The Only Ones

The Only Ones
The Only Ones
Origin London, England
Genres Punk rock, power pop, New Wave
Years active 1976–1982, 2007–present
Labels CBS
Associated acts The Beatstalkers, England's Glory, Spooky Tooth, The One, Love Minus Zero, Freddie Stevenson
Peter Perrett
John Perry
Mike Kellie
Alan Mair

The Only Ones are an English rock band. They were initially active in the late 1970s and were associated with punk rock, yet straddled the musical territory in between punk, power pop and hard rock, with noticeable influences from psychedelia. The band reformed in 2007 after the band's biggest hit "Another Girl, Another Planet" was used in a Vodafone ad campaign in 2006, and the same song was used as the intro theme to Irish DJ Dave Fanning's radio show.[1] They completed a small UK tour in June 2007, and more dates were played in 2008 and 2009. A collection of new material was recorded in 2009 and the songs were given an airing at a concert in London in December that year.



The Only Ones were originally formed in August 1976 in South London by Peter Perrett. Perrett had been recording demos since 1973, and in late 1975 was introduced to guitarist John Perry as a temporary bass guitar player. (The guitarist at that time was Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze.) Perry wanted to concentrate on playing guitar, so by August 1976 he and Perrett then found drummer Mike Kellie (ex-Spooky Tooth) and bassist Alan Mair who previously had success with Scottish band The Beatstalkers.[2] Their first single "Lovers Of Today", self-released on the Vengeance record label, was immediately made 'Record of The Week' by three of the four main music papers. A year later they signed to CBS. Their next single "Another Girl, Another Planet" was a very popular and influential song, and unquestionably the band's best-known song. It is often featured on various musical box-sets featuring a punk rock or New Wave theme. An album was released The Only Ones in 1978 and was well received by reviewers and fans. Their follow-up album was Even Serpents Shine released in the next year. A year later their final studio album Baby's Got A Gun was released. In the summer of 1980, they supported The Who on their tour of the United States. In 1982 the band officially disbanded. In subsequent years the band gained a fierce cult following and its posthumously-released records - live performances, BBC TV and radio shows, and compilation albums - now outnumber their official albums. Unusually, The Only Ones' discs were never deleted from the CBS catalogue, and remain in print today.


In an interview with Alan Mair in the 10 November 2006 issue of the tabloid newspaper, The Daily Record, he said he was set to reform The Only Ones after their Summer 2006 Vodafone advertisement success.[3] On 21 February 2007, Perry confirmed via his MySpace page that the band would reform for a five date UK tour in June. They also played at the Wireless Festival in London and Leeds, All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Minehead, England on 27 April and the Connect Music Festival in Scotland on 1 September.

News of the tour prompted coverage in several UK national newspapers[4][5] and the dates were met with positive reviews.[6][7] During these gigs, the band played a new song called "Dreamt She Could Fly".

It was also reported in the press that three of the band were keen to record a new studio album following the tour, but that Perrett seemed hesitant. However, it has now confirmed that they are now rehearsing new material for an album.

A live DVD of the Shepherds Bush Empire show was released in March 2008. The band's back catalogue is also due for re-release in remastered and expanded form via Sony BMG, but are currently without a release date. Other rumoured releases include DVDs from a show on the band's last U.S tour, and a re-release of Faster Than Lightning, which was released on VHS in the early 1990s.

In April 2008, the band were seen on Later... with Jools Holland performing their song "Another Girl Another Planet" and a new song titled "Black Operations".

The song Another Girl Another Planet was included in the 2011 film "Paul"


All three of their studio albums were re-released with bonus tracks in February 2009.


Their musical proficiency distinguished them from most of their peers, although their dominant drug-related lyrical themes, on songs such as "Another Girl, Another Planet," and "The Big Sleep," fit in with the Zeitgeist of the era on both sides of the Atlantic. Perrett and Kellie caught the eye of Johnny Thunders, founding member of the New York Dolls and the Heartbreakers, and worked as sidemen on his solo debut album, So Alone, notably appearing together on the classic "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory". However, drug addiction, particularly heroin use, derailed their career, and singer/guitarist/songwriter Perrett has only sporadically been heard from since, though he resurfaced in the mid 1990s with the album, Woke Up Sticky.

Lead guitarist Perry went on to play as an active session guitarist for artists including The Sisters of Mercy, Evan Dando and Marianne Faithfull. More recently, he has written several well received music biographies - on The Who's seminal hits compilation Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, The Rolling Stones' double album Exile On Main Street and in 2004, Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland. During 2005/6, he was heard playing and recording with the singer-songwriter, Freddie Stevenson.

The Only Ones have been very influential on the indie rock and alternative rock scenes ever since, on bands such as The Replacements, Blur and Nirvana, and more recently The Libertines. Several bands have covered their song "Another Girl, Another Planet", including The Libertines (at London Forum with Peter Perrett guesting), The Replacements and Blink 182.[8] Furthermore their song "The Whole Of The Law" was covered by Yo La Tengo on their album Painful.

Discography and filmography


Posthumous releases

  • Remains (1984)
  • The Peel Sessions Album (1989)
  • Live (1989)
  • Live in London (1989)
  • The Big Sleep (1993)
  • The Immortal Story (1991)
  • Darkness & Light (2002)
  • Why Don't You Kill Yourself? (2004)
  • Another Girl Another Planet: The Best Punk Album in the World (2006)

Home video

  • The Only Ones Faster Than Lightning (1991)
  • The Only Ones live June 9, 2007- Sheperds Bush Empire (DVD-2008)


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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