Aside from the great hits like "Dreams," "Linger," and "Zombie," you may not know many other songs by "The Cranberries." These three songs are played rather frequently, and it would be hard to imagine someone not recognizing at least one of the three. If you haven't, look them up, and then come back and read this list. But as is the case with many bands, those popular singles only scratch the surface.
“The Cranberries” recorded seven studio albums from 1993 through 2017 and Dolores O’Riordan (their late great, incredible lead voice) had two studio albums as a solo act. Within those nine albums hides a plethora of great music.
14. "Dreams" by The Cranberries CatharsisMagazine
Upon returning the CD back to my library, I ordered “The Cranberries Treasure Box” set, which consisted of their first four albums, along with bonus tracks. Devouring each album from start to finish over and over again really was like opening a treasure box.
The band hails from Limerick Ireland, and O’Riordan’s signature “yodel” (which she learned from her father), helped to create a band that is really unlike any other. They have anger and hatred in some of their lyrics, as seen in “Loud and Clear,” and then they have moments of beautiful haunting with lines like
“I don't think it's going to happen anymore
You took my thoughts from me, now I want nothing more” (O'Riordan, N. Hogan).
Their music ranges too, from slow peaceful melodies as on “Warchild,” to heaver, rock –grunge influenced pieces like “Salvation.”
“The Cranberries” are truly one of my favorite bands, and is a group that should be more widely known, far beyond their three big hits “Dreams,” “Linger," and "Zombie."
To help with that, here is a Top 10 List of songs by “The Cranberries,” along with two bonus songs, one from both of O’Riordan’s solo albums.
10. “Still Can’t…” from “Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”
The Cranberries - Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why CAN`t We ? 1993The Cranberries - Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why CAN`t We ? 1993.
Track nine on their debut album, has a fast pace, showcasing O’Riordan’s vocal range, some grunge influence, and their unique melodic capacities. It combines acoustic and electric guitar and strong bass lines by brothers Noel and Mike Hogan respectfully, and the very interesting drum style of Fergal Lawler.
9. “How” from “Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?”
How - The Cranberries (Lyrics)www.youtube.com
Two song’s later and also from their debut album, “How” has O’Riordan nearly whispering in angst throughout the verses, crescendo-ing up to a strong chorus that showcases the emotion she was able to carry in her singing. Both songs follow the hits “Dreams” and “Linger” which also appear on the band's debut.
8. “Twenty One” from “No Need To Argue”
The Cranberries - Twenty Onewww.youtube.com
A ballad which leads just before the mega-hit “Zombie,” “Twenty One,” is a sad and somber piece that holds more emotion in fewer words that are actually sung. Musically, and lyrically, the song hints towards anxiety and growth and exile. Personally, I would assume the repeating of “Twenty One” would indicate a place in finding one’s own answers. But like all great things, the song is open to the interpretation of each individual listener.
7. “Ridiculous Thoughts” from “No Need To Argue”
Just listen to the intro vocals, and how O’Riordan chants
“You’re gonna have to hold on” (O'Riordan, N. Hogan)
as the song reaches its climax. That’s the only reason needed to justify this song’s placement on this list.
While the entirety of “No Need To Argue” could find its place on a Top 10, these are two of my personal favorites that standout aside “Zombie.” Notable mentions include “Ode To My Family,” “The Icicle Melts,” and “Yeats’ Grave.”
6. “Warchild” from “To The Faithful Departed”
An acoustic piece with a horn section finds its main ingredient is the haunting and beautiful voice of O’Riordan. Listen to the lyrics as she sings. As the title suggests, the song tells of children in the time of war. A string section is welcomed after the first chorus, warmly filling the soundscape of the music.
5. “Bosnia” from “To The Faithful Departed”
The Cranberries Bosnia ( High Quality )www.youtube.com
This is possibly my favorite of “The Cranberries” songs. I am not going to try and explain why this song is so amazing; if you listen to only one of the songs provided, let it be this one and form your own connection to it. It really is one of the most underrated songs, not only from the band but in the realm of music.
Other notable mentions from “To The Faithful Departed” are “Salvation,” which really showcases the band’s heavier moments, “Cordell,” and “God Be With You”
4. “Loud And Clear “from “Bury The Hatchet”
This album’s artwork is possible one of the scariest, with the giant eye looking down on a crouching, scared and naked man. Making the list, was either this song or “Animal Instinct.” But the horn section, anger-fueled lyrics such as
“Hope the sun beats down on you
And skin yourself alive” (O'Riordan)
“Loud and Clear” had to make the list.
3. “This Is The Day” from “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
Everything comes together so perfectly in this chorus; Her voice, the high splashing of the high-hat, the strong strums of the guitar. The chorus leads out with the swirling sensation the guitar provides, along with the underlying bass that constantly pounds in the midst of the chaos.
2. “Conduct” from “Roses”
11 years from their previous album, “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee,” “Conduct” opens the return album, proving that their sound has never dwindled or faded, and picks up right from where the band left off. Other notable tracks from “Roses” are “Schizophrenic Playboy,” and “Show Me”
1. “Why” from “Something Else”
This is the last studio album before the death of singer Dolores O’Riordan. The album consists of 10 unplugged, acoustic arrangements of previous hits, along with new orchestrations to accompany the unplugged sound, and three new songs. They redo their three most popular songs, “Zombie,” “Dreams,” and “Linger,” but the three new tracks offered are worth mentioning.
The closing song, “Why,” showcases everything that makes “The Cranberries” one of the most important bands ever. Why you ask, as the title of the song prompts you to? Listen for yourself and see “Why.”
Bonus Tracks from O’Riordan’s solo albums:
“Black Widow” from “Are You Listening?”
If you thought “The Cranberries” had some heavy, borderline metal songs, you were wrong. On O’Riordan’s first solo album, she has this, along with “Stay With Me.” Both bring head-banging to her familiar style with “The Cranberries.” Only these songs crank it up to 11!
“I Want you” from “No Baggage”
Dolores O'Riordan - I Want Youwww.youtube.com
This song is technically not on this album but is instead a B-side that I stumbled upon when looking into her career. It’s simply beautiful. This album drops some of the near-metal moments from “Are You Listening?” but as with all of these albums, there is no shortage of great music. Notable mentions from “No Baggage” include “Lunatic,” “You Set Me On Fire,” and a new version of “Apple Of My Eye,” which first appeared on her previous album.
Go on and complete your music collection by adding the catalog of “The Cranberries” and the two solo albums from O’Riordan.
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