Music charts have forever showcased the so-called one-hit wonders like Norman Greenbaum’s classic “Spirit in the Sky.” The more noteworthy feat, however, is the one-album wonder. This is a remarkable, albeit curious accomplishment: an artist makes an entire album full of great songs, with little or nothing of note before or following.
Taking nothing away from anyone who makes great music, still you can’t help but wish these talented artists had more creative fuel in their tank.
This week I scanned my CD racks looking examples of what I respectfully consider one-album wonders and discovered I had at least 19 such favorites in my collection. Most of these masterpieces have dramatic backstories to explain or excuse their limited production. My recommendation, however, is rather than dwell on lost potential, show your appreciation by giving some or all of these incomparable albums another spin.
- “Maybe you’ve been brainwashed too” — New Radicals
- “Boomtown” — David and David
- “Grace” – Jeff Buckley
- “The Cloud Room” – The Cloud Room
- “Resident Alien” — Spacehog
- “Get to the River Before It Runs too Low” — Sea Wolf
- “The Sun is Often Out” — Longpigs
- “america town” — Five For Fighting
- “Punches” — World Leader Pretend
- “Hope & Wait” — My Friend Steve
- “Mayonnaise” – Mayonnaise
- “In Ear Park” — Department of Eagles
- “Love Will Find You” — Findlay Brown
- “The Runaway Found” – The Veils
- “San Fermin” — San Fermin
- “The Airborne Toxic Event” – The Airborne Toxic Event
- “Give Up” – The Postal Service
- “Tonight is the Ghost” – Hurricane Bells
- “The Time has Come” – The Chambers Brothers
Some classic albums. I would add Breakfast in America by Supertramp.