The Cranberries are an alt-rock band with songs that come across as vibrant and expansive. Nothing is overtly heavy and dense (although Zombie comes close), nor is anything thin and flimsy (Just My Imagination, even with its acoustic guitar, has a solid structure).
For this reason, we found the African savanna with its vast, open plains to be the ideal metaphor for the band’s music. And by extension, its album covers. Save Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, which uses an orangutan, and Roses, which uses a CGI image, all of the album covers come from the savanna. The photographs were all picked up from Pixabay, and although we had multiple back-and-forths (“Why not use the pic of a bellowing hippo for No Need to Argue?”, “Why are zebras showing up on every album cover?”, and “What! No lions?”) we’re sure the end result won’t disappoint.
Lead singer Dolores O’Riordian’s death early this year put a halt to everything but one final album from the band. Announced as In The End, it is expected in 2019. We shall add that cover — or change our current ones — once that comes out.
Album: Everybody Else is Doing it, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
An underdog that triumphed. We had started out thinking about herds of wildebeest or zebras grazing on the open plains, but a wonderful picture of this flock of ostrich, with its bright and vibrant imagery, won the day.
Album: No Need to Argue (1994)
A slightly contentions choice, since there were excellent images of aggressive hippos, with their mouths open as a warning, which probably served the point better. Even our Bury the Hatchet cover was proposed. But anyone with an understanding of hippos will understand this cover is as good as any other.
Album: To the Faithful Departed (1996)
An empty nest with broken eggshells would have been equally apt. But we prefer these scavengers all looking away into the distance on what seems to be a common point of focus.
Album: Bury the Hatchet (1999)
This was proposed for No Need to Argue. It could have gone too. Coulda, woulda, shoulda… tell us in the comments below.
Album: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001)
Our original plan called for an orangutan in a coffee plantation, taking us out of Africa and into Indonesia. But the pickings were slim so we picked this picture of the Great Ape in need of a wake up drink.
Album: Roses (2012)
Yes we could have used actual pictures, but the change in cover helped distance the album from earlier ones, because of the 11 year gap between its release. That’s because after recording Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, the band scrapped a plan for a new album in 2004 and went their separate ways.
Album: Something Else (2017)
This is a reworked album, containing prior numbers which have been delivered acoustically. While the cover is debatable, we felt that giraffes, with their languid movements, offered a good connection to the album, which has a more relaxed, even “lazy” feel because of its acoustic settings. Their looking in opposite directions aided their chances. It also helped that all the songs covered on Something Else are from albums that feature the savanna covers.
Album: In The End (2019)
A setting sun. Coming after it does of the death of lead singer Dolores O’Riordon, the cover stays true to the savanna theme while indicating the closure of the band.