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The Cranberries “Backwards Success” (1994)

Source: Magazine “BOP”, 1994
Translated from Spanish by Cranspektrum

With no luck back home in Ireland, The Cranberries headed for the U.S. of A. They hit! They headed home. They hit there. Now they’re a hit everywhere!

“Linger” is the first song the band ever wrote and the first hit they ever had, and it seems to describe the staying power of The Cranberries, who’ve lingered at the top of the charts ever since bursting onto the world stage in 1993.

And no one’s more surprised than the band, themselves!

“When it first started happening, it really took us by surprise”, guitarist Noel Hogan beams. “It gets a bit loud sometimes, but it’s far better than a crowd that just sits there and looks at you!”

Good or bad?

“At first, we weren’t too sure if we were good or bad”, the continues. “But when you see a crowd that’s really into you, you do get a bit more confidence”.

That “bit more confidence” is completely opposite to what the band displayed in their earliest shows. Notoriously shy and somewhat inhibited, they’d appear to be almost apologetic for occupying that space on the stage.

Noel, bassist Mike Hogan (his brother) and drummer Fergal Lawler often played their instruments with their heads down, making eye contact only with the floorboards. And lead singer Dolores O’Riordan was so sheepish onstage, she often sang standing sideways to avoid facing the audience head-on.

Man, are things different nowadays!

But you can hardly blame the quartet for their early wariness; they simply weren’t used to success!

In February of ’93, The Cranberries released their debut album, “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” – almost five months later than originally scheduled. The pre-publicity which had hit Ireland when the album was supposed to have hit had all but sputtered out by the time the album actually hit the streets, so that gamble backfired.

With nobody playing cuts on the radio and nobody buying the record, The Cranberries were a party that nobody came to.

Go to America!

What to do? Well, the light bulb popped over their heads – go to America, young band! So, later in ’93, they hit our shores armed with nothing more than the same album and some youthful high hopes.

Suddenly, they started getting some college-radio airplay, then commercial-radio airplay, and after a grueling five-month tour, the airplay got meatier.

Suddenly, MTV had taken the band to its big bosom, and we all know what that means… heavy rotation!

Eventually, the album would sell a swift two million copies!

A second chance

Feeling revitalized and vindicated, The Cranberries headed home to the Emerald Isle. “We went backwards”, Fergal laughs. “After we came back from the States, the news that it had been so popular here filtered back home, and people gave it a second chance”.

“We were really lucky, because most bands don’t get that chance”, he adds. “Radio stations started playing ‘Linger’ and ‘Dreams’. The album went to No. 1 in the U.K. and Ireland. It was a bit of a shock!”

Dolores, too, was similarly pleased. “I think I owe my confidence to America”, she smiles, “and to what the Americans did for my band!”

5 Millions Records!

What we Americans – and the rest of the world – also have done for The Cranberries is buy over five million copies of their second album, “No Need To Argue” And did we make The Cranberries happy? You’d better believe it!

Today, Dolores appears onstage with much more self-confidence, and the boys in the band actually make eye contact with their audience instead of their instruments.

And even though their success may have come backwards for them. The Cranberries are here now, and they’re here to stay.

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