Saturday, May 28, 2022

Only: Not The Only One


purchase [ Luck of the Draw  ]

Bonnie Raitt ranks very high among my favorite musicians, slide players and vocalists, but I have said that again and again here.

50 years since her first album, this past April she released her latest album <Just Like That> which her website says is her 21st, and is back on the road - in TN and NC the week of this posting. Again, from, it appears that the new album and "Made Up Mind" are finally bringing her the kind of recognition she desereves beyond people like ourselves who already know how good she is. There is an interview with her in April's Variety where she notes that some of the intention behind the album was to share music of/by/with musicians who may not be around all that much longer. (see Living For the Ones)

When we decided this theme, I had not cheked to see if in fact the songs of choice had aready been covered here. At the time my thoughts were more back with Dave Mason's Only You Know and I Know, which kind of acts as a bridge to the theme. Oh, and also a question in the back of my mind:

why do we pronounce one as wən but only as ˈōn-lē. And why do we combine them in the saying "one and only"? If, like myself, words interest you as much as music, have a quick look at some etymology here.

But this is off the track we should be on: the song Not the Only One, one of a couple of songs from 1991's Luck of the Draw by Paul Brady. And Paul Brady is a musician whose history is worth a trip down this link to learn more: 

Brady appears to have released the song back in 1983.

Here it is with Brady together with Raitt

pretty much not on topic but - hey it's got the one and only bonnie, it's live and it's a great collaboration with the one and only Keb Mo'

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Only: The Only Ones

The Only Ones: Another Girl, Another Planet

If you are a regular, and long-time, reader of Cover Me, this piece may seem a little familiar.  But I don't think that it counts as plagiarism if I steal from myself.  Think of it as an "adaptation," OK?  And this is a song that deserves a post on this blog, too.

It is somewhat ironic that most people know only one song by the Only Ones— “Another Girl, Another Planet.”  Originally released in 1978, it received minimal airplay and attention (but it was pretty regularly played on WPRB during my time there), but its reputation has grown exponentially over the years.  The Allmusic review of the song asserts that it is “arguably, the greatest rock single ever recorded.”  Of course, people will “argue” about anything, and choosing “Another Girl” as the greatest rock single ever is a bit of a reach, but you have to give the reviewer his due for taking a stand.  It is a great song, and it is fitting that it ultimately received the acclaim that it deserved.

The Only Ones formed in London in 1976, led by distinctively anguished vocalist and songwriter Peter Perrett joined by guitarist/keyboard player John Perry, Alan Mair on bass, and drummer Mike Kellie.  Featuring strong songwriting by Perrett and surprisingly (for punks of the era) competent playing by the band, they self-released a single, “Lovers of Today.” It sold well enough that a bidding war broke out among major labels looking for the next big thing.

While the label battles raged, the band took refuge at Escape Studio, run by producer John Burns, to record some tracks.  The unlikely marriage of Burns – who had started in the industry engineering albums by bands like King Crimson, Jethro Tull, and Humble Pie, and who had co-produced three decidedly not-punk Genesis albums – and the Only Ones somehow worked.  They finished their efforts at Escape with three 16-track demos, including “Another Girl, Another Planet.” In fact, after signing with CBS Records, and re-recording “Another Girl” at a bigger, fancier, 24-track studio, it ultimately became clear that the “demo” was the right version, and it is the one that was released (with a bit of additional overdubbing to take advantage of the additional tracks).

Despite the quality of the song, it encountered resistance, in part because it was not punk enough for the purists and too punk for mainstream play, but also because the song was perceived to be about drugs.  It wasn’t.  As Perrett stated in a 2015 interview:

It was inspired by this girl from Yugoslavia. I didn’t go out with her, but she was like a total space cadet, which when I was really young I found interesting. She was just a bit weird – she’d say crazy things, and it just got me thinking that every girl has something different to offer.

As for the drug imagery?  Perrett explains:

I put in drug-related imagery, but it wasn’t about drugs. At that time I was more addicted to sex and infatuation than I was to drugs.

Although the band’s three studio albums were generally well received, and they even opened for the Who, by  1982 the Only Ones had disbanded, in large part due to Perrett’s drug problems.  When Johnny Thunders (who later, sort of, covered the song) suggests that you need to clean your act up, you know you are messed up.  There was a short-lived reunion in 2007, and another in 2014.  Perrett released an album, How The West Was Won, in 2017 to excellent reviews, and is touring (although his US and Canada dates were cancelled due to visa problems).

Despite its lack of chart success, “Another Girl, Another Planet” has become a regular part of Best Of lists, compilation albums, box sets, and soundtracks over the years, and has become an often covered song.  And if you want to here Five Good Covers of the song, and links to a few more, check out the Cover Me link above.

I'll try to write something new for next week.