Music, My Favorite Things, Posts

One Hit Wonders!

What’s a “One Hit Wonder” you ask? Well, a One Hit Wonder is more commonly used in regards to music. It is when a group or solo artist will achieve popularity because of one piece of work. That one song probably went really high on the charts, but they were never able to follow up with anything else. Come on along….sit back…relax, enjoy and even sing-a-long to the One Hit Wonders over the years. So, let’s get this party started!!

The 60’s

“Wipe-Out”, by the Sufari’s…this hard-driving primal drum solo topped the charts all the way to #2 in the summer of 1963

Wipe Out -The Sufari’s
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“Spirit In the Sky”, by Norman Greenbaum released in 1969 and sold two million copies in 1969-1970 and reached #3 in the U.S.Billboard charts. It was #1 in the UK in 1970.

Spirit in the SkyNorman Greenbaum

“Winchester Cathedral”, by The New Vaudeville Band. This was a British novelty group and release Winchester Cathedral in late 1966. It went to #4 in the UK.

Winchester CathedralThe New Vaudeville group

The 70s

“Magnet and Steel“, written and performed by Walter Egan and released in May 1978. It made it all the way to number 8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 9 in Canada and spent 22 weeks on the American charts. It was the first and only major hit for the solo artist.

Magnet and Steel-Walter Egan

“Dancing in the Moonlight”, performed by King Harvest. Released in the early ’70s on A.M. radio, this One Hit Wonder made it all the way to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. This is one of my all-time favorites!

Dancing in the Moonlight-King Harvest

“Layla”, by Derek and the Dominos. Eric Clapton was a member of Derek and the Dominos when he wrote this Grammy-winning song, which was released in 1971. The song was inspired by Clapton’s relationship with Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend, ex-Beatles member George Harrison.

Things Remembered

This classic reached #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts and was among the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, according to Rolling Stones Magazine.

Layla-Derek and the Dominos

“Kung Fu Fighting”, by Carl Douglas in 1974. This song was intended to be the “B” side but ended up becoming one of the best selling singles of all time, topping not only the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart but also charts around the world. This song is still played today in numerous commercials as well as movies.

Kung Fu Fighting-Carl Douglas

“Just When I Needed You Most” by Randy VanWarmer. This One Hit Wonder is a sad heartbreak song from 1979…the year that I graduated high school. This sad tune reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Just When I Needed You Most-Randy VanWarmer

“Hot Rod Lincoln, by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airman, released in 1979. It made is as high#9 on the U.S.Billboard Hot 100.

Hot Rod Lincoln – Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

The 80s

“Party All the Time” by Eddie Murphy. Released in 1985 and written by artist Rick James, this song made it all the way to #2.

Party All the Time-Eddie Murphy

“Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles released in December 1989 and was written by Canadian songwriters, Christopher Ward, and David Tyson. This One Hit Wonder made it all the way to #1 for two weeks in 1990.

Black Velvet-Alannah Myles

“Key Largo” by Bertie Higgins, this singer-songwriter had this hit peak all the way to #8. This song was influenced by the movie “Key Largo” which starred Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Bertie Higgins never had another hit after this.

Key Largo-Bertie Higgins

The 90s

“Torn” performed by Australian pop singer Natalie Imbruglia, this breakout hit of 1997.

Torn-Natalie Imbruglia

“Nothing Compares 2 U, performed by Sinead O’Conner. This One Hit Wonder was released in the 1990s, making Sinead O’Connor an iconic artist. But in later years her behavior transformed her from beloved to scorned and even hated and misunderstood.

Nothing Compares 2 U-Sinead O’Conner

“Unbelievable”, this is a song written and recorded by British band EMF. It was released in the UK in 1990 peaking in the UK Singles Chart at #3 on December 1, 1990. In the U.S., it hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.


The 2000s

“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. This 2006 rock tune happens to be one the most played songs of the decade, in the U.S. and U.K., and it reached #5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Chasing Cars-Snow Patrol

“You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. He wrote this One Hit Wonder in less than three minutes after he locked eyes with his ex-girlfriend on the London Underground when she was with another guy, this was someone he didn’t even know had existed in her life. After that, they never spoke to one another again.

You’re Beautiful-James Blunt

“Bad Day” by Daniel Powter. This 2005 pop hit is a power anthem to remind you that we all can have a bad day! Daniel Power is to have said that he wrote this hit in less than an hour. It even made its way to the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list. Yea….we’ve all had one…or more of these days.

Bad Day-Daniel Power

There You Have It!

This is just a “snip-it” of One Hit Wonders.…there are many, many more. These just happen to be some of my personal favorites. So… what did you think…bring back some memories for you? I really hope so, they sure did for me.

Keep on “Rockin’ Friends”

xo Brenda

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  1. Nostalgic Post! 90s still my among my favorite kinds of music!

    1. Thanks, Chris!

  2. Great post and learnt some new things. One hit wonders, I never knew that many things about this and with all those songs it’s all memories hitting up. Thanks for sharing.
    Sunshine | https:// merakimusings.org/

    1. Thanks, for the comment Sunshine! 🙂

  3. Some of these are still amazing so much later! Though I wouldn’t say all of them were One-Hit Wonders. A-Ha, in particular, have had various other big hits.

    1. Nina, thank you so much for your input. I stand corrected with A-Ha. My original research was incorrect. I have removed it from my list of One Hit Wonders! Thank you!! 🙂

  4. Oh yes, this brings back so many memories Brenda! My husband and I were just talking about One-Hit Wonders the other day. I remember all those songs. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Weren’t these One-Hit Wonders great! I’m so glad that you enjoyed them! Thanks, Denise!

  5. I always have been curious about one hit wonders. Thank you for sharing so many!

    1. You’re so welcome!

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