Has any band with only one album ever released a greatest hits album?

This question inspired by a Donovan greatest hits album I own, about which the review said “It’s for the Donovan fan for whom 1 album isn’t enough but 2 albums is too many.”*
*Searching Wikipedia it appears he had more than 2 albums. Still a funny quote.

The Sex Pistols really only made one studio album, but there have been loads of repackaged albums, rarities albums, recompilations, and “bootleg” live Sex Pistol albums, etc.

Not sure if this counts:

Derek and the Dominos only made one album, but a number of live Derek and the Dominos albums were released after their breakup.

The Sex Pistols only released one actual album, but from those recording sessions and subsequent tours, dozens of albums worth of material was released including various greatest hits.

ETA: Ninja’d!

Jeff Buckley released only one album during his lifetime, but has various posthumous releases of live and studio material, and so far there are two “best of” releases.

I seem to recall hearing about a band, maybe in the 70’s or 80’s, that released either only one album, or their first of several albums, which they titled “Greatest Hits”. Can’t remember who it was.

Christopher Cross hits album even uses the cover from his first album. Most of the songs are from the first album too.

Cross did other albums but I don’t think there were any his on them.

I know the OP wants people with just one album. Thats going to be rare. If they had any hits then the record company would usually record a second one.

Everything ever released of Robert Johnson.

I’d say Kak qualifies. Their first album, title Kak, was only a minor hit, but a years later, Columbia repackaged it with additional material under the name of Kak-Ola.

I should have thought of this, considering I own both the “King of the Delta Blues Singers” CD and “The Complete Recordings” CD. More worryingly, I bought the Complete Recordings CD first. My thought processes are a mystery to me sometimes.

I’d imagine a lot of artists from that era fall into a similar boat, with either a limited number of sessions during which nearly all of their known material was recorded, or a number sporadic recording sessions over a longer period of time where only one or a few songs were recorded at a time.


Very funny, and almost fair. If you’ve got the 1961 King of the Delta Blues Singers, you’ve got what’s important. But, IIRC, he had enough to split into two CD’s.

And, you could say that about a great deal of the early blues players. It was early in the days of recording. My favorite, Blind Willie Johnson, did only 30 sides. None of them are over three and a half minutes. I have almost his entire catalog on one record.

But hey, I’m flexible. If we’re playing by those rules, my vote is Blind Willie Johnson. The Rough Guide download has 25 of his 30 songs. He’s amazing, I still can’t play like that.

He’s made an atheist obsessed with the playing of a Preacher, that might be a “hit” for loose values of the same. Maybe?

Chris Gaines only album was a Greatest Hits Compilation…

I never bought the album, but apparently the liner notes contained the names of his “previous albums” and the songs listed within.

The traditional definition of a “Greatest Hits” album is one that gathers previously released songs that were played on the radio frequently and did reasonably well on a Billboard chart of one sort or another.

Neither the Robert Johnson album(s) (which were compilations of songs that were NEVER “hits” in any sense) nor the KAK album (which is a reissue of their only album with bonus tracks) fits that definition.

For an artist to truly meet the criteria of this thread, he/she/they would have to have at minimum two or three successful singles and perhaps some additional material that was unreleased at the time — and then completely exit the music business (either the band breaks up or a solo artist refuses to record anything else).

Under those circumstances, a Greatest Hits album could be prepared by taking the singles and their B-sides plus the unreleased songs (though these last two aren’t really “hits”) and cobbling them into a long player.

It’s possible this has been done, but nothing comes to mind.

It could be Bill Deal & the Rhondels – “May I”, “I’ve Been Hurt”, “What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)”. Their later releases look to me like repackagings of their greatest hits. I like their 45 RPM version of “Swingin’ Tight”.

That’s pretty much what I thought. But, he had 10 hot 100 hits over 6 years spread over 3 of his albums plus a soundtrack and Olympics compilation. Even if you tighten that up to only include Top 40 hits he had 4 on his 1st album, 3 on his second album, and a #1 single from a soundtrack in between them. His second album only sold around 1/10th of his debut, apparently, but it still had hit singles. 3rd album barely charted and had 1 minor single.