The Cranberries exploded onto the music scene in 1993, with the release of the album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? The band became one of the most popular bands of the 1990s and had a number of hit singles, including Linger, Dreams, and Zombie.
The band’s success was due to singer Dolores O’Riordan’s quirky vocal style, tight musicianship, and superior songwriting.
This song, Zombie, features a heavier guitar sound than the rest of the band’s material (contrast it with Dreams, for example). The song is about the political violence in Northern Ireland. The images in the video makes use of this imagery, mixed with scenes of singer O’Riordan covered in gold makeup and wearing an Egyptian headdress and eye makeup—a representation of the Egyptian goddess, Isis.
This is from Wikipedia:
Isis was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife, patron of nature and magic; friend of slaves, sinners, artisans, the downtrodden, as well as listening to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis is the Goddess of motherhood and fertility.
Back to the music. Listen to the opening of the song. It starts with about 12 seconds of melodic chords that sound a little like All About Eve. Then the drums kick in, followed by the fuzz effected ominous buzz saw guitars. Fifteen seconds into the song, you already know you’re listening to something brilliant.
Here’s In The Clouds by All About Eve, which was released in 1987. Listen for similarities in the sound.
The Cranberries went on hiatus in 2003. Dolores O’Riordan has embarked on a solo career, although O’Riordan has stated that a Cranberries reunion will happen:
“Definitely down the road, but not right now because we’ve all got kids and babies. You can’t really do both – be on the road all the time and be a good parent. To bring kids into the world, you need to be there for them. I’m really enjoying taking things at my own pace.”