Fan Poll: Top 5 One-Album Wonders of All Time | Revolver

Fan Poll: Top 5 One-Album Wonders of All Time

See what beat Nailbomb's 'Point Blank' and Snot's 'Get Some' for the No. 1 spot
Nailbomb Gloria Cavalera 1600x900, Gloria Cavalera
photograph by Gloria Cavalera

Most great bands, by virtue of their greatness, end up making more than one album. A successful debut more often than not leads to a label throwing money at a group to make another, and in many cases, it takes a band a couple tries to actually create their best work. However, occasionally, a truly amazing band only ever makes one brilliant record and then fizzles out for one reason or another — a tragic death, creative disagreements or even an amicable split among the membership.

We call these bands one-album wonders, and after picking what we think are the 14 greatest of all time, we asked our readers to share their insight on the matter. From short-lived nu-metal mavericks to grunge supergroups that were struck with calamity, the top five one-album wonder vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.

5. Derek and the Dominos - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs 

It's not metal, but anyone who's ever excitedly squinted their eyes, stuck out their tongue and nodded their head at the sound of a sickeningly delicious guitar riff has had the same reaction while listening to "Layla." The title track is the crown jewel of Eric Clapton's career, but the rest of this double LP he released with his short-lived blues-rock band, Derek and the Dominos, is an undeniably compelling slab of early Seventies guitar heroicism. 

4. Mother Love Bone - Mother Love Bone 

Residing on the more Zeppelin-y side of the grunge spectrum, Mother Love Bone's 1990 self-titled is a timestamp of the budding genre just before it became an international sensation. The merits of this album will always come second in the headlines to the tragedy of frontman Andrew Wood's death the day after it was set to be released, and the fact that members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard would regroup in a band called Pearl Jam. But Mother Love Bone is a terrifically dark and jammy part of the grunge canon.

3. Snot - Get Some

Snot were one of the most interesting nu-metal bands to emerge in the late Nineties, whipping together Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque funk-rock with sprinting hardcore thrashers and rambunctious Bizkit-ian rap-metal bangers. Sadly, their charismatic frontman Lynn Strait passed away just a year after after the 1997 release of the group's debut LP, Get Some, so they've always been the nu-metal superstars who could have been.

2. Nailbomb - Point Blank

Nailbomb was Max Cavalera's heaviest band, so it's too bad that they only ever made a single studio album. The Sepultura/Soulfly founder's brief industrial-metal side project with Fudge Tunnel's Alex Newport sounds exactly like the harrowing cover of Point Blank looks — terrifyingly intense and potentially lethal.

1. Mad Season - Above

Mad Season were essentially the grunge Avengers. The Seattle supergroup featured Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin, as well as bassist John Baker Saunders. Named after the time of year when magic mushrooms are in full bloom, the band only released one album, 1995's Above, before Saunders OD'd in 1999 and Staley followed suit three years later. Naturally, with that lineup, it's an absolute classic that, at times, even surpasses the sum of the band's magical pieces.