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The One Hit Wonder Discussion!
1 January 2018
8.41pm
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PurplishRain
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Basically this forum us to discuss your favorite (or least favorite) One Hit Wonders from any decade. Here are some of my favorites, separated by Decade

 

1950s

A Thousand Miles Away by The Heartbeats

Earth Angel by The Penguins

Sea Cruise by Frankie Ford

1960s

Wipe Out by The Surfaris

Surfin' Bird by The Trashmen

Louie Louie by The Kingsmen

Hang on Sloopy by The McCoys (They had other hits on the Billboard Top 40, but do you remember them?)

Fire by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown

1970s

In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry (I Know they had a sizable following in England but they only had one hit over here in the states)

Green Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf

Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) by Looking Glass (Love this song and have became a fan of their other stuff)

Dancing In The Moonlight by King Harvest

Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo by Rick Derringer (Frontman of The McCoys)

1980s

Somebody's Watching Me by Rockwell

Funkytown by Lipps, Inc.

Turning Japanese by The Vapors

Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant

You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) by Dead or Alive

1990s

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

I Touch Myself by The Divinyls (Bigger in Australia, not so much in the states)

2000s

Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus

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1 January 2018
8.48pm
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SgtPeppersBulldog
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I assume you watch Todd In The Shadows's One Hit Wonderland series on YouTube? 

"Duit On Mon Dei"

 2017: 

 
1 January 2018
8.54pm
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sir walter raleigh
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Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners is my favorite one hit wonder. Or Save Tonight by Eagle Eye Cherry. 

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1 January 2018
9.04pm
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PurplishRain
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SgtPeppersBulldog said
I assume you watch Todd In The Shadows's One Hit Wonderland series on YouTube?   

I am a Viewer of his. He introduced some of these to me

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1 January 2018
11.41pm
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Ron Nasty
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Isn't the problem with something like this the definition of a "one-hit wonder"?

For instance, both Dexys Midnight Runners and Eddy Grant are mentioned in different posts above.

While they may fit the definition for the US, neither could be described as such in their home market of the UK.

Dexys were a hugely successful and influential band at the time, with Come on Eileen being their second #1, the first being the magnificent Geno in 1980, two years before CoE. While the #5 follow-up, a cover of Van Morrison's Jackie Wilson Said, produced one of the great Top of the Pops moments when the show had them performing it against a back-drop of a picture of the British darts player, Jockey Wilson.

Their first two albums, Searching for the Young Rebels and Too-Rye-Ay, were considered among the most important albums of the time, and between 1980 and 1983, Dexys were among the 10 or 20 most important bands of the time.

While Eddy Grant was a successful singles, with Electric Avenue (a UK #2), among a string of Top 40 hits, among which were the classics Living on the FrontlineDo You Feel My Love?, and the #1, I Don't Wanna Dance.

Nobody around at that time in the UK would have considered either act as one-hit wonders.

Is the level of an artists success in the US charts really the measure by which a one-hit wonder is judged?

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2 January 2018
12.23am
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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Language is adaptable and relative to the speaker. If an artist is a one-hit wonder in the US but well known in the UK, that artist is still a one-hit wonder in the US and to the American people. 

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2 January 2018
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Starr Shine?
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Is the level of an artists success in the US charts really the measure by which a one-hit wonder is judged?

In the US yah.

In the year 2525 is a good one hit wonder.

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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2 January 2018
8.09am
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Ron Nasty
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Zager and Evans are a great example of the point I was making, @Starr Shine?, about how there are different kinds of one-hit wonder.

In the 2525 was a massive worldwide hit. The follow-up did well in Australia, but nowhere else. In the US and UK they failed to bother anything but the lower reaches of the chart again. To me, they are the epitome of the one-hit wonder. Hugely successful song everywhere, with the group going virtually straight back to obscurity.

To me, it's hugely problematic to regard artists who have continued to have major careers while only having one big international hit as one-hit wonders.

I mean, given their history in the singles charts, one could consider Pink Floyd as a one-hit wonder with Another Brick in the Wall Part II an international smash, their only US #1, their only US Top Ten (Money reached #13, with only three other singles charting, and the most successful of those only reaching #53).

I don't think anyone would consider Pink Floyd as being one-hit wonders though, just that the singles chart were pretty much something they chose to ignore, actually releasing very few singles during their heyday.

To me, a true one-hit wonder is an artist that has a major success with either a song or an album, and that is it for them, all they will be remembered for. There are plenty of artists who have had only one major singles chart hit but continue to be very successful and influential.

For me, the term "one-hit wonder" generally refers to an act who has that one moment in them, and is usually slightly demeaning. I don't think it applies to any artist who has had a successful career.

I think there are one-hit wonders, and there are artists who may not have sold well where you are apart from one-time, but have had enviable careers in other markets.

An example would be one of America's most successful artists, Tim McGraw, the 41st best-selling artist of all time. Never had any real success in the UK because Country is a niche here, while there it is mainstream. He has featured on a UK #1 though, Nelly's Over and Over in 2005. Apart from that, only three chart entries, the most successful of which was the 2011 duet with Gwyneth Paltrow, Me and Tennessee, that reached #63.

Now, his music obviously doesn't work in this marketplace, but I am not about to demean the 41st best-selling of all time by calling him a "one-hit wonder" because the music he makes doesn't translate to UK ears.

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2 January 2018
9.12am
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Dark Overlord
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Don't forget Informer by Snow.

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2 January 2018
12.14pm
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Starr Shine?
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Informer by Snow isn't that great.

Besides, we all know America is the only country in the world so all one hit wonders are those who get one hit in America.

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2 January 2018
12.16pm
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sir walter raleigh
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@Ron Nasty the reason that nobody considers Pink Floyd a one hit wonder is because they released one of the best selling and most well know ALBUMS of all time. Pink Floyd chose to focus on their album craft, and they achieved great success that way. Now had The Dark Side Of the Moon been their only well know record, then we may call them a 10 hit wonder, or compare them with the Stone Roses (no offense @QuarryMan) as a band with one really great album and not much else to speak of. 

But no, Pink Floyd remained huge all throughout the 70s, touring for massive arenas and selling more gold records than almost any other band to date. 

The Grateful Dead are also an exception, despite only having 1 top ten hit: Touch Of Grey at #9. But the calling The Dead a one hit wonder is absurd, because of their focus on live playing, and their extremely extensive and dedicated fanbase that was not only a massive influence on music and merchandising, but a key part of American History, similar to The Beatles are an integral part of the 60s counterculture. 

As for Dexys Midnight Runners, that’s on me for not being more familiar with their music. But you have to admit, time has not seemed to treat their catalog wel, apart from their one smash hit. 

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2 January 2018
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Starr Shine?
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Being a one hit wonder isn't a bad thing.

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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2 January 2018
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sir walter raleigh said
@Ron Nasty the reason that nobody considers Pink Floyd a one hit wonder is because they released one of the best selling and most well know ALBUMS of all time. Pink Floyd chose to focus on their album craft, and they achieved great success that way. Now had The Dark Side Of the Moon been their only well know record, then we may call them a 10 hit wonder, or compare them with the Stone Roses (no offense @QuarryMan) as a band with one really great album and not much else to speak of. 

But no, Pink Floyd remained huge all throughout the 70s, touring for massive arenas and selling more gold records than almost any other band to date. 

The Grateful Dead are also an exception, despite only having 1 top ten hit: Touch Of Grey at #9. But the calling The Dead a one hit wonder is absurd, because of their focus on live playing, and their extremely extensive and dedicated fanbase that was not only a massive influence on music and merchandising, but a key part of American History, similar to The Beatles are an integral part of the 60s counterculture. 

As for Dexys Midnight Runners, that’s on me for not being more familiar with their music. But you have to admit, time has not seemed to treat their catalog wel, apart from their one smash hit.   

None taken, @sir walter raleigh , since that album is arguably the best ever made. (arguably).

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2 January 2018
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Dark Overlord
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Stuck In The Middle With You is a good one hit wonder.

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2 January 2018
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I can't believe no one has mentioned Gangnam Style yet - with its 2.8 billion views, I've never heard about Psy since. 

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3 January 2018
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The Hole Got Fixed said
I can't believe no one has mentioned Gangnam Style yet - with its 2.8 billion views, I've never heard about Psy since.   

They're all trying to repress the memory. 

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4 January 2018
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Some of my favorite Oldies but Moldies were one hit wonders -- Green Eyed Lady, Lil Green Bag, Express Yourself, Alone Again Naturally, Midnight at the Oasis, At Seventeen...

Sometimes I wonder what some of those artists are doing now (if they're still alive). I was pleasantly surprised to see that Janis Ian (of "At Seventeen" fame) has been doing music all along, and is still performing and recording. Her voice has only gotten better. Her 2005 album Billie's Bones is case in point.

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