When one thinks of One Hit Wonders the decade that immediately leaps to mind is the 1980's. Sure, many bands came and went quickly within those 10 years, but the phenomenon didn't end there. Now when I say "One Hit Wonder" I mean, a group or artist that is really known for their one big hit. Sure they may have had multiple albums, and somewhere amongst those tracks there could be another catchy tune, but to the casual listener one hit was all there was. Also, i'm not saying it's a bad thing. They could have had no hits. Right?
1. Eagle-Eye Cherry - "Save Tonight"
I anticipated big things from ol' Eagle-Eye. From the get go he reminded me of a Ben Harper type, and i'm not ashamed to say I own this album Desireless. Sadly after the impact of "Save Tonight", his subsequent singles failed to garner much attention, but you had to know he'd try, as music runs in his family, from his jazz legend father Don to his sister Nehneh. This song is pure 1998.
2. Duncan Sheik - "Barely Breathing"
Still one of my favourites. Duncan Sheik's "Barely Breathing" is a fantastic song, even if it is his only hit. It's got catchy hooks, superb lyrics and a video that had 90's style and technique all over it. One thing I remember reading about Duncan was his motto about the way he dressed, it's something i've since adopted as my own: "Fashion over comfort" I salute you Dunk.
3. Tripping Daisy - "I Got A Girl"
The 90's had a plethora of songs that began with a simple guitar riff, I can almost envision the tab in my head. What can I say about this song? It's no wonder why it became a hit, and i'm sure most people (again like me) have a copy of I Am An Elastic Firecracker in their collection, but Tripping Daisy faded into obscurity and out of people's minds as the decade came to an end.
4. Shawn Colvin - "Sunny Came Home"
I really enjoy this track, I don't know what it is. Whether it reminds me of a simpler time when it was released, the unique guitar Colvin contributes or the story of a housewife torching her house in a pop song, I dig it. Shawn actually won a grammy award for this song, and then had her acceptance speech high jacked by Dirt McGirt. I think she's been on a few soundtracks as well, but nothing else as noteworthy as "Sunny Came Home".
5. Sponge - "Have You Seen Mary?"
I like Sponge and it kinda pains me to include them here, but I feel I must. Sponge are from Denmark, but this was their only major hit in North America. Some might recall "Plowed" or "Molly" but this was their finest. Maybe they are more successful in Europe, i'm not sure. I still feel this is one of the greatest songs produced in the 90's, one hit wonder or not.
6. White Town - "Your Woman"
Everyone has got to remember this song, it was impossible to ignore. White Town is Jyoti Prakash Mishra and the 1997 album Women In Technology was all recorded and produced in his home. The song baffled audiences with it's ambiguous lyrics and almost robotic scenery, but if you listen closely theres actually some wonderful piano playing throughout the song.
7. The Flys - "Got You (Where I Want You)"
The Flys got a raw deal, more so than most of the one hitters on this list. This song was included and got popular because it was featured in the movie Disturbing Behaviour and it's soundtrack. Fans of the song could simply buy the soundtrack instead of the Flys' album where the track was included. Too bad. This was kind of a portent of things to come in the late 90's early 00's with the whole rap-rock hybrid.
8. The Doughboys - "Shine"
Had to include a Canadian song, even though I found it difficult to think of a Canadian act from whom I can only remember one hit. Probably because of my country's CanCon laws, so radio stations and TV play as many Canadian songs as they can...which is fine, Canada's music rocks. Watch for a Canada Day list proving just that...
9. Primitive Radio Gods - "Standing Outside A Broken Phonebooth With Money In My Hand"
This one takes me back. It definitely stood out at the time of it's release and still gains new fans everyday. It samples B.B. King's "How Blue Can You Get?" and features poetic and thoughtful lyrics. I wished the Primitive Radio Gods had other songs of this caliber, it's almost timeless.
10. Chumbawamba - "Tubthumping"
What is a chumba and what the hell is "Tubthumping"? Probably the 2 most asked questions in music during 1997. Britain's Chumbawamba are known in their homeland for their politically charged music and public acts of defiance. In North America however, they are largely known for a song about drinking.
If you enjoyed this list and the others, please feel free to sign up and leave a comment! Even if you hated it! Make a request for a list you'd like to see! I'm eager to hear from the people I do this for. Cheers!