Gr8at: Favourite One-Hit Wonders (okay, 9)

I’ve covered countless artists who have left a huge legacy through their consistently superb and prolific output. But sometimes there are artists who only strike gold once. At least here in the UK. But hey, that’s one more than the rest of us. Before listing mine, I actually thought others could be included. But while they may be best known for one song, artists like Haddaway, Shakespeare’s Sister, Soul Asylum, Vance Joy and Sinead O’ Connor have had chart success with other tracks. Do you have a favourite one hit wonder? Was there an artist you thought would go on to more success?

The New Yorkers may have released six studio albums but this is by far the one that had most success here. A feel-good song that gets you smiling from its opening riff.

It seemed like Babylon Zoo came from nowhere and soon returned to a world away from music. But what they left inbetween was an electric powerhouse of a chart-topping pop song.

I really hoped Gotye would become a real force in the singer-songwriter realm, but he’s been pretty quiet since his perceptive take on a failed relationship. My favourite line is here.

Not just a wonderful song, but a very clever and thought-provoking video. A derserved chart-topper in the UK and a smash hit around Europe.

It seems a little sneaky to include this song on the list as it was hardly a success here in the UK. But through its use in TV and films, as well as countless cover versions, has meant a deserved shelf life for this 1988 song. I quoted it back here.

I should talk about its use in Silence of the Lambs, its references to the Hindu philosophy and how there are three different lengths for the song. But really I just want to emphasise how extraordinary the song is.

Just one of those gorgeous songs filled with deep and sad lyrics that sum up those times when we’re on the wrong side of love. You can see some of its lines on my post a while back.

Surely impossible not to picture Mr Blonde humming along before that scene in Reservoir Dogs.  When I posted it on my blog, I realised how there was a funny story attached to the song

And one novelty song I just couldn’t leave out.


28 thoughts on “Gr8at: Favourite One-Hit Wonders (okay, 9)

  1. Such creativity and talent, musically, visually and emotionally. It is so impressive. People can be so impressive. A few of them “couldn’t be shown in my country.” Some of them I knew, but I am struck by Gotye. This is an amazingly sensitive and brilliant composition.
    Thank you for presenting all of this. It leaves an impression.

    • Thanks. How odd you can’t access all of them. The tags should mention them in case the names of the songs didn’t come up. I was so surprised by Gotye too. After a song of so much depth, it seems odd he hasn’t been seen much since. here’s hoping he releases more.

  2. I always thought Macy Gray would go on to more popularity, but it seems most people start and stop with “I Try.” Oh well.

    • A really fun video to go with the light-hearted lyrics too. I’m listening to it right now. I know why Tarantino fought so hard to get Stuck in the Middle with You. I just can’t imagine any other song there. And to think they were initially against it!

  3. Great list, Alex! I’ve thought about doing a One Hit Wonders Top Ten. Hard to put together as so many did have move than one hit elsewhere (I knew Madness as one hit wonders before moving to the UK!). A few of these would make my list too: Safety Dance & Your Woman & Goodbye Horses. Love those. : )

  4. I love Two Princes and Somebody That I Used to Know. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something and I’ll Be There for You by The Rembrandts would also be on my list. I am actually quite a big Soul Asylum fan. They had some great songs!

    • Two great shouts. I remember Breakfast at Tiffanys coming out and wondering what their next single would be. Funny to think The Rembrandts didn’t want to release I’ll be There for You as a single and that’s still all they’re remembered for.

  5. Pingback: Gr8at: Songs To Whistle Along To | Alex Raphael

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