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Ugly Kid Joe

After two platinum albums, "As Ugly As They Wanna Be" ('91) and "America's Least Wanted" ('92), Ugly Kid Joe released "Menace To Sobriety." The '95 album did well in Europe but didn't move the needle in the U.S. As a result, their label, Mercury Records, dropped them.

Ugly Kid Joe then formed their own independent label, Evilution Records, and issued "Motel California."

Aside from their first two albums, Ugly Kid Joe, a band from Isla Vista, CA, known for combining satirical humor and Heavy Metal, were notable for some oddball reasons.

Their name was a spoof of the Glam band, Pretty Boy Floyd.

The cover art for "America's Least Wanted" was changed after several record chains claimed it would be offense to American conservatives. The original cover showed the band's cartoon mascot "Ugly Kid" posing as the Statue of Liberty with his middle finger extended and holding a porno magazine. The alternative cover showed "Ugly Kid" chained and gagged and was presented as the 'cleaned version'.

The actual album contained a cover of Harry Chapin's "Cat's In The Cradle," a seemingly incongruous selection but a popular single in both the U.S. and U.K.

The band released the EP "As Ugly As They Wanna Be" in '91 and it sold a million copies in the U.S. to become the highest selling debut EP in history. Also, the single "Everything About You," which peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart and cracked the U.S. Top 10 and was heard in the movie Wayne's World.

Ugly Kid Joe often toured with the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, and got Judas Priest's Rob Halford to provide guest vocals on the track "Goddamn Devil" (from "America's Least Wanted").

Lacking the requisite sales for "Motel California," compounded by a less than stellar European tour, led Ugly Kid Joe to pull the plug in '97. Five years later, their drummer Shannon Larkin joined Godsmack.

But that wasn't the end of the story. Ugly Kid Joe reunited and released the '12 EP, "Stairway To Hell," followed by "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be," their first full-length effort in nearly 20 years. The '15 set featured a guest appearance by Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell on three tracks.

Ugly Kid Joe Discography


1992 America's Least Wanted
1995 Menace To Sobriety
1996 Motel California
2015 Uglier Than They Used Ta Be


1991 As Ugly As They Wanna Be
2012 Stairway To Hell

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