Salvation (The Cranberries song)

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Salvation single.jpg
Single by The Cranberries
from the album To the Faithful Departed
B-side "I'm Still Remembering", "I Just Shot John Lennon (live)", "Go Your Own Way"
Released 6 April 1996 (UK)
Recorded November - December 1995
Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock, pop punk
Length 2:24
Label Island
Songwriter(s) Dolores O'Riordan, Noel Hogan
Producer(s) Bruce Fairbairn & The Cranberries
The Cranberries singles chronology
"Ridiculous Thoughts"
"Free to Decide"

"Ridiculous Thoughts"
"Free to Decide"
Audio sample
Cranberries - "Salvation"

"Salvation" is the lead single for The Cranberries third studio album To the Faithful Departed. The single had some success in the US (where it was #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart for four weeks), reached number 8 in the Irish charts[1] and had success in the UK, peaking at #13 and it showed the true colours of the new album having a darker and rawer sound than the group had previously shown.


It talks about drug abuse, and how one should refrain from falling into it. The directness of the song was regarded as bland and too preachy by the media and critics, but Dolores O'Riordan said that it wasn't supposed to be an anti-drug song per se, but "kind of anti the idea of becoming totally controlled by anything, any substance at all", O'Riordan stated to Kurt Loder, adding that she knew what it was like and that "it wasn’t a nice experience and it didn’t get me anywhere. It just confused me more."[2] She explained that the meaning behind the song was "reality [being] reality, and unfortunately, no how much you go away, you come back, and it's always here."[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Salvation" was directed in March 1996 by Olivier Dahan in France, for the company Bandits Productions. It features French comedy duo Éric and Ramzy.

It is one of the most acclaimed videos by the band's fans. It has a bizarre mood, and notorious references to drug use and abuse. It shows a clown with needles instead of hair, a confused girl whose parents are being held by the clown, all in a torn house at the top of a hill.

The bizarre images are supposed to represent the effects drugs have on people. The clown jumping on the teddy bear is a symbol of the loss of innocence, and the trapped parents show how drugs are a problem that affect not only the consumer, but also his or her close relatives/friends.

Cover versions[edit]

Earthsuit, a Christian group, performed a live cover of this song during their last few tours.

Senses Fail covered this song as a bonus track on their album Still Searching.[4]

Prayer for Cleansing, a vegan straight edge hardcore band, covered the song on their EP The Tragedy released in 2004.

Silent Majority recorded and released a cover version on the obscure Dynamite Rose comp 7".

Dylan Sizemore, an indie artist from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, recorded and released a cover of the song on his album released 19 March 2011.

Track listing[edit]

  • Note: "I Just Shot John Lennon" (Live Version) was recorded live at The Point, Dublin on 2nd June 1995 for Radio Telefis Eireann.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1994-1995) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[5] 8
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 27
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[7] 32
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[8] 18
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 30
Canada Alternative 30 (RPM)[9] 2
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[10] 20
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[11] 15
France (SNEP)[12] 13
Germany (Official German Charts)[13] 44
Ireland (IRMA)[14] 8
Italy (FIMI)[15] 5
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[16] 39
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[17] 7
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[18] 12
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[19] 33
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[20] 35
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 13
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 21
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[22] 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[22] 25
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40[22] 33


  1. ^
  2. ^ Snapes, Laura (15 January 2018). "The Cranberries: five of Dolores O'Riordan's best performances". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
  3. ^ "Cranberries "Departed"". MTV News. Retrieved 2018-02-08. 
  4. ^ "Senses Fail announce new release, tour dates". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. September 20, 2007. Retrieved March 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  7. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  8. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  9. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 63, No. 13 May 13, 1996". RPM. Retrieved February 8, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Hits of the World: Eurochart (IFPI/Nielsen Marketing Research) 05/18/96". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 108 (20): 46. 18 May 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  11. ^ "The Cranberries: Salvation" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  12. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation" (in French). Les classement single.
  13. ^ " – The Cranberries Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  15. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: C". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Cranberries" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation". Singles Top 100.
  20. ^ " – The Cranberries – Salvation". Swiss Singles Chart.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  22. ^ a b c "The Cranberries > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 13 August 2009.