in your head, they're still fighting
January 15, 2018 9:33 AM   Subscribe

 
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posted by Fizz at 9:35 AM on January 15


Holy fuck. :(
posted by frimble at 9:39 AM on January 15


WTF???

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posted by dirigibleman at 9:40 AM on January 15


;_;

Linger
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:40 AM on January 15 [11 favorites]


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posted by acb at 9:41 AM on January 15


Oh no. :(
posted by ambrosen at 9:41 AM on January 15


WTF. So young!!
posted by floweredfish at 9:42 AM on January 15


One of my favorites by the Cranberries didn't get a lot of airplay, but it's a good I'm mad and things are crappy song: Liar.
posted by Alison at 9:44 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


God, no.

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posted by Zonker at 9:46 AM on January 15


46 years old, God. Listening to the most popular tracks I keep thinking I don't recognise the names of songs, then I end up knowing every word. She was omnipresent at her peak.
posted by rollick at 9:46 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


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posted by caliche at 9:48 AM on January 15


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posted by Faint of Butt at 9:48 AM on January 15


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posted by foodbedgospel at 9:48 AM on January 15


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posted by foleypt at 9:49 AM on January 15


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posted by cazoo at 9:49 AM on January 15


Dammit. They were a terribly underrated band, and she was a strong singer.

Aaaand I've reached the age where people younger than me who actually accomplished stuff and had full, meaningful careers are starting to die off.

Shit.
posted by chicobangs at 9:49 AM on January 15 [30 favorites]


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posted by drezdn at 9:49 AM on January 15


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posted by Kybard at 9:50 AM on January 15


Wow. That really hits me. Not just for her music, but she's so young.
posted by hydra77 at 9:51 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


How terribly sad.
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posted by Cash4Lead at 9:55 AM on January 15


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posted by lalochezia at 9:56 AM on January 15


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posted by dogstoevski at 9:56 AM on January 15


Holy shit.
That's really a shame.
posted by chococat at 9:57 AM on January 15


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posted by Zedcaster at 9:58 AM on January 15


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posted by cass at 9:59 AM on January 15


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posted by ovenmitt at 10:00 AM on January 15


I met them on tour in 93. Dolores was really funny and kind and it was a neat conversation that I could only understand half of because of her accent.

Crazy that she is my age - she seemed so much older and wiser than me at the time.

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posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:00 AM on January 15 [13 favorites]



posted by Gelatin at 10:00 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Thanks, hwyengr, I needed that.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:00 AM on January 15


i'm stunned

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posted by entropicamericana at 10:01 AM on January 15


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posted by functionequalsform at 10:04 AM on January 15


what

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(Ode To My Family is probably the one to listen to right now)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:05 AM on January 15 [16 favorites]


Weird that I watched the NPR tiny desk concert just last night.
posted by Zedcaster at 10:05 AM on January 15


:(

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posted by Foosnark at 10:05 AM on January 15


Well shit. They were one of the better bands of that era/genre, and her voice was instantly recognizable. So damn young.

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Dreams

posted by MexicanYenta at 10:06 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


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Count me in as being sad about how young she was and how close I am to her age.
posted by Kitteh at 10:06 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


The Cranberries was the first band I ever really cared about. What a loss. Dolores was a true artist.

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posted by potrzebie at 10:10 AM on January 15


Man, that first album was just magic, and one of those albums which seemed to be everywhere back then. We all seemed to be in love with the band, and in awe of her. Thanks, Dolores. Those were good times.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:12 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


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posted by Navelgazer at 10:13 AM on January 15


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The Cranberries absolutely dominated my headphones for a solid few months in high school, one of the few bands to do so. I was a stupid teenager, so I didn't understand any of the broader context behind the lyrics, but Dolores' voice in particular, and the obvious raw emotion behind it helped me centre myself when I was trying to sort through some shit. I'll forever be indebted.

This one hurts.
posted by Imperfect at 10:16 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


She had her struggles but it seemed like she was healing. This is a real shame.

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posted by disclaimer at 10:20 AM on January 15


I listened to the shit out of that first album on a kayaking road trip just after graduating from college. I had been dismissive because I was a big old punk back then, and they were pop, but I grew to love it so hard. I haven't listened to them for years, but that isn't because they weren't great, because they were. For me the band was all her. RIP
posted by OmieWise at 10:20 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


This appears to be the Belfast Telegraph interview mentioned but not linked in the Telegraph article.

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posted by rhizome at 10:23 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]




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posted by fido~depravo at 10:27 AM on January 15


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posted by nothing.especially.clever at 10:34 AM on January 15


Those first two albums were and still are magical. I've never stopped listening to them, and I doubt I ever will.
posted by Palindromedary at 10:34 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


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posted by Pendragon at 10:34 AM on January 15


Too goddamned young.
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posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 10:36 AM on January 15


Oh man, The Cranberries were a major soundtrack of my high school years. She had a fantastic voice. So sad.

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posted by TwoStride at 10:36 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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posted by i_have_a_computer at 10:36 AM on January 15


Dammit.

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posted by Thorzdad at 10:40 AM on January 15


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posted by ckape at 10:40 AM on January 15


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posted by mmascolino at 10:40 AM on January 15


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posted by endotoxin at 10:41 AM on January 15


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posted by get off of my cloud at 10:41 AM on January 15


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posted by the sobsister at 10:45 AM on January 15


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posted by Songdog at 10:48 AM on January 15




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posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:48 AM on January 15


Crazy that she is my age - she seemed so much older and wiser than me at the time.

Same here. It never occurred to me at the time that she was close to me in age, probably because I was trudging through school, and she was out in the world in a big, big way. Looking back, she would have been pretty young to be going through that kind of exposure, pretty young to have that worldiness.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:49 AM on January 15 [6 favorites]


This is such an incredible bummer I'm going to distract myself with one of the all-time classic web videos (which I thought had a Cranberries soundtrack but watching it again it's the Faye Wong cover of Dreams).
posted by edeezy at 10:51 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Oh no.

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posted by harujion at 10:53 AM on January 15


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What a shame.
posted by valkane at 11:00 AM on January 15


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I loved them so much, largely because of her. This is terribly sad, and my heart goes out to her loved ones.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:07 AM on January 15


Another wonderful voice gone too soon

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posted by TedW at 11:12 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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posted by tonycpsu at 11:12 AM on January 15


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posted by candyland at 11:22 AM on January 15


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posted by jet_pack_in_a_can at 11:25 AM on January 15


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posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:29 AM on January 15


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Oh no. This is terribly sad.
posted by daybeforetheday at 11:33 AM on January 15


So sad. I saw her do a small showcase gig for her solo album in 2007 at a very difficult time in my own life and she really lifted my spirits. A unique voice and such an original songwriter.
posted by w0mbat at 11:34 AM on January 15


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I was never "into" the Cranberries, but somehow their music still seems like the soundtrack of my life in the 90s. This is just terribly sad.
posted by missmerrymack at 11:35 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


How incredibly unfair, that she departed so young.
posted by MissySedai at 11:36 AM on January 15


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*flies model plane through Hong Kong apartment while secretly cleaning it*
posted by the duck by the oboe at 11:37 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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posted by zakur at 11:38 AM on January 15


I loved the Cranberries and admit I lost touch with their music after the lovely "Ode to my Family." Not that I'd lost interest in their music just that the band fell off my radar. She was an outstanding songwriter and had a remarkable, powerful voice. She was way, way too young.

Also - and this is not intended as disrespectful - she had an unusual impact on my life. Every time I wash my clothes, I sing "What's in your basket? In your ba-a-a-sket? Laundry Laundry Laundry-y-y-y- oh oh oh etc." So even though I've not listened to their new music in year, I've sung out loud the melody to one of her songs weekly since 1994. That's a pretty fine melody right there.

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posted by Joey Michaels at 11:38 AM on January 15 [33 favorites]


Jesus. I'm really struggling with this.
posted by mountainherder at 11:39 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


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posted by OHenryPacey at 11:41 AM on January 15


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posted by capricorn at 11:42 AM on January 15


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posted by DingoMutt at 11:44 AM on January 15


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posted by Jimbob at 11:46 AM on January 15


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posted by bjgeiger at 11:49 AM on January 15


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I too used to listen to The Cranberries all the time in the 90s. Tonight I'm going to do the same.
posted by Harald74 at 11:57 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


What a kick in the gut. One of the most interesting bands to come out of the 90s, always evolving, never staying pat. Dolores O'Riordan's voice was perfect for their style of music, not just a singer but an amazing vocalist. Of all their albums, I think Bury the Hatchet (their 4th from 99) is their best, not one weak track. Other than Nirvana and the Pumpkins, easily my favorite band from that era. Unbelievable. RIP.

PS, watch some of their live performances on You Tube. O'Riordan's stage presence was incredible.
posted by Beholder at 12:09 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


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posted by Purposeful Grimace at 12:18 PM on January 15


Ugh, this one hurts... The Cranberries were one of the first bands I became obsessed with. I'd heard Dreams on a late night 'new alternative rock' radio show and counted down the days until the album release here in the states and then listened to it non-stop for months and months. Two small anecdotes:

1- That summer, I worked at a Subway in Missouri. Late one evening, they stopped in to get some sandwiches. I was too awestruck to do anything but make their sandwiches and be embarrassed that I was blasting their album on the shop boombox.

2- In 1997, late one night, I went into a pool hall where a friend / co-worker was on a date. I started chatting with his date. We discovered that we both had an obsession with The Cranberries. She mentioned having a concert video that I hadn't seen. She and I left together (sans my buddy) and went back to her apartment to watch said video. I moved in the next day and we just celebrated 20 years together a few month ago...
posted by Jacob G at 12:21 PM on January 15 [47 favorites]


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posted by Splunge at 12:22 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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posted by cashman at 12:26 PM on January 15


Well, f*ck. *I'm* 46.
posted by Snowflake at 12:28 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


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posted by dlugoczaj at 12:29 PM on January 15


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posted by mkim at 12:31 PM on January 15


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well fuck. First Gord, then Dolores. I'm sorry Raine Maida but OLP would complete the "let's kill of mce's mid 90s highschool/university obsessive playlist" trifecta.
posted by mce at 12:31 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Oh man. No Need to Argue was one of the first albums I bought myself when I was a tween. I just replayed some of the songs and I still know all the words almost 25 years later.

. Dolores, your voice will stay with me.
posted by lydhre at 12:37 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


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posted by but no cigar at 12:40 PM on January 15


I worked in a mall record store during high school and very clearly remember when their first album was released. I bought it because the cover art had an ethereal, 4AD-adjacent vibe, and I loved the black-and-white video for “Linger”. It became one of my late-night studying soundtracks, since it had a calming effect on me. The later albums didn’t work as well for me—they went their way and I went mine—but it was cool to think of them being out there, doing their thing.

I’m sorry, Delores. I hope you find peace.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:42 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Dolores O'Riordan's sudden passing is gutting to me because it reminded me of Broadcast's Trish Keenan's earlier this decade-both musicians had such an indelible presence on the bands they fronted, and became iconic in their own singular way.

I credit my uncle for getting me into the Cranberries--every summer I visited him in the Bay Area, he'd give me a stack of CDs from his extensive music collection-he didn't mind giving his music away as he always rebought things. I remember the day it happened-he was heading off to work one morning as I was half awake on his living room couch, and he placed a copy of EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT, SO WHY CAN'T WE? and NO NEED TO ARGUE on the table in the living room of his apartment. He told me to blast both records loud on his home stereo. I did, repeatedly, and immediately became enraptured by the gentle rage and beauty of O'Riordan's vocals.

Like many here on the blue, The Cranberries were a big part of my adolescence, but moreso, it was Dolores and everything she represented to me as part of that coveted 90s era in rock music that was fronted by so many incredibly amazing women with POWER, PRESENCE and VOICE- she became part of that glorified pantheon along with Tori, PJ, Björk, Alanis, and Fiona. She was one of those artists who I'd check in on every year, just to make sure she was OK.

Dammit, this one hurts.
posted by chicofly at 12:44 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


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posted by sudasana at 1:00 PM on January 15


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posted by Samizdata at 1:01 PM on January 15


Wow this is shocking! I love the Cranberries and Dolores’ voice was just spectacular. I also listed to the shit out of their albums in the 90s and to this day she remains one of my favorite vocalists. I didn’t think this would hit me so hard, I feel incredibly sad and am at my desk trying not to cry (although pregnancy hormones are probably making this worse right now). Dammit! 46 is not that much older than me and she was too young.
posted by FireFountain at 1:35 PM on January 15


WTTS was in the middle of A to Z and after some O songs, they played "Linger". This year, when they wrap up with "Ziggy Stardust", "Zombie", "Zombie Zoo", and "Zooropa", it will be a little more poignant. (I hope we don't lose anyone from U2 this year.)
posted by koavf at 1:36 PM on January 15


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posted by ninthart at 1:50 PM on January 15


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posted by Merus at 1:56 PM on January 15


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posted by rtha at 1:57 PM on January 15


Oh my gosh, no. This one gets to me on a really personal level too. Only about 4-5 months ago I was going through my dresser and saw a Cranberries '90s concert tour shirt, still in great condition (a gift from a friend -- I had been careful not to wear it too much), with the No Need to Argue album cover on the front. I took out the shirt from the drawer and it's been on display in my room since then. It's one of the first things I see when I get ready for the day. I literally was just looking at it minutes before I saw this thread, was stunned, and then had to go back to my room to look at it again.

The Cranberries (O'Riordan's role in the band) were such a huge influence on me in the '90s, during the most pivotal and difficult time of my life. I got their first album because of the pop hits (I learned to play/sing "Linger" by ear) and was also really impressed by many of the songs on the album that never got famous. It's the only time I've ever counted down the days and gone to a record store to buy an album (No Need to Argue) on the day of its release. That second album is the one that seemed to grab my heart when I needed it the most, and I played it over and over again.

Back then, she and the band were significant reasons for me deciding to start a (for-fun) band when I had no idea what I was doing (I had never been in a band or anything and was still learning how to play guitar). I would tape (on VHS) their performances/interviews on TV every chance I could.

I still listen to many of their songs now, and sometimes sing or play them on guitar, e.g. "Linger" or "Zombie" or "Ode to my Family" or "Daffodil Lament" every so often. Every time I sing one of their songs, I would usually think to myself "I'm sorry my singing is so bad, Dolores! I hope I'm doing the song some sort of justice"). I always smile when I hear them over the speakers in a store or in the soundtrack of a TV show or film.

Thinking about her death is making me emotional and I'm... distrusting my ability to be coherent so, I'll stop now.

A huge loss.

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posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 2:00 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Here’s a rural Thai festival band covering “Zombie” a couple of years ago, just to show (once more) how truly global their songs were. This one ... yeah, it hits hard. Can’t believe it.
posted by Sonny Jim at 2:10 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


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posted by carter at 2:11 PM on January 15


I remember sitting in a Russian police box on a cold dark winter's night waiting for my documents to be confirmed over the radio for about half an hour. Cop holding me realises I'm from Scotland, he conflates that with Ireland, and we end up talking about what a great band the Cranberries are and what the lyrics actually mean in Russian. Her music went places.

Too young.

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posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 2:47 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


Fuckin' 2018.
posted by WCityMike at 2:50 PM on January 15


Linger was on constant repeat on Atlantic 252, a LW station broadcasting from Ireland across the British Isles. I was dating an American grad student and Atlantic 252 was about the only thing that her radio could pick up.

We'll be married 20 years this year.

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posted by scruss at 3:03 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


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posted by defenestration at 3:30 PM on January 15


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posted by sarcas at 3:34 PM on January 15


❤️

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posted by annathea at 3:48 PM on January 15


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posted by condour75 at 4:06 PM on January 15


I never knew much of the Cranberries' work beyond their hits, but "Linger" has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.

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posted by good in a vacuum at 4:27 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Wow. What a shock. I loved them even after I got burned out on the hits. I remember catching part of an interview with her on NPR, I guess a few years ago now. She was talking about living in Canada and how her kids were having this crazy idyllic rural childhood and she sounded so strong and happy. This is heartbreaking. What a loss for music and oh, her poor kids.
posted by mygothlaundry at 4:48 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


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Just sad. Way too young.
posted by emmet at 4:50 PM on January 15


A unique voice that no one could copy. Instantly recognizable. Heartbreaking.
posted by Brocktoon at 5:03 PM on January 15


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posted by detachd at 5:33 PM on January 15


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posted by jabo at 5:41 PM on January 15


Far too young.

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posted by dbiedny at 6:03 PM on January 15


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posted by asra at 6:17 PM on January 15


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posted by wheek wheek wheek at 6:48 PM on January 15


I was talking to a co-worker about her passing this afternoon, and he said that he always confused her with Natalie Merchant. I tried as politely as I could to say "Um, no, how could you confuse the two? They sound NOTHING alike!" (Yeah, I know I can be a jerk about music sometimes.)

Godspeed Dolores. You deserved more time.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:53 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Some years back I got acquainted with someone who’d interviewed a LOT of big names in music, and when I asked him if anyone stood out in his mind, he said that Delores O’Riordan couldn’t have been more charming or sweet-natured.

Rest In Peace.
posted by tantrumthecat at 6:58 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


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posted by dhruva at 6:59 PM on January 15


One night in college some friends and I went to indulge in nostalgia by seeing Duran Duran (I think it was) in concert. I don’t really remember the headline band, because they were completely upstaged by this amazing opening band I’d never heard of, called The Cranberries.

I never followed them much beyond the radio hits when they exploded into popularity, but man, that was a show I’ll never forget.

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posted by bjrubble at 7:12 PM on January 15


No Need to Argue was the last cassette tape I bought before switching to CDs. It was also the only cassette I ever repurchased in CD format. I still listen to it sometimes, it always churns up all the happy memories and feelings of middle school (not much to work with there, but...) yet still feels new instead of old somehow.

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posted by gatorae at 7:18 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


shit shit shit

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posted by Chrysostom at 8:09 PM on January 15


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posted by EvaDestruction at 8:32 PM on January 15


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:38 PM on January 15


And don't forget Pat DiNizio passed away just one month ago. The Smithereens and The Cranberries were two of my five or six favorite bands from the 80s/90s. To lose both so close together is a huge blow to power pop. I can think of no other word than Irreplaceable.
posted by Beholder at 8:39 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


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posted by droplet at 9:34 PM on January 15


This is sad news.
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posted by spinifex23 at 9:59 PM on January 15


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posted by bryon at 10:30 PM on January 15


Oh man. So sad. I listened to The Cranberries a lot in the 1990s too--reminds me of happy times in my dorm with my roommates, singing along to "Linger" and "Zombie." I always thought she was much older than I, but now I realize it was only by a few years. Damn, she was young. The story on CBC today made it sound like she had some really hard struggles.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:40 PM on January 15


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posted by Wilder at 12:06 AM on January 16


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posted by Proofs and Refutations at 12:29 AM on January 16


an amazing vocalist

Somebody knowledgeable please tell: what is the name for that signature thing she does at the end of lines with a high note? It is sort of like she switches from in tune to just breathy, like she is constantly showing us her breaking point.

It is very distinctive and I love it. It makes me think that it is the broken stuff, showing the limits of ability, where greatness sometimes exists in art. She is amazing because she is "doing it wrong" in a very interesting and appealing way.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:23 AM on January 16


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posted by filtergik at 5:07 AM on January 16


Forty-six is unbearably young to go. Bracing for the departure of the elders of rock is one thing, but this...

The CD single of "Linger" was one of my first gifts to my (not yet) wife, in the year that we met, so it's still special to me. I loved their debut album, and their second. The third felt more abrasive, and at some point I let widespread critical disdain influence me to the point where I sold my copy and forgot about it. "I Just Shot John Lennon" was pretty rubbish, really. But "Free to Decide" was good, so why...?

The reviews for their fourth album were also disparaging, partly because the cover for it was so naff (but then none of their covers are particularly iconic). When countless copies flooded the CD discount stores, I figured—on the basis of no direct contact with the contents—that it couldn't have been very good, and soon I'd forgotten not just about To the Faithful Departed but the band altogether.

Now, inevitably, it all comes flooding back, and I remember the string of great singles from those early albums; and now I'll be listening to everything, their entire discography, as soon as I can. Having gone through a spell where I revisited my abandonment of Sinead O'Connor and discovered gems in her later work, I expect the same will happen with O'Riordan. Music critics and album covers have a lot to answer for, even if they bring pleasures of their own; encountering songs as files with tiny embedded images demolishes a lot of unhelpful preconceptions.
posted by rory at 5:43 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


It is very distinctive and I love it. It makes me think that it is the broken stuff, showing the limits of ability, where greatness sometimes exists in art. She is amazing because she is "doing it wrong" in a very interesting and appealing way.

Meatbomb her singing style is in keeping with a traditional Irish form:
Sean-nós song
posted by NervousVarun at 5:49 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


The New Yorker on O'Riordan.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:59 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]




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posted by blurker at 8:31 AM on January 16




Reading Rory’s comment reminds me a bit of why I lost track of the Cranberries. I loved the first album, but I couldn’t identify with the Catholic perspective of their lyrics. When I heard “The Icicle Melts”—a song that’s been interpreted as anti-abortion—I stopped the album and put it on the top of my to-sell pile. I grew up in a city with a big Catholic population, and I heard the anti-abortion/anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric every day; I didn’t need it in my leisure time as well. I found a lot of the material on their later albums (Zombie and Salvation in particular) to be unbearably preachy (and O’Riordan’s voice drove that point home).

As an adult, I’m still pro-choice and I still stand with the LGBTQIA community. At the same time, reading about O’Riordan’s demons (and knowing she grew up at the time of the Troubles) puts her lyrics in perspective. As much as I disagreed with her rhetoric, she was looking for peace, and the church was where she may have found it.

I’ve gone back and listened to the albums I missed, and even though the protest songs aren’t my favorites, I still find moments of beauty and heartbreak in those songs (and I’m blown away by her voice in a way I couldn’t have been in the mid-1990s). I hope she found peace in her life.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:44 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


If Everyone Else Is Doing It Why Can't We? and No Need to Argue were a large part of the soundtrack on my teenage years. I remember that Dreams was a new relationship song and Linger was a breakup song. (Those two I downloaded off of Napster, but I also owned the CDs for the albums.)

I kind of stopped finding new music much after high school, so I stopped following the Cranberries. But this just hurts. She had a voice that could just reach into your soul. I've known of so few musicians who could do that. Also, this is the first death of someone who was contemporary with and significant for my teenage years.

I'm still slightly reeling. This feels like the first pebble before a landslide, given how young she was (she was 9 years older than me).

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posted by Hactar at 12:05 PM on January 16


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posted by mayurasana at 1:59 PM on January 16


> Meatbomb her singing style is in keeping with a traditional Irish form:
Sean-nós song


From that:
Ó Canainn identifies most ornamentation as melismatic ornamentation. This is when a note is replaced or emphasised by a group of adjoining notes, unlike intervallic ornamentation, in which additional notes are used to fill up an interval between two notes.
posted by WCityMike at 9:21 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Not being Catholic myself, I'd never really paid attention to O'Riordan's Catholicism, though I expect it would loom large in the concerns of any Irish artist. She seems to have had issues with abortion which may well have stemmed from her upbringing, though on the basis of her 1995 comments I wouldn't cast her as an anti-abortion activist - "I'm in no position to judge other women, you know?" But I always thought "The Icicle Melts" was about James Bulger's abduction and murder, a huge news story in Britain in 1993: "I should not have read the paper today, cause a child, child he was taken away." The references to "the baby that died" could easily refer to a two-year-old, and "nine months is too long" could refer either to the nine months it took for the perpetrators to be convicted, or to the nine months Bulger's mother carried her baby only for him to be killed a few short years later. There may be some overlap there with the concerns that drove her to write "Zombie":

"I remember seeing one of the mothers on television, just devastated," she told Vox magazine in 1994. "I felt so sad for her, that she'd carried him for nine months, been through all the morning sickness, the whole thing and some… prick, some airhead who thought he was making a point, did that."

I started my Cranberries re-listen with the album that previously defeated me, To the Faithful Departed, and apart from "I Just Shot John Lennon" it was fine. That song is still annoyingly trite, though. O'Riordan is clearly trying to channel her lingering grief as a fan over Lennon's murder, but the lyrics just aren't up to the job. "It was a fearful night... John Lennon's life was no longer a debate... What a sad and sorry and sickening sight": it's all a bit William McGonagall. And why, oh why did they have to close it with sound-effects?

Credit to them, though, for being one of the few bands to comment directly in their songs on some of the big conflicts of the 1990s. There weren't many pop or rock songs about the war in Bosnia at the time. There were more about the Troubles, but "Zombie" looms large among them.

Now I'm onto Bury the Hatchet, and dammit, it's good, isn't it? Curse you, critics and/or misleading discount bins of 1999. Now I'm expecting good things of album number five, too, especially with Stephen Street on production.
posted by rory at 3:41 AM on January 17


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posted by hydropsyche at 4:06 AM on January 17


Remembering The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan by Craig Jenkins of The Vulture.
posted by rory at 4:30 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


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