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The Cranberries are set to release Something Else, a new album featuring re-worked renditions of their major hits, as well as brand new material. The album is due out April 28 via BMG on digital and CD formats, and includes seminal Cranberries songs like "Linger," "Zombie," "Dreams," and "Ode To My Family"... re-recorded in orchestral and acoustic arrangements. Something Else celebrates the 25th anniversary of the band. Their first major U.S. hit "Linger" has been re-done acoustically, and just premiered on Rolling Stone!
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In the autumn of 2013, as her hometown of Limerick was preparing to open its tenure as Irish City of Culture in 2014, The Cranberries singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan was approached by the city to play a special gig. On New Year’s Eve, she would perform with a quartet from the Irish Chamber Orchestra, playing four songs from her starred back catalogue – three Cranberries, one solo – on a stage erected outside city hall. "It was a beautiful night," she recalls.
At that moment, singing songs that have endured a generation, punctuating pleasingly diverse points of the cultural graph, from glossy high-end car ads to Mission: Impossible soundtracks to becoming time-honored radio staples, immediately identifiable from the tender fury of Dolores’ vocal phrasing, she realized an anniversary was coming up. The following year, 2015, was to mark 25 years since the beginning of The Cranberries, the Irish band that would dominate a particular corner of the 90s. You might place The Cranberries early suite of albums as an emotional mid-point on the trajectory from The Sundays’ Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, 10,000 Maniacs' In My Tribe and Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, records exploring a new, uncompromised, compelling femininity bridging a further gap between indie aesthetics and unexpected, huge global success.
Certainly, The Cranberries had no less impact than any of their companion pieces, drawn in a post-Madonna climate of empowerment. The figures stacked up. By 2000, Cranberries till receipts for their first four records Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, No Need to Argue, To The Faithful Departed and Bury The Hatchet had amassed to over 40 million. Immediately, they were blessed with a kind of US success other bands take ten years trying to secure, with a hit rate and notoriety that perhaps only indigenous stars U2 and Sinead O’Connor could match.
Dolores was 18 years old when The Cranberries began. "Really," she says, "I was just a child back then." She’d been out of Ireland only once, to see her sister in London. "I was an innocent eighteen-year-old, as well. I was not a mature one. I was more like a fifteen-year-old." When REM’s Michael Stipe turned up to watch them film the video for their omnipresent debut hit "Linger," a whisper of a song that scorches with love’s own fire, Dolores had no idea why. "When we came back from America, we met Bono, at about the same time. He was ever so nice to us." These mysterious encounters continued across the decade. "I was probably very lucky that the songs got to be so successful but it also had its downsides, like growing up in the public eye. I didn’t have a normal transition from high school into college or the real world. It was heightened. Success was overwhelming to me, really. And when you become successful at that level you’re so busy working that you don’t have any time to look at it and work out what it is you’re going through."
25 years later, perhaps now was the moment to reassess. An unusual request from The Bachelorette, the US TV show for competing girls to win the hand of a handsome, eligible young man was the touchstone putting Dolores back in touch with Cranberries co-writer Noel Hogan after the band’s hiatus since 2012. The show producers asked them to serenade the couple on their last date for the season finale, filmed in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin. Though she has been based between Canada, New York and Ireland over the past few years, it is the latter that will influence forever the singer, the band, the soul of The Cranberries. With The Bachelorette airing to almost 10 million US viewers, a new generation was keen to find out more.
Since their 90s commercial peak, The Cranberries have not been an inactive operation. They still tour and record to the faithful, massive audience they amassed (including a devoted social media following & 4M+ Facebook followers), with songs touched with both the immediacy of hit-maker hooks and the timelessness of classics.