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Song interpretations


• EEIDISWCW • NNTA • TTFD • BTH • WUASTC • Stars

Album #3: To The Faithful Departed
Lable: Island Records, New York
Publisher: Island / Universal Music Publishing, Ltd.
Studio: Windmill Lane (Dublin, Ireland)
Release: April, 29 1996
Producers: Bruce Fairbairn and The Cranberries
Sales: 6,200,000 copies (to 2002)

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WORKING ON ALBUM “TTFD”

At the beginning of 1995 The Cranberries perform two new songs – ‘I Just Shot John Lennon’ and ‘When You’re Gone’ on the concert at Royal Albert Hall, and in February, on the amazing acoustic ‘MTV Unplugged’ concert, Dolores (with remarkably long platinum hair) and the guys present the three new songs to the public, along with the old hits: the rock ‘Free To Decide’ song and the most magnificent ballads ‘I’m Still Remembering’ and ‘Yesterday’s Gone’. Shortly after there were some rumors to spread saying that Dolores was going to begin a solo career, but the lady declines: “I can’t see myself as a solo singer. It’s really bad when people are keen on themselves, they become really selfish”.

Lucciano Pavarotti invites Dolores to perform with him the ‘Ave Maria’ song on the concert of the “War Child” organization in Moden, Italy. After the amazing performance of ‘Ave Maria’ Dolores also performs ‘Linger’ with her childhood’s idol – Simon Le-Bon of ‘Duran Duran’. On the same concert Dolores met princess Diane and showed the public another herself – with short red hair. Later she makes a ‘hedgehog’ and paints the hair black.

November of 1995: the band gathers in the ‘Windmill Lane’ studio in Dublin, and in only five weeks they record the songs for the new album. The producing of the album was laid on Bruce Fairbairn who also did Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Van Halen (before she became known as Alanis Morisette). The Cranberries get themselves the new goals: “More drums, more energy, less smoothness, more sharpness, less reserving, harder the rock”.

Dolores is deeply depressed, she wasn’t expecting so much fame to rush upon her, and the dirt spilt by the journalists. Apart from that, the knee that had been injured in 1994 while skiing on the Alps starts to ache again. Dolores was being injected with tranquilisators, and according to her, this made her thinking a little dim, which explains why the texts of her coming album would turn to be somewhat weird.

At that times, Dolores and the guys were constantly pressed by the journalists that were waiting for something majestic from the third album of the group. Dolores’s closes friends leave this world, she remembers the losses past, scared for her happiness… The fear and depression were concentrated in the new songs. Ultimately, the album that was supposed to be called ‘What You’re Looking At’ at the beginning was renamed to ‘To The Faithful Departed’. There were also plans to ‘fix’ the ready songs, but as the band was listening to them, they decided to leave them untouched, as ‘raw’ versions. The engineering of the album was on Mike Plotnikoff.

On April, 8th of 1996 the Cranberries released the first single of the album – a biting song about danger of drugs, ‘Salvation’, which colorful and curious video was cut by Oliver Dahan. The song was rotated on the radio, and it got to the Top-20 of the British chart of singles.

At last, on April, 29th the album itself was released, and the crititists went crazy: some of them loved it, some of them just hated it, and there were no neutral critiques. Unfortunately, there was more of the shattering ones, the crititists were against of just about everything: the texts that were claimed to be odious, the music, and Dolores herself. One of the magazines even started a new rubric to make fun of the texts of the new songs in it. The mocking was aimed basely at ‘I Just Shot John Lennon’ (for stupidity), ‘Bosnia’ and ‘War Child’ (for pessimism). Nonetheless, TTFD got to the 4th place in the British chart of album and the 13th in the USA chart of albums for six weeks.

At the end of April, the grand ‘Free To Decide’ Tour starts on the Philippines, but in some time, in Australia, the first trouble begins. Dolores has her knee aching again, and the doctors highly recommend her to stop the touring. Ultimately, to the end of the year Dolores and the guys are so exhausted with the neverending fights and conflicts within the group, the unsuccessful performances, the broken touring timetables and the press’s objections that they decide to break up with any kinds of music business and to actually break the group. Dolores gets herself alcohol-connected trouble (according to her, that was the time when cigarettes were food and wine was water), she dramatically loses weight (the press quickly reacts with messages about Dolores being ill with anorexia) and gets fully disappointed in life.

Dolores (years passed): “I thought: God, if it was just the anorexia! There were lots of illnesses, I wasn’t capable of sleeping, thinking, laughing. I went cuckoo because of such life.”

Dolores: “I woke up talking to someone else, but there was noone there. I was giving the interview while sleeping. My husband said: ‘Dolores, you should treat it like a job and forget about it as the day ends.’ But I can’t do like this.”

The band isn’t ready to visit all the cities planned, so the big tour gets cancelled, and the Cranberries bring their apologies to the fans.

It’s also worth saying that on July, 8 of 1996 Noel married his old girlfriend Catherine Nash of Ireland, and in some time he opened his own restaurant “Portlys” in the native Limerick.

The songs ‘Free To Decide’ and ‘When You’re Gone’ are released as singles, and are moderately selling out in Europe. In the USA the songs are united in one single, “Free To Decide – When You’re Gone” that totally falls down in the charts.

A little later the song ‘Hollywood’ is released as single only in France (the Cranberries themselves hadn’t known about it for quite long time).

The troubles follow the band one by one, and the Cranberries decide to break up. “It was the best thing we ever did,” – remembers Dolores.

Noel: “It was reasonable. We told ourselves that if we finish the whole tour without taking a break, we would probably break up after closing it. To those times, we had been travelling all over the world for almost 7 years.”

Dolores: “It’s like an old cliche. A kid wants to become a rock star, they get famous, rich, they can fulfill their wildest dreams. So what does this famous rock star do after it goes? They tear their asses to their audience speaking about their new life, the pressure from aside, the tension… That’s just what we did. And naturally, we were criticized for it, so we probably deserved it all, but at least we were honest about what we felt those days.”

Noel: “We had no life. The band was our life. We lived to play in the band. And there was really no other opportunities to live for us those times. No matter what you do, you need rest sometimes. We simply didn’t want this tour from the very beginning.”

Dolores: “Every step we did was in the press’s sight, for all these 6 or 7 years we lived in hotels, moving from one to another, in other words, the life passed us by. When we started the recording of the TTFD, I was beginning to feel horribly depressed, sometimes I was thinking: “Hmmm… What if I kill myself?”. I was under a big pressure, I was desperate about thoughts of death: “It will happen sometime, after all…”.”

Mike: “It was unfair with the fans. We didn’t even try, we were just angrily sitting in our costume rooms.”

Fergal: “We made a mistake, it wasn’t right to start the tour right after the album released. When you look at the shift of the tour concerts, it all seems great to you. But, as some months of the touring pass, it doesn’t look like fun at all. We all were incredibly tired and depressed back then. So, once, we decided to sit and have a talk on this topic, and everyone said: “Yeah, I also feel same hurt in soul”. I didn’t want to tell them about it before this conversation, ’cause I was afraid it was only me who was so sick of all that, I was scared of not being understood. But, the cancelling of the whole tour was a hard act for us, as there was big money bet on us. The promoters wished to know why The Cranberries didn’t want to do what they had to on their side of the contract.”

Nevertheless, up to the end of 1996 the band still shows on MTV’s ‘Video Music Awards’, where they perform ‘Salvation’ (the video was nominated as the best directing).

At the end of the year, having her five month long rest on the Carribean finished, Dolores gets a sending with the advertisement clip to the upcoming film ‘The Devil’s Own’ (a film with Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford about the Irish terrorists). Dolores gets so impressed with the short story that writes her first solo song about her motheland – ‘God Be With You’…

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dolores and Fergal talk on the album ‘To The Faithful Departed’

Dolores (sending on the booklet): “To you people: Well, here we are with our third sacrifice. This music has come to the other direction, and I consider myself happy now, because I’ve found this new way. Love is the most important thing in this world. Love is everywhere where we open up and forgive. Thank you for your support and understanding.”

Dolores (sending on the booklet): “This album is dedicated to all those who has left us. Nobody knows exactly where these people are now, but I know we should better believe that they are in the best of the worlds. I am sure that humanity is not able to acquire the full harmony of mind in this direction, as there is too much suffering and pain, especially for kids. The suffering of the little kids… Come to me, for the Heaven’s land, the faithful departed and those who has left us. There is the light that can never die.”

Dolores (in three years after the album release): “I reckon the album came to be really beautiful and I doubt we were able to make anything better that time.”

Fergal: “I listen to the ‘To The Faithful Departed’ twice. It reminds me of those horrible times, but it is an outstanding recording that has marvellous songs. It caught the moment, the side of our life that we really wouldn’t want to return. But it all is kept there, in the recordings.”

Dolores: “We sold 6 million copies of the first album, then almost twice as more of copies of the second one. That’s why when we came to studio to record the third album, we didn’t much care about how many copies we could get sold out this time. The creation of the new album means the new tour. That’s what we did.”

Dolores: “For the recent years, many people who were dear to me have died. The album is dedicated to them, but it also speaks about the loss of naivete when you grow up and about the leaving of those who had taught you how to love.”

Dolores: “The third album reflects all the feelings that the band had come through. It is the most negative and depressive album. We realized we needed a break, but we were afraid that if we would stop all the fans would turn their backs on us, and we’d become history.”

Dolores: “You know, it’s a beautiful album, I don’t think we could make something better then. Every step we did was in the press’s sight, for all these 6 or 7 years we lived in hotels, we had no life. You keep changing gradually, you fall in depression and you make an album like To The Faithful Departed that contained the words: “Is it really true that I could save the world?”. I was beginning to feel horribly depressed, sometimes I was thinking: “Hmmm… What if I kill myself?”. I was under a big pressure, I was desperate about thoughts of death: “It will happen sometime, after all…”.”

Dolores: “As we were making ‘To The Faithful Departed’, it became obvious that we went to the edge, the joy had left the band. There was no happiness in our lives, absolutely.”

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Some information on the design of the album’s cover

Told by Adrian Green, the designer of the album: “There were two decisions to precede the choice for the album’s cover. There mustn’t have been that damn coach and the ten-miled roads over the hills and valleys. The cover without hardworking doesn’t make me as pleased as with the comforting photo-session in studio, so I was improvising. Jervis expressed disgust to Jacko at the Brith, so I went to the Lake District in a heavy snowfall to get to the Greasydale Forest covered with a thick white blanket. We set a mobile folding yellow room and spent the rest of the day with Andy Earl waiting for the band to arrive. The guys were no idiots so as they glanced out of their bedrooms’ windows in Ireland, they decided not to shiver in the forest of the English wilderness. Fearless, we drank all the alcohol that was supposed to be the band’s, and carried on photoing the room with the daylight and when the night fell. Then the room was constructed in the London studio where the band came to, dressed in Dolce & Gabbana’s purple suits. We photoed them in the warm and well-lit studio. Then the two pictures were combined with the ‘Paintbox’ program (that was modern at those times). Then we photoed a kid in the street in Andy’s studio. The baby was supposed to be shown on the front cover. As soon as I delivered the photos to New York, to the “Island” office, Messra Hug and Cry greeted the tiny genitals on the photo of the proud child. I flew back to Britain to make some more versions that were going to be a little more acceptable with censorship, but the band, scared of the World War Three and the low sales in the prudish America that were supposed to follow the show of this extraordinary cover, agreed to replace the child with the photo of the band itself in time, continuing the tradition from the first and second albums that way. Ultimately, now the album was able to be sold to any kitchen wife in the Universe. The folding yellow room was then caught swimming along the pacific English lake, and then it was burnt down in the night. The Cranberries had sold a lot more disks than any other band I’d ever worked with. They were easy-going and really brave.”

The photographer was Andy Earl again, the band’s old friend.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The hidden meaning of some “TTFD” songs

Hollywood
• The fourth single of the album that was only released in France (the band itself hadn’t even suspected anything about it for a long while). There was no video for it.
• Noel: “‘Hollywood’ is a song about fantasies. You have all these dreams and all these posters in your bedroom, but at the end of the day it’s down to you, your life, and how good you make it.”
• Dolores: “The grass is always on the other side, but when you get there you want to go back to where you came from….maybe”
• Fergal: “I suppose when you’re 17 or 18 imagine being in a band and what’d be like being really successful and all that, but in ‘96 it had been six years of non-stop touring, and then our time off was spent recording or writing and then you’re back out on the road again promoting it. We had no break or holiday really, just a couple of weeks here and there in the whole six years. I think we were all disillusioned by the whole thing because it wasn’t what we expected it to be and we weren’t very happy. That’s kind of where that song is coming from, the whole idea of Hollywood being this myth.”
• In one of the interviews Dolores said that the ‘Hollywood’ song is about undestanding that fame and popularity aren’t the most important things in life. In her childhood she has a lot of posters with celebrities in her room, and she often imagined herself to be them.
• The line “the greatest irony of all, shoot the wall, it’s not so glamorous at all” is connected to Elvis Presly (Dolores and her family liked the Rock-n’-Roll King). In the middle of the 70s, when Elvis’s career was going down and his albums didn’t sell out, and he himself was directed to therapy, he used to shoot the walls of his house of anger and despair. Once he even shoot the TV that was showing an unpleasant reporting about him.
• On the multimedia disc ‘Doors And Windows’ (1995) Dolores was asked about how high did she want to get on the mountain of fame. Dolores answered that “it would be cool to be like Elvis”. It seems that after the recording of NNTA and TTFD Dolores changed her mind about it…
• The original name of the song is “Not Hollywood”.

Salvation
• The first single of the album.
• Dolores: “The first single, ‘Salvation,’ is kind of a satire. It’s about the whole drug thing. Drugs are lovely. You get out of your head and all of that stuff, but then where do you draw the line? And it’s [about] the parents who want to tie their kids up to keep them in. It’s a joking, light-hearted song about a really serious topic.”
• Fergal: “(It was an anti-drug song) when Ecstasy was talking over the world. Some people picked it up wrong as a preachy thing: ‘Don’t soit, don’t do it’, like ‘Who’s she to tell me don’t do it’, and I wasn’t like that, she was kinda talking to herself really. ‘Cos we’d been on tour with lots of different bands and you see different things and hear the stories of people fucking themselves up. It’s something we’ve always been wary of and kept an eye on, and we just kind of steer away from that, ‘cos it’s the old chiche of you and up in Betty Ford at the end of it – What’s the point?” Just say no to drugs!
• The video cut by Olived Dahan was nominated at the MTV’s Video Music Awards for “The best direction”.
• A song about the harm of drugs.
• Mickey is the name of the clown from the song’s video.
• The original name of the song is ‘Salvation Song’.

When You’re Gone

• The third single of the album.
• Dolores: “‘When You’re Gone’ is a really nice love song about missing someone and maybe not appreciating them fully until they’ve left.”
• Fergal: “Before we recorded it we thought of that timeless thing again, like the almost Spector vibe of ‘Linger’. I remember recording the finger snaps – cheesy as they are, they had to do it. I love that song, still love playing it live, especially when you’re on tour, it just says it all.”

Free To Decide
• The second single of the album.
• In the video, there is a heart embroided on the “sandy” dress of Dolores (in a couple of years Dolores would get a tattoo on the arm that would have the same shape). You can also notice the words “Safe Sex Forever” on the dress. :) ))
• Dolores: “I wrote the song ‘Free to Decide’ when I came to a major decision that I would not let what had happened to me get my life out of control, that I would keep my feet on the ground, that I wouldn’t turn into a junkie and kill myself. [When] you start to see things like the sea and plants, you come down to earth again and realize it’s a beautiful world we live in. And then you have to go back on the road, and it’s like, S**t, I was just getting into being a normal person and smelling flowers and all that crap. And now I have to go back on tour and be a superstar.”
• Fergal: “That was basically just because we were starting to get a bit of a backlash in the press, not all of it obviously, but you read the reviews and stuff and you start taking them personally. That’s a song saying ‘Fuck you’ to the begrudgers, I’m entitled to my opinion, and if you don’t like it, fine, don’t listen to it, but don’t make a personal attack on me just ‘cos you don’t like what I’m saying.”
• In the song Dolores mentions the war in Russia, meaning the events of Chechnya back in 1995.

War Child
• The song was originally written for the charity organisation ‘War Child’. But as the charity hadn’t been created in the end, the song found its way to the album.
• Dolores: “I love children and I received a letter from Brian Eno who asked me to design something for the ‘War Child’ Fashion Show which he was involved in. Due to my schedule at the time, that didn’t happen, but I was moved by Bosnia and that morning, in my hotel room, I wrote the song in about 10 minutes. Children suffer most of all, whether it’s Bosnia or the bogside. It’s sick — they’re so vulnerable.”

Forever Yellow Skies
• Dolores probably meant the yellow color of the skies at dawn. In one of the interviews, she said that journalists used to come to her right as the sun was rising, they were knocking at her door, peeping through her windows and shouting: “We’ve come for the interview!”
• At the other hand, the name of the song could be a link to one of Dolores’s favorite poems.
• The original name of the song is ‘Yellow Skies’.

The Rebels
• A song about the childhood, the young years that can’t come back now.

Intermission
• You can hear the fragments of the phone talk between Dolores and probably Noel in this short instrumental composition.
• Possibly, the original name of the recording was ‘Interlude’.

I Jost Shot John Lennon
• Dolores: “I was reading a book about John Lennon’s life. I could relate to the fact that when you’re a famous person everybody wants to tell you what you should do and who you should be with. Everybody judges you all of the time. I always thought that people judged his relationship with Yoko a little too much, that obviously the man was in love with the woman, and [people] should have left him alone.”
• Fergal: “For the gunshots at the end of ‘I Just Shot John Lennon’ we tried to figure out how many times he got shot. I don’t think anyone found out so we just guessed at around five.”
• The original name of the song was ‘John Lennon Died’. The name of the song is abbreviated as I.J.S.J.L.

Electric Blue
• Dolores: “In the song I’m kind of thinking that maybe Somebody sent my husband to protect me.”
• The beginning of the song has striking resemblance with the end of ‘Daffodil Lament’.

I’m Still Remembering
• The song about how Dolores’s life changed after she got married. In it, she remembers the heroes of the years past (John Kennedy, Kurt Kobein).

Will You Remember
• Dolores’s memories about the day she got married to Don Burton.

Joe
• This touching and personal song is dedicated to Dolores’s grandpa who died in 1991, they were very close.

Bosnia
• The song about the war events going on in Bosnia, the death of kids.

Cordell
• An elegy dedicated to Dolores’s friend, Denny Cordell, who helped the band sign the contract with ‘Island Records’ in 1991. Cordell died in the summer of 1994.

The Picture I View
• The song addressing to those of relatives and friends of Dolores who were against her marriage.

God Be With You
At the end of the year, having her five month long rest on the Carribean finished, Dolores gets a sending with the advertisement clip to the upcoming film ‘The Devil’s Own’ (a film with Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford about the Irish terrorists). Dolores got so impressed with the short story that she wrote her first solo song about her motheland – ‘God Be With You’.
• The song was produced by Dolores herself with help of Bruce Fairbairn.

Yesterday’s Gone
• This song is not included in the album, but it can definitely be related with the depressive ‘To The Faithful Departed’ period.
• The song was only performed once, on the acoustic ‘MTV Unplugged’ concert in February of 1995.
• The song has some odd and mysterious words. Dolores addresses to some man who has left the pregnant girl…
• In the ‘So Cold In Ireland’ song where Dolores sings “we were to have a child”, there is also the line “yesterday’s gone”.

False
• This song wasn’t included in the album as well, but it surely was in Bruce Fairbairn’s list of songs. There are only acoustic and live versions of ‘False’.

This stuff was translated from Russian Version of our Site by Michiru.



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2.02.2010 |
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