Once (Nightwish album)

Once (Nightwish album)
Studio album by Nightwish
Released June 7, 2004
Recorded 2003–2004
Genre Symphonic metal, power metal
Length 60:07
Label Nuclear Blast, Spinefarm
Producer Tuomas Holopainen, Tero Kinnunen
Nightwish chronology
Century Child
Dark Passion Play
Singles from Once
  1. "Nemo"
    Released: April 19, 2004
  2. "Wish I Had an Angel"
    Released: September 15, 2004
  3. "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan"
    Released: November 24, 2004
  4. "The Siren"
    Released: July 25, 2005

Once is the fifth studio album by Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, released on June 7, 2004 by Nuclear Blast and on November 24 by Spinefarm, with the US release on October 5 by Roadrunner Records. In an interview, Tuomas Holopainen (main song writer of the band) said that it is up to the listener to find out the meaning of the title Once. Every name has a meaning — though, he doesn't feel comfortable talking about it.[1] This is the last of the Nightwish studio albums to feature vocals by Tarja Turunen.[2]



The album continues the more streamlined musical approach first heard on Century Child, moving further away from the power metal-influenced sound of their previous albums into a slightly more mainstream, approachable feel. Once utilizes a full orchestra in nine of the eleven songs on the album; unlike Century Child, Nightwish chose an orchestra outside of Finland, the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It is featured in their sixth studio album, Dark Passion Play.[3]

Once is their second album to feature a full-length song in Finnish,"Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan".[3] The band added new elements to their music for this album, such as the chorus riff and synthesized drum-beat of "Wish I Had an Angel", and the long Native American prayer chant on "Creek Mary's Blood".[3] The song "Ghost Love Score" is an apt example of the combined work done by the orchestra and Nightwish, which the name hints at.[3]

The angel on the album cover is a view of the Angel of Grief, a sculpture by William Wetmore Story. The original is in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome, Italy. The statue shows an angel crying on the tomb of Story's wife; after his death, Story was buried under the same statue, close to his wife.[3] The making of the album cost nearly €250.000,[4] being, at the time, Finland's most expensive recording of all time, but it was replaced by Dark Passion Play, also by Nightwish, which cost over €500.000 to produce.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Sea of Tranquility 5/5 stars[5]
Lords of Metal 10/10 stars[6]
Metal Symphony 4.5/5 stars[7]
The Metal Circus 9/10 stars[8]
Metal Storm 8.4/10 stars[9]

During the first week of its release, Once entered the German,[10] Finnish,[11] Norwegian[12] and Greek charts as number one,[13] selling over 80,000 copies in Germany alone.[10] It was also the first Nightwish album to chart in the U.S., reaching #42 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.[14] It was also the band's first album to chart in UK, reaching #8 on the Rock Chart.[15]

Once has sold triple platinum in Finland, platinum in Germany,[16] gold in Sweden and later reached #1 also in the Hungarian[17] and European album charts.[18] The single "Nemo" topped the charts in Finland[19] and Hungary,[17] and reached the top ten in three additional countries.[10][12][15] "Nemo" therefore remains their most successful single ever, and Once is in number #47 of the best of all time albums in Finland.[20] The total sales of the album have been more than 1 million copies.[2]

The success of the album allowed them to perform the Once Upon a Tour, which enabled them to play in many countries the band had never visited before. Nightwish performed at the opening ceremony of the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, held in Helsinki,[21] highlighting acclaim the band has recently gained.

Track listing

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Dark Chest of Wonders"   Tuomas Holopainen 4:29
2. "Wish I Had an Angel" (second single) Holopainen 4:06
3. "Nemo" (first single) Holopainen 4:36
4. "Planet Hell"   Holopainen 4:39
5. "Creek Mary's Blood" (feat. John Two-Hawks) Holopainen 8:30
6. "The Siren" (fourth single) Holopainen & Emppu Vuorinen 4:45
7. "Dead Gardens" (feat. Jouni Hynynen) Holopainen 4:28
8. "Romanticide"   Holopainen & Marco Hietala 4:58
9. "Ghost Love Score"   Holopainen 10:02
10. "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan" (Finnish for Death Makes an Artist) Holopainen 3:59
11. "Higher than Hope" (in memory of Marc Brueland) Holopainen & Hietala 5:35
12. "White Night Fantasy" (US bonus track - originally found on the "Nemo" single) Holopainen 4:05
13. "Live To Tell The Tale" (US & Platinum Edition bonus track - originally found on the "Nemo" single) Holopainen 5:02
14. "Where Were You Last Night" (Platinum Edition bonus track - originally found on the "Wish I Had An Angel" single - Ankie Bagger cover) Tim Norell, Ola Håkansson and Alexander Bard 3:52

Charts, sales and procession


Austrian Top 40 Albums 4[22]
Belgian Ultratop 50 30[23]
Brazilian MTV Video Charts 1[24]
Dutch MegaCharts 11[25]
European Top 100 Albums 1[18]
Finnish Albums Chart 1[11]
French Albums Chart 9[26]
German Albums Chart 1[10]
Greek Albums Charts 1[13]
Hungarian Albums Chart 1[17]
Norwegian Albums Chart 1[12]
Polish Airplay Chart 16[27]
Slovakian Albums Chart 1[2]
Swedish Albums Chart 3[28]
Swiss Albums Top 100 4[29]
UK Rock Chart 8[15]
UK Albums Chart 102[2]
US Top Heatseekers 42[14]
World Top 40 13[27]

Sales and certifications

Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
Austria Gold[30]
Brazil Gold[31]
Finland 3x Platinum[32]
Germany Platinum[16]
Greece Gold[2]
Norway Gold[33]
Sweden Gold[34]
Switzerland Gold[2]
Preceded by
To The 5 Boroughs by Beastie Boys
European Album Chart number one (1st run)
10 July 2004 - 16 July 2004
Succeeded by
The Cure by The Cure
Preceded by
The Cure by The Cure
European Album Chart number one (2nd run)
24 July 2004 - 30 July 2004
Succeeded by
Anastacia by Anastacia


Credits for Once adapted from liner notes.[35]

The band


Main crew

  • Tero Kinnunen- Sound engineer
  • Mikko Karmila - Mixing
  • Mika Jussila - Mastering engineer
  • Pip Williams - Choir and orchestral arrangements
  • Markus Mayer - Cover Artwork
  • Toni Härkönen - Photographies
  • Petteri Tyynelä - Layout


  1. ^ a b "Nightwish release Finland's costliest-ever album". Helsingin Sanomat. 2007-09-25. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Nightwish+release+Finlands+costliest-ever+album+/1135230577662. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Band - Biography: The history of Nightwish". Nightwish's Official Website. http://www.nightwish.com/en/band/biography. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Once- Nightwish". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/once-r701351. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Interviews at Metal from Finland". Metalfromfinland.com. http://www.metalfromfinland.com/interviews/193. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  5. ^ "Nightwish: Once". SpeedSoft.com. 2007-10-28. http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=1904. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Nightwish - Once -Nuclear Blast". Lords Of Metal. http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showreview.php?id=3848&lang=en. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  7. ^ "Nightwish : Once//Nuclear Blast ( Mastertrax )". Dev-PostNuke.com. 2005-01-28. http://www.metalsymphony.com/index.php?name=Reviews&req=showcontent&id=95. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  8. ^ "Nightwish- Once". The Metal Circus. http://www.themetalcircus.com/review.php?id=749. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  9. ^ "Nightwish - Once". Metal Storm. http://www.metalstorm.net/bands/album.php?album_id=2300. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Charts- Nightwish/LongPlays". PhonoNet. http://www.musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/artist/Nightwish/longplay. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  11. ^ a b "Once Charts". [1]. http://finnishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Nightwish&titel=Once&cat=a. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  12. ^ a b c "Extended Search: Nightwish". Allmusic. Hung Medien. http://norwegiancharts.com/search.asp?search=Nightwish&cat=a. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  13. ^ a b ""Once" is #1 in Greece". Nightwish's Official Website. 2004-06-10. http://www.nightwish.com/en/news/archive?month=06&year=2004. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  14. ^ a b "Nightwish- Once: Charts and Awards". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/once-r701351/charts-awards. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  15. ^ a b c "NIGHTWISH: 'Nemo' In U.K. Charts For More Than A Year". Blabbermouth.net. 2005-06-04. http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=37653. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  16. ^ a b "Gold/Platinum: Date bases". Bundesverband Musikindustrie. http://www.musikindustrie.de/gold_platin_datenbank/. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  17. ^ a b c "Archive: Nightwish". Mahasz. http://www.mahasz.hu/?menu=slagerlistak&menu2=archivum. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  18. ^ a b "Number One in Europe". Nightwish's Official Website. 2004-07-18. http://www.nightwish.com/en/news/archive?month=08&year=2004. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  19. ^ "Extended Search: Nemo". Allmusic. Hung Medien. http://finnishcharts.com/search.asp?search=nemo&cat=s. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  20. ^ Statistics by IFPI Retrieved on 2009-03-17
  21. ^ "Helsingin Sanomat". Helsinki skies open as World Championships get under way. http://www.helsinginsanomat.fi/english/article/Helsinki+skies+open+as+World+Championships+get+under+way%0D%0A/1101980518329. Retrieved December 30, 2005. 
  22. ^ "Extended Search: Nightwish". Allmusic. Hung Medien. http://austriancharts.at/search.asp?search=nightwish&cat=a. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  23. ^ "Extended Search: Nightwish". ULTRATOP & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. http://www.ultratop.be/en/search.asp?cat=a&lang=nl&search=nightwish. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  24. ^ ""Nemo" #1 on Brazilian videocharts". Nightwish's Official Website. 2004-07-02. http://www.nightwish.com/en/news/archive?month=07&year=2004. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  25. ^ "Extended Search: Nightwish". Allmusic. Hung Medien. http://dutchcharts.nl/search.asp?search=nightwish&cat=a. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  26. ^ "Extended Search: Nightwish". Allmusic. Hung Medien. http://lescharts.com/search.asp?search=Nightwish&cat=a. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  27. ^ a b "Nightwish: Once- Charts". aCharts.us. http://acharts.us/album/17862. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  28. ^ "Extended Search: Nightwish". Allmusic. Hung Medien. http://swedishcharts.com/search.asp?search=Nightwish&cat=a. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  29. ^ "Extended Search: Nightwish". Allmusic. Hung Medien. http://swisscharts.com/search.asp?search=Nightwish&cat=a. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  30. ^ "Gold & Platin: Nightwish". Ifpi.at. http://www.ifpi.at/?section=goldplatin. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  31. ^ "Tuomas Holopainen interview on Wiplash.net". Nightwish.com. http://www.nightwishbrasil.com/portal/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=568:2004-whiplashnet&catid=51:entrevistas-2004&Itemid=101. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  32. ^ "IFPI Tilastot: Nightwish". Ifpi.fi. http://www.ifpi.fi/tilastot/artistit/nightwish. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  33. ^ "VG-Lista: Nightwish/Once". Ifpi.no. http://www.ifpi.no/sok/index_trofe.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  34. ^ "Once Sold Gold in Sweden". Nightwish.com. http://www.nightwish.com/en/news/archive?month=12&year=2004. Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  35. ^ "The band- Releases:Once (2004)". Nightwish's Official Website. http://www.nightwish.com/en/band/releases/details?id=6. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 

External links

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