We all know about One Hit Wonders, but what about One Album Wonders – bands that made one album before splitting and leaving behind one cherished 12-track legacy?
The question was posed to Geoff Barton on Facebook by his FB friend Derek White and had us agonising for – ooh, minutes (well, we are music writers – we’ve got an opinion on everything). So in this month’s issue of Classic Rock we asked some of our leading to writers to choose their favourite One Album Wonders.
We’ll post a few over the next few days, but to kick us off, here is Geoff Barton’s. (Strangely enough, it isn’t Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs.) The question is – who are yours? Let us know!
BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS
Geoff Barton sings the praises of Slough’s finest. Or should that be ‘songs of praise’?
John Betjeman might have wanted it bombed out of existence, but the unremarkable Berkshire town of Slough survived the poet’s brickbats to spawn one of the NWOBHM’s most remarkable bands: power trio Sledgehammer.
They’d had a self-titled song on 1980’s Metal For Muthas compilation but they failed to capitalise on it. When their one and only album, Blood On Their Hands, came out in 1983, the NWOBHM had long-since peaked and it sank without trace.
Guitarist/singer Mike Cooke was a serious-minded individual with strong religious beliefs, and Blood has an eccentric, off-kilter undercurrent that gives it an unusual edge. Over The Top 1914 is a bitter anti-war anthem, the Who-like 1984 offers a dose of Townshend-style cynicism, and the trippy Perfumed Garden sounds like an undiscovered 60s proto-metal anthem.
Sledgehammer itself isn’t about having your skull caved in at all, it’s actually about God: ‘It struck me like a sledgehammer that faith can move every mountain’. It’s almost impossible to find out what happened to the band. Google their name and you get Peter Gabriel. However, we did discover that drummer Ken Revell still lives in Slough. In an air-raid shelter, probably. (GB)