The dreamy "Linger" and the uptempo "Dreams" were pop hits for the Cranberries. The Irish group formed in '90 also had later Alt. Rock hits with the mournful "Ode To My Family" and "Zombie."
The Hogan brothers, bassist Noel and guitarist Mike, teamed with drummer Fergal Lawler. The group's original singer took a hike so they put in ad in the paper for a female vocalist. Enter Dolores O' Riordan who brought along some serious Celtic influences.
The Cranberries debut "Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We" didn't attract much U.K. attention so the group headed for the states where they were warmly received as an opening act. The buzz got "Linger" played on MTV, turning it into a major hit. "Dreams" followed.
"No Need To Argue" with "Zombie" rolled out a year later and did even better. "To The Faithful Departed," released in '96 was more Rock oriented but failed to match its' predecessors commercial success though it did sell a million copies. '99 saw the release of "Bury The Hatchet" with "Wake Up And Smell The Coffee" arriving in '01. O' Riordan and her husband, Don Burton, wrote all the songs for "Wake Up." The two met when Burton was the Cranberries tour manager. The album peaked at #46 on the Billboard 200 yielding only a minor Adult Top 40 hit, "Analyse."
The compilation, "Stars - The Best Of 1992 - 2002," seemed a good way to summarize The Cranberries career. End of the story? Well, not exactly.
A European tour preceded work on what would have been the group's sixth album. A couple tracks were recorded before The Cranberries announced they were going to delve into solo projects - which is exactly what they did. O'Riordan's '07 release "Are You Listening?" was the most notable.
The Cranberries reunited in '09 "to celebrate O'Riordan becoming an Honorary Patron of University Philosophical Society (Trinity College, Dublin). Not too much was made of the reunion, but following the release of O'Riodan's second solo album, "No Baggage," The Cranberries announced a North American/European tour.
During the spring of '11, The Cranberries went to Metalworks Studios in Toronto to finally record their sixth album, "Roses," with producer Steven Street. He produced "Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?," "No Need To Argue" and "Wake Up And Smell The Coffee." The album came out the following February.
1993 Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?
1994 No Need To Argue
1996 To the Faithful Departed
1999 Bury The Hatchet
2001 Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
"Tomorrow," the second track on "Roses," marks the return of The Cranberries trademark ethereal jangle complimented by O'Riordan's biting yet passionate vocals. The group turns pleasingly intimate for "Fire & Soul" before returning to safer ground with the mid-tempo ballad "Raining In My Heart" and "Astral Projections" (an airy track - how could it not be given the title - but an excellent song). They could have been the set's signature tracks if not for the upbeat "Schizophrenic Playboy" which allows O'Riordan to deliver her strongest vocal performance on the set.
"Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We" and "No Need To Argue" present the Cranberries guitar driven, Celtic influenced Rock in the most favorable light. Though subsequent albums attempt to "toughen up" the Cranberries sound they aren't able to execute as well as they'd like.