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Jess Baumung
Best known for such wistful alt-rock hits as “Dreams” and “Linger,” Ireland’s the Cranberries are back this month with their first album in more than a decade, Roses (Cooking Vinyl/Downtown, $15). When asked how the project came to be, frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, whose high, trilling vocals distinguished the group from any number of mid-’90s postgrunge acts, says, “I invited the rest of the guys to my son’s confirmation. We had a few beers after dinner and realized we’re not getting any younger.” She adds with a laugh: “There was a bit of gray hair involved.” Here, O’Riordan names some of the rock reunions that helped inspire the Cranberries’ return.

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The Police
“They had such a unique sound and chemistry. I never thought they’d reunite, not in my lifetime. But they did, and everybody was shocked at how successful it was.”

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Black Sabbath
“That’s going to be a riot. Those guys are legends; the stories about them are priceless. They were gone before I was born, but my husband’s a decade older than I am, and he filled me in through The Osbournes.”

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Fleetwood Mac
“I worked with Mick Fleetwood on a Fleetwood Mac tribute album. He told me so many great old rock ’n’ roll stories. And Stevie Nicks! She’s so authentic — there’s no one like her.”

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U2
“I suppose they never took an official hiatus. But they went quiet for a while and did loads of experimentation. Then they came back with a regular, straightforward U2 album [2000’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind], and it was massive.”