Ode to Dolores: The Cranberries' best moments in pop culture

Ode to Dolores: The Cranberries' best moments in pop culture


Site: Yeong Sassall

We pay tribute to the untimely death of The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan by taking a look at her legacy

This morning it was announced on Twitter and Facebook that Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries had "died suddenly in London". At just 46 years old, the Irish singer's passing is both shocking an untimely, especially for the generation of '90s kids and teens who grew up listening to the band. And while any musician's untimely death is a tragedy for the community, it's especially tragic when the lead singer of an iconic band passes. No disrespect to the remaining members of the group, but as the frontwoman of the Irish band formed in 1989, it must be said that O'Riordan's unmistakable and remarkable voice was The Cranberries.


And as tributes pour in and people no doubt turn to Spotify, YouTube and the iTunes playlists to reminisce, it's amazing how much The Cranberries also summed up the '90s. Present in so many iconic film soundtracks and movie trailers, a listen to their best-known songs is akin to a trip back to the era of ripped-jeans, flannel shirts and weird hats. For those of you who were born post-'Zombie' and all the other singles, consider this your definitive lesson in The Cranberries.

1. 'Dreams' (1993)
Taken from their debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? it's amazing how well this song (and O'Riordan's signature Irish lilt) has permeated modern pop culture. The song was literally everywhere in the '90s - from the Drew Barrymore/Whoopi Goldberg/Mary-Louise Parker road buddy flick Boys on the Side to Beverley Hills 90210 (Steve and Clare's first kiss!), heck, even You've Got Mail. More recently, Aussie band Cloud Control covered it on Triple J's Like a Version - with debatable results. 


2. 'Zombie' (1994)
Personally, this was my first intro to The Cranberries (it reached number one on the ARIA charts, so of course it was everywhere) and as a kid in primary school, I obviously didn't get the IRA/political undertones of the song, but I do vividly recall Dolores' fetching gold body paint in the video. Angier and grittier than the band's usual fare, it's been covered (often badly) by many aspiring musos since. 


3. 'Liar' (1993)
A movie aimed at cynical Gen Xers that flopped in cinemas, but later caught the attention of '80s-born Gen Y (aka older millennials), the soundtrack to Empire Records is mid-'90s nostalgic af. Of course, The Cranberries featured on the OST. Their song 'How' also featured in the film.


4. 'Linger' (1993)
A song written about O'Riordan's first kiss, you can imagine how many TV shows and cheesy TV movies this ditty appears in, as the backdrop of a tender smooch or overwrought break up scene. Naturally, the song has been covered by everyone from Kelly Clarkson to the characters from Community, but it's oddest incarnations include the forgettable Adam Sandler movie Click and, even more oddly, a 2015 episiode of The Bachelorette US. Hmmm. 


5. 'Away' (1994)
Tell us, what could be more teen and '90s pop culture than Clueless? And in this pivotal mixed-messages car scene, The Cranberries' 'Away' is mauled by the character Elton as he's trying to (unsuccessfully) crack onto Cher. 

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