Big Wreck

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Big Wreck
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Years active 1994–2002, 2010-present
Labels Anthem, Atlantic
Associated acts Thornley
Past members
  • Dave Henning
  • Forrest Williams
  • Brad Park
  • Paulo Neta

Big Wreck is a Canadian-American rock band formed by Ian Thornley in Boston, Massachusetts in 1994. They disbanded in 2002 and Ian Thornley went on to a solo career with his own band Thornley. In 2010, Ian Thornley and Brian Doherty reunited for a cross-Canada tour, playing both Big Wreck and Thornley songs.[1] In 2012, under the name Big Wreck, the band released their third studio album, Albatross. The band's latest album Grace Street was released on February 3, 2017.


Formation and In Loving Memory Of...[edit]

Big Wreck was formed in Boston, Massachusetts by lead vocalist Ian Thornley, guitarist Brian Doherty, bassist Dave Henning and drummer Forrest Williams while they were students at the Berklee College of Music.[2] After a few years of gigging in the Boston area, the band signed to Atlantic Records and released their debut album In Loving Memory Of.... In the US, their single "The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted)" reached the top ten on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart in early 1998.[3] Four months later, their follow-up single "That Song" reached the top 40 on that same chart.[3] The band found even bigger commercial success in Canada, scoring 4 top 40 hits on the Canadian Singles Chart. The band went on a 17-stop tour to publicize their releases.[4]

The Pleasure and the Greed, breakup, and other projects[edit]

Big Wreck released their second album The Pleasure and the Greed in June 2001; a number of singles were released, but failed to chart in both the US and Canada.

In October of that year, the band played a special show at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Uzume Taiko Ensemble of drummers, guitarist Eric Johnson and The Tragically Hip's Paul Langlois and Robby Baker.[5]

The band broke up in 2002. Ian Thornley moved back to Toronto and formed the band Thornley. Brian Doherty moved to Camlachie, a small community near Sarnia, Ontario, where he taught guitar and prepared students for University or Conservatory entrance requirements.[citation needed] Doherty also went on to form the indie band Death of 8.[6]

Reunion, Albatross, Ghosts and Grace Street[edit]

In 2010, Doherty filled in as guitarist at a Thornley show, and that led to Doherty joining the band as a permanent member. A tour promoted as "An Evening with Thornley and Big Wreck" followed, and as a result of the tour's success, the band assumed the Big Wreck moniker, including the existing members of Thornley in the new Big Wreck.[2]

In November 2011, Big Wreck released their first song in ten years "Albatross" as the lead single of their 2012 album of the same name. The song achieved chart success in both the US and Canada.

On February 5, 2012, Big Wreck performed at the Sound Academy in Toronto for Canada's Official Super Bowl XLVI party. They also completed two tours that year, touring Canada from British Columbia to Ontario from April to July, then accompanying Theory of a Deadman for their Jingle Bell Rock tour from November to December.

In 2014, the band released their fourth studio album, Ghosts. The album was released in the US and Canada on June 10, 2014. The album reached #5 on the Top 200 SoundScan chart in Canada, hit #25 on the US Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart and was nominated for "Rock Album of the Year" at the Juno Awards of 2015.

In November 2016, Big Wreck released a new single "One Good Piece Of Me" off of their upcoming album, Grace Street. Grace Street was released on February 3, 2017.



  • Ian Thornley - lead vocals, lead guitar (1994-2002, 2010–present)
  • Brian Doherty - rhythm guitar (1994-2002, 2010–present)
  • Dave McMillan - bass (2010–present)
  • Chuck Keeping - drums (2012–present)


  • Dave Henning - bass (1994-2002)
  • Forrest Williams - drums (1994-2002)
  • Brad Park - drums (2010-2012)
  • Paulo Neta - guitar (2010-2017)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak positions Certifications
US Heatseekers
1997 In Loving Memory Of... 48 31 2× Platinum
2001 The Pleasure and the Greed 10 -
2012 Albatross 5 25
2014 Ghosts 5 4
2017 Grace Street 5 8

Extended plays[edit]

  • Bag of Tricks (2013)


Year Title Chart positions Album




1997 "The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted)" 21 3 24 9 In Loving Memory Of...
1998 "That Song" 31 7 32
"Blown Wide Open" 31 8
"Under the Lighthouse" (Canadian single only) 12
2001 "Inhale" × × The Pleasure and the Greed
"Ladylike" (Canadian single only) × ×
2002 "Knee Deep" (Canadian single only) × ×
2011 "Albatross" 71 2 1 31 Albatross
2012 "Wolves" 98 11 4
"A Million Days" 35 6
2014 "Ghosts" 3 7 Ghosts
"Come What May"[17][18]
"Hey Mama"
"War Baby"
2016 "One Good Piece of Me" 4 6 Grace Street
"Digging In"
2017 "You Don't Even Know"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
"×" denotes periods where charts did not exist or were not archived.

Music videos[edit]

List of music videos, showing year released and director(s) name
Title Year Director(s)
"The Oaf (My Luck Is Wasted)" 1997 Unknown
"That Song" 1998
"Blown Wide Open"
"Inhale" 2001
"Knee Deep" 2002
"Albatross" 2011 Micha Dahan
"Wolves" 2012
"A Million Days"
"Ghosts" 2014 Brad Conrad & George Vale
"Come What May"
"Hey Mama" Tyler Tasson
"One Good Piece of Me" 2016 Nikki Ormerod
"You Don't Even Know" 2017 Unknown

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b "Big Wreck Frontman Ian Thornley on Their Successful Comeback, How Close He Came to Rejoining Velvet Revolver". 
  3. ^ a b "Big Wreck - Chart history - Billboard". 
  4. ^ Bettsy Powell (16 January 1999). There's no place like home. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. and 58. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  5. ^ "Big Wreck's Strung Out - NOW Toronto's Magazine - Think Free". 
  6. ^ "Canadian Indie Band: Death of 8". 
  7. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's albums in Canada:
  8. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history: Billboard Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 7, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  11. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's singles on Canadian Singles Chart:
  12. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history – Billboard Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  13. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's singles on Canadian Alternative rock Chart:
  14. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's singles on Canadian Active rock Chart:
  15. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history – Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history – Mainstream Rock Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on July 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Rock Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on July 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]