Once (Nightwish album)

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Once
Studio album by Nightwish
Released 7 June 2004
Recorded Tempputupa Studios, Kitee, Finnvox Studios, Helsinki and E-Major Studios, Kerava, Finland,
Phoenix Sound Studios, Wembley, England
October 2003–March 2004
Genre Symphonic metal, power metal
Length 60:07
Label Spinefarm (Finland & Asia)
Nuclear Blast (Europe)
Roadrunner (North America and Australia)
Producer Tuomas Holopainen, Tero Kinnunen
Nightwish chronology
Century Child
(2002)
Once
(2004)
Dark Passion Play
(2007)
Singles from Once
  1. "Nemo"
    Released: 19 April 2004
  2. "Wish I Had an Angel"
    Released: 15 September 2004
  3. "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan"
    Released: 24 November 2004 (Finland and Japan only)
  4. "The Siren"
    Released: 25 June 2005

Once is the fifth studio album by Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, released on 7 June 2004 by Spinefarm Records and Nuclear Blast. It is the last album to feature Tarja Turunen on lead vocals. In an interview, the main songwriter of the band Tuomas Holopainen said that it is up to the listener to find out the meaning of the title Once. The album cost nearly €250,000 to make,[1] which made it Finland's most expensive recording ever until the release of Nightwish's next album, Dark Passion Play, which cost over €500,000 to produce.[2]

Background[edit]

In 2008 Kerrang! interview Tuomas Holopainen remembered: "Doing this kind of really orchestral, symphonic stuff for four albums, you have to be prepared to take the next step and go 10 steps beyond, and that's how we ended up with the London Session Orchestra. At that time we also had the financial resources to do it. This was like our second breakthrough in a way; Oceanborn (1998) broke us, took us to the big league. Musically it was pretty laid-back from our side because everyone involved in the orchestra really knew their stuff, so we basically spent two days lying on the couch hearing all these people playing our songs, enjoying every moment. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. The first song they started to play was "Ghost Love Score", we had no idea what to expect, and I just thought: This can't be happening!"[3]

Musical style[edit]

The album continues the more streamlined musical approach first heard on Century Child, moving further away from the power metal-influenced sound of their previous albums into a slightly more mainstream, approachable feel. Once utilizes a full orchestra in nine of the eleven songs on the album; unlike Century Child, Nightwish chose an orchestra outside of Finland, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which is also featured on their next studio album, Dark Passion Play.

Once is their second album to feature a full-length song in Finnish, "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan". The band added new elements to their music for this album, such as the chorus riff and synthesized drum-beat of "Wish I Had an Angel", and the long Native American prayer chant on "Creek Mary's Blood". The song "Ghost Love Score" is an apt example of the combined work done by the orchestra and Nightwish, which the name hints at.

Cover art[edit]

The angel on the album cover is a view of the Angel of Grief, a sculpture by William Wetmore Story.[4] The original is in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome, Italy. The statue shows an angel crying on the tomb of Story's wife; after his death, Story was buried under the same statue, close to his wife.[5]

The cover of the album is very similar to the cover of 1998's Evanescence EP by the American alternative rock band Evanescence.

Tour[edit]

Main article: Once Upon a Tour

The success of the album allowed them to perform the Once Upon a Tour, which enabled them to play in many countries the band had never visited before.[6] Nightwish performed at the opening ceremony of the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, held in Helsinki,[7] highlighting the band's recently gained popularity.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[8]
Rock Hard 9.5/10[9]
Metal Storm 6.5/10 stars[10]
Sea of Tranquility 5/5 stars
4/5 stars[11]
Metal.de 8/10 stars[12]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[13]
Metal Hammer (GER) 7/7 stars[14]

During the first week of its release, Once entered the German,[15] Finnish,[16] Norwegian[17] and Greek charts as number one,[18] selling over 80,000 copies in Germany alone.[15] It was also the first Nightwish album to chart in the U.S., reaching No. 42 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart,[19] and the band's first album to chart in UK, reaching No. 8 on the Rock Chart.[citation needed] In 2005, Once was ranked number 383 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[20]

Once has sold triple platinum in Finland,[21] platinum in Germany,[22] gold in Sweden[23] and later reached No. 1 also in the European Top 100 Albums chart.[24] The single "Nemo" topped the charts in Finland[25] and Hungary,[26] and reached the top ten in four additional countries.[27][28][29] It remained in the UK Rock Chart for more than a year.[30] "Nemo" therefore remains their most successful single ever, and Once is at number 47 of the best of all time albums in Finland.[31] The total sales of the album have been more than 1 million copies.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Tuomas Holopainen, all music composed by Holopainen, except where indicated.

No. Title Music Length
1. "Dark Chest of Wonders"     4:29
2. "Wish I Had an Angel"     4:06
3. "Nemo"     4:36
4. "Planet Hell"     4:39
5. "Creek Mary's Blood" (feat. John Two-Hawks)   8:30
6. "The Siren"   Holopainen, Emppu Vuorinen 4:45
7. "Dead Gardens" (feat. Jouni Hynynen)   4:28
8. "Romanticide"   Holopainen, Marco Hietala 4:58
9. "Ghost Love Score"     10:02
10. "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan" (Finnish for Death Makes an Artist)   3:59
11. "Higher Than Hope" (in memory of Marc Brueland) Hietala, Holopainen 5:37
Bonus tracks
No. Title Length
12. "White Night Fantasy" (United States & Platinum Edition bonus track - originally found on the "Nemo" single (Jewelcase version)) 4:05
13. "Live to Tell the Tale" (United States & Platinum Edition bonus track - originally found on the "Nemo" single (Digipak version)) 4:58

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Once adapted from liner notes.

Charts[edit]

Preceded by
To the 5 Boroughs by Beastie Boys
The Cure by The Cure
European Album Chart number-one album
10 July 2004 - 16 July 2004
24 July 2004 – 30 July 2004
Succeeded by
The Cure by The Cure
Anastacia by Anastacia

Certifications[edit]

Country Organization Year Sales
Finland IFPI Finland 2004 3x Platinum (+ 90,000)[21]
Germany BVMI 2012 3x Gold (+ 300,000)[22]
Sweden IFPI Sweden 2004 Gold (+ 20,000)[23]
Switzerland IFPI Switzerland 2004 Gold (+ 20,000)[64]
Norway IFPI Norway 2004 Gold (+ 15,000)[65]
Austria IFPI Austria 2004 Gold (+ 7,500)[66]
Greece IFPI Greece 2004 Gold (+ 3,000)[67]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Record Label Catalog Number Note
Finland 7 June 2004 Spinefarm Records 981890-4[68]
Europe Nuclear Blast 27361 12912[68] released in four different editions
Japan 21 July 2004 Spinefarm/Universal UICO-1067[68]
Australia 5 October 2004[69] Roadrunner Records RR 8216-2[68]
New Zealand
Canada 168618217-2[68]
United States
Brazil 15 December 2004 Spinefarm/Universal AK5000[70]
Argentina 12 February 2005 NEMS Enterprises NEMS 335[68] released in two different editions
Japan 3 December 2008[71] Spinefarm/Universal UICY-91258 Super Audio CD

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Ruskell, Nick (16 August 2008). "Treausre Chest. An Ultimate Portrait of a Life in Rock. Tuomas Holopainen.". Kerrang! 1223. London, UK: Bauer Media Group. p. 54. 
  4. ^ "Emelyn Eldredge Story (1820 - 1895) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
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  9. ^ Albrecht, Frank (June 2004). "Rock Dynamit". Rock Hard (in German) (205). Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
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External links[edit]