The end is the beginning is the end
I’ve already “lost” a few of my icons: Lou Reed a couple of years ago, David Bowie more recently, Freddie Mercury when I was just starting to properly listen to music (i.e. far too soon)… but these were “classic” musicians for my generation, in other words older musicians. However, I kind of grew up with The Cranberries. Them and Radiohead and Jewel were among the great 90’s artists that shaped my musical world — to this day.
When I was in high school (that would be in the middle of the 90’s, for those who are counting), I was slated to see The Cranberries live in Paris. This would have been my first major live show, not counting classical music (duh), since my favorite band of all time, Queen, had inexplicably stopped touring around that time (I’ve seen every iteration of the reunited band since — several times: you do what you can). But O’Riordan had fallen sick and the band had to cancel that show, perhaps even a segment of their tour if I remember correctly. My brother and I finally saw them perform in the early 2010’s, way past their chart topping prime, but it was still f*****g good to hear “Zombie” live, the way it was always intended to be heard.
Last year, when the news came of singer Dolores O’Riordan’s passing, it was a bit of a shock. She was only 46, I was (only) 36, that just didn’t make sense to me. The circumstances notwithstanding, this was just sad for music in general and my personal hall of fame in particular. At that point, only Brian May and Roger Taylor were left, along with Roger Waters, although the latter’s recent political positions have become increasingly questionable as far as I am concerned. The Wall was not meant to reference the Middle East, it had a much broader and deeper meaning when released in 1979, and the fact that its creator now chooses to reinterpret the work is a) his right, b) quite disappointing, to say the least.
Anyway… back to The Cranberries. A couple of weeks ago, listening to my favorite rock radio, I stumbled upon an unmistakable O’Riordan-sung tune that I had not heard before. Since I didn’t follow the band’s later career as closely as the first couple of albums — which I knew by heart at some point in time — I assumed it was a fairly recent track that they were just replaying following the singer’s untimely death. A couple of days — and listens — later, I finally decided to check on that: turned out that song was brand new… and was incredibly aptly named “All over now”.
It was one of those sad but beautiful ballads that the band had already shown incredible talent at creating, and it was also the first track of the In the end, their equally aptly named final album. In fact, right before O’Riordan passed away, her and her bandmates happened to have just finished working on this album, which eventually was become the tragic conclusion of their career as a band.
That record is not out yet, only this song is. So let’s listen to it over and over again till we get our hands on that last offering of the late great O’Riordan, Ireland’s greatest musician south of Bono. Feck yeah.