Why is the original song so special?
With its debut in 1994 „Zombie” became a cult classic not just in Ireland but in the whole world. Dolores O’Riordan’s iconic voice, the videoclip itself and the meaning of the lyrics brought to life a song that still has a defining impact nowadays. After the debut the song quickly rose to the top of the toplists in Germany, France, Belgium, Australia, Denmark and Iceland. Zombie also won MTV’s Europe Music Awards „Best song” award in 1995.
Although the song was a massive hit there were some countries where they didn’t welcomed Zombie and the videoclip. BBC even banned the clip from their channel just like the RTÉ, as they claimed the video sequences were too violent. Instead of the original one they played a clip where the band was seen during a performance. Because of this Zombies couldn’t get as popular in the UK as in other countries.
What is actually Zombies about? The scene is set in March 1993 in Warrington, England. The IRA detonates a bomb which kills two children and injures many others. On of the victims is a 3 year old named Jonathan Ball, the other was Tim Parry (12). Since 1996 the atmosphere was very tense between the UK and Ireland, especially Northern Ireland. The warrington event is just one example of this long lasting conflict, but had a deep effect on a lot of people. Dolores O’Riordan felt that there was enough pointless deaths and someone has to get everyone’s attention about this situation. Thus born „Zombies”, a song that tries to show this unnecessary violence as best as it can mainly with the help of the clip. In the clip Belfast makes an apperance (where a lot of conflict and attack took place), also we can see soldiers and kids playing war on the streets.
Genre: Alternative Rock (Grunge)
Band: The Cranberries (IRL)
Album: No Need to Argue (1994)
Bad Wolves: Zombie
The background of the adaption
The original purpose of the Bad Wolves adaption of the song was to actualize the message of Zombies. In the early plans, the lead of The Cranberries Dolores was supposed to collaborate in the making of the 2018 version but sadly she passed away on the 15th January 2018. Due to her death Bad Wolves’ plans about the adaption changed, they wanted to actualize the message and to commemorate Dolores O’Riordan. The song’s income was offered to Dolores’ children to support them.
What are the differences between the two songs?
One of the difference is the change in the lyrics, they are small changes but they help to modernize and to place the problems presented by the original song in the present. At the end of the clip it is said that they try to get the attention about the human casulties of political disputes just like Dolores wanted to. The changes doesn’t stop with the content, the song’s structure is also different. In the Cranberries version a post-chorus follows the first chorus but in the Bad Wolves adaption the second verse comes sooner. On top of that they added a bridge and a guitar solo, but left out the lenghty instrumental outro. The style of the two songs is also different, the first was an alternative rock type but the second one was a hard rock song with a stronger punch.
Pros and cons of the adaption
Pros: Changing the lyrics and the structure of the song worked well for the adaption and so the two verions are distinctive. Tommy Vext (the Bad Wolves’ singer) did a great job and it can be felt that he really wanted to create a song worthy of the original one. The same goes for the other members of the band, everyone took their parts seriously and gave everything they could. I would like to point out the guitar solo especially, but also it is heart warming to see that how passionately they played the song.
Cons: The only con I could think of is that they choose the synthesizer over the piano both in the intro and the outro. Though it played out quite favourable, it could have been good to see a piano version. I wouldn’t really say it was a negative choice more like a sad outcome that Dolores couldn’t participate in the making of the song and the video clip. It would have been nice too see how different this adaption could have been if she was part of it.
Summary: It became an outstanding adaptation, of course it’s impossible to repeat the original song, but this version represent a quality so high it can be easily called a worthy successor of the original song from The Cranberries.
by: Wolfy & Shadow