophical Society (Trinity College, Dublin). The group indicated at the time that this did not signify an official reunion, but on 25 August 2009, in anticipation of the release of No Baggage, O'Riordan announced that the Cranberries would be reuniting for a North American and European tour.[71] O'Riordan indicated that the band would be playing songs from her solo albums and a lot of the Cranberries' classic hits as well as some new group compositions.

The band onstage
The Cranberries reformed in 2012, from left to right: Fergal Lawler, Dolores O'Riordan, and Mike Hogan (Noel Hogan off camera)

At this point of their career, The Cranberries were managed by Danny Goldberg, former Nirvana and Kurt Cobain manager.[72][73][74] The Cranberries recorded Roses at the Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, Canada, from 18 April[75] to 15 May[76] 2011 with Stephen Street,[75] who previously collaborated with the band on their first, second and fifth albums. The Cranberries worked on 15 tracks during the Roses session, although not all were included on the album.[77] On 18 February 2012 The Cranberries returned to the stage of the Ariston Theatre where they presented their new single "Tomorrow" in Sanremo at the 62nd Song Festival di Sanremo, Italy. They performed "Tomorrow" and "Zombie", having been invited on more than one occasion to the festival.[78] Roses was released on 27 February 2012.[79] The sixth studio album Roses peaked at 51 on the Billboard 200 chart and had numerous position in Billboard charts as No. 4 on Independent Albums chart, No. 6 on Canadian Albums chart, No. 9 on Alternative Albums chart, No. 10 on Rock Albums chart and No. 20 on Tastmaker Albums chart.[80]

On 18 April 2013, The Cranberries album designer Storm Thorgerson died. The English graphic designer, mainly influenced by surrealism, designed Bury The Hatchet and Wake Up And Smell The Coffee. Thorgerson also created artworks for these two album’s singles and “Beneath The Skin”.[81][82]

O'Riordan started legal proceedings against Noel Hogan in October 2013.[83] The case was struck out in July 2015 and the cause was not divulged.[84]

O'Riordan began recording new material with D.A.R.K. in April 2014.[85]

O'Riordan's death, In the End and disbandment (2016–2019)[edit]

A new acoustic Cranberries album titled Something Else was released on 28 April 2017, through BMG.[14] Something Else featured orchestral arrangements of prior releases, re-recorded in 2016 acoustically with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, and three new songs : "The Glory", "Why", and "Rupture".[15]

With the release of the new album, the group announced a tour which was to include dates in Europe, parts of the UK, and North America. The shows were scheduled in smaller venues, with live orchestral accompaniment. However, in May 2017, shortly into the European tour, The Cranberries had to cancel the remainder of the European dates due to O'Riordan's health, with the band's website citing "medical reasons associated with a back problem".[86] The North American tour dates were cancelled in July when her recovery had not progressed enough for her to participate.[87]

On 15 January 2018, O'Riordan died unexpectedly in London, England.[88] The inquest into her death was adjourned until 3 April while the coroner awaited the results of "various tests".[89] On 6 September 2018, it was ruled that she had drowned in her hotel room's bathtub due to sedation by alcohol poisoning.[90]

On 7 March 2018, the band announced they were releasing a special newly remastered 25th anniversary edition of their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We, with previously unreleased material as well as other bonus material from the time of the album. However, with O'Riordan's death it was delayed until 19 October 2018.[91] The band also decided to complete their new album underway at the time O'Riordan died, for which she had already recorded the vocals.[92]

In September 2018, Noel Hogan confirmed the Cranberries would not be continuing as a band, and their final album will be called In the End stating: "We will do this album and then that will be it. No one wants to do this without Dolores...[93] So there’s a song called 'In the End', it’s the last song on the album, and it just kind of summed up the whole album and the band. Because it’s definitely the end of it for us. So we’ve called it that."[21] On 15 January 2019, one year after O'Riordan's death, the band released the first single from In the End, called "All Over Now".[94] The Cranberries released their 8th and final album In The End on 26 April 2019. The album peaked at No. 8 in Germany, No. 5 in France, No. 4 in Italy, No. 3 in Ireland and charted in the Top 10 of the UK Official Charts. In The End went to No. 7 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Top Alternative Albums chart[95] The band released the single "Wake Me When It's Over" on 19 June 2019[96]

On 18 January 2019, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler were conferred with honorary doctorates by University of Limerick (UL). The posthumous award was presented to Eileen O'Riordan, mother of the band's lead singer Dolores O'Riordan. They were all presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.[97]

Post-disbandment (mid-2019–present)[edit]

Saint Sister, a duo from Northern Ireland, performed an acapella rendition of the song "Dreams" at Lyra McKee's funeral in Belfast,[98] who was murdered by the New IRA in April 2019.[99]

Noel Hogan joined Kodaline on stage on 1 September 2019, at the Electric Picnic Festival in Stradbally, Ireland, to play "Zombie" in tribute to Dolores O'Riordan.[100]

The music video restoration campaign of the entire catalogue of The Cranberries on YouTube was launched on 3 October 2019, twenty-five years after the release of the album No Need to Argue, with the debut of an early "Zombie" concert performance filmed in 1994 at London's Astoria, remastered in high definition.[101] "Zombie" is performed seven months before the song was released as a single.[102][103]

In 2019, in an interview for Rock Art Fashion, Fergal Lawler commented that the band would release a remastered edition of their album No Need to Argue as part of a 25th anniversary box set.[104]

On 20 November 2019, The Cranberries' final album In the End has been nominated for Best Rock Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.[105][106]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Hogan looking to the camera
Co-founder and guitarist Noel Hogan has co-written many of the band's songs.

Their music has been likened Sinéad O'Connor and Siouxsie and the Banshees.[107] O'Riordan stated her singing style incorporating yodelling was inspired by her father who used to sing "The Lonesome Cattle Call": "I just kept with my father all the time, just copying him and eventually I learned how to do it. Then over the years there were artists like Sinéad O’Connor and Siouxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees and even Peter Harvey was doing it. It was something that you could work into The Cranberries' format because a lot of that was used in religious Irish music."[108] The other members, Lawler, Mike and Noel Hogan, were inspired by indie/alternative rock, post-punk bands like The Cure, Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Clash. Noel Hogan stressed that at their beginnings, "All these roads led to The Smiths, who became very big in our lives later on."[109]



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Jamie wrote on 2006-08-10 00:00:00:
When's the next record?
Lee Templeton wrote on 2005-08-17 00:00:00:
I shall have to get an acquaintance of mine to come and say something about Dolores O'Riordan. The subject inspires him to heights of verbal eloquence not seen since Mark Twain addressed the subject of James Fenimore Cooper's writings.
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