It marks the first Irish band to ever hit the milestone
The official video for The Cranberries track “Zombie” has just passed one billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone. The Cranberries now join a small club of iconic artists to reach this landmark and the video is the fifth most viewed rock video of all time globally according to Louder Sound. Katy Perry, Eminem, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, Psy, Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth, Ed Sheeran, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are among the artists who have obtained over a billion YouTube views of a single video.
Written by Dolores O’Riordan — who passed away tragically at the age of 46 in 2018 — as a protest song after IRA bombings in Warrington killed two children and injured 56 others in March 1993, “Zombie” was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin and was produced by long time Cranberries collaborator Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur). Containing the lyrics “But you see, it’s not me. It’s not my family,” the band were adamant “Zombie” should be the lead single from their new album and resisted the suggestion to go with a less political track, such was their commitment to the song. The official video directed by Samuel Bayer – who now notches his second billion viewed clip following Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – shows original footage of Northern Irish street scenes with children playing war games during The Troubles, including the now famous political and historical murals. In the video a gilded Dolores O’Riordan stands before a giant cross wearing a crown of thorns surrounded by silver cherubs, with cutaway shots of the band performing live outdoors.
“We are so delighted with the news that ‘Zombie’ has reached one billion views on YouTube,” shares Cranberries drummer Fergal Lawler of the feat. “We are sure Dolores has a big, proud smile on her face too. Thank you so much to all our fans around the world for supporting us over so many years. Hopefully you are all safe and well and managing to find some hope and positivity in our music.”
Their most commercially successful single, “Zombie” went on to top the singles charts in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland and was No. 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the US. In 1995 it was awarded “Best Song” at the MTV Europe Music Awards, and was voted No. 1 on Australia’s Triple J Hottest 100 chart in 1994. On January 16th 2018, Colin Parry – father of Tim Parry, the twelve year old victim of the Warrington bomb – thanked Dolores O’Riordan for the ‘majestic and (also) very real lyrics” in the track.
The song appears on The Cranberries second album, No Need To Argue, which the label is planning an expanded reissue later this year.