Album #1: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
Lable: Island Records, New York
Publisher: Island / Universal Music Publishing, Ltd.
Studio: Windmill Lane (Dublin, Ireland)
Release: February, 22nd 1993
Producer: Stephan Street
Sales: 7,600,000 of copies (to 2002)
WORKING ON ALBUM “EEIDISWCW?”
The first day of working on the album is believed to be the day when Dolores met Noel, Mike and Fergal. It was that spring evening of 1990th when Noel presented Dolores the sketches of one of his melodies, and the next day she brang them the totally ready Linger song.
In another couple of days the wrote Sunday, and then, rehearsing thrice a week, began composing the other songs.
Soon after, the first demo-tape “Watercircle” was recorded. The demo included the tracks that had already been somewhat popular within the city. These were Sunday, Linger, Chrome Paint and A Fast One.
This tape made them famous in the city, some local papers started to write about them. Cranberry Saw Us became interested in by the recording companies, and the local company Xeric Records was one of them. After the demo listening, the starting band and the company signed a temporary contract. Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to handle all by themselves, Cranberry Saw Us are looking for the manager. The head of the Xeric Records company Pierce Gilmor didn’t miss this opportunity and proposed his service to the band. They had no choice, so they trust their budget to Pierce.
The first demo record which was published under the label of Xeric Records was called “Nothing Left at All”. The tracks included there were as follows: Nothing Left At All, Pathetic Senses and Shine Down (Take My Soul Away). The budget of the band was enough for only 300 copies of NLAA to be issued, that were sold out in the local shops in a few days. Also the first track (NLAA) was included to the remake of the demo NLAA’91, and to Uncertain EP.
NLAA had done its business – the next year rumours about Cranberry Saw Us spread among the music industry all over Ireland and British Isles.
In order to have a simpler name, the band changes their previous one ‘Cranberry Saw Us’ to ‘The Cranberry’s’, and later to the well-known ‘The Cranberries’.
In the beginning of 1991 the new demo-tape ‘Nothing Left At All’ of marvelous contents was published. This record was more for the recording companies than for the publics. The tapes were sent to all the grand world lables, and on the reverse side of them there were fine handwritten names: Put Me Down, Dreams, Nothing Left At All and Linger. The review of the tape in the ‘Melody Maker’ magazine said: “…It is the most astonishing demo of entire 1991. There was no group from the times of The Smiths to sound this theatrically vulnerable. The Cranberries are undoubtedly sent here by the heaven to become the main part of your pop-life for eternity…”.
In the August of 1991 The Cranberries cut the debut video for their first single Uncertain. In a few weeks, for really short time, the Uncertain EP was recorded after some hard working. Its release was in the October of 1991. It was the first commercial mini-album of the band, published on CDs and vinyls. Such quick release was what the manager Gilmor insisted on. He wanted to get his revenue from the album before the time when the contract with Xeric would expire and the band would get charged by the Island Records. Such haste cost the band a lot. The release turned out to be pretty average, so the waiting-for-wonder press rushed tons of dirt onto the guys. The recording got itself little praises and totally disappointed everyone.
In the February of 1992, under the tyrannical pressure from Pierce Gilmor who was threatening that he would break the contract in case of their nonobedience, The Cranberries were made to return to studio. This way the band unwillingly started the recording of the album under the Xeric lable. The album’s recording was fully controlled by Pierce who decided to base the album’s sound on the dance rhythm along with the guitar sounds.
After a month of torturing work in studio, just 3 ordinary songs were recorded. In the end, the band stopped being patient and decided to refuse Gilmor’s services under one mutual condition that the details of their conflict should not be told to the public for a period of three years.
The hard situation around the band was a big pressure and oppression to everyone, especially Dolores. She got really depressed and lost too much weight. Ultimately, Dolores ended up staying ‘bind’ to bed for a few weeks. “Everything going on was above my limit. There was even a period when I couldn’t stand up off my bed by myself. In times like those, you understand that life is no easy stride, and you never know what the future holds. That time was difficult. All I wanted was just play and sing in the band, not willing to depend on the musical industry. You can’t last for long if you only work for the people’s wants”, – Dolores.
So Dolores finally got herself the longed-for tranquility, but the further existence of the band was still for noone to know. The band needed a manager, no matter what. Their found help as Jeff Travis from the Rough Trade. Before this, Travis’d already had some business with the Cranberries, but back then they had been ‘owned’ by Pierce Gilmor, so there could be no talk about coworking. That moment the Cranberries were free so he simply couldn’t pass by such a great opportunity to work together, so he happily agreed.
Under his receptive control, the band went to Stephen Street. However, Noel badly wanted the would-be album to be produced by his idol, The Smiths guitarist Johny Marr, but got a polite “NO” in response.
The next half a year were spent in the Windmill Lane Studio with Stepehn Street, recording the debut. The album was ready in October of 1992, but the release was put back till April of 1993 so that there would be no possible conflicts with Gilmor.
>From May till June of 1992 the band was playing a row of concerts. They went on to a new tour over the UK, including a performance on the Fleadh Festival in London.
The first single of the album, Dreams, was issued in October of 1992 and proclaimed by the Melody Maker to be “The single of the week”. It got to TOP 100, but only lasted one week as the 74th…
In January of 1999 there was another single, Linger, to be issued. Just like its predecessor, it got the 74th place of the same chart and not above.
At last, March gave the world the first “real” album. Its name was after the words Dolores said being impressed by the concert of some unknown indy-band: “Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?”. The album got 78th place in the English chart and was sold in only 12,000 copies… Crash.
So what in the world were they to do after all that? The band that had seemed to be so promising suddenly turned out to be absolutely unwanted. According to the contract, the band was going on a tour for some months afterwards. Not having found their bit of fame in Europe, the Cranberries dare it to tour the US.
And who could know that in a few years the album EEIDISWCW would appear in the British charts again, at the 1st place also. There had been only four bands to make such hops before the Cranberries. Moreover, EEIDISWCW sold a little less than 8 million copies around the world and kept staying in the Billboard charts for two years.
At that time, the rejected band was touring with Mike Oldfield on board. The trip around Europe continued in May. The Cranberries were performing ahead of Hothouse Flowers warming the public up.
In June they arrived to US where they were supposed to play some concerts ahead of The The. They started with Colorado and advanced further through the country. And that’s when the weird things began happening. Slow but sure, the sales of the album were rising. At first they were selling out as in 20.000 copies per week – quite moderate. But in some time the number grew up to 30.000, then up to 50.000 per week. After the tour had finished, they were already famous enough to manage some of their own club concerts.
‘Dreams’ was reissued and waltzed right into Billboard Top 40. In Los-Angeles the band cut the video for their second single ‘Linger’. The clip was directed my Melodie McDaniel. At the working time there was a kind of unexpected company to appear in the place: Mike Stype of R.E.M. and Jean-Baptist Modinoe, the director of Madonna’s ‘Justify My Love’.
The sales of the album rose up to 200.000. The band returned to USA again and continued with their tour, supporting Suede this time. Although due to the unknown internal conflicts Suede cancelled some of the first concerts, Cranberries did not find it hard to sell 2.000 tickets with them or not. So when Suese joined them, the crowd that was listening to the ‘warming up’ Cranberries’ set was leaving home, not waiting for the performance of the primary band itself.
In October, when there was a concert in Atlanta, they got a 4.000 people audience instead of 2.500 people. That month was when the Cranberries finished their tour along with Suede.
‘Linger’ was also reissued and got into TOP 30 the same week. The sales of ‘Linger’ in the US became platinum (1.000.000+).
According to Dolores, the EEIDISWCW album is about a woman who is learning how to trust her instincts…
Some words on the cover of the album (taken from the booklet of ‘EEIDISWCW The Complete Sessions 1991-1993′).
The photos of the band were taken by Andy Earl, who would become a trustworthy friend of the band in time. According to the designer of the cover, the first time he met The Cranberries in the office of Island A&R, the guys were sitting on a small sofa. It was that sofa that was used for creation of EEIDISWCW cover in order to express all the friendly atmosphere between the four young people. It took Andy half a day to take photos of Dolores and the guys in London, and then those pictures of The Cranberries’ faces playing guitar and drums in black and white were included to the booklet. The guys wanted the photos to be as colorless as they can, so, by the artist’s expression, “we got the pictures purely anemic”. “The Cranberries” logo from the album was made with a rubber stamp bought by the designer in Amsterdam, the handwritten inscription “everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?” was written by Charlotte Villiers, who also helped The Cranberries make their first clips in Island Records. The black and white photos were also used in the design of the singles being issued in the USA.
The hidden meaning of some “EEIDISWCW” songs
At the beginning we should note that almost all the songs and B-sides of the album are one way or another connected to Mike O’Mahony the ex-boyfriend of Dolores, who had some really complicated relationship with her.
• The first single to support ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?’.
• Noel: “‘Dreams’ was one of the early ones, as well. It’s probably, I don’t know, maybe about the fourth or fifth song. It’s hard to remember, cause it’s like five years ago, but it was one of the early songs. Again it was just a very simple tune that we came up with and it just kind of came together really quick.”
• Fergal: “I Remember when we were writing it, Noel brought in the chords and as soon as it started I said, ‘This is different’. The demo isn’t really that different from what ended up on the album, the album version is a bit more poppy, a bit more uptempo. Around that time we were listening a lot to Peter Gabriel’s Passion album and a lot of world music. That was definitely an influence on that song.”
• The background vocal is performed by the former boyfriend of Dolores – Mike O’Mahony.
• There were three versions of the clip in total, each of them being quite different. The most interesting one would be the one where Dolores with an extreme haircut and wearing some odd clothes (a white dress plus a red coat) is walking around the city following a white horse (they say it was her idea to include a white horse to the clip).
• Dolores: “It was written on a Sunday”.
• This song was issued as a promo-single in USA in 1993.
• Dolores: “Sometimes it takes you a long time to realize that you have a lot of beauty in yourself. And I think at that stage I realized that I had beauty in myself, even though I wasn’t like a supermodel or anything like that, but I think that every woman has beauty in herself, and sometimes they have problems seeing it in themselves. I think it was kinda written at that stage when I saw it in myself, and I saw it in other women that didn’t see it in themselves. And it was kind of a song that states that every woman is pretty for what she has and what she is.”
• The song is truly special for Dolores: the band tends to perform it practically on every concert.
• Noel: “At the time it was probably the heaviest song that we had done to that point, and it was kind of totally different from everything else that we had done, so we were all mad about it. I think it’s probably the only song that we’ve done in every gig that we’ve ever done. We’ve played ‘Waltzing Back’ at every gig because it’s just one that we really, really like.”
• Dolores: “I wrote that one after our first album was tossed over by the british press and stuff and the British press started to laugh at us and, we had some major, major problems, and it ended up kind of affecting me personally.”
• Dolores: “I meant this back when I wrote this song 1 1/2 yrs ago and I still mean it, I’m not sorry, I’m not sorry, I’m not sorry.”
• ‘Not Sorry’ was written after a bunch of the British journalists visited Dolores’s house. They were being really nice, but after they left they wrote some horrible articles saying how stupid is Dolores’s family and how selfish Dolores herself is, plus some other crap. Naturally, these things got Dolores upset, and since then almost every album has songs in which she settles scores with the British press.
• On one of the concerts Dolores whispered straight after the performance of the song: “Treat the people the way you want to be treated by them…”.
• The second single supporting ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?’.
• The song is denoted to the first love of Dolores – the soldier who dumped her.
• Dolores: “I only kissed him twice. But the song was nothing to do with him, it was about me and the way I reacted to infatuation”
• Fergal: “That was the very first song we ever wrote. That string line just hooks you in straight away. We had a tape of it for a few months before Dolores arrived. She came in the first day to the studio and played some stuff that she had on her keyboard and we gave her the instrumental ‘Linger’. That was a Sunday, she came back the following Tuesday with the string line and basically the whole song was finished, she had most of the lyrics and the melody was there, it was incredible. I suppose that wouldn’ve been the one that got us signed. As soon as people heard that they kind of said, ‘This is one of those classic songs’, it just has that sound, it could’ve been from any era, from the ’50s or ’60s, and even if you hear it now it still sounds good on the radio.”
• Mike: “It was our first song that we ever wrote together. The first time that we ever met Dolores, like, Noel had the chords to it and he had the song done, and he gave it to Dolores and within a week, like, we had the song wrote. So it was actually really good, that that was the song that actually made us, like, was really the first one, so that was cool.”
• On some of the concerts Dolores pronounced she was singing it to all the girls.
• The video was based on the science fiction by Gean-Luke Goddare ‘Alphaville’, 1965. The clip was being cut when the Cranberries visited the US for the first time, in one of the LA hotels. The friends and acquitances of the director Melodie McDaniel took participation in it. Noel, Mike and Fergal were represented as the Amish cultists (an isolated religious faction), and the Dolores was really afraid for the video to become too girlish.
• Rumor has it that this song could become the third single to support the album.
• The original name of the song is ‘Still Can’t Recognize The Way I Feel’.
Put Me Down
• Dolores: “There was one particular dark shadow in my life trying to put me down.”
This stuff was translated from Russian Version of our Site by Michiru.