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Posts Tagged ‘Dolores O’Riordan’

The Cranberries

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

a musical tribute to their music YouTube Preview Image

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan dies aged 46

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
The Cranberries vocalist was a very individual presence with a glorious talent

Even before she could talk, Dolores O’Riordan was singing. As a child she would regularly be propped up on a table at her Ballybricken, Co Limerick, home to sing for relatives. It was a uniquely affecting voice that developed into a lilting mezzo-soprano in her teenage years when she first started to write songs influenced by her early devotion to the music of Duran Duran and The Smiths.

A local band, then called The Cranberry Saw Us, were making small waves in Limerick city at the end of the 1980s. Word reached O’Riordan they were looking for a lead singer. Dressed in a shiny tracksuit and with a broken Casio keyboard under her arm, she cycled into the city to audition for them.

“Ok boys, show me what you got,” she said to the three male members of the band. Noel and Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawlor started bashing away on their instruments before O’Riordan played them a song she had just written about her first real kiss from a boy who then publicly dumped her at a local disco. It was called Linger. She got the job with the hastily renamed The Cranberries.

The beguiling mix of indie jingly-jangly guitar sounds fronted by a vocal line that soared and yelped as it bled raw, adolescent emotions was soon being listened to in record company offices in Ireland, Britain and beyond. While still teenagers, The Cranberries signed a deal with the Island Records label and recorded the debut album, Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

It was the start of a stellar career that would see The Cranberries become global sensations and sell close to 50 million records over the next 10 years. But success would bend and buckle O’Riordan.

Early years

Born Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan in 1971, she was the youngest of Terence and Eileen O’Riordan’s seven children and attended Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ school in Limerick. An alarmingly shy person – who spent many of her early live performances staring at her shoes, fearful of making eye contact with the audience – O’Riordan soon found herself as the frontperson of an ongoing global concern, striding across concert stages worldwide, the focus of attention for stadium-sized audiences.

O’Riordan was the first to admit she was unprepared for fame and ridiculously naive about how the music industry worked. She didn’t have a metropolitan background, would never have the right answers for music journalists and was annoyed to find herself a figure of curiosity in glossy magazine features. She was portrayed as if she still had straw from the farm back home in her hair, a rural ingenue lost amidst the bright lights of rock stardom.

Within a few years of doing her Leaving Certificate, she found herself on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, opening the front door to find Michael Stipe there with a present for her, singing for the pope, and duetting with Pavarotti.

Her songwriting gift was a potent ability to access her emotions and express them in chillingly lovelorn terms. What differentiated her work from her musical peers was a simplicity and a directness of approach. This wasn’t the detached, cool music heard elsewhere – O’Riordan’s biggest songs, such as Linger and Dreams, were the melodramatic emotions of her teenage diary set to music.