Deep Album Cuts Vol. 101: The Cranberries

I thought I'd probably take a little break from this series for a while after the 100th entry, but as often has happened, I was spurred to explore an act's discography by a musician's death, in this case The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan. They were a pretty ubiquitous band in the '90s who I've grown more fond of in the years since then; I think I've heard "Zombie" so many times that I kind of never want to hear it again, but their other singles, particularly "Salvation," have held up really well. A DJ on a local station, DC101, has a habit of playing "Linger" 3 or more times in a row sometimes, to try and relax listeners during rush hour, and when he did it just a couple months ago I gained a new appreciation for that song. He played it a few times again on Tuesday, after the news broke.

The Cranberries deep album cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. No Need To Argue
2. Wanted
3. Twenty One
4. Forever Yellow Skies
5. Sunday
6. The Icicle Melts
7. Desperate Andy
8. Not Sorry
9. Joe
10. The Concept
11. Disappointment
12. Schizophrenic Playboy
13. Deliliah
14. The Glory
15. How
16. I Just Shot John Lennon
17. Copycat
18. The Rebels
19. Chocolate Brown
20. Fire & Soul
21. Daffodil Lament
22. I Will Always

Tracks 2, 5, 8, 15 and 21 from Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? (1993)
Tracks 1, 3, 6, 11 and 20 from No Need To Argue (1994)
Tracks 4, 9, 16 and 18 from To The Faithful Departed (1996)
Tracks 7, 13 and 17 from Bury The Hatchet (1999)
Tracks 10 and 19 from Wake Up And Smell The Coffee (2001)
Tracks 12 and 20 from Roses (2012)
Tracks 14 from Something Else (2017)

The Cranberries' first couple albums loom large over their commercial profile, so I figured they should for this compilation, and I think it is where a lot of their best songs are. "Daffodil Lament" is pretty epic; I'm not surprised that fans voted it as their best non-single to appear on the band's Stars: The Best of 1992-2002 compilation. It's interesting to hear them start as kind of this jangly dream pop band and then become this louder rock combo that was more suited to the huge venues they ended up playing.

Given my love of "Salvation," I was interested to hear For The Faithful Departed, which is kind of their record where they reached peak visibility and started to fade from view. O'Riordan will always be remembered for her gorgeous, unique voice, but I think she's pretty interesting as a lyricist, so passionate about several causes, sometimes seeming a little strident or humorless, but always putting a personal touch on things. "I Just Shot Lennon" is possibly the least subtle song you could possibly write about that topic, even before the song ends with the sound of gunshots, but I think it's kind of compelling and gutsy. You get a bit more variety in their later records, "The Concept" has almost a trip hop sound to it. And "Copycat" is kind of a funny bitter look at the radio landscape that they were at that point receding from. O'Riordan's last release with The Cranberries was Something Else less than a year ago, which was largely comprised of acoustic versions of old songs, but also included a few new studio tracks, and "The Glory" is pretty great.
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