The Cranberries were an alt rock band from Limerick, Ireland. They were active from 1989 to 2003 and then from 2009 to 2019. However, the Cranberries are better-known for the first period because they were one of the best-selling alt rock bands of the 1990s, as shown by the fact that they have sold almost 50 million records as of 2019. Sadly, the band won’t be making a return because their vocalist Dolores O’Riordan died in an accident in January of 2018.
Roses was the first release from the Cranberries in a decade’s time. As such, it featured work from both the early 2000s and the early 2010s. There were some real highlights on the release. However, Roses wasn’t the most consistent studio album, meaning that there was some less impressive material as well.
7. To the Faithful Departed
Given the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that To the Faithful Departed was meant to honor someone. To be exact, the Cranberries’ third studio album was meant to honor a couple of individuals who had died in 1996. One was Denny Cordell, a record producer who had signed the band to Island Records. The other was Joe O’Riordan, who was vocalist Dolores O’Riordan’s grandfather. On the whole, it wasn’t a bad release, as shown by its very respectable sales numbers. However, it is often overshadowed by its counterparts.
6. Bury the Hatchet
Speaking of which, Bury the Hatchet was the Cranberries’ fourth studio album. It is notable in that it was made after a hiatus, during which Dolores O’Riordan had her first child. As a result, that influenced a number of the songs on the release, with examples including both “Animal Instinct” and “You and Me.” Bury the Hatchet isn’t a very experimental studio album. However, it is an excellent reminder that a studio album doesn’t necessarily need to be experimental for it to be enjoyable for the most part.
5. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
After Bury the Hatchet came Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, which was the Cranberries’ last release before they had their six-year hiatus. Besides that, it was the band’s sole studio album released through MCA Records. Something caused by the Cranberries’ transfer to said record label from Island Records after the merger of the two record labels’ respective owners in 1999. Music-wise, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee had both strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, it gave the spotlight to its vocals, which have always been one of the great strengths of the band. On the other hand, it was a very safe sort of release, so much so that it was even absent of the vocal outbursts that can be found on its counterparts. As such, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee was well-made but it wasn’t very exciting, particularly when contrasted with some of the Cranberries’ other studio albums.
4. Something Else
Something Else came out in 2017. It wasn’t 100 percent new material. Instead, Something Else featured some new material plus acoustic versions of some of the band’s best songs. The very premise means that the studio album could have turned out very poorly. For example, not every such release manages to choose the right songs to reinterpret. Similarly, just because something has been reinterpreted, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is actually worth reexperiencing. Something Else dodged both of these issues. Simply put, its songs were chosen well. Moreover, its songs tended to be different enough to stand out while still retaining everything that made them great in the first place. Thanks to that, while Something Else wasn’t a greatest hits album, one can make a decent argument that it was a great encapsulation of the Cranberries’ career up to that point.
3. No Need to Argue
If people had to name the iconic Cranberries song, chances are good that “Zombie” is going to be one of the first songs to come up. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising to see the studio album containing that song sitting high on this list as well. No Need to Argue was a darker, heavier release than its predecessor. After all, “Zombie” was a protest song inspired by the Warrington bombings, which were one of the numerous incidents that made up the Troubles from the late 1960s to 1998. What enabled No Need to Argue to stand out was that it managed to get its message across while still being great music. Something that isn’t true for every single release from every single socially-conscious act out there.
2. In the End
In the End was released in 2019. As such, it was the band’s first release after the death of Dolores O’Riordan and it will remain the band’s only release after the death of Dolores O’Riordan. The material for the studio album wasn’t complete. However, there was enough for a full release once it had been worked upon with the full support of O’Riordan’s family. The result was one of the most memorable releases ever put out by the Cranberries, particularly because of the title track that served so well as a send-off to a storied career.
1. Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? might have been the Cranberries’ first studio album. However, it was far from being the band’s first release. Due to that, it wasn’t the work of relative newcomers but rather a band with a fair amount of experience behind them. Simply put, the studio album was quite good, not least because the band knew exactly what kind of music they wanted to make before proceeding to make it.