Music: The Cranberries

The Cranberries are an Irish pop/rock band. They formed in Limerick in 1989. The original lineup consisted of lead singer Niall Quinn, lead guitarist Noel Hogan, his brother Mike Hogan on bass guitar, and Fergal Lawler on drums. The band was originally called "The Cranberry Saw Us". After less than a year Quinn left the band and the remaining members put out an advertisement for a new singer. Dolores O'Riordan responded to the ad by writing lyrics to some band demos. The song she came up with was "Linger". The band hired her.

Their first album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? became a hit both in Britain and America and spawned the hit singles "Dreams" and "Linger". They followed that with No Need To Argue, which featured a somewhat heavier sound, especially in the single "Zombie", which became the biggest hit the group ever had. Their third album, To the Faithful Departed, filled with ultra-serious songs about subjects such as death, the murder of John Lennon, and the war in Bosnia, sold well but not as well as No Need to Argue, and became a commercial setback for the band. Bury the Hatchet and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee received mixed reviews and marginal sales. The band then broke up, embarking on an 11-year hiatus (in which both O'Riordan and Noel Hogan pursued solo projects) before reuniting and putting out new album Roses in 2012.

Their complete discography is:

  • Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993)
  • No Need to Argue (1994)
  • To the Faithful Departed (1996)
  • Bury the Hatchet (1999)
  • Wake up and Smell the Coffee (2001)
  • Roses (2012)

The Cranberries provide examples of the following tropes:

  • Altum Videtur: "adiuva me Domine deus"—"help me, O God"—from "Electric Blue Eyes"
  • Author Tract: A lot of O'Riordan's lyrics.
  • Band of Relatives: Mike and Noel Hogan are brothers.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Zombie", which is a rare example of the hit being heavier than the band's usual output (as opposed to softer). The band said that it was heavy because the song was written out of anger, and changing the music would dilute the message. The band did go on to include some heavier material on future albums ("Hollywood", "Salvation", "Promises", "This Is The Day" being some examples from each), but the album "No Need To Argue" on which "Zombie" appears is very laidback and poppy in comparison to it.
  • Carpenters: They did a cover of "Close to You" for the tribute album If I Were a Carpenter.
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Salvation", in which Dolores O'Riordan admonishes kids to, you know, not do drugs.
  • Fleetwood Mac: Their cover of "Go Your Own Way" on Legacy: a Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours
  • Greatest Hits Album: Stars: The Best of 19922002
  • Grief Song: "Cordell" was written as a tribute to Irish record producer Denny Cordell, who died in 1995.
  • Long Runner Line Up
  • Love Triangle: "Delilah"—"He'll never be your lover"
  • Lyrical Shoehorn: O'Riordan, who writes all the band's lyrics, is prone to this. One notable example is the chorus to "Zombie" with its double use of "bombs": "With their tanks/and their bombs/and their bombs/and their guns"
  • Match Cut: In the beginning of the "Linger" video, from a blinking light to Dolores O'Riordan's eye opening.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Nearly all of their material fits snugly in the 2-4 range ("Linger", "Dreams" and "Animal Instinct", for instance), although they weren't afraid to throw a curve ball and release songs as high as the 6 range ("Zombie", "Promises" and "Hollywood" are prime examples).
  • Murder Ballad: "I Just Shot John Lennon"
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Ode To My Family"
  • The Pete Best: Niall Quinn.
  • Protest Song: Many. Arguably, too many.
  • Pun-Based Title / Incredibly Lame Pun: "The Cranberry Saw Us" might be the worst band name in history.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: After 11 years off.
  • Record Producer: Stephen Street has produced four of their six albums.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Dolores O'Riordan, frequently.
  • Smoldering Shoes: In the "Promises" video, the cowboy fires at the witch/scarecrow, but she catches the bullets in her teeth. She then opens her mouth and emits a ray at the cowboy, leaving a smoldering pair of cowboy boots.
  • Song Style Shift: "Daffodil Lament" turns from a mournful dirge about a woman trapped in a bad relationship to a joyful, optimistic tune with a ringing guitar line after she leaves him. Then there's another weird, mournful dirge (this one wordless) at the end, possibly indicating future uncertainty.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Yeat's Grave" quotes from a poem by the man himself.
  • The Troubles: "Zombie"
  • Too Soon: After 9/11, the video for "Analyse" had to be withdrawn and edited because of buildings falling down. Whilst the video premiered before it, the single was only released on September 17th, a week after 9/11.
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: You could be correct, and call it "Yeats's Grave". Or you could adopt the wrong but very common convention that reflects how people usually pronounce possessives (and how you're singing it), and call it "Yeats' Grave". But calling it "Yeat's Grave" is definitely wrong.
  • War Is Hell: "Zombie"
  • Wham Line: "Forever Yellow Skies"

    Forever, I'll be forever holding you
    Forever, I'll be forever holding you
    Responsible, responsible, responsible
  • Woodstock: Played there in 1994.