Pondering One-Hit Wonders

First a small, important update/warning: From now until I finish the ridiculously addictive and brain consuming Heart memoir, all my posts will start “So I was listening to the Heart memoir and it made me thing about. . . ” If you don’t like that you are free to close this tab and go read some sort of Top 18 Reasons How You Can Be More Productive/Creative/Robotic post somewhere else.

Oh wait! Don’t do that, because I’m gonna create a list post right here in a second and if I have learned anything from the Internet it’s that people love the shit out of a list.

Before we begin another second, more important update/warning: The longer fiction piece I’m working on takes up all the brain matter I have. It is the only thing I think about when I’m not thinking about Heart, what to make for dinner, sex, my hair, and if those cookies I bought on Tuesday but haven’t yet opened are still good, and, occasionally, work. If you don’t like that you are free to close this tab and go read something else and break my fucking heart. Go ahead, I’m tough. I can take it.

So, I was listening to the Heart memoir last night after my brain was too tired to continue reading Woke Up Lonely, which is the kind of book that requires a lot of your brain and my brain was done (see the list above of things I think about all the time). In last night’s installment Nancy was talking about the pressure from their label for a hit single. I can’t remember which record it was, maybe the one right before 1985’s “Heart.” She mentioned how maybe this was the end of Heart because they’d had like eight(ish) good years and most bands never last that long.

It made me think how I need to write some stuff about my rock & roller character worrying about being a one-hit wonder and the fickleness of fame. Then, of course, I started thinking about one-hit wonders, specifically my favorite ones. Now I have a very different definition of one-hit wonder than Billboard magazine as quoted in this Wikipedia entry on US One-Hit Wonders. By the way be careful clicking that link because you will scroll through songs for 49 years and be all “I never even heard of this” or “Ouch the Mighty Mighty Bosstones are considered one-hit wonders.”

My definition involves knowing only one song by the artist, the one that is, in my estimation, a hit. Yes, all it takes to be a hit in my world is being heard of by me. I’m easy.

Here’s another thing I discovered while pondering one-hit wonders: I am very partial to the wonders of the 90s. A lot of the 80s wonders make me want to vomit and punch someone in the neck all that the same time. This probably due to the fact that thirty years of “Oh, Mickey” and/or “Tainted Love” is enough. ENOUGH! Let’s come back to those in like 2023 and see if we feel different, shall we?

But some of these 90s one-hitters are still songs I adore. For instance this one that I just talked about the other week. The drums get me every time. They make me feel happy.

And this one, by Primitive Radio Gods is probably my all-time favorite one-hit wonder ever. I still love “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand.” Probably always will.

Okay, I lied. I was going to make a list of all my favorite 90s one-hit wonders, but I’m not gonna, because I am bored with writing this post and that means you’re probably bored with reading it. I am, however, curious. What’s your favorite one-hit wonder, 90s or otherwise? And please don’t let it be Tainted Love because I don’t want to punch you in the throat.

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  1. M-----l 12.Apr.13 at 3:32 pm

    Jonathan Edwards – Sunshine

    1. Jodi 12.Apr.13 at 3:43 pm

      Em-Dashes, I had to Google that because I didn’t think I knew it. But then as soon as it started I realized I do know it because Mr. Paul Westerberg covered it on the “Friends” Soundtrack. It’s a great song.

      1. M-----l 12.Apr.13 at 10:06 pm

        Hah! I didn’t know he’d covered it. I’ve only heard the original and a cover version by the Isley Brothers.

  2. JJ 12.Apr.13 at 3:37 pm

    Favorite 90’s one hit wonder is, “Molly (16 candles down the drain)” off of Wax’s debut, “Rotting Pinata.”

    1. Jodi 12.Apr.13 at 3:44 pm

      JJ, that’s a good’un. I used to play it on the jukebox at one of my favorite bars when I was in college.

    2. JJ 13.Apr.13 at 5:41 pm

      and apparently I am a moron because the band was Sponge, not Wax. *face-palm*

  3. FS 12.Apr.13 at 4:16 pm

    “Banditos” by the Refreshments.

    1. JJ 13.Apr.13 at 1:07 am

      I also believe The Refreshments to be really underrated / appreciated as well.

  4. Susanna 14.Apr.13 at 11:19 am

    A. I would never have known/remembered that was Primitive Radio Gods – I thought it was from that one Moby album, except I also know that is wrong.
    B. One-hit wonder status is so subjective. I listened to James in high school, in the late ’80s, so when that album with Laid came out, I was so confused when it became a big hit and they were so popular. It did bring them on a US tour, though, and that show was great.
    C. Favorite one-hit wonder of the ’90s — “I’m Too Sexy,” duh!

    1. Jodi 14.Apr.13 at 11:21 am

      One-wonderdom is totally subjective and if you use the Billboard definition many of my favorite bands of all time would be considered no-hit wonders.

      To me “I’m Too Sexy” is at the “Oh, Mickey” point of we never need hear that song again. I’d add “Tubthumbing” and “Sex and Candy” to that list too.

  5. todd 14.Apr.13 at 5:49 pm

    Lest we forget Dexy’s Midnight Runners “Come On Eileen.”

    1. Jodi 15.Apr.13 at 10:43 am

      I’ve always had a soft spot for that one because one of my favorite aunts is named Eileen.

  6. Susanna 16.Apr.13 at 4:46 pm

    Hmm, maybe one-hit-wonderdom is also regional? I haven’t heard I’m Too Sexy in years. Although at the time, it was kinda the “Party Rockin'” of its day.


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