The Cranberries announce 25th anniversary box set of the debut album ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We?’
Last year, the 4 members of the Cranberries – Dolores O’Riordan, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler – came together to plan a 25th Anniversary Box Set release of their debut album, and one of the definitive indie albums of all time, ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?’ Following her untimely death in January this year, the remaining band members have decided to go ahead with the 25th Anniversary Box Set, which is released on 19th October on UMC. Originally released on 12th March 1993, the album hit the No.1 spot in both the UK and Ireland and sold over 6 million copies worldwide. At the time Dolores remarked that the universal appeal of the Cranberries’ songs was based on her: “Own life and experiences as a human being, how human beings treat each other.”
In 2016 The Cranberries were given a Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) Award for three million radio plays of their debut Island Records single ‘Dreams’.
At the time of writing ‘Dreams’ has been viewed a staggering 115,380,098 times on YouTube.
Rewind to the summer of 1985, when a lifelong friendship was blossoming between three boys – Fergal (14), Noel (13) and his younger brother Mike (12) – over a shared interest in breakdancing. Fergal would travel the short distance from Parteen, County Clare to Moyross, Limerick where Noel and Mike lived so they could practice their dance moves. Their enthusiasm for the dance movement gradually faded and after a while they began to listen to mainstream electro-pop artists like Nik Kershaw and Michael Jackson, and like many other teenagers before them, began to pay more attention to what was being played on the radio.
Noel recalls that it was hearing the Cure’s Staring At The Sea singles compilation that changed everything in his musical world. He shared his new found passion for the Cure with Mike and Fergal and this led them to discover other bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Clash, New Order and Joy Division. Looking back on this musical journey, Noel stresses that: “All these roads led to The Smiths, who became very big in our lives later on.”
In August 1989 the fledgling group met Niall Quinn, who became their singer. They called themselves The Cranberry Saw Us. By March 1990, Niall had decided to leave the band to focus on his other band the Hitchers and his parting was entirely amicable. He played a pivotal role in introducing Dolores to the band and arranged an audition, which took place in Xeric Studios, an old industrial space in the middle of Limerick. Noel, Mike and Fergal were present with some of their friends when Dolores arrived. She carried a Casio keyboard under her arm and in stark contrast to the prevailing goth look (Doc Martens, black clothes, wild hair) which predominated in the small room, she wore a shiny pink tracksuit and had wet-look cropped hair. Dolores recalled their first meeting: “I went upstairs and there were about fourteen adolescent boys in the room. The hormones were just rampant in there, the tension was deadly. I said: ‘Before anything happens can anyone who is not in the band please leave the room’.” Noel describes Dolores as “being as quiet as a mouse” that evening. Mike remembers: “She was introverted back then . . . but she still got up and had the guts to do it.” Everyone in the room was taken by her voice: “We were immediately blown away,” said Mike. “Her voice was something special.” Dolores recalls: “I really liked what I heard: I thought they were nice and tight. It was a lovely potential band but they needed a singer – and direction.” One of the instrumentals played by the Cranberry Saw Us that evening would soon become ‘Linger’, a relatively simple song that within two years would catapult the band to global stardom.
As the band’s wordsmith Dolores was the source of all of the band’s album titles. ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?’ stemmed from her dogged determination to succeed. “Elvis wasn’t always Elvis,” she said. “He wasn’t born Elvis Presley, he was a person who was born in a random place, he didn’t particularly have a lot but he became Elvis. And Michael Jackson was born somewhere and he became Michael Jackson and so on and so forth. And I thought we were just born in a random place so why can’t we be that successful as well? And I believed we could but the majority of people were saying, ‘You’re absolutely nuts, you’re not going to make it, you can’t make any money out of it, you should do cover versions!’.” A simple but clever title, it answers its own question by implying why not? Why shouldn’t a band from a small city in the southwest of Ireland get signed, conquer the world and make a great record?
Indeed. By Christmas 1993, the band had toured extensively throughout Europe and the US and their return to Ireland was a triumphant affair. Their debut album had now clocked sales of over 800,000 copies in the United States and ‘Linger’ had reached number 8 in the Billboard Charts. It went on to achieve platinum sales status in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. It became a number one album in Ireland and the UK and peaked at eighteen in the US Billboard Charts.
The continued popularity of ‘Everybody Else…’ and its phenomenal success should not only be judged in terms of its total sales – 6 million copies worldwide, with 5 million sales in the US alone.
The 4 CD anniversary box set variant of ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We? will be released on the 19th October via UMC; Advance orders are available via Amazon The Cranberries
Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan died on the 15th January 2018, at the age of 46, while in London for a recording session, O’Riordan died suddenly at the London Hilton on Park Lane hotel in Mayfair. The cause of death was not immediately made public; Police said it was not being treated as suspicious. HM coroner’s Office said the results of its inquiry would not be released until 3rd April at the earliest, on that date the inquest was unexpectedly cancelled,and was rescheduled for 6 September; to date the results have not been made public.