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Thursday, April 28, 2005

“distant lands I love so far away / I don’t know why we don’t go”

Another Lost in the ‘80s oddity…there’s not much biographical info or background floating around about The Other Ones, a Scandinavian-ish group who put out a single, self-titled album in 1987, and had a good-sized hit with “Holiday,” most definitely not the Madonna song.


I came across “Holiday” and the actual first Other Ones single “We Are What We Are” on a Virgin Records promotional cassette my sister got from her job as an assistant manager at Coconuts Records. In 1986, Virgin launched an American version of their UK imprint, and they had a heady roster out of the gate, including the Cutting Crew, a by this point limping along Killing Joke, Public Image Limited, and some spunky newcomer named Paula Abdul. To spotlight all these new artists, Virgin US issued this promo cassette packed with two songs each from these artists, including The Other Ones.

The Other One’s songs stuck with me for months and finally radio and MTV latched onto the album’s second single, “Holiday,” a bright, sunny romp that pretty much lives up to its title. I remember seeing some interviews with the band and gathered they were very European and foreign-y. They even had a strange bald guy who would talk over certain parts of the song, sort of ruining the whole thing with his ramblings, a move the Sugarcubes would perfect a short year later.

“Holiday” did its time on the chart, the album even charted briefly and then…Lost in the ‘80s. Years later, some surviving members of the Grateful Dead took the Other Ones name and consigned them to the dustbin for pop eternity.

Download “Holiday”.
Download “We Are What We Are.”

”Holiday” peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“We Are What We Are” peaked at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“The Other Ones” LP peaked at #139 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.
posted by John, 3:06 PM