Tag Archives: 40 Greatest One-Album Wonders

40 Greatest One-Album Wonders…

…again, a list from Rolling Stone:

40 Greatest One-Album Wonders

I find this list incredibly interesting.  Of course, there are many “one hit” wonders out there, bands that had that one big hit song and never replicated that success.  It’s a little more interesting when you have a band/singer who creates a full album which is considered great and then…nothing.

#37 on the list, Hermann Szobel for the 1976 album Szobel is particularly sobering and intriguing.  Never heard the album but what happened to Mr. Szobel is heartbreaking, especially if the album is as good as described.

Then there’s #17’s The Shaggs and their 1969 album Philosophy of the World.  This is one seriously odd album, of which I’ve heard snippets of in the past.  Three sisters, perhaps (over) indulged by their father, released an album that…well…its an experience, for certain.  I’ll cut and past the entire description from the Rolling Stone article:

It takes all of two seconds for the Shaggs’ out-rock masterpiece Philosophy of the World to fall apart into a glorious, asynchronous mess. The group was a trio of sisters from Fremont, New Hampshire whose father and manager believed in their bizarre, messy music about cats, parents, Halloween and how “you can never please anybody in this world,” as Dot Wiggins sings on the title cut. Although the Shaggs were too weird for mainstream success – leading to their eventual disbandment after their dad died – their sole LP became an underground hit. Frank Zappa said they were “better than the Beatles,” Kurt Cobain named Philosophy his fifth favorite record ever and rock group NRBQ believed in them enough to coax two-thirds of the group out of retirement in 1999. Their story became the subject of an off-Broadway musical that opened in 2011. 

After that, I have to include Philosophy of the World, right?  Here you go:

Don’t say I never do anything for you.

Curious to find that Eric Clapton has not one, but two albums on this list, both of which are deserving of being on it.  You got Blind Faith with their self titled album at #14 and Derek and the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs at #2.  Both groups, which featured Mr. Clapton, only recorded their one album before disbanding.

Before getting to the #1 album, I wanted to point out #9 on the list, The Postal Service and one and only album Give Up.  I picked this album up because of the many recommendations given to it and I find this song from it, in particular, incredibly haunting, though it isn’t the best known song from the album:

Something about longing for lost love is incredibly powerful.  Some of the lyrics send those cliched chills down my spine.  Love, love, love this song.

At #1 is (SPOILER ALERT!!!)…

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

…the Sex Pistols and their one and only full album Never Mind The Bullocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols.  Truly an album that came around at the right time and in the right place and turned just about everything upside down.  It was/is a smarmy, anarchic album which defined the times and insulted just about everything and everyone while doing so.  The album was a hit yet, if memory serves, newspapers would black out “God Save The Queen” from the Billboard list because it was so very controversial.

If you are a fan of rock and roll and punk and music in general, this album is most certainly worth having in your collection.