The first Cranberries album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, Why Can't We?
, was written and recorded in Ireland over a span of a few years. After that album was released in 1993, they went on a lengthy tour and began writing songs for their second album, No Need To Argue
. "Zombie" was written while they were touring England that year.
The lead single from the album, it marked a stark departure in both sound and meaning, taking an aggressive political turn away from songs like "Linger
" and "Dreams
." In a Songfacts interview with Dolores O'Riordan, she said, "On the road, writing things became more alive. I think that's why 'Zombie' emerged. The first album was more tame and more reserved, and then we started to rock out a bit more. So, we started to write more rock and roll songs."