4 Underrated Rock Bands That Only Released One Album

It’s actually quite common for talented rock bands to deliver just one album before calling it quits. There are a few potential reasons for it, from feuds within the band to accepting that they won’t be able to top their only release. Let’s look at four of the more underrated rock bands out there that only released one album!

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1. Green River

Early grunge band Green River released Rehab Doll back in 1988. They broke up that same year and returned off and on through the years for reunions, but they never released another studio album. The band featured Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, as well as Mudhoney’s Mark Arm, so it’s obviously a killer album.

2. Count Five

These American garage rockers released Psychotic Reaction in 1966 and disbanded in 1969 before releasing a follow-up album. They were an interesting bunch who blended R&B and rock in a new way, and stood out from other California garage bands by wearing vampire capes to their shows. The instrumental breaks on Psychotic Reaction are addicting, and the whole album is a gem. It’s also kind of funny to think that the band only broke up because its members went off to college.

3. Life Without Buildings

Life Without Buildings was a stellar Scotland-based indie rock outfit. Sue Tompkins, the band’s vocalist, was a visual artist without any singing background. In a way, that worked in her favor. Her vocals are very experimental on Any Other City, as is the instrumentation from the other art school members of the band. 

4. The Shaggs

Ah, The Shaggs. This 1960s girl group was developed by the three Wiggin sisters’ superstitious father, and that much is obvious. They are often heralded as the worst band of all time. But, we’d be bold enough to say that they are underrated solely because of how unique their music from Philosophy Of The World is. The lyrics, vocals, untuned instruments, and disjointed time signatures on this album are bizarre, to say the least. One might be bold enough to compare the album to free jazz or label the band as proto-punk. Either way, this album is outsider music at its finest.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives

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