One-Hit Wonders that are actually anywhere near wonderful.

Here’s one to get you in the mood.

Zoe - Sunshine On A Rainy Day

Any more proposals?

“Come on Eileen” is one of my favorite songs from the 1980s.

Blind Melon’s “No Rain”

“Louie, Louie” by the Kingsmen. (of course, they didn’t write it)

“Sugar, sugar” by the Archies was not bad for bubble-gum pop.

I always liked “Spirit in the sky” for some reason.

John Fred and His Playboy Band – Judy in Disguise (with Glasses) (love the horns).

Neither The Kingsmen nor The Archies were one-hit-wonders. I agree that both songs you cite are very good in their respective genres.

Norman Greenbaum can rightfully be considered a one-hit-wonder, as his follow-ups got very little radio play.

“Funkytown” is a great song.

I go back to the pre-Beatle years of Top 40 AM radio, so I’m very forgiving of the teen pop of the day. Even though I grew through all of the musical movements of the 60s that followed it, I still have a soft spot for the Top 40 hits I grew up with.

In those days, hit records were more likely a collaboration between songwriter, singer and arranger/producer on the session, as opposed to springing primarily from the vision of the artist.

The first one that comes to mind from that era is “Midnight Mary” by Joey Powers. There are many others, but I’ll save them for future posts.

New Radicals “You get what you give” (I think that’s the title) is one of my top 5 desert island discs.

That was a class tune! I like the vid, too.

What about Steanhammer Sam - Intaferon, guise?

No, it wasn’t. And it was written by the great Jeff Barry, who probably wrote or co-wrote more hits (including one-hit wonders) than any other songwriter ever.

Google him – you’ll be amazed at how many of his songs you recognize.

I kind of collect them, and after a while you start seeing patterns: a catchy tune and maybe 1-2 good lines, usually in a generously repeated chorus.

I’m still looking for a one-hit wonder with either:
a) lyrics of actual depth and/or
b) edgy, new, revolutionary, or gifted musicians.

Usually, if they hit either one, they won’t be limited to just one hit song. Strangely, a gifted voice is not on this list. There’s quite a few singers, apparently, who can carry a tune but this doesn’t predict future success.

On my short list are:
'Cause I Got High by Afroman

Afroman doesn’t believe in studios. He prefers to distribute songs himself, usually by selling them out of the trunk of his car.

Ladidodiby Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh

Slick Rick was arrested for attempted murder, so his career was curtailed before he really even had a chance to become a star.

Love the tune. Unfortunately, I don’t think Slick Rick qualifies at all as a one hit wonder, as he’s had more than one.

I’d say these might qualify as good (as always, YMMV):

“Nasty Girl” - Vanity 6

“Closing Time” - Semisonic

“Warm Leatherette” - The Normal

“Local Girls” - Graham Parker and the Rumour

“Whirly Girl” - OXO

“Fade To Grey” - Visage

“Send Me an Angel” - Real Life

“White Horse” - Laid Back

Sunny by Bobby Hebb

Terence Trent D’Arby had one hit album, with two songs getting regular play, “Wishing Well” and “Sign Your Name”, and was rumored to be the next Prince, yet never really heard from again after that. It was a great album, though- I still listen to it after ~25 years.

I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of any of those songs or the performers.

I was thinking of “Hey Girl” by Freddie Scott in 1963. Though I believe it was written by Carole King and peformed by umpteen other people since then.

A song i really still love is ‘Oh Lori’ by the Allessi Bros.
1 hit in the UK – BTW - Dexy’s had more that 1 in the UK


I’d bet good money you’ve heard “Closing Time”.

“Wishing Well” was (is) an awesome song. Underneath the sycamore tree.