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Top 10 The Cranberries Songs

VO: RB WRITTEN BY: George Pacheco
Script by George Pacheco This Irish alt-rock band is the voice of a generation. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Songs by the Cranberries.  For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. However, we won’t be taking including any material from Dolores O’Riordan’s career as a solo artist.
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This Irish alt-rock band is the voice of a generation. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Songs by the Cranberries.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. However, we won’t be taking including any material from Dolores O’Riordan’s career as a solo artist.

#10: “I Still Do”
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
Beginning our list with a little melancholy is the opening track of the Cranberries debut studio album. “I Still Do” is a haunting and mid-paced track that exemplifies the dream pop and post-punk influences found on the band’s 1993 effort, “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” – an album that holds up even decades after its release. Dolores O’Riordan’s harmonized and lilting vocals cry out on this sad ballad, which sounds tailor made to be played in the middle of the band’s set, offering fans a respite from loud guitars and yodeling and making for a quiet and pensive change of pace.

#9: “Ridiculous Thoughts”
No Need to Argue (1994)
The Cranberries’ sophomore album “No Need to Argue” was released in what’s widely considered one of the greatest years in mainstream alternative rock, so to stand out was quite an accomplishment – but with the harsher and more confident edge displayed on songs like “Ridiculous Thoughts,” they did stand out. The song opens up with a delicate yet sad vocal melody from O’Riordan, before making its way into a mid-paced, jangling rock mode. With lyrics penned by O’Riordan about her trouble with the British media, “Ridiculous Thoughts” picks up steam as it moves on, with Delores capping off the track with a strong, emotional shout.

#8: “Salvation”
To the Faithful Departed (1996)
Okay, enough of the sad stuff; it’s time to rock. The Cranberries already had two hit records in their rearview when they released “To the Faithful Departed” in 1996, and the lead single “Salvation” was something a bit different for the band: an up-tempo rocker complete with ska-like horns. Mike Hogan’s bass guitar pulses in the background as O’Riordan sings a dark song about addiction and loss, which some critics thought was heavy-handed in its message. Regardless, “Salvation” remains one of the Cranberries’ most recognizable hits to this day – thanks in part to its… unique, memorable and very mid-‘90s music video.

#7: “Just My Imagination”
Bury the Hatchet (1999)
Things get bouncier on our next track, as “Just My Imagination” represents the Cranberries’ softer and more upbeat side. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, however, as it clearly echoes the band’s Irish folk roots, while also sounding like something Morrissey and the Smiths might’ve written in the ‘80s. “Just My Imagination” is found on the Cranberries’ fourth album, “Bury the Hatchet,” which was released after the band took a brief hiatus. The group didn’t miss a beat, though, as this song is a simple and effective pop tune, making good use of crystal clear production and O’Riordan’s happy sounding vocals to create the perfect soundtrack to a warm summer day.

#6: “Animal Instinct”
Bury the Hatchet (1999)
Dolores O’Riordan’s vocals take center stage once again, on this track from the band’s underrated 1999 album “Bury the Hatchet.” During the brief hiatus the band took prior to that record’s release, O’Riordan became a mother – something she reflects on here. “Animal Instinct” wears its emotions on its musical sleeve, but does a great job of balancing a melancholic vocal melody with upbeat guitar work to create an album highlight. “Animal Instinct” features a simple arrangement, and drives its melody home with O’Riordan’s passionate pre-chorus before ending with a brief, but fitting guitar solo.

#5: “When You’re Gone”
To the Faithful Departed (1996)
The Cranberries doing doo-wop? It’s more likely than you think. “When You’re Gone” opens with just such a vocal from Dolores, as the band sways back and forth with a simple but fantastic melody straight out of the 1950s. The song is off the “To the Faithful Departed” album, which – as its name suggests – memorialized some people important to the band who’d passed away. And “When You’re Gone” itself offers further proof that the Cranberries could write outside of their comfort zone when given the chance; its status as a ballad and a tribute to rock and roll history makes “When You’re Gone” something of a secret weapon within the Cranberries’ back catalog.

#4: “Ode to My Family”
No Need to Argue (1994)
Sometimes, you just need a good cry. It can be the cure for what ails ya, and it’s what the next song on our list provides in spades. “Ode to My Family” has the power to break down even the toughest soul with its universal themes of nostalgia, simplicity and lost innocence, and these themes are sung beautifully by Dolores O’Riordan from the first wordless note to the last. There’s nary a heavy guitar or loud lick to be found, but that doesn’t make “Ode to My Family” any less impactful; it’s still one of the Cranberries’ all time classic songs.

#3: “Dreams”
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
Music can evoke images within your mind with just a few simple notes. The Cranberries’ evocative and otherworldly single “Dreams” certainly harnesses this power right from the get-go, as layers of guitars, vocals and percussion wash over the listener. The single that introduced the band in 1992 is appropriately named, as “dream pop” is a term often used to describe the Cranberries’ sound. Images of rolling green fields, crashing waves and clear blue sky are somehow conjured up by the magic of this track, just as O’Riordan’s closing vocal soars higher and higher, on through to the song’s fade out.

#2: “Linger”
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
A lush string orchestration opens our number two pick, another single from “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” and a breakthrough track for the band. “Linger” is an intimate song about first kisses, first loves and regret, and hinges upon O’Riordan’s fantastic chorus vocal, as well as the effects-laden guitar of Noel Hogan. When all of these elements come together, it’s a perfect storm of dream pop music; the sort of song that somehow made the ‘90s term “alternative rock” make just a little more sense. If you’re going into the Cranberries as a new listener, this is a great place to start.

Before we name our number one Cranberries track, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Away”
“Zombie” B-Side (1994)

- “Promises”
Bury the Hatchet (1999)

- “Schizophrenic Playboy”
Roses (2012)

#1: “Zombie”
No Need to Argue (1994)
It’s probably the Cranberries’ best-known song, but at the same time it’s also not entirely indicative of their overall sound. A smash single from the band’s sophomore effort, “Zombie” features a heavy and driving guitar riff, one certainly inspired by the then-burgeoning grunge scene of the 1990s. Mike Hogan’s bass and Fergal Lawler’s drumming anchor this track, as O’Riordan delivers what might be her strongest vocal ever, as she protests the 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington. Do the Cranberries usually get this heavy? No, but that doesn’t stop “Zombie” from getting our nod as the best song of the band’s career.
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