Big Wreck

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Big Wreck
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Hard rock, alternative rock, neo-progressive rock, post-grunge
Years active 1994–2002, 2010-present
Labels Anthem, Atlantic
Associated acts Thornley
Members Ian Thornley
Paulo Neta
Brian Doherty
Dave McMillan
Chuck Keeping
Past members Dave Henning
Forrest Williams
Brad Park

Big Wreck is a rock band formed by Canadian Ian Thornley in Boston, Massachusetts in 1994. They disbanded in 2002 and Ian Thornley went on to a successful 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 fourth studio album, Ghosts, was released in Canada on June 10, 2014.


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

The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts by lead vocalist Ian Thornley, guitarist Brian Doherty, bassist Dave Henning and drummer Forrest Williams, who met as students at the Berklee College of Music. After several years of gigging in Boston and Cambridge, the band signed to a major label and released its debut album In Loving Memory Of... in 1997. The single "The Oaf" was a major Top Ten hit for the band that year.

Perhaps because Ian Thornley and Brian Doherty are both Canadian, the band's biggest commercial success was in Canada rather than the United States (see MAPL system). The album's subsequent singles, "That Song" and "Blown Wide Open", were not as successful on the American charts as "The Oaf", but both charted well in Canada.

In October 2001, Big Wreck played a special show at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Uzume Taiko Ensemble of drummers, with The Tragically Hip's Paul Langlois and Robby Baker and guitarist - as they shared the same manager, Bernie Breen from Bernie Breen Music Management, as well as Eric Johnson also making appearances.

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

The band's second album The Pleasure and the Greed (released in 2001) was marred by poor marketing and was not as big a hit as their debut album, especially in the United States. The band broke up a year later.

Thornley moved back to Toronto, launching the band Thornley. Doherty moved to Camlachie, a small community near Sarnia, Ontario, where he taught guitar and prepared students for University or Conservatory entrance requirements. Doherty also went on to form the indie band Death of 8, but the other band members have not yet emerged with new projects.

Hard rock band Submersed and American Idol winner David Cook have both cited the band as an influence.

Reunion, Albatross, and Ghosts[edit]

In 2010 Ian and Brian rekindled their friendship which led to Brian filling in for a Thornley show, and then joining the band as they naturally reconnected as musicians. This led the band to tour with Thornley's band as "An Evening with Thornley and Big Wreck". As a result of the tour's success, the band took on the Big Wreck name, and all existing members of Thornley effectively became members of Big Wreck.

In November 2011, Big Wreck released their song Albatross as the lead single of the band's 2012 album of the same name.

On February 5, Big Wreck performed at the Sound Academy in Toronto for Canada's Official Super Bowl XLVI party. Big Wreck completed two tours in 2012 across Canada from BC to Ontario in the Spring/Summer (April to July), and later they joined Theory of a Deadman for the Jingle Bell Rock tour in the Fall/Winter of 2012 (November to December 2012).

In April 2014, the band announced the release of their fourth studio album, Ghosts,[2] which was released in Canada on June 10, 2014.


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

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" 7 Ghosts
"Come What May"[12][13]
"Hey Mama"
"War Baby" 6 12
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
"×" denotes periods where charts did not exist or were not archived.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's albums in Canada:
  4. ^ a b "Big Wreck - Awards". allmusic. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's singles on Canadian Singles Chart:
  7. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history – Billboard Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's singles on Canadian Alternative rock Chart:
  9. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's singles on Canadian Active rock Chart:
  10. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history – Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Big Wreck - Chart history – Mainstream Rock Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. 
  13. ^ "Rock Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. 

External links[edit]