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The Cranberries


Country of origin:

Ireland

Type of music generally:

Rock and alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, something else (acoustic compilation, 2017); most recent release of new material, Roses (2012)

See also:

The Cranberries Official Site

Wikipedia's entry on The Cranberries

The Ectophiles' Guide's entry for Dolores O'Riordan's solo work

Comparisons:

10000 Maniacs, Tribe, Sinéad O'Connor. (klaus.kluge@gmx.de)

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers on singles

General comments:

Irish band with female vocals (sung in English) and guitar-based music. (klaus.kluge@gmx.de)

You might want to be a bit careful with The Cranberries. I haven't heard anyone praise their third album yet. (No one has popped up to contradict me either.) Of the two I have, I prefer Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? over No Need To Argue. The former (their first) is lighter and more atmospheric, and contains the hits "Dreams" and "Linger", while the latter is brasher and less subtle (an approach that is apparently expanded on even more on the third album), and contains the hit "Zombie". (neal)

Hm...hope I don't step on any toes by saying this, but while I did enjoy listening to The Cranberries' music at first I eventually realized that the lead singer wasn't going to stop doing that strange "U-UHH" noise. (sagetodd@postoffice.ptd.net)

I think the only good album they've ever released is their first one, but I will admit that I bought the CD-single for "Salvation" because I really really liked the song, and the video messed up my dreams for days. :) (meth@smoe.org)

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? grew quickly to something I just liked to something I kept needing to hear. I thought this album showed a lot of promise, but this turned out to be the only album of theirs I really liked—the rest have been either too soft and sweet (No Need To Argue) or too hooklessly noisy (To the Faithful Departed except for "Salvation") for my tastes. The problem is that I really want to like their albums but haven't been able to since Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?. (Neile)

honestly, i don't understand what the fuss about this band is. as meredith summed it up in a discussion we had, the name of the band pretty much describes them. i find them enjoyable from a background listening perspective, but they don't intrigue me at all. (woj@smoe.org)

They're fun. They're occasionally deep. They're constantly re-inventing themselves. But still in the same alternative/pop vein, though getting a harder rock edge as they age (particularly on the 1999 album). Some people will like one album much better than another. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?

Recordings:

  • Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993); re-released in 2002 with additional tracks as Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (The Complete Sessions 1991–1993))
  • No Need To Argue (1994); re-released in 2002 with additional tracks as No Need To Argue (The Complete Sessions 1994–1995)
  • Doors and Windows (5-track ep with multimedia)
  • To the Faithful Departed (1996); re-released in 2002 with additional tracks as To the Faithful Departed (The Complete Sessions 1996–1997)
  • Bury the Hatchet (1999); re-released in 2002 with additional tracks as Bury the Hatchet (The Complete Sessions 1998–1999)
  • Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001)
  • Treasure Box: The Complete Sessions, 1991–1999 (compilation, 2002)
  • Stars: The Best of 1992–2002 (compilation, 2002)
  • 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Cranberries (compilation, 2005)
  • Gold (compilation, 2008)
  • Bualadh Bos: The Cranberries Live (live, 2010)
  • Live in Paris (live, 2010)
  • Roses (2012)
  • something else (acoustic compilation, 2017)

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?

Release info:

1993—Island Records—314-514 156-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Dolores O'Riordan—vocals, acoustic guitar
Noel Hogan—guitar, backing vocals
Mike Hogan—bass guitar
Feargal Lawler—percussion, drums

Guest artists:

Mike Mahoney—backing vocals and additional sounds on "Dreams"

Produced by:

Stephen Street

Comments:

Dolores O'Riordan's voice really makes this album. She pushes her voice in the same ways Sinéad O'Connor does on The Lion and the Cobra. The songs are generally interesting but she makes them haunting. They've been playing in my head since I got this one. The album begins with some straight forward pop-rock, but some of the songs like "Pretty" and "Linger" go a lot deeper and do a lot more, which gives the album a stronger presence. Give it a listen. (Neile)

This won me over at the start of the year and I'm still playing it regularly now. Dolores is wonderful. So are her songs. (ahoran@ozemail.com.au)

Its fragile acoustic pop seems just a bit too simple to age well, this is still the year's most delightful debut, not to mention most welcome new voice in the form of Dolores O'Riordan. I also bought the "Dreams" CD5. One B-side which is nothing special, two live versions. I had to have this just for the live version of "Pretty," which gets me more than such a simple little tune has any right to. ("Waltzing Back" is the other live track.) (drumz@best.com)

Best new artist of the year in my book. (jjhanson@att.net)

Powerful songs of varied music and vocals. (klaus.kluge@gmx.de)

Frivolous but highly enjoyable. (stuart@sph.emory.edu)

Everybody hates long album titles, so why do it? Yes! I was told I'd like this and I sure do. It's been well-described in Ecto so I won't do it too. Highly recommended, especially to fans of The Sundays. Trivial, but nice. Very nice. (vickie@enteract.com)

Seems to be better than No Need To Argue. (zzkwhite@ktwu.wuacc.edu)

Their first one, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We is equally as good as No Need To Argue in my opinion. The vein is more consistently in The Sundays/dream pop style, though there's a bit of grunt even here ("Waltzing Back", "How"). However, the real gems are the beautiful songs, and at this stage Dolores' voice hadn't grown whiny, so songs like "Dreams", "Sunday", "Linger", "I Will Always" and "Put Me Down" are really beautiful. It was the tape that was always in my walkman when I went to China in 95. (afinney@ozonline.com.au)

Still my favorite of theirs. I think, actually, it was the second one I bought (No Need To Argue being the first). It's a very solid album, and the songs are pretty consistent with each other, in the same general pop vein. Someone called it "dream-pop," and I think that's a good term, because there's something slightly ethereal in feel or mood about this album, but not expressly so. This doesn't mean that there aren't stand-out songs. The singles "Linger" and "Dreams" certainly are. There are others too, but I'd probably end up naming most of the album, so I'll just mention "Waltzing Back" and "How." I guess what hooks me about this album is that while the music is simple, it's not simplistic. It's really good. (JoAnn Whetsell)

As somebody else said, the first album (Everybody's Doing It So Why Can't We?) is great, though personally I can't tolerate the song "Dreams." Parts of this are much crunchier than the No Need To Argue, and I don't think the lyrics are quite as strong over all. Still, a must-have in my book. (burka@jeffrey.net)


No Need To Argue

Release info:

1994—Island Records—314-524 050-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Only recommended for fans of the Cranberries quieter moments. (Neile)

Group members:

Dolores O'Riordan—vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, string direction
Noel Hogan—electric and acoustic guitars
Mike Hogan—bass guitar
Feargal Lawler—drums, percussion

Produced by:

Stephen Street

Comments:

So I picked up the new Cranberries album No Need To Argue yesterday, and...wow. Their debut was one of my favorite albums of last year, and I was halfway expecting a second-album slump, but they've outdone themselves here. "Zombie" sends chills down my spine, "I Can't Be With You" has me pounding on the tables, and the title track moved me almost to tears the first time I heard it—can't remember the last time that happened. Some of these tracks have a harder edge than the songs on Everybody Else Is Making Albums With Incredibly Long Names, So Why Can't We?, a good move if you ask me.
     By the way, if you're already sick of hearing Dolores O'Riordan (an amazing singer in my opinion) compared to Sinéad O'Connor, I've got bad news for you: you're probably going to hear it a lot more. The resemblance is really quite astonishing in her voice and her music. ("Dreaming My Dreams" in particular is a dead ringer for Sinéad's "Black Boys on Mopeds," but there are strikingly Sinéadesque moments scattered all over the album.) And I can't quite believe I'm saying this, let alone on ecto, but No Need To Argue is the kind of emotional tour de force that I wish Universal Mother had been. (drumz@best.com)

Dolores is another one of these ridiculously talented young women whom I expect to be around for a long time. No Need To Argue is as good as the album whose title is too long to type, and shows a bit of a new direction for the band, particularly with the harder-edged "Zombie" and "Daffodil's Lament" shows some interest in more complex musical forms which I hope the band will continue to play with. (burka@jeffrey.net)

I really like it. Dolores really gets wild with her voice, but lyrically it seems much more repetitive than the first album—almost to the point of being annoying. (jjhanson@att.net)

Though I really like "Zombie" and a couple of other songs, I don't think this is nearly as consistent as their first. I still love Dolores O'Riordan's voice and the way she uses it, but I find the album as a whole pretty boring. After loving Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We? and playing it to death before the radio caught up with it, I don't think I've played No Need To Argue since 1995 or so. (Neile)

I bought their first after hearing 10 seconds of "Linger". Their second is a bit more diverse in the songwriting, and as beautiful as ever. No sophomore slump for these guys. (cinnamon@one.net)

I thought Everybody... was really boring and only liked maybe four songs off it. I much preferred No Need To Argue, although, it being The Cranberries, I'm not mad over it (O'Riordan's voice, much like Natalie Merchant's, really...really...grates on me). (NyxNight@aol.com)

Am I the only one who things that Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We? was a promising debut, only to be extremely upset (and bored) by The Cranberries' second? Not just because radio (and TV) played the heck out of "Zombie", but it just doesn't cut it as much as the first. (Matt.Bittner)

i didn't care for either the debut or the sophomore effort that much, though i kinda liked "zombie" the times i heard it. (the most memorable time was when meredith and i accidentally left that in the stereo which provides our wake-up music—"zombie" is one of those songs which leaves a lasting impression on a dozing brain!) (woj@smoe.org)

Oh yes, I detest almost all the songs on The Cranberries' latest album, except for (perhaps) the title track, "No Need To Argue". (Urs Stafford)

Wow. This is just a great album. I never listened to it enough when it first came out. My favorite song is probably still "Empty", but there are at least 5 others that could be: "Icicle Melts", "Twenty One", "Yeat's Grave", etc. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

I like this album much better when I listen to it. By that I mean, I don't think of it as an album I really like, but when I actually put it on, I really enjoy it. Dolores O'Riordan's vocals can get a bit whiny and irritating at times, but not enough to ruin the songs or the album. There's a greater diversity of styles here than on Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? I especially love "Daffodil Lament," "Yeat's Grave," "The Icicle Melts." A really strong album with enough variety in style, tempo, and emotion to please most everyone. (JoAnn Whetsell)


To the Faithful Departed

Release info:

1996—Island Records—CID 8048

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Medium

Group members:

Dolores O'Riordan Burton—vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboard, whistle, mandolin
Noel Hogan—electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin
Mike Hogan—bass guitar
Fergal Lawler—drums and percussion

Guest artists:

Richie Buckley—tenor sax
Michael Buckley—baritone sax
Bruce Fairbairn—trumpet
Randy Raine-Reusche—additional percussion

Produced by:

Bruce Fairbairn and the Cranberries

Comments:

I thought it would really suck, but it's not as bad as I expected. The latest disc to fall into that category is the Cranberries' To The Faithful Departed. I expected it to be unrelentingly painful, but there were some appealing moments here and there. A song or two I even liked, though most of the time a pleasant moment would be destroyed by an unpleasant turn. Also, as we've established in the past, I'm slow to listen to lyrics, which is definitely a good thing with this album, since almost every time I did listen to them, whatever appeal a song had was immediately destroyed. (neal)

I never did bother with this one, despite my intense love for the first two Cranberries discs. The singles just never inspired me to go out and buy it—they were a sappy ballad, anthemic stadium rock, and ska-tinged pop and just didn't interest me, though I thought "Salvation" was a pretty groovy track. (burka@jeffrey.net)


Bury the Hatchet

Release info:

1999—Island Records—314-524 611-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Dolores O'Riordan Burton—vocals, guitar, keyboards
Noel Hogan—acoustic and electric guitars
Mike Hogan—bass guitars
Fergal Lawler—drums and percussion

Produced by:

the Cranberries and Benedict Fenner

Comments:

I must admit, I still love that voice.... (burka@jeffrey.net)

When it comes to Cranberries I followed the same path as probably quite a few others on the Ecto list: I loved their first, a bit less so the second and never even bothered with the third. To my mind with each release they were becoming more affected, more didactic and just generally too big for their shoes. But now comes Bury The Hatchet and to my great surprise after giving it a spin in the shop I found myself snapping it up. This is good news: The Cranberries of old are back! This CD sounds fresh and exciting again—perhaps they just needed a good holiday from each other? This time around they give up a few pretentions and are much better for it; this is just pop well done, plain and simple. And for a change, they sound like a bunch of people who enjoy playing together. If you liked their early record but then drifted away you might want to give this one a try. The Cranberries bury the hatchet and in the process discover...fun. (afries@zip.com.au)

The new album is a step in the right direction, but perhaps also a step backwards. Lyrically, it's not as compelling as the first two albums. It's a return to the style of the first album, but with a harder edge. It's an enjoyable listen, and I think it will grow on me, but I don't think I'll ever listen to it that much. It's just not as memorable as either of the first two albums. But the packaging is great fun. And the 4-track single (live from the Free To Decide tour) that came with the limited edition version is really good. Definitely worth the extra few bucks. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Wasn't really crazy about their last album, but I like this one a lot...sounds more like their earlier stuff. (sspan)

It's not that bad an album, not that great either. I swear one of the songs sounds like a The Smiths ripoff. The lyrics sheet is fun to look at...Delores had a hand in writing all of the songs, and she includes all the vocalisations she uses such as "eh oh eh oh 18x". (paul2k@aol.com)


Bualadh Bos: The Cranberries Live

Release info:

2010—Island Def Jam—B0013819-02

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Produced by:

Dana Smart

Comments:

Really good to have more Cranberries. These 15 tracks recorded live between 1994 and 1998 have a sound something in between a large arena and a small, intimate venue. It pulls heavily from their early material (8 tracks are from their first album and 3 are from their second), which is fine with me since those are the only albums I listen to anymore. This is a treat for fans. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Roses

Release info:

2012—Cooking Vinyl—COOKCD552

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Fergal Lawler—drums and percussion
Mike Hogan—bass
Noel Hogan—guitars, keyboards, melodica and drum programming
Dolores O'Riordan—vocals and string melodies

Guest artists:

Stephen Street—acoustic guitar, keyboards and tambourine
Dan Brodbeck—strings and string melodies
Kevin Hearn—accordion
Duke Quartet—strings
     Louisa Fuller—violin
     Rick Koster—violin
     John Metcalfe—viola and string arrangements
     Sophie Harris—cello

Produced by:

Stephen Street

Comments:

Not up there with their best material, but a solid album and a welcome return. Sort of a cross between their first two albums and Dolores O'Riordan's solo work. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Where are the songs that are supposed to get me hooked? (raschee@gmail.com)


Further info:

The Cranberries have released several DVDs: Beneath the Skin—Live in Paris (2001); Beneath the Skin—Live in Paris—2 (2002); Stars—The Best of Videos 1992–2002 (2002); Live (re-release of 1994 VHS, 2005); 20th Century Masters Collection: The Cranberries (2005); and Gold Collection: The Videos (2007).

The Cranberries' songs appear on several soundtracks and compilations. Their cover of "(They Long to Be) Close to You" appears on If I Were a Carpenter (1994).

The Cranberries' songs have also been covered by other artists. Skott Freedman released a cover of "Zombie" in 2009. Pink for President covered "Dreams" on the 2010 album Cover Me! I'm Going In!.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-04-29 21:10:18.
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