The Corrs: Borrowed from Heaven | Sunday Observer

The Corrs: Borrowed from Heaven

8 August, 2021

The Corrs are an Irish family band that combine pop rock with traditional Irish themes within their music. The group consists of the Corr siblings, Andrea (lead vocals, tin whistle, ukulele), Sharon (violin, keyboards, vocals), Caroline (drums, percussion, piano, bodhrán, vocals) and Jim (guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals). They are from Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.

The Corrs have released seven studio albums and numerous singles, which have reached Platinum in many countries, and have sold 40 million albums worldwide. Talk on Corners, their most successful album to date, reached multi-Platinum status in Australia, and in the UK it was the highest selling album of the year.

The band is one of only a handful of acts who have held the top two positions simultaneously in the UK album charts, with ’Talk on Corners’ at number one and Forgiven, Not Forgotten at number two. The latter was the year’s third highest selling album in Australia. Their third studio album, ’In Blue’, went to number one in seventeen countries.

The Corrs have been actively involved in philanthropic activities. They have performed in numerous charity concerts, such as The Prince’s Trust event in 2004 and Live 8 alongside Bono of U2 in 2005. The same year, they were awarded honorary MBEs for their contributions to music and charity.

The band was inactive for almost 10 years because Jim and Caroline were raising families, while Andrea and Sharon were pursuing solo careers while raising families of their own. According to Sharon, it was uncertain if and when The Corrs would reunite. Rumours of a reunion sparked in early 2015 and in a radio interview with Chris Evans in June 2015, Andrea confirmed that The Corrs were working on a new album and would play the BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park festival. Their sixth studio album, ’White Light’, was released on 27 November 2015, and was accompanied by a European tour. After two years, their seventh studio album, Jupiter Calling, was released on 10 November 2017.

Music style and influence

When asked to describe their genre, Caroline Corr said it was a “blend of modern rhythms and technology with acoustic instruments, violin, tin whistle, drums and of course the voices, the marrying of these instruments is our sound”. The Corrs’ music is typically categorised as a mixture of pop rock and folk rock.

This is evident in their first two albums, ’Forgiven, Not Forgotten’ and ’Talk on Corners’, although Andrea described the genre of Talk on Corners by saying “it [has] got more of an edgy feel, a little bit more guitar-orientated and also an Irish sound, which is in ’Forgiven, Not Forgotten’.”

‘In Blue’ moved towards mainstream pop, placing heavy emphasis on synthesizers. The move attracted criticism from many; one Entertainment Weekly critic called it “a disheartening example of musical ethnic cleansing”. A USA Today critic called it “the best mainstream pop album you’re likely to come across”.

‘Borrowed Heaven’ placed heavier emphasis on guitars, while retaining the original folk rock genre. Home is a traditional Irish album, where the band covered many traditional Irish songs. The album contained songs from different eras of Irish music, including a 1982 song written by Phil Lynott (‘Old Town’) while the 1,000-year-old ‘Return to Fingal’ featured as a bonus track on the Japanese, limited German and Spanish editions. ’White Light’ returned to a similar sound to In Blue, with much more electronic-based instrumentation, while ’Jupiter Calling’ is characterised as a more stripped back live performance with minimal overdubbing.

The Corrs’ main influences were their parents who were musicians and encouraged them to learn instruments. They drew inspiration from musicians such as The Eagles, The Police, The Carpenters, Simon and Garfunkel and Fleetwood Mac, which Sharon said in an interview with CNN is the reason “our songs are very, very melodic and (harmonious)”.


Many of the Corrs’ songs have charted at No. 1 in numerous countries. They won one BRIT Award, in 1999, and have twice been nominated for Meteor Music Awards, in 2005 and 2006. They were nominated for two Grammy awards in 2001 too: one for their song ’Breathless’ and for another one due to their instrumental song ’Rebel Heart’.

In 2002, they took home Best Pop Act honours at the Hot Press Irish Music Awards held at the BBC’s Blackstaff studios in Belfast.