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The Cranberries

The Cranberries

Rock group

Entranced by a Country Girl’s Voice

Debut Release Delayed

Unexpected Success Abroad

Took New Musical Direction

Selected discography

Sources

Irish quartet the Cranberries burst onto the scene in 1992 with their ethereal hit “Dreams,” the first single from a debut album that eventually went multiplatinum. “What sets it apart—other, that is, from that continually astonishing voice and the effortlessly graceful arrangements—is a faintly tangible sense of ruptured innocence, of shattered hope,” mused Melody Maker writer Andrew Mueller about the group’s distinctive sound. Indeed, the youthful band survived a series of problematic encounters with bad management and a capricious press that nearly disbanded them; their astounding success in the United States was relatively unexpected but a welcome vote of confidence in their cohesive musicianship.

Fronted by lead singer Dolores O’Riordan, lead and bass guitars are the respective domains of brothers Noel and Mike Hogan; Feargal Lawler sits behind the drums. O’Riordan and Noel Hogan write most of the band’s material. O’Riordan, the Hogans, and Lawler all came into the world at Limerick’s Maternity Hospital in the early 1970s. Like others in Ireland, the bandmates grew up in relatively reduced circumstances—O’Riordan was the youngest of seven children in a household supported by her mother; Noel Hogan collected unemployment for a time. The Hogans and Lawler were originally part of an ensemble called the Cranberry Saw Us, whose fourth member, another Limerick fellow, wrote all their material in addition to his singing duties. When the band’s writer left the band in mid-1990, they began looking around for a new vocalist.

Entranced by a Country Girl’s Voice

O’Riordan, then living just outside Limerick, heard about the band from a school friend and showed up at an audition. “They were all laughing at me and I was really embarrassed, [because] there was about nine fellas in the room and I was the girl from the country,” the singer told Everett True in Melody Maker. “They thought I was a scream.” The three young men, however, apparently liked the sound of O’Riordan’s voice, with which she had been attracting attention since her preschool years; as a teenager she had won competitions for her solos with her church and school choirs.

Entranced, the Cranberry Saw Us members invited O’Riordan to join. After practicing and shortening the band’s name to the Cranberries, they cut a three-song cassette titled Nothing Left at All. A second five-track release was sent out on a lark to a few record companies and to the band’s surprise, Rough Trade Records—the former home of their idols, the Smiths—expressed interest. A bidding war ensued, and the Cranberries were signed to Island Records before a mention of their name had even appeared in the music press.

The band’s obscurity was short-lived, however, as the energetic but snarky British music press instantly

For the Record…

Members include Mike Hogan (born on April 29, 1973, in Limerick, Ireland; married Siobhan, 1998), bass; Noel Hogan (born on December 25, 1971, in Limerick, Ireland; married Kathryn Nash, 1996), guitar; Feargal Lawler (born on March 4, 1971, in Limerick, Ireland; married Laurie Guerin, 1997; one child), drums; Dolores O’Riordan (born on September 6, 1971, in Limerick, Ireland; married Don Burton, 1994; two children), vocals, guitar, keyboards.

Group formed in Limerick, Ireland, 1990; signed with Island Records, 1991; released debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, 1993; released No Need to Argue, 1994; To the Faithful Departed, 1996; following a hiatus, released Bury the Hatchet, 1999; released Wake Up and Smell the Coffee and greatest hits compilation Stars: The Best of 1992-2002, 2002.

Addresses: Record company—Island Records, 825 8th Ave., New York, NY 10019. Website— The Cranberries Official Website: http://www.cranberries.com.

touted the Cranberries as the next big thing. “Wince-inducing interview after cringeworthy feature painted a picture of a band of four pristine, untainted, awestruck country souls, standing welly-deep in peat and creating the music of the Gods in between saying their rosaries and worrying the local sheep,” wrote Mueller in Melody Maker of the articles that appeared in both his paper and the New Musical Express in 1991. In October of that year, after they had relocated to London, the band released their first single, “Uncertain.” Melody Maker’s True termed it “as fresh and stimulating as a breeze blowing in from the North Sea.”

Debut Release Delayed

The Cranberries began playing various spots around Britain and wrote songs for a full-length album. In the studio, they teamed up with Stephen Street, who had produced a number of records for the Smiths and the Psychedelic Furs. Problems with management, however, proved worrisome. They had recorded their demos and “Uncertain” with a Limerick producer and studio owner, Pearse Gilmore, who was also their manager. Yet they eventually discovered that he had been lying to each of them to varying degrees. Contemplating a breakup, they sat down on a street corner and instead opted to fire Gilmore. “We used to trust everybody,” Noel Hogan told Melody Maker’s Mueller. “We used to think everyone was here to help us. Then we realized that they were here to help themselves.”

The resulting contractual delays and legal problems pushed back the release of the Cranberries’ first full-length album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, until March of 1993. Melody Maker was quick to call the LP “a superb coincidence of riches: six dozen immaculately-conceived melodies compressed into a mere 12 songs, and a voice that ravages your mood,” according to critic Peter Paphides. Kara Manning of Rolling Stone described the album as “sublimely understated yet seductively, chillingly alive.” Melody Maker reviewer Jennifer Nine noted, “Like many small things, Dolores’ voice is neither as simple nor as frail as it seems, and there’s a world of headstrong energy inside it.”

Unexpected Success Abroad

O’Riordan’s vocal style, in fact, has often been cited as the group’s most undeniable hook and even sent Mueller into a reverie in his Melody Maker piece: “It comes down to the voice, doesn’t it always? The Voice: A gentle, pure Irish whisper with a tinge of huskiness which sends melancholy-splattered shards of pain and hope and love straight to your heart. The Voice: a melodic mini-scream which oscillates and reverberates out into the darkening, overcast sky…. It can sound both young and ancient simultaneously. It can span the ages. It’s so filled with emotion, it will break your heart with the merest slipped quaver.”

The Cranberries’ melodies, combined with O’Riordan’s voice, struck a chord with the listening public, and by mid-1994 Everybody’s Doing It had sold 2.8 million copies. Oddly, success in the United States from airplay on alternative and top 40 radio helped spur sales in Britain. “I think the more the press stays away from us, the better we are,” O’Riordan told Rolling Stone’s Manning in mid-1993. “The American press is slightly more mature, but the British press is a very small group of people and they all jump on the same band at once, and they jump on the same band at once.”

The Cranberries traveled to the United States to capitalize on the success of their debut album, doing a number of opening dates for rock band The The as well as headlining appearances on their own. They also used the between-gig time to write songs for a second album and headed back into the studio in the spring of 1994 with Stephen Street. The result was No Need to Argue, released in the fall of that year. Its first single, “Zombie,” was a far cry from the band’s other hits, featuring a hard-edged guitar sound and a more strident vocal style from O’Riordan that called to mind fellow Irish singer Sinead O’Connor. Additionally, the song’s theme—a tirade against the sectarian violence that has rocked Northern Ireland, especially since 1968, was another step away from the dreamy love-struck songs of their first release.

People’s Michael Small praised both No Need to Argue and “Zombie,” noting that “O’Riordan’s intense delivery brings out a slight tartness—which, of course, is the mark of a truly good cranberry.” Spin reviewer Jonathan Bernstein termed “Zombie” the album’s best song, “[lurching] between grindcore and whimsy, with O’Riordan mood-swinging from her normal soothing allure into growling and barnyard impersonations.” Yet Bernstein conjectured that while the Cranberries offer more than the average dream-pop band, No Need to Argue’s strong points might not be sufficient enough to sustain the group’s lasting success.

The Cranberries, their legions of fans, and their label seemed to feel differently, however, and major concert tours—including ones in Asia and Australia—were set to coincide with the success of No Need to Argue. “By the time we came to do this album, we knew what we were capable of,” Noel Hogan told Billboard writer Thorn Duffy. “We’re really happy with it. We did it the way we wanted to do it. It is what it’s meant to be.”

Took New Musical Direction

With producer Bruce Fairbairn (of Aerosmith and AC/DC fame) at the helm, the group released their third studio album, To the Faithful Departed, in 1996. With the postpunk lead single “Salvation,” the album marked a change from “the personal to the political,” according to Christopher John Farley in Time, and a more aggressive sound. “If the Cranberries once sounded as if they were sleepwalkers in a world gone weird, To the Faithfully Departed sounds as if they’ve finally awakened,” David Browne of Entertainment Weekly commented. The album achieved double-platinum sales in January of 1997.

The group released Bury the Hatchet in 1999 and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee in 2002, both of which took a step back from the edginess of To the Faithful Departed and offered a retooled version of the formula that created the group’s success during the early 1990s. Of Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide commented, “even if it’s wrapped in new clothing, this is essentially a return to basics, and it’s a welcome one, since it’s melodic, stately, and somber…” The group released the greatest hits collection Stars: The Best of 1992-2002’m 2002.

Selected discography

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, Island, 1993.

No Need to Argue, Island, 1994.

To the Faithful Departed, Island, 1996.

Bury the Hatchet, Island, 1999.

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, MCA, 2002.

Stars: The Best of 1992-2002 (compilation), Island, 2002.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, August 14, 1993; August 20, 1994.

Entertainment Weekly, October 7, 1994; October 28, 1994; May 10, 1996.

Melody Maker, October 26, 1991; October 3, 1992; January 30, 1993; March 6, 1993; March 13, 1993; November 6, 1993.

Musician, November 1994.

People, October 17, 1994; May 13, 1996.

Pulse!, June 1994.

Rolling Stone, September 2, 1993; December 23, 1993; April 21, 1994; December 1, 1994; March 23, 1995.

Spin, November 1994.

Time, November 7, 1994; May 13, 1996.

Online

’The Cranberries,” All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (April 15, 2003).

The Cranberries Official Website, http://www.thecranberries.com (April 15, 2003).

Carol Brennan

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The Cranberries

The Cranberries

Rock band

Entranced by a Country Girls Voice

Debut Release Delayed

Unexpected Success Abroad

Selected discography

Sources

Irish quartet the Cranberries burst onto the scene in 1992 with their ethereal hit Dreams, the first single from a debut album that eventually went platinum. What sets it apartother, that is, from that continually astonishing voice and the effortlessly graceful arrangementsis a faintly tangible sense of ruptured innocence, of shattered hope, mused Melody Maker writer Andrew Mueller about the groups distinctive sound. Indeed, the youthful band survived a series of problematic encounters with bad management and a capricious press that nearly disbanded them; their astounding success in the United States was relatively unexpected but a welcome vote of confidence in their cohesive musicianship.

Fronted by lead singer Dolores ORiordan, lead and bass guitars are the respective domains of brothers Noel and Mike Hogan; Feargal Lawler sits behind the drums. ORiordan and Noel Hogan write most of the bands material. Truth be told, what separates the Cranberries from much of the current flock is age and experience, wrote Rolling Stones Chris Mundy. Or, in their case, the lack thereof.

ORiordan, the Hogans, and Lawler all came into the world at Limericks Maternity Hospital in the early 1970s. Like others in Ireland, the bandmates grew up in relatively reduced circumstancesORiordan was the youngest of seven children in a household supported by her mother; Noel Hogan collected unemployment for a time. The Hogans and Lawler were originally part of an ensemble called the Cranberry Saw Us, whose fourth member, another Limerick fellow, wrote all their material in addition to his singing duties. When the bands writer left the band in mid-1990, they began looking around for a new vocalist.

Entranced by a Country Girls Voice

ORiordan, then living just outside Limerick, heard about the band from a school friend and showed up at an audition. They were all laughing at me and I was really embarrassed, [because] there was about nine fellas in the room and I was the girl from the country, the singer told Everett True in Melody Maker. They thought I was a scream. The three young men, however, apparently liked the sound of ORiordans voice, with which she had been attracting attention since her preschool years; as a teenager she had won competitions for her solos with her church and school choirs.

Entranced, the Cranberry Saw Us members invited ORiordan to join. After practicing and shortening the bands name to the Cranberries, they cut a three-song

For the Record

Members include Mike Hogan (born April 29, 1973), bass; Noel Hogan (born December 25, 1971), guitar; Feargal Lawler (born March 4, 1971), drums; and Dolores ORiordan (born September 6, 1971), vocals, guitar; all members born in Limerick, Ireland.

ORiordan worked as a clothes shop assistant and in a factory; Noel Hogan studied to be an electrician; Mike Hogan worked as a baker; Lawler was a hairdresser. Group formed in Limerick, Ireland, 1990; signed with Island Records, 1991, and released debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Cant We?, 1993.

Awards: Platinum record award for Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Cant We?

Addresses: Record company Island Records, 825 8th Ave., New York, NY 10019.

cassette titled Nothing Left at All. A second five-track release was sent out on a lark to a few record companies and to the bands surprise, Rough Trade Recordsthe former home of their idols, the Smithsexpressed interest. A bidding war ensued, and the Cranberries were signed to Island Records before a mention of their name had even appeared in the music press.

The bands obscurity was short-lived, however, as the energetic but snarky British music press instantly touted the Cranberries as the next big thing. Wince-inducing interview after cringeworthy feature painted a picture of a band of four pristine, untainted, awestruck country souls, standing welly-deep in peat and creating the music of the Gods in between saying their rosaries and worrying the local sheep, wrote Mueller in Melody Maker of the articles that appeared in both his paper and the New Musical Express in 1991. InOctober of that year, after they had relocated to London, the band released their first single, Uncertain. Melody Makers True termed it as fresh and stimulating as a breeze blowing in from the North Sea.

Debut Release Delayed

The Cranberries began playing various spots around Britain and wrote songs for a full-length album. In the studio, they teamed up with Stephen Street, who had produced a number of records for the Smiths and the Psychedelic Furs. Problems with management, however, proved worrisome. They had recorded their demos and Uncertain with a Limerick producer and studio owner who was also their manager. Yet they eventually discovered that he had been lying to each of them to varying degrees. Contemplating a breakup, they sat down on a street corner and instead opted to fire Street. We used to trust everybody, Noel Hogan told Melody Makers Mueller. We used to think everyone was here to help us. Then we realized that they were here to help themselves.

The resulting contractual delays and legal problems pushed back the release of the Cranberries first full-length album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Cant We?, until March of 1993. Melody Maker was quick to call the LP a superb coincidence of riches: six dozen immaculately-conceived melodies compressed into a mere 12 songs, and a voice that ravages your mood, according to critic Peter Paphides. Kara Manning of Rolling Stone described the album as sublimely understated yet seductively, chillingly alive. Melody Maker reviewer Jennifer Nine noted, Like many small things, Dolores voice is neither as simple nor as frail as it seems, and theres a world of headstrong energy inside it.

Unexpected Success Abroad

ORiordans vocal style, in fact, has often been cited as the groups most undeniable hook and even sent Mueller into a reverie in his Melody Maker piece: It comes down to the voice, doesnt it always? The Voice: A gentle, pure Irish whisper with a tinge of huskiness which sends melancholy-splattered shards of pain and hope and love straight to your heart. The Voice: a melodic mini-scream which oscillates and reverberates out into the darkening, overcast sky. It can sound both young and ancient simultaneously. It can span the ages. Its so filled with emotion, it will break your heart with the merest slipped quaver.

The Cranberries melodies, combined with ORiordans voice, struck a chord with the listening public, and by mid-1994 Everybodys Doing It had sold 2.8 million copies. Oddly, success in the United States from airplay on alternative and Top 40 radio helped spur sales in Britain. I think the more the press stays away from us, the better we are, ORiordan told Rolling Stones Manning in mid-1993. The American press is slightly more mature, but the British press is a very small group of people and they all jump on the same band at once, and they jump off the same band at once.

The Cranberries traveled to the United States to capitalize on the success of their debut album, doing a number of opening dates for rock band The The as well as headlining appearances on their own. They also used the between-gig time to write songs for a second album and headed back into the studio in the spring of 1994 with Stephen Street. The result was No Need to Argue, released in the fall of that year. Its first single, Zombie, was a far cry from the bands other hits, featuring a hard-edged guitar sound and a more strident vocal style from ORiordan that called to mind fellow Irish singer Sinead OConnor. Additionally, the songs themea tirade against the sectarian violence that has rocked Northern Ireland, especially since 1968, was another step away from the dreamy love-struck songs of their first release.

Peoples Michael Small praised both No Need to Argue and Zombie, noting that ORiordans intense delivery brings out a slight tartnesswhich, of course, is the mark of a truly good cranberry. Spin reviewer Jonathan Bernstein termed Zombie the albums best song, [lurching] between grindcore and whimsy, with ORiordan mood-swinging from her normal soothing allure into growling and barnyard impersonations. Yet Bernstein conjectured that while the Cranberries offer more than the average dream-pop band, No Need to Argus strong points might not be sufficient enough to sustain the groups lasting success.

The Cranberries, their legions of fans, and their label seemed to feel differently, however, and major concert toursincluding ones in Asia and Australiawere set to coincide with the success of No Need to Argue. By the time we came to do this album, we knew what we were capable of, Noel Hogan told Billboard writer Thom Duffy. Were really happy with it. We did it the way we wanted to do it. It is what its meant to be.

Selected discography

Singles

Uncertain, Xeric, 1991.

Dreams, Island, 1992.

Linger, Island, 1993.

Albums

Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Cant We?, Island, 1993.

No Need to Argue, Island, 1994.

Sources

Billboard, August 14, 1993; August 20, 1994.

Entertainment Weekly, October 7, 1994; October 28, 1994.

Melody Maker, October 26, 1991; October 3, 1992; January 30, 1993; March 6, 1993; March 13, 1993; November 6, 1993.

Musician, November 1994.

People, October 17, 1994.

Pulse!, June 1994.

Rolling Stone, September 2, 1993; December 23, 1993; April 21, 1994; December 1, 1994; March 23, 1995.

Spin, November 1994.

Time, November 7, 1994.

Carol Brennan

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"The Cranberries." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"The Cranberries." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/cranberries

Cranberries, The

THE CRANBERRIES

Formed: 1989, Limerick, Ireland

Members: Dolores O'Riordan, vocals, acoustic guitar (born Limerick, Ireland, 6 September 1971); Noel Hogan, guitar, backing vocals (born Limerick, Ireland, 25 December 1974); Michael Hogan, bass (born Limerick, Ireland, 29 April 1973); Feargal Lawler, drums and percussion (born Limerick, Ireland, 4 March 1971).

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: No Need to Argue (1994)

Hit songs since 1990: "Dreams," "Linger," "Zombie"


The signature sound of the Irish pop group the Cranberries revolves around skillful, clean guitar work and the heavily accented, lilting, yodellike singing of Dolores O'Riordan. The foursome formed in the early 1990s and built up a steady following in their home country, toured in supporting roles, and broke through to the United States thanks to the lovely, melodic single "Dreams" from their multiplatinum debut album, Everybody's Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993).

The Cranberries formed in 1989, and all four members hail from the city of Limerick, Ireland. Every band members endured a hardscrabble childhood. O'Riordan, the youngest of seven children, grew up with a mother who was the family's sole breadwinner. The brothers, Hogan and Lawler, played together in a band called the Cranberry Saw Us; in 1990 their vocalist/songwriter left. O'Riordan heard about the opening, auditioned, and was accepted. The band recorded a couple of demos, and the second one landed at Rough Trade Records, home of their idols, the Smiths. A bidding war ensued, and Island records signed them for their debut album; the legendary producer Stephen Street, who had worked with the Smiths, was at the helm.

Their debut, Everybody's Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993), took off in the United States, which helped spur sales in the United Kingdom and Ireland; the Cranberries toured incessantly. The album is marked by its delicate grace, Dolores O'Riordan's yodeling soprano voice, which is really the centerpiece, and the songwriting of O'Riordan and the guitarist, Noel Hogan. By mid-1994, just a little over a year after its release, the album had sold 2.5 million copies.

The band members owe much of their success to their familieshence the sweet song "Ode to My Family" on the second album, No Need to Argue (1994). The songs for No Need to Argue were written during the band's tour in support of its debut. The first single, "Zombie," with its angry, crunchy guitar, is essentially a rant against the violence that marks their homeland; bearing little resemblance to the Cranberries' previous recording, it calls to mind the controversial Irish singer Sinéad O'Connor. Nevertheless, No Need to Argue has sold more than 7 million copies.

In 1997, reflecting on the grueling demands of their profession, O'Riordan said, "We'd probably be wrecked rock stars without our homes. We found our real happiness, our highs, at home." By this time, the group had recorded, toured, and taken enough breaks to accommodate both their professional lives as a band and the changes in their personal lives, which included O'Riordan's marriage to the Canadian Don Burton in 1994 and the birth of her first child in 1997. By the end of 1998, all four Cranberries were married. The change forced them to rearrange their priorities, and there was a time when their future as a band was cloudy. The release of their fifth album, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001), marked a homecoming of sorts as it was produced by Stephen Street again. In it, the band sounds older and wiser, as their single "Analyze" attests. In the chorus O'Riordan advises, "Don't analyze"just enjoy life.

All of their albums have charted well, despite the inconsistencies in songwriting quality. The Cranberries have sold a staggering number of albumsmore than 25 million worldwide. Throughout the Cranberries have managed to balance work, touring, and family and have stayed together even with growing responsibilities in their personal lives. They managed not merely to survive as a band but to evolve artistically: Through the 1990s the Cranberries explored political and religious themes in addition to the stereotypical male-female psychodramas. Their success paved the way for bands such as the Corrs and the Irish teeny-bopper outfit Bewitched. The popularity of the Cranberries demonstrates the impact of Irish music on American and world culture.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Everybody's Doing It, So Why Can't We (Island, 1993); No Need to Argue (Island, 1994); To the Faithful Departed (Island, 1996); Bury the Hatchet (1999); Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001); The Stars: Best of 19922002 (Island).

carrie havranek

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"Cranberries, The." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Cranberries, The." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cranberries