What one-hit-wonder songs were actually really good, even GREAT, songs?

Why the hate for “In the Year 2525”? It’s just a folk song. Worst song ever? Come on.

He did, actually, a couple of them. Perhaps you recall Right Down the Line, a hit he had circa 1978, and before that when he was the lead singer of Stealer’s Wheel and had a hit with Stuck in the Middle With You?

And cochrane, you’re right of course. I forgot all about Time Passages. However, I don’t recall ever having heard Midnight Rocks.

And you know, it’s funny…I almost mentioned 2525 myself but chickened out so as to avoid the cacophony of scorn I felt sure would follow. :stuck_out_tongue: Good song though.

Not sure if can be considered a ‘hit’ but " A Million Miles Away" by **the Plimsouls ** is a dandy.


Along Comes Mary by The Association (1966.) Badass horn lines and instrumentation, weird rhythms and run-on lyrical structure that almost sounds like a precursor to rap. I love the line “When we met I was sure out to lunch/now the empty cup tastes as sweet as the punch.” I think it’s a wonderfully poetic line. According to Wikipedia, "Leonard Bernstein admired the song, and included a short analysis of it in the “What is a Mode?” episode of his Young People’s Concerts series. " I think this speaks for itself.

More recent (late 90s)

Summertime by The Sundays. Great poppy song with wonderfully jangly guitars and a singer with a beautiful voice (and a beautiful face.)

Your Woman by White Town. Kick ass rolling electronic bass beat, and surreal gender-bending lyrics. The song also samples a trumpet part from a old and obscure British jazz song, “My Woman” by Al Bowlly.

How Bizarre - OMC. Very upbeat and fun song to listen to - was this band Australian? I always thought they were, based on the singer’s voice.

For no reason, I was just thinking about this song yesterday. I think they’re New Zealanders…IIRC, the singer is Maori. I could be misremembering. But yeah, a good song.

I still really like The Knickerbockers Lies, so good that people thought it was the Beatles incognito.

And Mary’s Prayer by Danny Wilson was a piece of art - fantastic arrangement of a great song.

Whiter shade of pale by Procal Harum … I saw them on stage a while ago at a folk festival and a few people, inculding my wife, had no idea who they where untill they played that song :slight_smile:

thanks SA, I saw Robert Cray open for Muddy at the Sac blues festival in 1980. And then he played guitar during Muddy’s set. Both were amazing…that’s a great link.

To answer the OP, **Lipps, Inc’s ** Funky Town can rock the house as strong today as it did upon its first release.

Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on Sunshine and Our House by Madness, love them or hate them should be acknowledged for the strong melodic vibe they give off.

But I submit the most influential (maybe not the greatest and I’m not even sure it charted which would make it a One Non-Hit Wonder) is Rock and Roll, Part Two.

The fact that for a considerable length of time, this song was played at every single sporting event in the United States and managed to work the crowd into a frenzy every time means Gary Glitter deserves the top spot.

That’s in the US of course.

In the UK he chalked up 5 top six chart entries, including a posthumous #1 with Voodoo Chile, so it would never have occurred to me to categorise Hendrix as a one-hit wonder, even by a strict definition.

Ah yes.

A Whiter Shade of Pale (by Procol Harum) is IMO a great song (and a UK #1) but the band followed up with Homburg which reached #6 in the same year. They also had a couple of minor successes with Conquistador (#22) and Pandora’s Box (#16).

In 1982 Pickwick Records released the cheekily titled Procol Harum’s Greatest Hits Vol.1 which comprised A Whiter Shade of Pale, Conquistador, Quite Rightly So (#50) plus five other tracks which failed to trouble the Chart Compiler.

Mysteriously, Procol Harum’s Greatest Hits Vol.2 failed to make it into the shops.

How does a band with two #1 hits (‘Cherish’ in '66 and ‘Windy’ in 67) qualify as a one-hit wonder?

I’ve always considered “Friday On MY Mind”, by the Easybeats, to be one of the great songs of the 60s. They probably had other hits in Australia and the UK, but “Friday” is the only US hit I remember.

A trio from musical theatre:

Memory by Betty Buckley
Don’t Cry For Me Argentina by Julie Covington
I Know Him So Well–Elaine Paige & Barbra Dickeson duet

Assuming we are going on the “real” definition of “one Top 20/40/100 hit”, not “one hit I like”, or “only song I remember” :wink:

Suavecito- Malo
Tighter, Tighter- Alive & Kicking
Vehicle- Ides of March
Wildflower- Skylark
Painted Ladies- Ian Thomas
Spring Rain- Silvetti
Falling- Leblanc & Carr
Shake It- Ian Matthews
Morning Girl- Neopn Philharmonic
Ooh Child- Five Stairsteps

UK charts:

Stretch- Why Did You Do It
Goldie- Making up Again

“Telstar” by the Tornadoes
“Pipeline” by the Chantays
“Psychotic Reaction” by the Count Five

all count as GREAT songs in my book.

Recently I saw some hate for it on this board, but “96 Tears” by ? and the Mysterians is one of the greatest songs ever, IMHO.

And not only is “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman one of the greatest songs ever, “Hollywood Dream”, the album it appears on, is one of the greatest albums ever!

I will probably be rhetorically flogged for this, but I liked

Gimme Dat Ding by the Pipkins*, and
Judy In Disguise by John Fred and the Playboy Band (which featured the line “Canteloupe eyes, come to me tonight”).

I don’t have any visceral hatred for In The Year 2525, though I don’t look forward to hearing it on the radio (come to think of it, I haven’t heard it for a long time). Dave Barry mocked it in his book of bad songs, citing imaginary verse that went something like

In the year 4545
Won’t have no teeth, won’t have no eyes
There won’t be anything to do
No one’s gonna look at you

*What good’s a metronome, without a bell for ringing?

“Come on Eileen” – Dexie’s Midnight Runners
“Escalator of Life” – Robert Hazard and the Heroes
“Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor

Suck, suck and suck.

You won’t get any argument from me! I actually had that 45 when I was a junior in high school. You know, I’ll bet it took 30 years before it finally dawned on me that “Judy in Disguise with Glasses” was a play on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds!” :smack:

"Surfin’ Bird" - The Trashmen

…well now everybody’s heard
about the bird…

(That song is irresistibly fun.)
"96 Tears" - ? and the Mysterians

I can’t see how Madness could be considered a one-hit wonder, what with 33 UK-charting songs, but oh well. Same with Siouxsie & the Banshees (“Peekaboo” and “Kiss Them For Me” in the US, 29 singles in the UK)

And Peter Schilling, don’t forget “A Different Story.” And, uh, he’s big in Germany…

I confess to enjoying “Steal My Sunshine,” but that’s another case of the hook being from another song.

I was gonna say “Groove is in the Heart” but I see that Dee-LIte had half a dozen #1 dance hits…I guess I was done with clubbing by that time.

OMC (Otara Millionaires Club) is from New Zealand.