Ugly Kid Joe

Formed in 1989 in Isla Vista, California, American hard rockers Ugly Kid Joe rose to fame in the early 90s through a combination of hard rock, metal, funk, and a healthy dose of humor. Throughout its lengthy career, the group has undergone several lineup changes, with singer Whitfield Crane and guitarist Klaus Eichstadt being the only constant members. After cutting a demo as a trio with producer Eric Valentine, Ugly Kid Joe landed a deal with Mercury Records and made their debut with the extended play As Ugly as They Wanna Be (1991), which reached Number 4 on the Billboard 200 and sold 1 million copies in the US alone. "Everything About You," its lead single, cracked the Top 10 in the US and UK charts, and was also included in the comedy film Wayne's World. By this time, the group had expanded into a five-piece with the addition of drummer Mark Davis, bassist Cordell Crockett, and guitarist Dave Fortman. Ugly Kid Joe followed up in 1992 with their studio debut America's Least Wanted, an unlikely commercial blockbuster that peaked at Number 27 on the Billboard 200 and Number 11 on the UK Albums Chart. The album featured a cover of Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle," which rose to Number 6 on the US pop charts, as well as cameos by Judas Priest's Rob Halford and Jane's Addiction's Stephen Perkins. The band would go on to release another album for Mercury, 1995's Menace to Sobriety, before being dropped by the label. Motel California, their third full-length, saw the light in 1996 through their own Evilution imprint. Even though Ugly Kid Joe split up in 1997, they regrouped in 2010 and issued an EP titled Stairway to Hell in 2012, followed by 2015's Uglier Than They Used ta Be, their first studio effort in 19 years. In 2022, the band released its fifth album Rad Wings of Destiny, which hit Number 67 in Germany and Number 39 in Switzerland.

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