Tuesday, 12 July 2011

WORLDS MOST UNDERRATED BANDS EXHIBIT A: THE ONLY ONES

Let’s firstly all try our best to get over ‘Another Girl Another Planet’ and place it in the wardrobe for the entire duration of the article whilst we examine more closely the tragically underrated band The Only Ones. Folk tend to forget 'the' song itself didn’t get a lot of airplay in its day due to drug references. In case you missed them The Only Ones (1976-81 odd) wrote what I define as psychedelic pop songs and I defy anyone to label them punk, the convenience they are often painted with. Does that photo (above) look like a fucking ‘in ya face’ punk band in the heady days of 1978 to you? Christ their drummer, Mike Kellie, came from the group Spooky Tooth who employed at varying times two keyboardists! The bassist, Alan Mair, was close to 30 when the band formed and hardly likely to identify with teenage angst. Trivia time: Mair use to run a London leather-shop and employed Freddie Mercury as the manager at one stage. Guitarist John Perry, who is now a renowned rock music writer, was balding. Do those You Tubes (below) sound remotely late 70's punk to your ear? The Only Ones lyrics/themes often delved into relationships, mostly dysfunctional, rather than say overthrowing the establishment, politics etc. Emotion oozed from their nasally delivered songs. Singer, Peter Perrett is an acquired taste, but so is Guinness and like those who enjoy the magnificent black drop from Ireland the public who don’t get him are welcome to their shandies, quite nights in front of the fire watching The Eagles Reunion Tour on DVD. It was share bad timing that doomed The Only Ones to ‘also rans’ on the music charts. Their biggest selling album stalled at 37. The music press loved them and generally lauded their works which is befitting their timeless sound. The public at the time however was looking for the next ‘new thing’. The Only Ones fell between the chasms of Punk and New Wave, a square peg in a round hole. Despite staunch support from a small legion of fans and great press the band never followed-up their one seminal song as Perrotts and the teams addiction(s) took hold the band dissolved into the ether. Drugs were entwined with the band, not that this is always a bad thing when it comes to creating music, just re-creating it for an audience becomes the issue, managing life in general. The effects of drugs invariably also leads to ‘off stage’ acrimony. At the point of meltdown Mair, remained the only member not addicted to one substance or another. So it was a sad end to a group that given another time & place would have enjoyed both success and status they so richly deserved. No record collection is totally fulfilled until it has something from The Only One’s firmly ensconced.    

                                  

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