Curious who the top one hit wonders of all-time are? Managing to come up with a hit that resonates with the listeners and that tops all the important music charts is quite the accomplishment, wouldn’t you say? But what if that particular hit is the only song by which the artist or band is remembered? Well, in the music industry, these performers are called one hit wonders.
Rolling Stone, one of the most influential magazines in the business, asked its readers to vote on their favorite one hit wonders. Want to know which songs received the most votes?
Let’s take a look at the top ten, in a fashion similar to our list of the 10 most popular songs of all-time.
No. 10: The Vapors – Turning Japanese, 1980
Admittedly, this might just be the most annoying song in pop history, but it is also true that, once you hear it, it’s pretty much stuck with you. Even though the band broke up the year following the release of the song, Turning Japanese has since featured in numerous soundtracks and commercials.
No. 9: Question Mark and The Mysterians – 96 Tears, 1996
96 Tears was recorded in the band manager’s living room and quickly became a hit with the public. The band produced several other songs, but they never really managed to repeat their performance. The band’s frontman, Rudy Martinez, continues to claim to this day that he is an alien from Mars.
Continue reading for the rest of the top one hit wonders:
No. 8: Chumbawamba – Tubthumping, 1997
The British anarcho-punk band had been performing in the music industry, admittedly in semi-obscurity, for several years before Tubthumping hit the scene and became a favorite with listeners worldwide. Since then, the single has also been ranked on several lists of the most annoying songs, but the damage has already been done. The lyric “I get knocked down” is pretty much ingrained in our memories for life.
No. 7: Blind Melon – No Rain, 1993
When Blind Melon released their single No Rain in 1993, the band seemed like the next big thing. Unfortunately, when its lead singer died just two years later, the band was unable to recover.
No. 6: The Knack – My Sharona, 1979
By the end of the 1970s, it seemed like The Knack would become one of the most successful rock&roll bands. They struggled for a few years before ultimately splitting in 1981, but they never managed to keep up the momentum provided by their hit single, My Sharona.
No. 5: Soft Cell – Tainted Love, 1981
Tainted Love remains to this day the poster song for the 1980s. The band didn’t manage to produce another hit, but leader singer Marc Almond went on to have a semi-successful solo career.
No. 4: Big Country – In a Big Country, 1983
In a Big Country remains the band’s single success song on American soil, but the Scottish singers did continue their career and retained quite the fan base in Europe.
No. 3: Norman Greenbaum – Spirit in the Sky, 1969
Although Norman Greenbaum had only one notable song in his repertoire, Spirit in the Sky, he is still making quite a good living off of it, more than 40 years later, thanks to the numerous movies and commercials in which it has been used since.
No. 2: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come on Eileen, 1982
The single Come on Eileen, allegedly inspired by a true story, became a smash hit for the British band, which unfortunately broke up just three years after the release of the song.
No. 1: A-ha – Take On Me, 1985
While in its native Norway, A-ha released hit after hit, Take On Me remains the band’s only song to make it across the ocean. The funky, animated video did play an important role in popularizing the song.