As they faced into a year full of activity and anticipation, the Cranberries headed back into their rehearsal studio to continue to bring their live show up to speed. A number of journalists were invited down to see the band and interview the members. First impressions told them that this was a very different band to the one that bowed out in ‘96.
Relaxed, confident and healthy, they had learned a lot of lessons from the past few years and were quite open about it. The title of the new album, “Bury The Hatchet” also spoke for itself. Time to move on.
The first single “Promises” was released in February. Backed by a striking video made by French, Director – Oliver Dahn (who previously worked with them on “Salvation”) – it announced to the world that the band was back with a bang.
The album went on sale in April ‘99 and immediately went to Number 1 across the globe. It sold two million copies in the first month of release and went on to generate three top 10 singles.
“It was just brilliant to be back,” says Fergal. “And to be feeling so good and so on top of things.
“Every song off every album is a different memory, a different time,” Noel adds. “But none of the memories are too bad. If they were that bad, I think we would have split up. Even though we’ve hit rock bottom and were pretty miserable and everything, we all came back for more. And there must be a reason for that.”
The band took their new music on the road with some club dates in April receiving rave reviews, and followed that with the “Loud And Clear” World Tour kicking in after that, beginning in Miami, Florida. All told the tour visited 90 cities in 23 countries, running until July 2000.
“It was great to be back on the road,” says Mike. “It felt right. Everyone was getting on well. Plenty of good times on the tour.”
“The structure of the tour was the key”, says Fergal “It wasn’t one long journey. We’d play for a few weeks in one territory and then take a break for a few more weeks to go back home and be normal again. Then we’d get back on the road for another few weeks. It felt really good that way”.
“I think we enjoy it a lot more now,” says Dolores. “There’s a balance to it. We’d learned a lot back then when we’d been at the top. And it ain’t always easy at the top.”
The tour brought them back to Ireland for their first date in four years, when they played a brilliant home coming gig at Millstreet in County Cork. With a final date in Manchester in December the following night, the band ended a comeback year that went way beyond anyone’s expectations. They weren’t just successful, having sold in excess of three million copies of the new album, they were also very happy to be back.
In December, Noel’s wife Catherine gave birth to their first child – a baby girl, named Rachel.