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The Only Ones were minor pop stars in their U.K. homeland in 1979 when Epic Records put out this U.S. collection of tracks from the band’s first two great British albums. The Only Ones were reductively dismissed stateside as “punk new wave” (and therefore bombed)—but a closer listen tells a different story. If songwriter Peter Perrett’s unkempt Dickensian rock star appearance somewhat explained the heroin ennui that would hinder him for years, here he plays it out like an energetic kid who grew up on Dylan, Syd Barrett, and The New York Dolls. The best songs (“You’ve Got to Pay,” “Lovers of Today,” “Out There in the Night,” “The Whole of the Law”) have the inescapable charm of a young, well-read, and fragile guitarist/storyteller who’s backed by a worthy band. The band’s absolute classic “Another Girl, Another Planet” is more than that—it’s one of the best pop songs of a generation (see affectionate covers by Belle & Sebastian, Blink 182, The Replacements, The Libertines, etc.) with a completely misunderstood junkie metaphor. Perrett was clever like that.

Customer Reviews

Influenced the Replacements.

This is a good introduction to a often overlooked band. Very fun exciting rock n roll!! Anyone interested in first wave punk bands like buzzcocks, richard hell, the clash, or television should definately pick up something by this band. P.s May not be recomemended for fans of blink 182 (gaag!)..

classic powerpop

such a talented group with such a strong vocalist. this compilation is still missing a few tunes off their self titled but is still better than the remains album

Good compliation - great band

This is an amagalmation of the Only Ones first two albums, "Only Ones" and "Even Serpents Shine", which were only issued in Britain (at one time). It's a pretty good distillation, and makes a good pairing with "Baby's Got A Gun" (their third album). Think of Peter Perrett (lead singer and songwriter) as a cross between Ray Davies and Lou Reed and you begin to get the idea of how good he really is.


Formed: 1977 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '10s

Led by the raffish and slightly scuzzy romance-obsessed Peter Perrett, the Only Ones were one of the punk era's most underrated bands. Not as confrontational as the Sex Pistols, as politically indulgent as the Clash, or as stripped-down as the Ramones, the Only Ones played not-so-fast guitar rock that sounded deeply indebted to the New York Dolls and other mid-'70s proto-punks. Singing his intelligently crafted pop songs in a semi-tuneful whine of a voice and backed by a band that effectively combined...
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Special View, The Only Ones
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