My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: The Only Ones is the debut album from the UK band of the same name. It was released in 1978.
What I think: I became familiar with The Only Ones from The Replacements. Not only is singer Peter Perrett’s name dropped in one of their songs (I can’t remember which now and Google isn’t helping)(Edit: It’s in the Paul Westerberg b-side “Seein’ Her”!, they also do a smoking cover (I don’t think I’d describe any other song as smoking, but this is hot!) of Another Girl, Another Planet. In the past I’ve tried to listen to The Only Ones greatest hits and never stuck with them very long.
This album is pretty good though, especially an album full of songs about fatalistic heroin use/addiction. That’s stretching it a bit, but two are certainly directly about heroin (“Another Girl, Another Planet” and ‘The Beast”) and the others are informed by Perrett’s drug use.
I guess I would describe the album as a whole as a sort of sedate punk rock and/or a UK version of The Velvet Underground (complete with Nico-ish backing vocals in places), but what really surprises me is the songs “Breaking Down” and “The Immortal Story” for their extended jams at the end. “Breaking Down” goes full Doors organ groove and “The Immortal Story” warps into a Television style jam at the end.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I do agree that it should be here. It is a good listen AND it’s been pretty influential to many eighties and nineties bands.
Rating (Out of 5) 4
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (314/411)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 76%