The Cranberries is an Irish alternative rock band that rose to mainstream popularity in the 1990s. Since 2003 the members have all pursued solo careers. They have sold an estimated 43 million albums worldwide, not including singles.
Noel and Mike Hogan, two brothers from Limerick, formed the band with drummer Fergal Lawler in 1990. The band was originally named The Cranberry Saw Us, a pun on cranberry sauce. The lead singer at that time was a friend of theirs named Niall Quinn, who had an extravagant taste for composing and song names, such as "My Grandma drowned in a fountain in Lourdes", "I was always all ways" and "Throw Me Down A Big Stairs". When he left the band, Dolores O'Riordan, who was a friend of Niall's girlfriend at the time, and relations with powerful banking family the O' Riordans in Cork, auditioned and won the role of lead singer. She quickly demonstrated her lyrical ability when the band handed her a demo of a melody they had been working on. She took the demo home and returned with a full set of lyrics for it the next day, the song (which later became one of the band's biggest hits) was then given the name "Linger".
Their homemade demo tape did well locally and the band soon recorded a demo tape which they sold in record stores throughout Ireland. After the original run of 300 copies sold out, the group truncated their name to the Cranberries and sent another demo tape, which featured early versions of both "Linger" and "Dreams," to record companies throughout the UK. The tape was made at Xeric studios, which was run by Pearse Gilmore, who would later become their manager. At the time the tape was made, all of the members were still in their late teens.