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Album Review

The Cranberries – ‘Stars: The Best Of 1992-2002’ [Vinyl Reissue] [Album Review]

Although The Cranberries story came to a crashing conclusion in 2018, the band’s music will live forever. And ‘Stars’ serves as a beautifully fitting time capsule — especially on vinyl.



Let’s take a minute to talk about The Cranberries. The Irish troupe stirred an international sensation with the release of Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? Featuring the breakout singles, “Dreams” and “Linger,” the band’s debut effort breathed welcomed fresh air into a modern rock scene that already was beginning to smell a smidge stale when it dropped in 1993. Then came No Need to Argue in 1994. Birthing the hits, “Zombie” and “Ode to My Family,” the combo’s sophomore set became another global chart-buster. Completing the platinum-selling trifecta, To the Faithful Departed, crossed the Top Ten finish line in 1996. Bury the Hatchet (1999) and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001) concluded Act One of the Cranberries’ story, just prior to the band’s six-year hiatus.

Even during the pre-Internet, CD-crazed days of the ’90s, the Cranberries’ music was pressed on vinyl. Why? Because vinyl is the warmest, most honest and pure audio format — and the Cranberries created some of the warmest, most honest and pure music of that era. Ringleader, Dolores O’Riordan, owned the most distinctive, engaging voice of the day, while crafting a cavalcade of consistently compelling compositions — powerful poetry, colliding with magical melodies. Guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler could pivot from Ireland-inspired folk to radio-friendly pop to balls-out punk at the drop of a dime. As a result, the Cranberries’ music has remained fresh — and relevant.

Back in 2002, the band released Stars: The Best Of 1992-2002. To commemorate its 20-year anniversary, the folks over UMe have just reissued the fat-free compilation — on vinyl, of course. Aside from the impressive deluxe packaging and the honest purity of the format, what makes this 20-track collection such a splendid treat is the songs themselves — other than the acknowledged chartbusters. Revisiting “I Can’t Be With You,” “Ridiculous Thoughts” and “Free To Decide” (especially on vinyl) feels a bit like reconnecting for coffee with old friends, while “Salvation” and “Hollywood” still pack maximum punch. Of the record’s three previously unreleased tracks, “Daffodil Lament” is a delicate delight, while “New New York” is a crunchy standout and “Stars” is textbook Cranberries.

Although the Cranberries story came to a crashing conclusion following O’Riordan’s tragic death in 2018, the band’s music will live forever. And Stars serves as a beautifully fitting time capsule — especially on vinyl.

Stars Track Listing:

Side A
1. Dreams (4:32)
2. Linger (4:35)
3. Zombie (5:08) No Need to Argue
4. Ode To My Family (4:32) No Need to Argue
5. I Can’t Be With You (3:08) No Need to Argue

Side B
1. Ridiculous Thoughts (4:33)
2. Salvation (2:24)
3. Free To Decide (3:23)
4. When You’re Gone (3:53)
5. Hollywood (4:18)

A peek inside the vinyl reissue of ‘Stars: The Best Of 1992-2002’ by The Cranberries

Side C
1. Promises (3:31)
2. Animal Instinct (3:33)
3. Just My Imagination (3:13)
4. You & Me (3:18)
5. Analyse (4:07)

Side D
1. Time Is Ticking Out (3:02)
2. This Is The Day (4:16)
3. Daffodil Lament (6:08)
4. New New York (4:10)
5. Stars (3:31)

Run Time: 77:05
Release Date: May 27, 2022
Record Label: UMe (Universal Music Enterprises)

Christopher Long is an author, show biz analyst, TV / radio contributor, award-winning musician and entertainment personality. Referred to once as “the rock and roll Erma Bombeck,” Long is known for his conversational, common sense writing style and passion for sharing his unique perspectives on pop culture. Raised in Missouri's rugged Ozark Mountains and on Florida's sunny Space Coast, Long currently lives in Cocoa Beach. (