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The true story behind The Cranberries final album cover

Posted by
Colin Crummy
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Dolores O’Riordan - The Cranberries

This beautiful tribute to late singer Dolores O’Riordan may leave you feeling emotional.

Many tributes have been paid to The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan since her untimely death last year. This week, the University of Limerick is set to confer a posthumous honorary doctorates on its hometown rock icon, and a ‘Piano for Dolores’ event at Ormston House saw fans descend upon the singer’s hometown to share their memories of the hugely talented singer.

However, it is O’Riordan’s bandmates who have paid the ultimate tribute.

This week, The Cranberries released details of their new – and final – record. In the End is made up of 11 previously unheard tracks by the singer: O’Riordan had recorded the demos for these songs in 2017 and planned to complete them the following year. Sadly, though, this was not to be the case. O’Riordan was found dead in the bath of her hotel room in London on 15 January 2018. An inquest later ruled her death was caused by drowning due to excessive alcohol consumption.

Shaken by the news, her fellow musicians – guitarist Noel Hogan, drummer Fergal Lawler and bassist Mike Hogan – took time out, putting all of their plans on hold so that they might think about the best way to honour their friend and bandmate.

Now, in a new statement released, they have informed their fans: “This was a very painful process [but we] realised that the most meaningful thing to do was to finish the album we had started with her.

“We felt this is what she would want.”

With the support of O’Riordan’s family, The Cranberries finished the record with the late singer’s vocals, and the lead single All Over Now has been released this week to coincide with the anniversary of Dolores’ passing. 

Adding to the poignancy of the release, the album cover of In the End echoes the artwork of The Cranberries’ breakout hit record from 1993, Everyone Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We?

As fans will no doubt remember, the debut featured the four band members on a sofa, a set-up which was later reimagined on some of their six subsequent album covers. This time, however, there’s a stark difference: the band members have been replaced by four young children, who take up the positions of singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer.

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In the shot, the children strike rockstar poses with makeshift mics and instruments in front of the original The Cranberries logo, in a hark back to the band’s origins thirty years ago.

All are related to the individual band members. Most touchingly, Emmal, front and centre, is a niece of one of Dolores’ daughters.

In 1989, O’Riordan responded to a local newspaper advert from a band looking for a female singer. A songwriter since an early age, her audition included writing the lyrics and melodies to demos including one for the song Linger.

The track would become the band’s break out and most enduring hit. The Cranberries went on to break America and sell 40 million records worldwide.

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The band will not tour the record, which will also be The Cranberries’ last. In its statement, the band explained the decision: “The last track we recorded in the studio was ‘In the End’ and it was then that it really sunk in; this is it, this is the end.”

Dedicating the album, which is out in April, to O’Riordan, the band added: “She will always be with us in her music.”

Image: Getty

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