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      music Matthew Whitehouse 2 May 2017

      talking twenty five years of the cranberries with dolores o'riordan

      The Cranberries Dolores O'Riordan celebrates the release of new album Something Else, with a look back through her musical life.

      talking twenty five years of the cranberries with dolores o'riordan talking twenty five years of the cranberries with dolores o'riordan talking twenty five years of the cranberries with dolores o'riordan

      Irish rock band The Cranberries went from unknown teens in small town Limerick to one of the most successful bands of the 1990s. With hit singles Dreams, Zombie and Linger -- the very first song the group ever wrote -- they quickly became Ireland's biggest musical export since U2, weaving thrillingly restrained sounds that stood at odds to the typical pop fare dominating the charts at the time. They were, and still are in fact, properly massive, shifting over 40 million albums before the turn of the century and continuing to sell out shows all over the world (no more so than in Peru, where the band performed to 40,000 fans on their last tour). Twenty five years on from their formation, The Cranberries have regrouped to record an album's worth of orchestral renderings of their most famous songs and, to celebrate, we spoke to lead singer Dolores O'Riordan about the records that changed her life. From Love Me Tender to The Old Bog Road, press play below.

      The first song she remembers hearing…
      "I think it was probably an Elvis Presley song. My mother was really into Elvis. She used to play an awful lot, Love Me Tender and those kind of songs."

      The first record she ever bought…
      "It was actually a cassette because I had a tape recorder! It was a Smiths one. I'm not sure which but I was really into. I got into Morrissey and I got into The Cure when I was 16/17."

      The first song she ever wrote…
      "It was a song called Calling and it was on the piano, I remember. It was kind of like Puppy Love."

      The first song she ever wrote with the Cranberries…
      "It was Linger. I remember spending a lot of time in my bedroom as a teenager working on it. Every minute I had, I was down there working. At the time, I had no inhibitions so it was really easy to write. As you get older, you become more self conscious about what's coming out of your mouth, because of the fact that it's going to be analysed. Linger there was no analysing at all. I was just singing with a band in a rehearsal room. I never thought anybody would ever hear it at all."

      The song she's most proud of writing…
      "I think Linger is one of them. There's a timelessness to it. It doesn't really go out of fashion. Even when it came out, it was very different to what was being played at the time on MTV. And also, I think Dreams is a lovely pop song. It's got a lovely pop quality to it."

      The song that makes her happy…
      "There's a lot of really lovely songs that I like. Beatles songs like Yellow Submarine come to mind. And Shiny Happy People by REM. I find that in the last few years, I'm listening to music a little bit more, as opposed to playing and writing. Because I know it can actually effect your mood. Sometimes it's nice to just put on music in your room and get lost."

      The Irish song she loves the most…
      "There's lots of beautiful old Irish songs that I love, but I quite like The Old Bog Road. That's a lovely old one. Some of The Pogues songs too."

      The song she thinks she'll be remembered for…
      "I think Linger. Or Zombie. A lot of people love Zombie. Last week some Dutch artist did a techno cover. A lot of people like to cover it, I think, because it's got a catchy chorus. It's repetitive. And I suppose it's angry as well. You know, you can write happy songs and sad songs and then you can write angry songs as well. You get certain emotions out when you perform that song. You get the best of it."

      Something Else by The Cranberries is out now. 

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      Text Matthew Whitehouse

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      Topics:music, music interviews, dolores o'riordan, the cranberries

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