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 latest album Ghosts was released on June 10, 2014.


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

Big Wreck released their second album The Pleasure and the Greed in June 2001, but its potential success was marred by poor marketing.[citation needed] All of the album's singles 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.[4]

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.[5]

While Big Wreck was inactive, hard rock band Submersed and American Idol winner David Cook both cited the band as an influence.[citation needed]

Reunion, Albatross, and Ghosts and new album[edit]

In 2010, Thornley and Doherty rekindled their friendship. This led to Dohertly filling 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, effectively making all existing members of Thornley become members of 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 April 2014, the band announced the release of their fourth studio album, Ghosts,.[6] 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[7] and was nominated for "Rock Album of the Year" at the Juno Awards of 2015.

As of August 2016 the band has been working on a new album. No release date has been announced but Big Wrecks twitter shows they are in the studio working on new material.


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"[17][18]
"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.
  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. ^ "Big Wreck's Strung Out - NOW Toronto's Magazine - Think Free". 
  5. ^ "Canadian Indie Band: Death of 8". 
  7. ^ "Biography -- Big Wreck Official Site". 
  8. ^ Peak positions for Big Wreck's albums in Canada:
  9. ^ a b "Big Wreck - Awards". allmusic. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  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 2014-07-11. 
  18. ^ "Rock Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. 

External links[edit]