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The Ultimate One Album Wonders Directory

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 23, 2015 08:59am | Post a Comment

One Album Wonders

The vinyl LP was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 but the 45 inch single remained the primary media for recorded music until 1966, when LPs overtook them, marking the dawn of the Album Era.
For a variety of reasons, many bands of the Album Era only released one full-length LP, making them “one album wonders.” 

I began the series, One Album Wonders, in July 2014 (the year digital downloads first overtook aluminum discs in sales) and since then have written of about 60 bands whose recorded output was mostly confined to a single album. I had planned on writing about hundreds more but the plug has been pulled so I’ve decided instead to publish my personally compiled directory of them before my time at Amoeba ends in December. Enjoy! 


A

A Passing Fancy (A Passing Fancy - 1968), A Witness (I Am John’s Pancreas - 1986), A-II-Z (The Witch Of Berkeley - Live - 1980), A'La Rock (Indulge - 1990), Aceium (Wicked Metal - 2004), The Aerovons (Resurrection - 2003), The Affair (Yes Yes To You - 2006), Afterlife (Surreality - 1992), Agentz (Stick to Your Guns - 1986), Aidean (Promises - 1988), Alamo (Alamo - 1970), Alien (Cosmic Fantasy - 1983), Alien (The Pleasure of Leisure - 1998), Alistair Terry (Yonge at Heart - 1985), Alkana (Welcome to My Paradise - 1978), Alkatraz (Doing a Moonlight - 1976), Allen Collins Band (Here, There and Back - 1983), Alliance (We Could Get Used To This - 1988), Alonzo Cruz (Blind Troubador of Oaxaca - 1956), Alpha Centauri (Alpha Centauri - 1977), American Noise (American Noise - 1980), Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - 1989), The Animated Egg (The Animated Egg - 1967), Andy Rock (Into the Night - 2012), Annihilation Absolute (Cities - 1985), April 16th (Sleepwalking - 1989), Arcadia (So Red the Rose - 1985), Armageddon (Illusion - 1971), Arzachel (Arzachel - 1969), ATC (Planet Pop - 2000), Avalanche (Pray For The Sinner - 1985), Aviator (Aviator - 1986), The Awful Truth (The Awful Truth - 1990), and Axtion (Look Out for the Night - 1985)

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One Album Wonders: Mad Season

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 2, 2015 02:31pm | Post a Comment
Mad Season

The Scientists were likely both grunge's inventors and the genre's first supergroup (members had previously played in Cheap Nasties, Slick City Boys, and Victims). However, if one hears “grunge supergroup” they more likely think of Temple of the Dog, a one album wonder the members of which had previously played in Seattle grunge bands including Soundgarden, Green River, and Skin Yard (as well as the not-really-grunge one album wonders Mother Love Bone and not-at-all Seattle - since they were from San Diego - Bad Radio). Mad Season, when they're remembered, are that other grunge supergroup. 
 
Mad Season's Above


Mad Season arrived pretty late on the scene, toward the end of 1994. In April of that year, Kurt Cobain had killed himself but alternative and music had by then long ceased to be anything remotely underground and was resolutely mainstream. In 1992, MTV had replaced 120 Minutes host Dave Kendall with, Lewis Largent and the program, which had previously showcased a host of bands playing diverse music became a parade of bands whose members dressed like Largent, in shorts, combat boots, flannel, and backwards baseball cap. If that wasn't mainstream enough, MTV also launched the ironically named Alternative Nation as a showcase for the manufactured corporate guitar rock favored by soulful dudebros (eg Candlebox and Stone Temple Pilots).
 

In 1993 Marc Jacobs had served up grunge realness on the catwalk for Perry Ellis -- five years after Martin Margiela had pretty much done the same thing, serving up a fantasy of homeless fashion for the one percent. By 1994 pre-ripped jeans and combat boots were part of a uniform adopted by the knavescene and celebrities like Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and Keanu Reeves. Their female counterparts, such as emaciated supermodel Kate Moss,  were used to promote heroin chic. After not having heard any interesting new American rock in what seemed like forever, I gave up on it. I would hear the names of new bands, including Toadies, Seven Mary Three, Sky Cries Mary, Jars of Clay, Primitive Radio Gods, Eels, DC Talk, Duncan Sheik, Sister Hazel, Local H, and more. All would have their champions but like every Steven Spielberg movie since Raiders of the Lost Ark, if I gave any a chance I'd almost certainly be underwhelmed. 

One Album Wonders: V.A.N.

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 5, 2015 11:07am | Post a Comment
V.A.N. - Out in the Rain (1992)

V.A.N. were a short-lived "melodic hard rock" band from Germany who released just one album in 1992, Out of the Rain. I have no idea what the acronym "V.A.N." stands for. It's not derived by the names of the band's members, who were guitaris Frank Elwart, keyboardist and guitarist Helge Engelke, vocalist Jens Reulecke, drummer Kalle Bosel, or bassist Ralf DittrickVereinigung Akustikus Neurinom? I've no idea.

V.A.N. - Out in the Rain


Anyway, of the members of V.A.N., Engelke appears to have had the most previous professional experience having played in the bands Letter X and Zeno. He was born in Hanover in 1961 and began playing guitar at thirteen. In interviews he's mentioned that bands he liked included Deep Purple, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Mott the Hoople, T. Rex, Yes -- but that his favorite of all-time is, revealingly, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.

One Album Wonders: Armageddon

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 7, 2015 03:46pm | Post a Comment
This week’s One Album Wonder is Armageddon, a short-lived heavy rock band led by Keith Relf which proved to be the singer's last. In Armageddon, Relf was joined by Robert Caldwell (drums), Louis Cennamo (bass guitar), and Martin Pugh (guitar).

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Armageddon promo photo

Relf was a noteworthy English singer, guitarist, and harmonica player. He was born 22 March 1943 in Richmond, Surrey and started performing music around 1956. Although severely asthmatic he picked up the harmonica in imitation of his hero, Sonny Boy Williamson. In 1963 he formed The Yardbirds. Although today The Yardbirds seem best remembered for launching the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, they were undoubtedly one of the most important of British Invasion bands, responsible along with The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones with introducing countless white teenagers to the black American music which they'd till then ignored and inspiring thousands of them to form rock bands in suburban garages throughout the Anglosphere.

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One Album Wonders: Sad Iron

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 25, 2015 01:40pm | Post a Comment
SAD IRON - TOTAL DAMNATION (1983)

This week’s One Album Wonder is Dutch heavy metal band, Sad Iron, who released their only album, Total Damnation, in 1983.

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Sad Iron wasn't forged in the Netherworld, but rather the Netherlands -- the harbor town of Hoorn, to be Sad Ironprecise. The founder and sole constant member since their formation in 1979 is guitarist Bernard Rive. He soon recruited Dirk Ooms (bass), Gerrit Soering (drums), and Jan Palenstijn (vocals). Three of Sad Iron’s songs, performed live, were included on Holland Heavy Metal Vol. 1. As a result of winning a battle of the bands, Sad Iron were rewarded with once day of studio time at K&M Geluidsregistratie.

Rive entered the studio with new members Leo "Pro Deo" Ockeloen on bass, Jacques Van Oevelen on drums, and Herke Van Der Poel on vocals and they recorded Total Damnation in one day. Sad Iron shared stages with bands like Hanoi Rocks, Picture, and Vandale.

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