The Cranberries’ monumental third album To The Faithful Departed will be reissued as a deluxe edition on vinyl and CD on October 13, 2023 via Island/UMe. Selling over six million copies worldwide and reaching Number One in six countries, it became the band’s highest-charting album on the U.S. Billboard Top 200.
“I hadn’t heard these tracks for a long time but have spent many days over the past year or so listening intently to these songs,” remembers drummer Fergal Lawler. With the tragic passing of powerhouse vocalist Dolores O’Riordan in 2018, his remembrance of the recording is bittersweet. “As difficult as it was to hear Dolores’ voice, they brought back many fond memories. I was shocked at how powerful they sounded and the strong emotions that I felt as I listened.”
Originally released on April 30, 1996, the album yielded four singles including the U.S. Number One Modern Rock single “Salvation.” In this deluxe reissue, the original album has been remastered by John Dent at Metropolis. Available in its original configuration as single LP, an expanded 2LP set, and a 3CD set (whose tracklisting the digital version mirrors), To The Faithful Departed deluxe editions contain an abundance of bonus tracks and material. The 2LP and 3CD configurations include three previously unreleased album demos recorded with Tim Palmer in Paris. The sleeve notes by Eoin Devereux includes contributions from the remaining band members as well as archived material which includes interviews with Dolores.
“When we were on tour for our second album No Need to Argue, we began discussions about recording the next album,” recalls Lawler about the record’s origins. “We had spoken to Island Records about the possibility of trying a new producer and they suggested Tim Palmer who had worked with Tears for Fears. So we decided to demo some new songs with him. We had a few days off in Paris and we recorded “When You’re Gone,” “Free to Decide” and “I Just Shot John Lennon.” Tim was a lovely guy and the recordings sounded great but we felt he was a little similar in style to Steven Street [who had produced the band’s previous two albums] and we wanted to try something different. We had been touring a lot and wanted more of a live sound.”
Switching gears, they chose Bruce Fairbairn who was known for working with hard rock bands such as Aerosmith, AC/DC and Van Halen. “When the tour finished, we took a short break and met with Bruce and his genius engineer Mike Plotnikoff in Windmill Lane studio in Dublin,” he continues. “It was a very different experience for both ourselves and Bruce, he was used to working with heavy rock bands and we were used to working with Stephen [Street], but it worked out really well. Bruce and Mike managed to capture that big, live sound we were looking for at that time, especially on songs like “Salvation,” “Hollywood” and “Electric Blue,” but they also did a fantastic job on softer songs like “When you’re Gone,” “The Rebels” and “Bosnia.’”
The digital and 3CD set includes unreleased outtakes and early mixes of the studio album and twelve rare live tracks recorded on the band’s 1996 “Free to Decide.”