10 Artists Who Made It Big Off One Album

Sex Pistols, The Postal Service, New Radicals, and more!

There are many different roads to success. For some, that path is through endless cycles of albums, tours, and recording. On the other side, there are the one who produce one great record skyrocketing them from indie artists to household names. Whether these artists ended their musical journey due to certain members passing, drama, or the loss of interest, it’s safe to say these hit records have stuck with us forever. Here are some musicians who knocked it out of the park with their one, and only, albums!


Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too topped charts in several North American and European countries after its release in 1998. The artist’s pointed lyrics and edgy sound were said to be the start of a new beginning for pop, if Gregg Alexander’s group had continued. Alexander then went on to become a freelance songwriter. He’s known for hits like “The Game of Love” collab with Santana and Michelle Branch and the soundtrack of 2013 hit film Begin Again with former member Danielle Brisebois.


It is hard to believe that Lauryn Hill has only one record, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, when her impression on the industry has carried on for years. From performing with her former band, The Fugees, to the long-lasting success of her solo album, the artist still has some of the spotlight on her. Even after all the stints that have occurred in Hill’s life, there are still rumours of a follow-up…ould it be true?


One of the greatest one album wonders is the Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols from 1977. I think the band was reluctant to know at the time that their record would soon become the epitome of teen angst. A lot of great bands have used this iconic album as inspiration for their many musical creations such as The Misfits and The Jam.


Even before their album debuted, the group was seen as Indie’s Most Exciting New Band. After the release of their 2011 album Go Tell Fire To The Mountains, people were intoxicated by the band’s “larger than life” sound thanks to their recording studio – an abandoned church in Ancoats, Greater Manchester. Fans were so energized by the album that it was a truly sad day when Wu Lyf called it quits in 2013.


It all started when American guitarist, Ry Cooder, had been one of the people invited to Havana curtesy of producer Nick Gold from World Circuit Records to tape a session in collaboration with Cuban musicians. When the others couldn’t travel to Cuba due to a visa card issue, Cooder and Gold thought on their feet to record an album with local musicians instead. Their second option was a success – selling them over 15 million copies in 1997! Not bad for a runner up.


The magnificent record by Buckley was one of the best, yet heartwrenching LP’s of 1994. Buckley was probably one of the most tortured artists and truly put his incredible voice out there with Grace. Buckley’s LP has later been known as one of the greatest albums of all time!


Germs’GI was able to capture the true sound of punk in a reckless and self-destructive state. They were seen as a leading light in the hardcore scene, but suddenly broke up and one member, Darby Crash, ended his own life. You’d probably be familiar with one of the remaining members: guitarist Pat Smear went on to become a member of the Foo Fighters.


Picture this: five, former American army soldiers who were stationed in Germany creating their own rock band after being tired of mainstream music. That in a nutshell is the Monks. The Monks released their 1966 album Black Monk Time which had them reach insane popularity for their hypnotic rhythms and sound manipulation techniques. They were known to baffle their audiences with their live performances…check out their album to see what we’re talking about!


Enjoy the chic, post-punk sounds from the Scottish band off their 1981 album The Only Fun In Town. The album was a greatly executed taste of post-punk and still remains to have a modern sound. To this day, almost 40 years later, their sound can still be referenced in bands like Franz Ferdinand.


The duo including Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard,and Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel (with Jenny Lewis on background vocals) created the 2003 banger Give Up. The album shined above the rest and especially sparked a public obsession for the song entitled “Such Great Heights”. Although rumours spun around about the band re-uniting for a 10 year anniversary album, the only answer to that was the band’s split in 2013. Sad face.