One hit wonders have been with us for decades. The thing is that in retrospect, most such songs are either pretty mediocre or actually bad, and caught on either because of a good hook and a little luck, or some novelty aspect, or a combination of those things. In retrospect I think all these songs blow:
“Mickey” by Toni Basil
“867-5309” by Tommy Tutone
“In the Year 2525” by Zager & Evans (the worst song ever)
“Tainted Love,” Soft Cel, which was actually a cover
“Ice Ice Baby,” Vanilla Ice
“Major Tom,” Peter Schilling
“Somebody’s Watching Me,” Rockwell
The other day I was listening to “Steal my Sunshine” by Len, a one hit wonder if there ever was one, and I thought; you know, this a decent song. It’s not genius, but it’s catchy and not at all irritating. It’s quite good. I was trying to think; are there any one hit wonders - and I mean gen uine one hit wonders; don’t tell me Janis Joplin was a one hit wonder because she only had one top 10 Billboard single - that were actually GREAT songs?
“Would I Lie To You?” by Charles and Eddie
“Let’s Go All The Way” by Sly Fox
I actually think most of the songs the OP listed are quite good - apart from the Zager & Evans abomination. “Mickey” and “867-5309” are on almost any “Remember the 80s” compilation, the synth hook from “Tainted Love” was lifted in the #1 single “SOS” by Rihanna last year.
“Ice Ice Baby” is so tied to Vanilla Ice that people seem unable to appreciate it. Great hook.
“Major Tom” has that great scratch guitar line.
“Somebody’s Watching Me” has the awesome hook sung by Michael Jackson when he was truly the King of Pop. Considering Rockwell couldn’t sing a lick, that made the song.
Childhood memories or course have a part here, but “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Ryder. Catchy, great climactic screaming/guitar riff, and seriously, an aura of paranoia- reminds me of “Run Like Hell” by Pink Floyd.
Yes, All Along The Watchtower is the only one to crack the Top 40. However, six Jimi Hendrix albums (including posthumous ones, 4 during his lifetime) broke the Top 5, with Electric Ladyland peaking at #1.
For Radiohead, it’s Creep. For Faith No More, it’s Epic. For the Dead, it’s Touch of Grey.
SOAD surprised me when I bothered looking it up - I expected Chop Suey or BYOB - the only tracks of theirs I’d ever heard - but apparently, it’s Aerials, which was a #1.
At this point, I’m just too annoyed with the amount of effort it’s taking to confirm the answers (all of these except SOAD, I knew or suspected before looking for proof) and leave the others to others.
Year of the Cat* might be Stewart’s most famous song, but I wouldn’t call him a one hit wonder. He’s had several other songs which have gotten chart positions, such as Time Passages (#17 on the Billboard charts), Song on the Radio (#29), and Midnight Rocks (#31).