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One hit wonders
February 19, 2002 10:11 AM   Subscribe

One hit wonders was in my e-mail this morning. What others can you add to the list? about.com link, watch the pop-under.
posted by bjgeiger (178 comments total)

 
99 Luftballons! Dah da da da da dah *merrily hums tune in cubicle*
posted by haqspan at 10:30 AM on February 19, 2002


See also: One Hit Wonder Central
posted by Dirjy at 10:33 AM on February 19, 2002


Oh, lord, there are millions. But I'll play. And thanks a lot, I'll be singing these fucking songs all day long.

"Tarzan Boy," Baltimora
"Let's Go All the Way," Sly Fox
"Come On Eileen," Dexy's Midnight Runners--How on earth could the list ignore this most illustrative of all one-hit wonders?

And my personal favorite long-forgotten example:

"Black Betty," Ram Jam

An oogy pop cover of an old Leadbelly song!

Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)
Whoa, Black Betty (Bam-ba-Lam)

posted by Skot at 10:37 AM on February 19, 2002


Buffalo Springfield ??? umm, wrong, that's almost like saying the grateful dead are one-hit wonders.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:41 AM on February 19, 2002


Wouldn't be easier to count all the bands from the 80's that had more than one hit? There are far fewer than the one-hitters. My fav, Haircut 100 - "Love Plus One".
posted by cowboy at 10:43 AM on February 19, 2002


"Love and Pride" - King
posted by magnificentsven at 10:43 AM on February 19, 2002


I didn't mean to imply that all one-hit-wonders come from the 1980s. Hardly!
posted by cowboy at 10:44 AM on February 19, 2002


Kajagoogoo: Too Shy
Tiffany: Whatever that stupid song was...I think we're alone now?
Chumbawumba: you know the one......

So many from the 80's. I could write lists that would make you cry.

Any my favorite: Don't remember the artist, but the song is: "All I wanna do is to thank you, even though I don't know who you are. You let me change lanes, while I was driving in my car." Thank god they only had one hit!
posted by aacheson at 10:49 AM on February 19, 2002


aacheson -- ha! My friend was the manager of that band - Geggy Tah.
posted by magnificentsven at 10:55 AM on February 19, 2002


Since when is Free a one hit wonder?
posted by riffola at 10:58 AM on February 19, 2002


Where's "One Toke Over The Line" by Brewer and Shipley, one of the best pothead anthems ever?
or the absolute best '80's nugget "Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo.(I know they've done other work and that singer Stan Ridgeway is still active, but it was their only pop hit, so technically they're still one-hit wonders)
posted by jonmc at 11:03 AM on February 19, 2002


When in Rome, "Promise"
Ronnie and the Daytonas, "Little GTO"

And I don't know if it was a hit, but The Chambers Brothers (on the list for "Time Has Come Today") also did "People Get Ready."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:07 AM on February 19, 2002


"Welcome to the Boomtown" by David + David. I loved that song.
posted by allpaws at 11:09 AM on February 19, 2002


Where's "One Toke Over The Line" by Brewer and Shipley, one of the best pothead anthems ever?

Er . . . it's number four on the list. :)

Is there anyone who hasn't covered "People Get Ready"?
posted by Skot at 11:10 AM on February 19, 2002


I couldn't consider ? and the Mysterions a one hit wonder... What about "Can't get enough of you Baby?"

As for my nominations
"Little Bit of Soul" by the Music Explosion
"Popular" by Nada Surf (though they're still around)
"Bound to Floor" by Local H (still active + my friends are huge fans)
"Banditos" by the Refreshments
posted by drezdn at 11:13 AM on February 19, 2002


skot - whoops. my bad. no more beer for breakfast for old jonmc.
posted by jonmc at 11:17 AM on February 19, 2002


Here are some off the top of my head (You can tell I grew up in the 80s):

Wild Wild West - Escape Club
I Eat Cannibals - Toto Coela
Twilight Zone - Golden Earring
I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight - Cutting Crew
Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth - Primitive Radio Gods
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
Life In a Northern Town - Dream Academy
Postcards from Paradise - Flesh for Lulu
China - Red Rockers
Major Tom - Peter Schilling
Everywhere That I'm Not - Translator
The Nails - 88 Lines About 44 Women
AEIOU (Sometimes Y) - EBN OZN
Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) - Icicle Works
A Million Miles Away - The Plimsouls
One Night In Bangkok - Murray Head
The Politics of Dancing - Re-flex

I'm sure some of these don't really count, but I feel safe in the knowledge that a select few of you will spend the rest of the day singing

"I thought I felt your touch
In my car, but no such luck
No, it was just someone
Who felt a lot like I remember you do

'Cause that's impossible that's im-
That's impossible, that's im-poss-
That's impossible, that's im-poss-i-ble"


Oh man! I miss MV3!
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:17 AM on February 19, 2002


Jeez, Kaf, thanks a lot, you just listed all the records that made me become a headbanger back in those days. That Total Coelo song was particularly scary. I though I had succeded in blocking all those songs from my memory forever, but now they're back!!!
I guess I'll have to sleep with a nightlight and crank my old Iron Maiden records to feel safe again.
posted by jonmc at 11:25 AM on February 19, 2002


The one running around in my head is Chick-a-boom, chick-a-boom, don't ya just love it.
posted by bjgeiger at 11:27 AM on February 19, 2002


Hey...Golden Earring did "Radar Love". I think they should be considered a "two-hit" wonder! I've always joked about going to the store and buying their greatest hits cassingle...

(And I would contend that Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero", from the Footloose soundtrack, was a hit also...)
posted by byort at 11:27 AM on February 19, 2002


"Welcome to the Boomtown" by David + David. I loved that song.

Have you heard either of David Baerwald's solo albums? They're both pretty good, but I especially like Triage. The first time I heard "The Waiter" on a mix tape, I knew I had to get that album.
posted by kindall at 11:29 AM on February 19, 2002


Anyone want to make some predictions with current bands? Shakira? The Calling? Incubus?
posted by waxpancake at 11:29 AM on February 19, 2002


Strawberry Alarm Clock had a follow up to "Incense and Peppermint" titled "Sit With Guru" which sold a few copies. I am ashamed to admit that I knew that.

What about the greatest one-hit wonder in the history of rock, "Innagaddadavida" by Iron Butterfly?
posted by MAYORBOB at 11:36 AM on February 19, 2002


I have to agree-- the inclusion of Buffalo Springfield is absolutely absurd. I suppose it could be technically accurate, since they were only together for a few years and "For What It's Worth" was their big hit. But with who was in that band and everything they did afterward-- calling them one-hit wonders is ridiculous.

A similar band, and a probably better example, would be the Youngbloods-- I don't know that they had any other hits besides "Get Together".

And of course there were tons of one-hit wonders in the 80s... but my favorite pick, because it was almost certainly the most absurd hit of all time, is Napoleon XIV's "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!"
posted by nath at 11:37 AM on February 19, 2002


Romeo Void: A Girl in Trouble (is a temporary thing)
posted by yesster at 11:41 AM on February 19, 2002


Nazareth, "Love Hurts"
Five Man Electrical Band, "Signs"
Musical Youth, "Pass the Dutchie"
I think they should have a list of "Too Many Hits Wonders" which would include;
Foreigner
Styx
Journey
Toto
(I could go on forever)
posted by Werd7 at 11:51 AM on February 19, 2002


No way, yesster!

You forget Never Say Never, mon frere!
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:51 AM on February 19, 2002


"Heart and Soul" by the band T'pau (who took their name from a Klingon Princess, I beleave).

And for what it's worth, waxpancake, Shakira is more than a one hit wonder since she's been big in Latin America and Spain for a number of years now. Plus, she's fine.
posted by inviolable at 11:52 AM on February 19, 2002


Put Eddie Money on the list too
posted by Werd7 at 11:52 AM on February 19, 2002


Have you heard either of David Baerwald's solo albums?

No, Kindall, I haven’t and I’m ashamed. I just bought another copy of the old David + David cassette the other month in a used music store. Good stuff.
posted by allpaws at 11:53 AM on February 19, 2002


aacheson: that "stupid song" you mentioned was only stupid when Tiffany sang it. It's actually a classic song performed by a few bands over the years. (Side note: don't forget to catch Tiffany nude in Playboy in a couple of weeks!)

allpaws: I LOVE that David and David album. Truly one of the most underrated of the 80s. David Baerwald has a new CD coming out later this year, and has produced and/or played on albums by Sheryl Crow, Jill Sobule, the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack, and many others.

I think we should all remember that many of these bands were only "one hit wonders" in the US. Many had big careers in Europe and elsewhere. And as for onehitwondercentral.com having bands like Devo, Richie Havens, Sinead O' Connor, Buffalo Springfield, Richard Harris, and Jan Hammer on the list shows a misunderstanding (and stretching) of the term.
posted by sassone at 11:55 AM on February 19, 2002


I think a better definition of one-hit wonder would be a band with one hit -- and which saw NO member of the band ever achieve any kind of success on any level in music afterwards. They literally go back to their day jobs. The list linked to was ridiculous. Gerry Rafferty, Rod Argent, Paul Rodgers are all on that list, and don't get me started on the Buffalo Springfield.

Off topic, does anybody remember those montage songs from the early-mid 70s which often featured a newscaster doing a "man-on-the-street" type of interview of someone, and the answers were all snippets from current songs that answered the question in a "clever" way? "So President Nixon, what did Spiro Agnew say when you asked him to resign? "I can't live, if livin is without you.." With the nostalgia industry peddling every conceivable 70s pop culture nugget , I'm continually surprised that this whole cheesy subgenre still lays undisturbed. These "songs" were quite popular for a while there.
posted by luser at 12:03 PM on February 19, 2002


a-Ha! "Take on Me"

I think they had a bunch of hits in Europe, but that's all we got over here in the States.

Best....video....ever. (At least for its day.)
posted by jpoulos at 12:05 PM on February 19, 2002


Amateurs.

This Beat Goes On-Switching to Glide by The Kings.

Apparently written by that classic duo of Diamond and Zero.
posted by dglynn at 12:10 PM on February 19, 2002


Got to disagree, jp:
The Sun Always Shines on TV
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:18 PM on February 19, 2002


Cry wolf
Time to worry
Cry wolf
Time to worry now


Christ, I wish I could forget things.
posted by Skot at 12:29 PM on February 19, 2002


Anyone want to make some predictions with current bands? Shakira? The Calling? Incubus?

Shakira is a mega-hit in Latin America and seems set on following in the footsteps of her North American fluff conterparts. Incubus has already had at least 3 hits ("Pardon Me", "Stellar", "Drive") and their first single from the new album is doing pretty good.

The Calling . . . might have to agree with that one. Ugh.
posted by somethingotherthan at 12:30 PM on February 19, 2002


Scary, my wife and I were talking about this subject just last night when we heard The Romatics "What I Like About You" on the radio. I consider a one hit wonder a band who is widely known for only one song. While The Romantics had two top ten singles, no one remembers those two songs, while everyone (in north america, that is) knows the one that never charted. Others I can think of off the top of my head:

The Troggs - "Wild Thing"
Standells - "Muddy Water",
The Vapors "Turning Japanese"

And it is wierd that of all the 80's one hit wonders she picks out Red Rider (most annoying use of echo effect ever)
The Kingsmen - "Louie, Louie"
posted by dchase at 12:36 PM on February 19, 2002


Is anyone scared to recall "What I Want" by the New Monkees? If you don't remember it, I double-dog-dare you to download it.
posted by allpaws at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2002


Any Of Those Dumbfuck Mid-90s Hits That I Can't Be Bothered To Remember By That Bryant Gumbel-esque Vampire Hootie And the Ass-Sucking Blowfish.
posted by dong_resin at 1:01 PM on February 19, 2002


- 867-5309
- Pac-Man Fever
- One Night in Bangkok
- Puttin' on the Ritz
- that Eddie Murphy song {shudder}
- I Ran
- Jeopardy (Our Love's In Jeopardy?)
- Tainted Love
- Electric Avenue
posted by pardonyou? at 1:15 PM on February 19, 2002


Strawberry Alarm Clock had a follow up to "Incense and Peppermint" titled "Sit With Guru" which sold a few copies.

They also had a semi-hit with "Tomorrow."

And the Troggs, one-hit wonders!? *choke* "Love is All Around," "I Can't Control Myself", "With a Girl Like You"? The Troggs were a hit factory, my friend.
posted by rodii at 1:16 PM on February 19, 2002


hey now, "I Ran" was Flock of Seagulls, who also had "Wishing". And "Tainted Love".....hmmm, that was SoftCell, who must have had another hit, right? I think "Bed Sitter" charted in England. And god knows you can't go to any 80s or death rock club without hearing "Sex Dwarf".

Isn't it nice?

Also, pardonyou?, a plague on your house for mentioning "Puttin' On The Ritz", and making me realize that for some ungodly reason I know the singer: Taco.

Back at ya: "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell, or "The Freaks Come Out At Night" by Whodini. yeeeeesh!
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:22 PM on February 19, 2002


kafkaesque, I'll see your "Somebody's Watching Me," and I'll raise you with "Obsession" by Animotion, and "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" by Glass Tiger.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:30 PM on February 19, 2002


pardonyou? and kafkaesque, the new wave remembrances are starting to induce queasiness in this particular MeFite. So in the interest of fairness to my fellow mefi mulletheads:

"Cum On Feel The Noize" Quiet Riot
"On The Edge of A Broken Heart" Vixen
"You've Got Another Thing Comin' " Judas Priest
"Shout" Grand Prix
"High in High School" Madame X
"Turn Up the Radio" Autograph

Ante up, boys.
posted by jonmc at 1:57 PM on February 19, 2002


"ah leah", donnie iris.
posted by domino at 2:00 PM on February 19, 2002


Judas Priest are not one hit wonders, so much as they are the next step in human evolution, so just back away slowly.
posted by dong_resin at 2:02 PM on February 19, 2002


So you want to play rough?

NuShooz "Can't Turn It Off"
Information Society "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)"
Peter Wolf "Come As You Are (Or Don't Come at All)"

and the big guns:
Matthew Wilder "Break My Stride"

If I could go back in time, I wouldn't waste my time shooting Hitler or anything like that. I'd just broadcast a message to all those eighties bands telling them that the whole parentheses-in-the-title thing was annoying (kind of).
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:13 PM on February 19, 2002


Actually, The Romantics also had another hit called, "Talking in your sleep" which was in heavy rotation on MTV.

dong_resin, dude, tell us how you REALLY feel about Hootie and the blowfish. heh.

Here are some straight out of my mp3 folder:
Melt with you - Modern English
Lean on Me - Club Nouveau
Tenderness - General Public
Closing Time - Semisonic
Fade into You - Mazzy star
Genius of Love - Tom Tom club (whatcha gonna do when you get out of jail? I'm gonna have some fun)
Love you down - Ready for the World
Shower me with your love - Surface

*hanging head in shame and slinking back into darkness*
posted by inviolable at 2:15 PM on February 19, 2002


dong - Singleswise, technically they are. Although, I'm with you on them being the next step up from us mere mortals. Just needed some Metal nuggets to get the stench of synth-pop out of the air.

domino -Aren't You forgetting Donnie's other hit,"Love is Like A Rock." His previous band, the Jaggerz were bona fide one hitters("The Rapper").

Kaf - the immortal Peter Wolf also had "Lights Out"


I raise yet again:
"Keep Your hands to Yourself" Georgia Sattellites
"Say What You Will" Fastway
"Branded" Rose Tattoo
and of course,
"Three Little Pigs" Green Jello.

Your Deal...
posted by jonmc at 2:19 PM on February 19, 2002


"What's Going On" by 4 non blonds.
As close a song can be to euthanasia.
posted by dong_resin at 2:24 PM on February 19, 2002


Anything by pasty, whitebread, point and spine-less rockers Soul Asylum.
posted by dong_resin at 2:29 PM on February 19, 2002


Random notes:

Tom Tom Club was largely Talking Heads, so no good.

Luser: Dickie Goodman is the guy you're talking about. He's highly esteemed in radio circles. No longer alive.

I think the phenomenon of two hit wonders is much more interesting.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:30 PM on February 19, 2002


kafkaesque, jonmc beat me to it with Peter Wolf, but you're right I can't compete with "Break My Stride." I fold.

Oh, wait, what's this little ace up my sleeve? Could it be ... Scritti Politti "Perfect Way"?

btw, john mc, Quiet Riot also had a bona fide hit in "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)" (there's those damn parentheses again). Also, don't confuse my naming of these synth-pop songs with an endorsement of them. I'm as nauseated as you are!
posted by pardonyou? at 2:30 PM on February 19, 2002


Oh, and 80s dirge "Wouldn't it be Good" by Nik Kurshaw, a song so self-pitying, I punched my mom in the face.
posted by dong_resin at 2:32 PM on February 19, 2002


I hope you're not dealing off the bottom of the deck by looking at a website, you varmints!

Two words:

Hayzee Fantayzee

Shiny Shiny
Bad times behind ye!

(notice how mr Dong misspelled "Kershaw" intentionally so we would think he didn't actually own the album...very clever!)
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:38 PM on February 19, 2002


Thanks, dong, now I've got that crap ass song in my head. Where's your mom??

And kafkaesque, no web site cheating for me, unfortunately. As you can see, I can't remember most of the group names, just the songs. The mid-80s just happened to be that time in my life when everything seemed hyper-important, and unfortunately implanted this shit in my brain.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:44 PM on February 19, 2002


Of course let's not forget Barbie Girl by Aqua.
posted by riffola at 2:47 PM on February 19, 2002


"Walk the Dinosaur" - Was not Was

- Boom, boom, akka lakka lakka, boom -

oh man I need to spend some time on my favorite file-sharing programs tonight!
posted by KnitWit at 2:48 PM on February 19, 2002


Tom Tom Club was largely Talking Heads, so no good.

Not. They lack the most distinctive element of the heads, and have Bernie Worrel instead. Judges ruling: separate band.

Left Banke, "Walk Away Renee" and Stories, "Brother Louie": same, or two different one-hitters?

Was "Love Will Tear Us Apart" a hit?
posted by rodii at 2:48 PM on February 19, 2002


kafkaesque, quiet, damn you!
posted by dong_resin at 2:50 PM on February 19, 2002


Ugh.

Evil bastard- "Dong would you rather have a nail slowly driven through each testicle, or listen to the Fat Boys/Chubby Checker's The Twist (Yo, Twist!)?"

Me- "What size nail?"
posted by dong_resin at 2:57 PM on February 19, 2002


Better by Screaming Jets
Sitting Inside My Head by Supergroove
Mother '93 ('94 ?) by Danzig
posted by riffola at 2:57 PM on February 19, 2002


"Love Will Tear Us Apart" was a Top 20 hit in Britain, but not in the US.
posted by Skot at 2:58 PM on February 19, 2002


Marcy Playground's Sex and Candy
EMF's Unbelievable
Jesus Jones' Right Here, Right Now
posted by riffola at 3:03 PM on February 19, 2002


Sorry, Aqua also had 'Doctor Jones' and 'Candygirl', so they're edging past one hit. And who said Semisonic? For shame! Go and listen to their three, count 'em, three excellent albums fifty-eight times as penance.

Bow down before me, mortals: 'Der Kommissar'. Not, not the Falco version sung in German - he, after all, had another hit in the form of 'Rock Me Amadeus'. No, I mean nothing less than the English-language cover version by... After the Fire. Yessss!
posted by rory at 3:07 PM on February 19, 2002


Not "Was Not Was" - Shake Your Head (with Kim Basinger) and Out Come The Freaks.
posted by liam at 3:09 PM on February 19, 2002


Remember Rico Suave?

Supergroove had a few more, er, hits than one didn't they? Come on, give them "Can't get enough" at least.
posted by holloway at 3:09 PM on February 19, 2002


Left Banke, "Walk Away Renee"

Aren't you forgetting "Pretty Ballerina?"
posted by jonmc at 3:10 PM on February 19, 2002


Of course let's not forget Barbie Girl by Aqua.

There's no way I could. By sheer coincidence, every lap dance I've ever recieved has been to that song.
posted by jonmc at 3:12 PM on February 19, 2002


Actually I've seen Supergroove live, and I agree they deserve more. Also now that I think about it "Sister, Sister" was a hit, not sure.
posted by riffola at 3:16 PM on February 19, 2002


Bad enough we have to think about Barbie Girl......now we have to picture jonmc getting a lap dance.

Thanks a bunch!

Oh and by the way:

Toyah: "I Want To Be Free"

~and~

Tracy Ullman "They Don't Know"
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:25 PM on February 19, 2002


Rythm of the Night - El Debarge
Under the Milkyway - The Church
Dear God - XTC
Whoomp there it is! - Tag Team
posted by inviolable at 3:25 PM on February 19, 2002


george satellites also had battleship chains, a mild hit.

Quick glance through my mp3's:

Donnie Iris Ah Leah.
Gary Numan Cars (debatable in other countries I'm sure)
Digital Underground Humpty Dance
School of Fish 3 strange days (from the alternative one hit wonders)
Tommy Tutone 867-5309
Nelson After the Rain (two hit?)
Pure Prairie League Amy
Hair bands like Steelheart, firehouse, vixen, damn yankees (2 hit?), night ranger.
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Gino Vanelli - Black Cars
Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany's
Young MC - Bust a move (and his two-hit cousin Tone Loc)
You're Ugly - Butt Trumpets
Hate Everything about you - Ugly Kid Joe
Cannonball - the Breeders (same time as 4 non blondes and veruca salt I think?)
Don't forget me when I'm gone - Glass Tiger
Icehouse had some song.
Driver's Seat - Sniff'n the Tears
Love is like Oxygen - Sweet
Groove is in the Heart - dee lite.
Here and now - letters to cleo
Belly ... what was that song they did, i remember the video.
Rump Shaker by ???


What a wonderful distraction from my current quest for tv theme songs...
posted by jmackin at 3:26 PM on February 19, 2002


USA For Africa.
posted by liam at 3:26 PM on February 19, 2002


Ugly Kid Joe also had "Cats In The Cradle", and I think "Neighbour" was a hit too.
posted by riffola at 3:28 PM on February 19, 2002


jmakcin....Breeders did Cannonball.

XTC has had more hits, inviolable. Making Plans for Nigel, Mayor of Simpleton, Peter Pumpkinhead....there must be more, at least on college radio. Maybe Tower of London?
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:30 PM on February 19, 2002


Oh and Sweet had "Action" and "Ballroom Blitz" too :)
posted by riffola at 3:30 PM on February 19, 2002


lol oops thought you said Breeders not Belly...Maybe Feed The Tree?
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:31 PM on February 19, 2002


feed the tree perhaps. and i had completely forgotten ballroom blitz! Yowza.
posted by jmackin at 3:32 PM on February 19, 2002


ooooh!

Roman Holiday "Stand By"

ha!

and The Polecats "Make a Circuit with Me"

Thank you Satan!
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:33 PM on February 19, 2002


The Verve? XTC? The Church? Icehouse? Sweet? This is turning into 'I Only Ever Heard One of Their Songs Wonders'.
posted by rory at 3:34 PM on February 19, 2002


jmackin: Belly did "Feed the trees". Young MC also had another hit with "Principal's Office. Ditto with Digital Underground's "Freaks of the Industry".
posted by inviolable at 3:34 PM on February 19, 2002


kaf - along with "Feed the Tree" belly also had "Now, They'll Sleep."

riffola- not to mention the immortal "Little Willy."

I'm quite frankly amazed nobody's mentioned Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" and Toni Basil's "Mickey" another lap-dance favorite, at least among the cheerleader fetish crowd.
posted by jonmc at 3:38 PM on February 19, 2002


Agreed Rory, those don't really count. But did Icehouse ever have even one hit? I have the album with "Sister", "Walls" and "Icehouse"...but I don't think any of them were hits.

The Church did have but one hit with Under The Milky Way, but they had many other albums. I do put that song on a lot of compilations. It's just so damn good.

Why do I get the feeling jonmc just wants to talk about lap dances?
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:40 PM on February 19, 2002


If XTC is in the pile, then Devo technically belongs in there too. "Whip It" was their only big commercial hit, but like XTC, their influence and body of work extends far beyond a music video or radio airplay. Devo's Are We Not Men? We Are Devo! and Freedom of Choice and XTC's Skylarking and Apple Venus Volume 1 are all important and innovative albums.
posted by waxpancake at 3:45 PM on February 19, 2002


Life in Mono by Mono.
Spaceman by Bablyon Zoo
posted by riffola at 3:50 PM on February 19, 2002


Aren't you forgetting "Pretty Ballerina?"

Not forgetting, ignoring. Was "Pretty Ballerina" a hit?

The Church did have but one hit with Under The Milky Way

What about "The Unguarded Moment"?
posted by rodii at 3:59 PM on February 19, 2002


Safety Dance, Safety Dance, SAFETY DANCE.

Men Without Hats.

What's WRONG with you people?

Any video with a maypole and dwarves has to count for something, right?
posted by ebarker at 4:02 PM on February 19, 2002


Why do I get the feeling jonmc just wants to talk about lap dances?

Well, in another thread I'm discussing politics, intellectualism, and Noam Chomsy. Perhaps I need a sorbet to cleanse my palate.

Not forgetting, ignoring. Was "Pretty Ballerina" a hit?

It hit the Hot 100. I actually kinda think the Left Banke are ubderrated. Richie Unterberger's latest book has a terrific essay on them.
posted by jonmc at 4:04 PM on February 19, 2002


"I Touch Myself" The Divinyls! To get off the lap dance thing...
posted by allpaws at 4:09 PM on February 19, 2002


What's WRONG with you people?

Um, their other hit "Pop Goes the World," ebarker. Nice try, though.
posted by jonmc at 4:17 PM on February 19, 2002


Dammit, I was going to put in a reference to Pop Goes The World, since it was like the third thing I snagged off Napster (first was Tarzan Boy, second was Safety Dance).

Foiled again.
posted by ebarker at 4:20 PM on February 19, 2002


I ♥ Richie Unterberger.
posted by rodii at 4:21 PM on February 19, 2002


The second thing that comes to mind is Josie Cotton and Johnny, Are You Queer?
posted by ebarker at 4:23 PM on February 19, 2002


I may have missed it if someone thought of this one:

You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry by The Caravelles

Been digging in the big closet again.
posted by bjgeiger at 4:48 PM on February 19, 2002


Besides "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone," Glass Tiger also hit with "Someday."

Cutting Crew also had a hit with "I've Been In Love Before."

Vixen's other hit was "Cryin'"

Has anyone mentioned "Are You Sure," by So? How about "People Are Still Having Sex" by LaTour?

And I hate to even put this on a one-hit wonder list...but you can't forget "The Super Bowl Shuffle" by the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:13 PM on February 19, 2002


I second Nada Surf's "Popular" and Local H's "Bound For The Floor" mentioned waaaay up at the top of the thread somewhere.

And while I'm at it:
"Cottoneye Joe" by Rednex
"Sitting Outside A Phone Booth..." by Primitive Radio Gods
"Mother Mother" by Tracy Bonham might count.
(Did Eels do anything after "Novocaine for the Soul"? I can't remember.)
"More Today Than Yesterday" by Spiral Starecase
posted by youhas at 5:21 PM on February 19, 2002


I did Unbelievable? No way.

The Chimes - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
posted by emf at 5:22 PM on February 19, 2002


that Eddie Murphy song {shudder}

"Boogie in Your Butt"? (RealAudio)
posted by kirkaracha at 5:27 PM on February 19, 2002


Or the song by Oran "Juice" Jones. A quasi-rap thingy where he says the girl he is kicking out for cheating on him is just a squirrel looking for some nuts and is taking back all those "fancy clothes" he bought her... Can't remember the name of the song, but obviously the lyrics stuck!
posted by sillygit at 5:32 PM on February 19, 2002


Jordy Lemoine's "Dur dur d'etre be'be'"
posted by riffola at 5:32 PM on February 19, 2002


Youhas : Yeah, they did 3 more albums... Mr E's Beautiful Blues was a brief hit with the Road Trip Soundtrack

I thought Slade did Cum on feel the Noize?
posted by cheaily at 5:35 PM on February 19, 2002


The Eddie Murphy hit in question is "(My Baby Wants To) Party All The Time," I believe.

"Cum On Feel the Noize" was definitely Quiet Riot.
posted by kindall at 5:37 PM on February 19, 2002


Oh geez....too many for me to remember to refute, but I'll try...

Gino Vanelli - I Just Wanna Stop, Mama CoCo, Love of My Life

Donnie Iris - Love is Like a Rock

Carl Douglas had a follow-up single called "Dance the Kung Fu", but I don't have my Whitburn handy, so I don't know if it hit the Top 40

And speaking of Matthew Wilder and "Break My Stride", let us not forget "Kids American"
posted by Oriole Adams at 5:40 PM on February 19, 2002


"Cum On Feel the Noize" was definitely Quiet Riot.

Yeah, but Slade did it first and better, although it was only a hit in England.

How about the Silhouettes "Get a Job" as the greatest one hit wonder of all time?
posted by jonmc at 5:46 PM on February 19, 2002


Crash Test Dummies - Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm
Haddaway - What Is Love?
Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
Billy Ray Cyrus - Achy Breaky Heart
Cornershop - Brimful of Asha
Dishwalla - Counting Blue Cars
posted by riffola at 5:50 PM on February 19, 2002


Crash Test Dummies also did "I'm an Adult Now":

"I'd sure look like a fool, dead in a ditch somewhere
with a mind full of chemicals, like some cheese-eating high school boy."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:03 PM on February 19, 2002


Was that a hit? I didn't know.
posted by riffola at 6:08 PM on February 19, 2002


Or the song by Oran "Juice" Jones.

"Standing In The Rain" - I saw you...(and him)...standing in the rain...you were holding hands and I'll...never be the same.

One-hit wonder that I recall from 1979; it was a hit in UK, where I lived at the time, don't know if it charted in US: "POP MUSIC" by a band (or person) known simply as "M."

My vote for Ultimate One-Hit Wonder (in US) is the one that started this thread: 99 Luft Balloons. Truly a classic.
posted by davidmsc at 6:24 PM on February 19, 2002


"I'm An Adult Now" was The Pursuit of Happiness, not Crash Test Dummies. Speaking of which, I'm not sure how well it charted, but CTD's "Afternoons and Coffeespoons" sure got a lot of airplay in Detroit.
posted by kindall at 6:31 PM on February 19, 2002


"Pop Music" (actually "Pop Muzik" IIRC) by M was a hit in the States too.

How about "Our House" by Madness? "Music Box Dancer" by Frank Mills?
posted by kindall at 6:33 PM on February 19, 2002


Off topic, does anybody remember those montage songs from the early-mid 70s which often featured a newscaster doing a "man-on-the-street" type of interview of someone, and the answers were all snippets from current songs that answered the question in a "clever" way

My favorite was "Mr. Jaws". An "interview" with Jaws from the original movie back in the mid 70's.

Announcer: "We are here on the beach, where a giant shark has just eaten a girl swimmer. Mr. Jaws, how was it?"

Mr. Jaws: "Dyno-mite!"

Announcer: "And what did she say when you grabbed her?"

Mr. Jaws: "Please Mister Please"
posted by scottfree at 6:46 PM on February 19, 2002


Madness had hit after hit after hit in the UK.

"Music Box Dancer"! God, I've been trying to remember that song for years. I used to have a downstairs neighbor that would go out dancing, come home drunk and pass out with that song playing on repeat at top volume all night long.
posted by rodii at 6:50 PM on February 19, 2002


Madness?

Come on. "House of Fun" was definitely a hit. "One Step Beyond" must be in there somewhere too. And "Man at C&A". Oh and "Wings of a Dove" too. Madness were a huge, huge selling band. And they appeared on the Young Ones, so they've got that going for them too.

!Yeesh! You kids today!

"Hum a few bars, and I'll smash your face in!"
posted by Kafkaesque at 7:26 PM on February 19, 2002


Oh. Uh. Yeah. What rodii said.
posted by Kafkaesque at 7:27 PM on February 19, 2002


Thanks for bringing up "M" kindall. For me that segues into the Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star" (yep, first video played on MTV) and into Tim Curry's "I do the Rock".

And, rodii, while I am a proud owner of original 45s of both "Wild Thing" and "With a Girl Like You" (shhh. stole 'em from my sister), even I have to admit (for better or worse) that the Troggs'll only be remembered for Wild Thing. So it goes (which, of course, brings up Nick Lowe who wrote some of the best pop ever but, as far as I rember, never cracked the top 20 in the U.S.)

Finally, might I recommend to all the very fine Nuggets (Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era) as a compilation for the best collection of true early one hit wonders?
posted by dchase at 7:54 PM on February 19, 2002


"I'm An Adult Now" was The Pursuit of Happiness, not Crash Test Dummies.

I regret the error.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:58 PM on February 19, 2002


Recent one-hitter: Bree Sharpe- "David Duchovny, Why Don't You Love Me?"

Oh, "Mambo No. 5" too.

Both brilliant!
posted by readymade at 12:18 AM on February 20, 2002


Madness scored only the one big US hit. I have never heard even one of their other songs. Not that I really went looking, as "Our House" didn't really grab me.

Hm. The Tubes? I'm not sure "She's a Beauty" was really big enough to qualify for actually being a hit, but I also don't think they had any others that even came close.

I think the only big chart hit the Clash ever saw in the US might have been "Rock the Casbah."

And how about Thomas Dolby? I'm a big fan of the man's work, but he never really had anything nearly as popular as "She Blinded Me With Science," although "Hyperactive" got some airplay.

(Again, remember I'm in the US, so my suggestions might not sync up with UK charting...)

Mike Oldfield, but certainly not due to lack of trying.
posted by kindall at 12:19 AM on February 20, 2002


OK, I was nice, threw up the cheesy Kings tune, which at least was somewhat listenable, in a beer-soaked kind of way, and you people come up with some harshness like Men without Hats and Rockwell? Not just the song injected into my head, but those damn videos flashing now.

For that you must pay. I'm sure your people had some redeeming features, but we must destroy you. Forgive us.

Pat Boone's (obviously twisted) daughter Debbie, and her one horrible, horrible hit "You Light Up My Life".

And you survivors get napalmed with Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walking".

Forgive us. We will build a monument to what your people might have been, when we resettle this planet after the stink of those songs disperses in several hundred millenium.
posted by dglynn at 12:32 AM on February 20, 2002


Kafkaesque, too weird, man. I was just watching that Young Ones this morning.
"One pack of roast ox crisps, please."
posted by dong_resin at 1:11 AM on February 20, 2002


most embarrassing mefi thread ever.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:21 AM on February 20, 2002


It may be embarassing, but it sure was entertaining. Thanks everyone. Here's the defense against dglynn's Boone/Sinatra strafing run:

War [huh!]
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

-- Edwin Starr
posted by JParker at 2:14 AM on February 20, 2002


Edwin Starr is as much a one-hit wonder as Buffalo Springfield - file him under 'Soul God'.
While we're on the subject of war....

"n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-nineteen"
posted by niceness at 4:29 AM on February 20, 2002


For dchase (if you're still around):

Nick Lowe had a song titled "Cruel To Be Kind" that was in fairly heavy rotation on MTV during the late 80s. Didn't he also have a song out titled "Breaking Glass"?
posted by MAYORBOB at 6:31 AM on February 20, 2002


thanks everyone, i can now only protect my brain from 'oran juice jones - walking in the rain' using the 'la da de la da da' refrain from the 'crystal waters' song (as she stands there, singing for money).
but then i must supplant that with 'life na naa na na na' from 'opus - life is life', which in turn is ousted by 'dadio, can you get me into studio fif-tee-fooour', only to be usurped by 'what's the colour of money?' by 'hollywood beyond'.
after all that i just want to fade to grey.
posted by asok at 6:32 AM on February 20, 2002


Nick Lowe is NOT. Just his association with Elvis Costello takes him way out of this genre.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:38 AM on February 20, 2002


Edwin Starr had two crossover hits. Never forget "25 Miles."

Madness scored only the one big US hit. I have never heard even one of their other songs. Not that I really went looking, as "Our House" didn't really grab me.

ONE...STEP...BEYOND!!!

Wasn't that a hit? They sure played it to death on MTV. (In the UK, Madness had 13 straight top ten singles! I don't think they can be thought of as one-hitters in any meaningful way. Not like Bobby Lind or Barry Sadler, say.
posted by rodii at 6:46 AM on February 20, 2002


Oh, and...

The Bubble Puppy, "Hot Smoke and Sassafras"
Shocking Blue, "Venus"
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, "You're Gonna Miss me," if that was a hit.
Archie Bell and the Drells, "Tighten Up"
Crazy Elephant, "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' "
Soul Survivors, "Expressway to your Heart"

All great songs.

*looks at Nuggets*

The Cryan Shames, "Sugar and Spice"
Count Five, "Psychotic Reaction" (yeah!)
The Castaways, "Liar, Liar"
Swinging Medallions, "Double Shot of My Baby's Love"

...the list could go on and on.
posted by rodii at 7:03 AM on February 20, 2002


Sorry, the Nick Lowe was meant as a comparison to rodii's claim that the Troggs were a hit factory. While technically Nick is a one-hit wonder in the as a performer in the U.S.(only "Cruel to be Kind" made it into the top 10 in the U.S.), he is clearly a master of pop as songwriter ("what's so funny about peace love and understanding," "So it goes," "heart of the city,") and producer (He produced almost every Stiff [I't ain't worth a fuck if it isn't Stiff"] artist).
posted by dchase at 7:07 AM on February 20, 2002


OK, d, but "Love is All Around" was still a hit in the US, so regardless of how they're remembered here, they were at least a two-hit wonder. But really, they're just not in the one-hitter class, any more than Mott the Hoople or T.Rex or the Easybeats or the Tremeloes would be. One-hit wonders are bands that came out of nowhere, had a hit, and returned to nowhere.

I send all kinds of love for bringing up Stiff. I've actually been looking for Stiff info on the web lately--there's surprisingly little, for such a seminal label. Too bad Larry Wallis, Lene Lovich, Wreckless Eric, et al. never made it to one-hit wonder status in the US. I almost cited Ian Dury in this thread too, then decided it would be sacrilege.
posted by rodii at 7:40 AM on February 20, 2002


The Flying Lizards with their version of Money. No.3 US, No.4 UK, 1979.
posted by liam at 7:45 AM on February 20, 2002


Steam! "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)." How could I forget? There's even backstory: it was a B-side that was recorded in desperation in the middle of the night. Band members were doing things like whacking on garbage can lids.

And also, possibly the best band name ever: The Electric Prunes, "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night."
posted by Skot at 7:45 AM on February 20, 2002


those montage songs from the early-mid 70s which often featured a newscaster
There was a 45 which must have been circa 1960 called "Report to the Nation" mentioning JFK's youth and using song snippets from stuff like "Itsy Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and the Coaster's "Charlie Brown"--I don't know if it actually charted as I didn't run across it until much later. It's the earliest record of this type (newscaster asking questions; song phrases for answers) I'm aware of.
And I think "Electric Blue" was a hit for Icehouse--anyway, it used to get airplay.
posted by StOne at 7:50 AM on February 20, 2002


Oh yeah, Animotion had "Room to Move" as well as "Obsession." But did Boy Meets Girl have a hit other than "Waiting for a Star to Fall?" How about Flash in the Pan and "Media Man"? (I refuse to visit the link if it calls Buffalo Springfield one-hit wonders. Hell, I used to have Retrospective, their greatest hits package.)
And what about...
Webb Wilder's "I'll Tough It Out"...Bruce Dickinson (ex-Iron Maiden frontman) and "Tears of the Dragon" (ever notice how that one sounds like Metallica's "Unforgiven"--sort of like how Blackfoot's "Highway Song" is a LOT like Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird"). But I digress.
Arthur Brown had several albums but "Fire" ("I am the god of hellfire! and I BRING you!...Fire!...") was the only single by him I ever heard.
posted by StOne at 8:32 AM on February 20, 2002


A couple more:

"Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)" Reunion
"You Ain't Worth The Salt In My Tears" Martin Briley
posted by jeffkay at 8:36 AM on February 20, 2002


Steam! "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)."

Steam get bonus point's for being from Bridgeport. Go Bluefish! Go Sound Tigers!
posted by jonmc at 8:39 AM on February 20, 2002


How can you possibly mention the Clash?

"Should I Stay or Should I Go" ring any bells? "London Calling"? "I Fought the Law"? "Radio Clash"?

*weeping, weeping*
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:39 AM on February 20, 2002


And I don't know if it's a one-hit wonder, but I just like saying the name:

"Drop-Kick Me Jesus Through The Goalposts of Life"
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:41 AM on February 20, 2002


"Ca plane pour moi", "Pass the Dutchie", "My Sharona"! Man, this is hard to stop.
posted by rodii at 8:56 AM on February 20, 2002


Icehouse: first album charted for 45 weeks in Australia; 1981 single 'Love in Motion' went top 10 in Oz; 'Hey Little Girl' top 20 in UK, top 5 in Germany; 1986 single 'No Promises' a US hit; single 'Crazy' no 4 in Oz, no 14 in US, 'Electric Blue' no 7 in US, album 'Man of Colours' no 1 in Oz and becomes and remains the biggest-selling Australian Group Album of all time; 8 Top Ten Albums, 20 Top 40 Singles, Album Sales in excess of 28 Platinum Albums in Australasia alone, Top Twenty Singles in USA, Britain, Europe (including No. 1's).

Not. One. Hit. Wonders.

The Church's history is a bit less mainstream, but they still had their share of hits, and are no more 'one hit wonders' than any long-lived band with a big underground following that only surfaces in the top 40 a few times.

I know both bands have been more popular in their home country than o/s, but neither has had only one hit overseas.

I liked the definition of One-Hit Wonders someone offered near the beginning... a genuinely one-hit band where none of the members go on to achieve anything of note in music.
posted by rory at 9:01 AM on February 20, 2002


The Church also had another legitimate hit with "Metropolis" in '89 or '90.
posted by goto11 at 9:59 AM on February 20, 2002


We're not doing too well with the one-hit wonders of rap, are we? Here, let me have a go:

"O.P.P." Naughty By Nature
"Tennessee" Arrested Development
"Slam" Onyx
"Deeper Shade of Soul" Urban Dance Squad
"Knockin' Boots" Candyman
"Jump" Kris Kross
"Jump Around" House of Pain
"Monie in the Middle" Monie Love
"Mentirosa" Mellow Man Ace
"Whoomp, There It Is" Tag Team
"Who Let the" (God damn) "Dogs Out" Baja Men (right?)

Oh, and has no one mentioned "Voices Carry"?
posted by furiousthought at 10:09 AM on February 20, 2002


Oh, and has no one mentioned "Voices Carry"?

'Til Tuesday had a minor followup with "Coming Up Close."

/me refuses to let thread die

Boney M! "Rasputin"!

Ra-ra-rasputin lover of the Russian Queen,
they put some poison into his wine.
Ra-ra-rasputing Russia's greatest love machine,
he drank it all and said I feel fine.
Ra-ra-rasputin lover of the Russian Queen,
they didn't quit they wanted his head.
Ra-ra-rasputing Russia's greatest love machine,
and so they shot him till he was dead.
Oh, those Russians.


Now that's terrible.
posted by Skot at 10:43 AM on February 20, 2002


Speaking of war... War.
posted by kindall at 11:10 AM on February 20, 2002


Boney M did Brown Girl in the Ring, Mary's Boy Child, Ma Baker and, er, some others, so they were not one hit wonders. Boney M still perform their hits at holiday camps and corporate functions around the world.
posted by Summer at 11:21 AM on February 20, 2002


I was being USA-centric, unfortunately (a difficulty when talking 1-hit wonders with an international crowd).

But now that I look a little more (admittedly not much more), "Rasputin" might not have ever charted here. According to Groovecave, ' "Rivers of Babylon" . . . was Boney M's only U.S. Top 40 hit. '

So I'm still wrong. *cries*
posted by Skot at 11:56 AM on February 20, 2002


Arrested Development also had "People Everyday" and "Mr. Wendal", don't know how they charted, but I think they're recognizable enough to be considered hits. (On the other hand, Arrested Development is definitely a one-album wonder...)

Kris Kross also had "I Missed The Bus", which is no "Jump", but I'm pretty sure at one time it would've qualified as a 'hit'.
posted by nath at 12:43 PM on February 20, 2002


naughty by nature weren't really one hit wonders, when you count "hip hop hurray." ... .. ho... hey... ho.

sorry, couldn't help that. and i know you couldn't either.

also, with house of pain, "on point" wasn't such a bad song either, and i think that was mildly popular.
posted by lotsofno at 1:05 PM on February 20, 2002


"Doing the do" - Betty Boo
Jive Bunny
posted by holloway at 1:17 PM on February 20, 2002


"Rubber Band Man" -- The Spinners
"Afternoon Delight" -- Starland Vocal Band
"Strawberry Letter 23" -- Brothers Johnson

Someday, a twisted, demented filmmaker will resurrect "Rubber Band Man" the way Tarantino did with "Stuck in the Middle With You" in "Reservoir Dogs." I mean, "Rubber Band Man" rocks.
posted by Holden at 1:27 PM on February 20, 2002


Forgot all about "Hip Hop Hooray" and "Mr. Wendal," but I don't remember "On Point" at all. Did it have a video? To be a hit in the '90's it should have a video, or a good amount of airplay at least, I think.

Couple more:
"Cantaloop" Us 3 (I think)
"I Wish" Skee-Lo... ("I wish I was a little bit taller...")
"I Wanna Sex You Up" Color Me Badd (hee!)

And, well, some people may debate this, but the only song King Missile did that got them any kind of airplay was "Detachable Penis." Me? I like "Cheesecake Truck."
posted by furiousthought at 2:18 PM on February 20, 2002


Paul Lekakis:

Boom boom boom
Let's go back to my room
So we can do it all night
And you can make me feel right


Genius.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:10 PM on February 20, 2002


yeastie girls: "go down".
posted by fishfucker at 3:35 PM on February 20, 2002


Ooooh, I love that Paul Lekakis song!

Color Me Badd also had hits with "All 4 Love" and "I Adore Mi Amore."

Someone please shoot me for remembering that. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 4:47 PM on February 20, 2002


"Rubber Band Man" -- The Spinners

No, no, no, no, no!

"I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Fallin in Love," "Then Came You," "Games People Play"... Ferndale's finest was one of the dominant RnB groups of the early 70s. They had at least a half dozen songs in the top 10 in the 70s alone. Sheesh.

"Strawberry Letter 23" -- Brothers Johnson

A great song. The Shuggie Otis original was recently rereleased after many years in obscurity. The Bros. version is basically Shuggie's backing tracks with new vocals. Same brillliant Shuggie Otis guitar. Check it out.
posted by rodii at 8:51 PM on February 20, 2002


I know I'm coming late to the discussion, but I can't pass by without mentioning one of my all-time favorites, Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway." I insist this song be played on any road trip I'm on. :)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:53 PM on February 20, 2002


Have to throw down a few that have been missed:

Yello - Oh Yeah
World Party - Message In The Box
Trio - Da Da Da
Michael Sembello - Maniac
Karla Bonoff - Personally
Bertie Higgins - Key Largo
Big Pig - I Can't Break Away
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:07 PM on February 20, 2002


World Party also got some play with Ship of Fools.

BTW, Goodbye Jumbo by World Party is a killer CD, and worth the price of admission just for Sweet Soul Dream. Trust me on this one, people.
posted by dglynn at 10:28 PM on February 20, 2002


"Ship of Fools" is in fact the only World Party song I've ever heard, so I'd consider that their "hit."

Whatever happened to Big Pig? I really kinda liked that album.
posted by kindall at 11:12 PM on February 20, 2002


Brothers Johnson also recorded the disco monster 'Stomp' - huge in the UK and still a staple on 70's disco compilations.

Rodii - Respect for the Shuggie Otis plug, what a guy - apparently turned down Jagger and Richards who asked him to join the Stones - he should be added to The Most Criminally Unappreciated Recording Artist Ever post going on a few threads away - Inspiration Information is a seminal album enjoying a deserved revival in the UK.
posted by niceness at 4:14 AM on February 21, 2002


Pat Travers, "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)"
Sniff 'n' the Tears, "Driver's Seat"
The Champs, "Tequila"
The Surfaris, "Wipeout"

Two life-imitates-art-imitates-life examples:

John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, "On the Dark Side"
The Oneders Wonders, "That Thing You Do"

And bands interested in being one-hit wonders should call Paul Carrack, who will only be in your band if he can sing your biggest hit ever:

Ace, "How Long"
Mike + the Mechanics, "Silent Running"
Squeeze, "Tempted"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:23 AM on February 21, 2002


Pat Travers, "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)"
Sniff 'n' the Tears, "Driver's Seat"
The Champs, "Tequila"
The Surfaris, "Wipeout"

Two life-imitates-art-imitates-life examples:

John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, "On the Dark Side"
The Oneders Wonders, "That Thing You Do"

And bands interested in being one-hit wonders should call Paul Carrack, who will only be in your band if he can sing your biggest hit ever:

Ace, "How Long"
Mike + the Mechanics, "Silent Running"
Squeeze, "Tempted"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:28 AM on February 21, 2002


D'oh!
posted by kirkaracha at 6:29 AM on February 21, 2002


Thanks for the Spinners correction, rodii. Now I gotta surf over to Amazon and get their greatest hits album.
I promise not to mention that other one-hit wonder of the 70s, Carole King...
posted by Holden at 6:57 AM on February 21, 2002


"Tender Years" (also from that clinker Streets of Fire) did pretty well for McCafferty & Co. and they also had one called something like "Living In the City." "Driver's Seat" was mentioned way up in this thread.

Although I haven't seen these mentioned yet (easy to overlook 'em, however) I nonetheless hate to even bring up:
"Teen Angel" (Mark Dinning?)
"Billy Don't Be A Hero" (Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods)
"Seasons In the Sun" (Terry Jacks)
"The Night Chicago Died" (Paper Lace)
"Moonlight Feels Right" (Starbuck)
"Hot Child in the City" (Nick Gilder)
I think Rhino or maybe K-Tel has released some one-hit wonder collections.
And while "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is the only real hit I know of by Iron Butterfly, they too had a Greatest Hits album.
The Royal Teens probably had only one hit ("Short Shorts," immortalized in the Nair commercials), but Al Kooper was the keyboardist (according to Dave Barry).
posted by StOne at 7:45 AM on February 21, 2002


Joe Dolce -- "Shut Uppa You Face!" (circa 1981/1982)

"...itsa not so bad...itsa nice place...ah, shut uppa you face!"

A novelty hit, to be sure...but it counts!
posted by davidmsc at 3:13 PM on February 21, 2002


Thanks for the Spinners correction, rodii. Now I gotta surf over to Amazon and get their greatest hits album.

You better.

I'll be checking.
posted by rodii at 4:41 PM on February 21, 2002


Correcting myself: The McCafferty songs weren't from Streets of Fire but another bad Michael Pare movie of the era, Eddie & the Cruisers.
posted by StOne at 9:28 PM on February 21, 2002


World Shut Your Mouth - Julian Cope
posted by scottfree at 11:08 PM on February 21, 2002


Copey also made the charts with "Beautiful Love" and maybe "Trampoline". He's anything but a one-hit wonder--he's had a long, productive--albeit crazily so--and fairly successful career. Plus he had several hits with the Teeardrop Explodes (I'm listening to "Ouch Monkeys" right now!).

OBOHW: Frijid Pink, "House of the Rising Sun."
posted by rodii at 8:52 AM on February 22, 2002


- Jeopardy (Our Love's In Jeopardy?)

That was Greg Kihn, who also had a hit with "They Don't Write 'Em Like That Anymore" -- that might not be the actual title, but you know the song I mean, the "uh uh uh uh uh uhuhuh" song. And Matthew Wilder did have "The Kid's American" but more importantly, he produced "Tragic Kingdom" for No Doubt. Quite an accomplishment for the "Break My Stride" guy.

Kafkaesque mentioned "Can't Turn It Off" by NuShooz. Unless there are two bands by that name NuShooz had hits with "I Can't Wait" and "Point of No Return" but not "Can't Turn it Off."

Other debunking:
DeBarge had "You Wear It Well" after "Rhythm of the Night"
Club Nouveau had "Lies" after "Rumours"
Tiffany charted with "I Saw Him Standing There" after "I Think We're Alone Now"
Night Ranger -- had at least 3 hits from "Seven Wishes" including "4 in the Morning" and "Sentimental Street" to go along with "Sister Christian" and "When You Close Your Eyes"
The Clash (!!) - "Train in Vain" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go" both count as well as "Rock the Casbah"

Other bonafide one-hitters:
Bourgeois Tagg - "I Don't Mind"
Blow Monkeys - "Digging Your Scene"
Groove System - "Don't Disturb This Groove"
Gregory Abbott - "Shake You Down"
Mary Jane Girls - "In My House"
Belouis Some - "Round, Round"
Laura Branigan - "Gloria"
Double - "Captain of Her Heart"
Heather Nova - "Walk This World"
Living Colour - "Cult of Personality"
Sir Mix-a-Lot - "Baby Got Back"
Murray Head - "One Night in Bangkok"

"POP MUSIC" by a band (or person) known simply as "M."

Pop Muzik also gave way to the title of a great weblog about pop music, New York London Paris Munich.
posted by Dreama at 10:29 AM on February 22, 2002


Living Colour - "Cult of Personality"

This is getting pretty tail-chasing, but Living Colour also hit with "Glamour Boys" and Laura Branigan also had "Ti Amo."
posted by Skot at 10:46 AM on February 22, 2002


Dan Bern - "Tiger Woods"
Ruby - "Paraffin"

How could I forget that Supergroove also did "Scorpio girls", with such lyrics as "scorpy orpy orpy orpio Scorpio girls, scorpy orpy orpy orpio rockin' my world"
posted by holloway at 3:54 PM on February 22, 2002


Now that I sing it I think I've got one too many "orpy"s there.

Sorry about that.
posted by holloway at 3:55 PM on February 22, 2002


OK, this thread has been dead for about a year now, but I can't resist: 176 comments, and not one person mentions "Word Up" by Cameo? A hilarious song, done by men wearing codpieces for the video, no less.

Oh, and don't forget "The Night Chicago Died" by Paper Lace.
posted by diddlegnome at 12:54 AM on February 26, 2002


Oops. StOne beat me to Paper Lace.
posted by diddlegnome at 12:56 AM on February 26, 2002


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