Flashback: The Cranberries Perform 'Zombie' on MTV Unplugged
The shocking news that Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan died from unknown causes at age 46 hit the news wires early today. The Irish group hadn’t had a very big profile in America for many years, but in the mid-1990s they scored massive hits with “Dreams,” “Linger,” Zombie” and “Salvation.” They were so inescapable in that time they even got a nod in Clueless when rich kid Elton raised his hand in Mr. Hall’s class and asked if he could go to the quad to get his Cranberries CD “before somebody snags it.”
Their biggest album was 1994’s No Need to Argue, which they promoted with an MTV Unplugged special that taped Valentine’s Day of 1995 at Brooklyn’s Academy of Music. Their album was Number 10 on the Billboard 200 that week, lodged between Mary J. Blige’s My Life and Hootie and the Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View. Check out this acoustic rendition of “Zombie” from the MTV Unplugged sessions where the band was joined by a string section. The song was inspired by two young children that were killed by an IRA bombing.
The group’s commercial fortunes waned in the early 2000s and they split in 2003, though in 2009 they reunited for a new tour and in 2012 released the LP Roses. They took a bit of a break after that, but in 2016 went back on the road and resumed the tour last year. Their final show took place May 20th, 2017 at the Palladium in London. More dates were booked, but the band yanked them because Dolores was dealing with “ongoing back problems.” Little information was released about her condition and fans were absolutely stunned when the group announced that she had passed away.