When the award winning “Zombie” was all the rage in the mid 90’s I couldn’t change the station fast enough. Respectfully, the song was written in memory of two victims of a 1993 bombing. Still, sonically speaking, to me it was like fingernails on a chalkboard. My guess is I’m in the minority on this but I’m in the minority for many things I muse about. That’s ok with me. My blog, my opinion.
I found “Linger” equally as annoying. 😳
Ironically, as allergic as I was to those 2 songs, I was thoroughly moved by In the End, the EP released a couple of weeks ago (now a full album) by the surviving members of the Cranberries. Dolores O'Riordan appears posthumously.
The band, along with producer Stephen Street, artfully pieced together, added to and mastered the late singer’s original demos — 4 songs (co-written with band-mate Noel Hogan), that prophetically seem to reveal where her head and her heart were at before her death. The last of her lyrics were shared the day she died.
“Do you remember
Remember the night
At a hotel in London
They started to fight
She told the man that
She fell on the ground
She was afraid that
The truth would be found”
Dolores O’Riordan’s life indeed ended in a London hotel room. As for “the truth,” I suspect it is right there in the songs.
Consider the titles of the other tracks:
Clearly the girl was troubled. And if art imitates life, perhaps it can foresee death as well.
To be fair, it was never determined whether it was Ms. O’Riordan’s intention to end her life, but one can only imagine, that with the empty mini-bar bottles and prescription drugs left behind maybe her accidental drowning in a bathtub wasn’t so accidental.
In any event, I hope she’s resting peacefully in the knowledge that her material has been well, manipulated, and released, even though it was done so without her involvement in final creative decisions or her prior consent. (Ms. O’riodan’s family gave their approval to do so.) Alternatively, this body of work could have been forgotten.
Speaking of posthumously re-worked material, I always wondered how John would have felt, creatively and ethically, about “Real Love.” Yoko gave her blessing to the remaining Beatles to run with John’s original title, “Real Life.” But with all due respect, knowing what we know about John, would he really have been like “yeah guys, do your thing. I’m cool with whatever.”
Yoko had said, “I did not break up the Beatles but...now I’m in a position where I could bring them back together…” To my knowledge, John did not wish for that. That said, I — having never gotten over the disbandment of the group — couldn’t have been more thrilled about the arrival of a ‘new Beatles song.’ So thank you, Yoko. I guess.
As creators ourselves, when we put forth original material we are (most of us) present (if not hands-on) from beginning to end — from conception to mixing. Our songs are our babies and we want to make sure the world hears them the way we envisioned them — according to our sensibilities. So, If something happened to you in the middle of making your album, would you be comfortable with someone else fully realizing your work-in-progress on your behalf — thankful that it would be heard? Or would you prefer that it rest and never see the light of day?
Selfishly, I’m grateful for In The End. It accomplished what music is supposed to do: move the listener. Dolores’s words speak so honestly about her status — something I feel we could use more of on Hits 1.
If she was trying to tell us something, it worked. It’s unfortunate however, that nobody took her lament more seriously a little sooner or we might have gotten ‘the message’ in time. Then again if In The End was a self-fulfilling prophesy, perhaps what happened was meant to be. And if she were saved, sadly the songs wouldn’t ring so terribly true.
PS…If something should happen to me before I finish my forthcoming album I hereby give permission to my 3 trusted producers (Eve Nelson, Wally Gagel and Phil Thornalley), to finish the songs they’ve worked on. They know what to do. I could never be disappointed. Even from the other side.