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The Cardigans – First Band on the Moon (1996)

June 12, 2012

[Album 61/1001]

Whenever a group is assigned the undesirable label of ‘one-hit-wonder,’ I instantly become curious as to where to lay the blame: The artist (for not creating any other equally acceptable material) or the audience (for not ‘getting’ the rest of the band’s music)? 

The song in question: Lovefool.  Performed here by John Krakinski and Ed Helms.

That Lovefool also appeared on the popular 1996 Romeo & Juliet soundtrack did little to hurt the song’s exposure.  Despite the infuriatingly desperate lyrics, the appeal of the song is undeniable. 

As for The Cardigans beyond the big single?  In this case it was the audience, at least those who neglected to explore the entire record, that missed the boat.

Even if none of the other tracks were as instantly memorable, there’s much to like.  Pleasant vocals, nice mix of backing instrumentation, lots of major 7th chords.

There’s even a cover of Iron Man.  Black Sabbath purists may find it sacrilegious (though purists in general likely find Black Sabbath blasphemous so perhaps it evens out).  I thought it was a fresh take and I’m impressed by how well it works.

Although The Cardigans will likely be remembered by many as a ‘one-hit-wonder,’ this album’s sales figures paint a very different picture.  They found major commercial success across the Pacific in particular, with First Band on the Moon needing only a few weeks to go platinum in Japan.

From → 1990s

  1. I saw them in Hamburg back around this time with a friend of mine who was very 60s-orientated (even more than I). We were there out of curiosity, not knowing any of their material at the time. I said to her while we were waiting for the show to begin “Wouldn’t it be brilliant if they did some completely unexpected cover, something like Black Sabbath’s Iron Man”. She laughed. When the song was played, I missed the opportunity to seduce my friend by passing myself off as a magician.

    • Hearing ‘love fool’ – would not have guessed the same band would attempt (and I’d argue, succeed) covering a Sabbath classic!

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