The Cranberries were a rock band from Limerick and one of the most successful acts to come out of Ireland in the last 20 years.
Their sound crossed many genres including, rock, Irish folk, indie pop and punk. They sold millions of albums worldwide.
The band was led by front woman, Dolores O’Riordan and included brothers Noel and Mike Hogan on guitar and bass and Fergal Lawler on Drums.
The Cranberries were formed in 1989 by Mike, Noel and Fergal. Their friend Niall Quinn was on vocals and they were initially called The Cranberry Saw Us.
O’Riordan joins the band
Before long, Quinn left and the band decided to go forward with a female singer. They held auditions and O’Riordan was the stand out candidate. She had written her own lyrics and melodies to the band’s existing demos and when the boys heard her early version of a future hit single, Linger, O’Riordan was hired.
The band renamed themselves, The Cranberries, and set about recording demo tapes. One of the demos that they sent out to record companies featured both Linger and another future hit, Dreams.
The Demo caused such a stir that a bidding war ensued and the band had their pick of some major record labels. They signed a deal with Island Records and headed to the studio to record their debut EP, Uncertain.
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
Sadly it wasn’t a commercial success and didn’t go down well with critics. The band sacked their producer and brought in Stephen Street who was famous for his work with The Smiths and also went on to work with Blur, Pete Doherty, The Kaiser Chiefs and The Courteeners.
Street recorded their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? The band toured Ireland and the UK and started to gain recognition in the British media.
However, the album didn’t sell well, nor did their first two singles, Dreams and Linger. That is until the band went on tour with Suede and caught the attention of MTV. The music channel played their songs on a heavy rotation and the band re-released Linger which reached number 14 in the British charts in 1994.
They also re-released Dreams a few months later and it reached number 27 in the UK. It was their album that benefited most from the band’s increased exposure. It became one of only five albums ever to re-enter the UK charts at number 1.