THE CRANBERRIES Biography - Music bands & groups


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Name: The Cranberries                                                                   
Origin: Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland                                               
The Cranberries were an Irish alternative rock band that rose to mainstream             
popularity in the 1990s. They have sold an estimated 43 million albums worldwide,       
not including singles. Since 2003 the members have all pursued solo careers.             
Noel and Mike Hogan, two brothers from Limerick formed the band with drummer             
Fergal Lawler in 1990. The band was originally named The Cranberry Saw Us, a pun         
on cranberry sauce. The lead singer at that time was a friend of theirs named           
Niall Quinn, who had an extravagant taste for composing and song names, such as         
"My Grandma Drowned In A Fountain In Lourdes", "I Was Always All Ways" and "Throw       
Me Down A Big Stairs". When he left the band, Dolores O'Riordan, who was a               
friend of Niall's girlfriend at the time, and related to powerful banking family         
the O'Riordans in Cork, auditioned and won the role of lead singer. She quickly         
demonstrated her lyrical ability when the band handed her a demo of a melody             
they had been working on. She took the demo home and returned with a full set of         
lyrics for it the next day, the song (which later became one of the band's               
biggest hits) was then given the name "Linger".                                         
Their home-made demo tape did well locally and the band soon recorded a demo             
tape which they sold in record stores throughout Ireland. After the original run         
of 300 copies sold out, the group truncated their name to the Cranberries and           
sent another demo tape, which featured early versions of both "Linger" and "Dreams,"     
to record companies throughout the UK. The tape was made at Xeric studios, which         
was run by Pearse Gilmore, who would later become their manager. At the time the         
tape was made, all of the members were still in their late teens.                       
The demo tape earned the attention of both the UK press and record industry and         
there soon was a bidding war between major British record labels. Eventually,           
the group signed with Island Records whose other famous Irish contract is with U2.       
The Cranberries headed into the studio with Gilmore as their producer to record         
their first single, "Uncertain." The title proved to be prophetic, as the band           
did indeed sound ill at ease on the single, leading to poor reviews in the press,       
in addition to tensions between the group and Gilmore. Before they were                 
scheduled to record their debut in 1992, the Cranberries discovered that Gilmore         
had signed a secret deal with Island to improve his studios. The tensions within         
the band became so great they nearly broke up. Instead, the band severed all             
relations with Gilmore, hired Geoff Travis of Rough Trade Records as their new           
manager, and hired Stephen Street, who had previously worked with The Smiths, as         
their new producer.                                                                     
The Cranberries' debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, was         
released in the spring of 1993, followed by a single of "Dreams." Neither the           
album or the single gained much attention, nor did a second single, "Linger",           
until the band embarked on a tour, catching the attention of MTV, which put             
their videos into heavy rotation. Although singles wise in the UK, Linger was           
released first (Feb. 1993 peaking at 74, re-issued Feb. 1994 peaking at 14) and         
was followed by Dreams (May 1994 peaking at 27). "Dreams" was also picked up and         
included in the Hong Kong movie Chungking Express, although the song was sung by         
a Faye Wong.