The Cranberries formed in Limerick in 1989. I was four years old when they formed but I turned five that year. This happened a few months before I travelled to Ireland for a long weekend with my family and my first ever time ‘abroad’, or so I thought.
The band were originally called The Cranberry Saw Us from 1989 – 1991, during which time they released four Eps. The first two were demos and released under their original name, the third released commercially under their original name but their fourth would mark the start of a new era, as it was now released under their new moniker, The Cranberries.
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993) was their debut album and was released six months before my ninth birthday. That same year in one of our school assemblies we learned about the IRA. Being a catholic school, I think they felt we needed to learn about the world and what better way to learn than for them to teach us, never mind the media.
18 months later, they released their second album, No Need to Argue (1994.) ‘Zombie’ – a single highlighting the atrocities of the IRA – would later become a favourite of mine from the album. As soon as I heard the song in 1995, I tracked down the band and have loved them ever since. It’s one of their staple songs and the first song I ever heard by the band.
In 1996, their third offering To the Faithful Departed surfaced and the one single, which encapsulates the theme of the album, ‘When You’re Gone’, became a second favourite for all the people I’ve lost over the years. I also felt that I could identify with this song, which cemented my fandom for them.
Easter 1999 delighted me as the next piece of their Irish puzzle, Bury the Hatchet (1999), was released. Their first single from the album was ‘Promises’, a song about divorce. A subject I was yet to find out about. This would quickly replace ‘Zombie’ as my favourite Cranberries song, however ‘Zombie’ would always remain my second favourite.
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001) was their final album before their hiatus. It was assumed by many of their fans that The Cranberries were dead in the water so to speak, but like so many bands, this would backfire and start the rumour mill churning with positive news.
In 2009, news that the band were thinking about an American and European tour, the same day O’Riordan’s second solo album was released, kept rumour high that they were getting back together. In 2012 those rumours came true with not just a tour, but album number six Roses (2012). I was somewhat peeved, as a few hours after the tour was announced I tried buying tickets and they were sold out. I’m hoping this isn’t it for The Cranberries as I really would love to see them live.
That’s all folks. It’s a goodbye from Limerick for me and I’ll see you next time in Rome, Italy. But who will the band be?