Gary Numan and other victims of radio.

There are some bands that ended up with one or two very popular songs, but songs that were unfortunately atypical and far inferior to the otherwise brilliant works of those bands/ musicians. Examples:
Gary Numan-- Cars.
Wall of Voodoo-- Mexican Radio.
“One hit wonders” that shouldn’t have been but were in the most unfortunate way.

Just needed to get that off my chest.


Pixies: “Here Comes Your Man”
Radiohead: “Creep”
Ween: “Push th’ Little Daisies”
Soul Coughing: “Circles”
The Cardigans: “Love Fool”
Urge Overkill (cover of): “Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon”

Powersource: “Dear Mr. Jesus”
(PK ducks, runs for cover):stuck_out_tongue:

I disagree. It was the video that screwed Gary Numan. After that thing, Numan was pegged as eyeliner-sporting, jumpsuit-wearing poster child of the 80’s.

Still, I think it’s pretty cool, in a thin tied sort of way.

Radiohead is a one-hit wonder?

A classic example…


Yeah, I know… The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades. You’ve heard it. It got played to death. It was a song, and a catchphrase, at the same time!

But nobody seemed to get the dark side to that one, the irony that only hinted at what Pat MacDonald was capable of. Eden Alley, the next album, was astonishing. Then, when that didn’t do too well, the studio made him ditch his original lineup (him, his wife, and a drum machine) and get a band. With predictable results; a couple of so-so albums. (Spurned, lonely, the drum machine turned to a life of drugs and depravity, and was last seen annoying pedestrians in Chicago with the beat from “Whoop! There it is!”)

Meanwhile, Ray-Ban had offered up to two million dollars for the rights to the song. Pat said no.

A couple of years ago, he ditched everyone but a percussionist, and came out with Pat MacDonald Sleeps With His Guitar. Dark, brilliant, intensely moody, amusing as hell… and completely unnoticed. If you find it in a cutout bin somewhere, pick it up and be amazed.

I just gotta mention that Soul Coughing is a “one hit wonder” due to pop radio airplay. They have done some other spectacular work that won’t get airtime because it’s not even close to mainstream. I’m particularly thinking of “You Get The Ankles and I’ll Get The Wrists”. Good stuff.

The same could be said of Morphine. Songs like “Sharks” will always be better than “Top Floor, Bottom Buzzer”, which got a bit of airplay. I miss Mark Sandman.

Warning, free plug for local radio station

For those in the D.C. / Baltimore, MD area, check out WRNR, 103.1 FM. They have no set list and no play box. Where else can you hear Marvin Gaye followed by Ben Harper followed by Wide Spread Panic?

Spritle, you are nothing but damn-it-all right, there.

WRNR is the last best hope for peace among Washington DC radio.

And I can’t get it in Virginia.

Actually, the classic example is The Grateful Dead. Their only Top Ten hit was “Touch of Grey” in 1987, and that song is not representative of their body of work.

Myrnalene – I interpreted the OP to mean “Bands that have a great catalogue of work but only one or two songs ever got played on the radio.” I guess ‘Karma Police’ got a little bit of play, also. Keep in mind, I’m in the US. It might be different in other countries. But I think that to someone who listens to radio ONLY is going to be ignorant of their best work. I wouldn’t call them “one hit wonders”, that implies they had their one song and then went away. That’s not how I took the OP. <shrug> Radiohead’s popularity (at least from my perspective) comes from critical acclaim and word of mouth, not airtime on the radio.
Sprittle, same point applies to Soul Coughing. “Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago” , “Blueeyed Devil”, and “Super Bon Bon” (plus a whole lot more) are all kickass songs. ‘Circles’ was pretty lame by their standards, IMO.

Also, are you kiddding about “Sharks” ? I LOVE morphine but that is the worst song they ever recorded. My favorites are “Thurday”, “Buena”, “You Look Like Rain”, “Empty Box”, and “Souvenir”. Come to think of it, I can’t stand most of the “Yes” Album. I have a feeling I am in the minority of Morphine fans when I say that.

That’s OK, I won’t hold it against you. :wink:

The other songs you listed are superb. My point (ill made) is that some of their songs i.e., sharks, will NEVER make it on popular radio because they are so far away from main stream (no pun intended). Pop music has no room for the edgy, a painfully few people notwithstanding. The closest they will get is “Grounbreaking work” from some dyed in the wool band like U-2.

To further this Morphine discussion (not to hijack), their posthumous resease Night has an incredible ‘Rope on Fire’. Unfortunately, this will never be heard on pop radio. It’s also a bit eerie in that it was recorded bdfore Mark died and was released after, and the lyrics… ooh, shivers.

Todd Rungrens - “I saw the light”, it hardly begins to represent his work.

Okay. I take that back. That Gary Numan Video is the coolest thing I have on my computer right now. I can’t stop playing it.

Frank Black, who was lead for the Pixies, had a solo hit with “Los Angeles”, so he is a double one-hit wonder?

Cardigans have had a recent hit song, though the name escapes me (I THINK it’s “My Favorite Game”).

Ween had another song that didn’t make it TOO big, but got some airplay, “Voodoo Queen”.

Urge Overkill had another song with a LOT of airplay, Sister Havana

As for more one-hit wonders, I present the following -

Tommy Tutone (my normal internet handle) - 867-5309
Tubes - She’s a Beauty
Big Country - Big Country
Toni Basil - Mickey
Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star
Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night
Animotion - Obsession
Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok
Peter Schilling - Major Tom
Paul Hardcastle - 19
Madness - Our House (I understand they were much MUCH bigger in England than the US)
Dexy’s Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen (of course, they had faces for radio)

Careful-- we aren’t simply talking about one hit wonders. Now, Peter Schilling also passed through my mind, so I listened to the whole album again, and that reminds us of the vital issue here: The rest of Gary Numan’s work IS good, unlike Peter Schilling. So he is a “victim” of radio, unlike Schilling, who really richly deserved a one hit, as it was his one good song.
Big Country’s other work was good, otherwise, too, so that’s a good example. Dexy’s Midnight Runners, however, is not. See what I mean?

Ahem. Sounds like you’re basing the comment about Dexy’s Midnight Runners on the rest of Too-Rye-Ay only. Searching for the Young Soul Rebels, the first Dexy’s LP, is a great record, if perhaps a little too earnest(and Big Country also were perhaps too earnest for their own good). In fact, I’d say Dexy’s were a pretty good example of the phenomenon, since “Come On Eileen” is all anyone knows of them, despite having a much stronger body of work that’s generally ignored.

Conceded with UO and the Cardigans
(but the OP did say “some bands that ended up with one or two very popular songs”

But I never heard either Los Angeles or Voodoo Lady on the radio. I did see videos for them, but never heard either on the radio. Mind you, I’m not a radio connoisseur, so I easily could have missed them.

Actually, that hit didn’t ruin them at all. While it’s certainly not representative of their work, it did nothing to diminish their popularity; rather, it enhanced it tremendously, opening the group up to an entire new generation of listeners. It was a gateway song, in fact, since (IMO) people who heard it (and the band) on FM radio for the first time then subsequently began to listen to other, earlier work by the band, and were therefore hooked.

The song that comes to mind is “Our House,” by Madness. Madness is ska. “Our House” is catchy, new wave strangeness. It’s a cool song, but hardly representative of their style.

Sally, I have friends that still curse Madness for that song, more or less because of the unexpected popularity it won. Dead the Hell on, I say.