It’s just past July and, with it, come fond memories of the past. Musically, this month has a record of producing some of the greatest hits in history. In fact, let’s go back five decades to July 1969, when “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies was released. An iconic song, it gained worldwide popularity thanks to its witty lines, a cartoon-based video and excellent execution. Written by Andy Kim and Jeff Barry, the song attained commercial success on so many levels, landing the top spot on the 1969 Billboard Hot 100 charts, where it dominated for four weeks straight. Also, the song stayed at number one in the UK Singles Chart for eight weeks straight.
Have a look at the original video version, released in 1969, below:
For the Archies, “Sugar Sugar” turned out to be the song that etched their name in history, making them a one hit wonder. Keeping this in mind, we’ll be taking a look at the 75 greatest one-hit wonders of all time.
The Knack – “My Sharona” (1979)
The song gained so much commercial success that it became the first song since the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to achieve the fastest rise to Gold Status on Capitol Records. Unfortunately, despite the bands’ incredible debut success, they never produced another top 10 single again.
Michael Sembello – “Maniac” (1983)
Featuring as one of the major soundtracks for the hit movie Flashdance, “Maniac” roared its way to the first position on the 1983 US Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, it managed a decent 43rd position in the Singles Chart.
Source: joercio araujo.com.br
The song’s theme centers on the commitment of a dancer that is yet to be discovered, despite her immense talent. With her passion for making it in her career, she dances with plenty of vigor and enthusiasm.
Despite the success of “Maniac,” Michael Sembello was unable to produce another hit song.
Bobby Day – “Rockin Robin” (1958)
it was the only song that gained him commercial success.
(Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
It premiered at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a further week as the top hit in R&B sales. In the UK, it premiered at number three on the UK Singles Chart.
After its release, Day continued as a solo artist for another two years before becoming a full-time songwriter.
Natalie Imbruglia – “Torn” (1997)
In 1997, Australian pop star Natalie Imbruglia performed a cover of the original 1993 version of “Torn” written by Ednaswap, and it received worldwide acclaim. In fact, it was selected as Q Magazine’s most celebrated pop song and became the most played song in the UK that year.
(Photo by Patrick Ford/Redferns)
Additionally, the single played a significant role in the success Imbruglia’s album “Left of the Middle.” It enabled the album to reach certified double platinum status in the US. Unfortunately, her subsequent albums failed to have significant success.
Norman Greenbaum – “Spirit in the Sky” (1969)
Despite having moderate commercial success with his bands, namely Junk Band and Dr. West’s Medicine Show, Norman Greenbaum’s greatest achievement was as a solo artist with “Spirit in the Sky,” released in 1969.
(Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
It had massive success in the US and the UK, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top spot on the Singles Chart. Additionally, it placed 341st on the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time compiled by Rolling Stone magazine.
Toni Basil – “Mickey” (1981)
Despite dancing around in a cheerleading outfit in the video, Toni Basil was 39 years old when she released her 1981 hit “Mickey.”
(Photo by Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images)
Initially, the song’s title was intended to be “Kitty” but, after consultations, Basil decided to change it so the primary focus would be a man. The song instantly became an international hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart.
Bruce Channel – “Hey! Baby” (1961)
The Surfaris – “Wipe Out” (1963)
The name of the band – the Surfaris – may sound unfamiliar, but most people will recognize this song – it seems to be a favorite for some Hollywood directors as it’s been used in more than 20 movies over the years.
Photo of Surfaris Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Written by Ron Wilson, Bob Berryhill, Jim Fuller and Pat Connolly, and released in 1963, it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 before spending an impressive four months in different positions. In the UK, it reached number five on the Singles Chart.
Five Stairsteps – “O-o-h Child” (1970)
Certainly, an unforgettable song that’s withstood the test of time, “O-o-h Child” has even managed to rank in the Rolling Stone’s list of the top 500 songs of all time, coming in at number 402.
Photo of FIVE STAIRSTEPS (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)
Released in 1970, the song peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the Canadian RPM. It has also been used in some movies and TV shows over the years, notably How I Met Your Mother and Scandal.
“O-o-h Child” was the only commercial success for the Five Stairsteps, however, whose successive songs failed to be anywhere near as popular.
Jean Knight – “Mr. Big Stuff” (1971)
In 1971, Jean Knight produced a cult classic that was played by nearly every radio station at the time. Moreover, the song spent an impressive five weeks at the top of the Soul Singles chart and managed to clinch the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
(Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
Despite the song’s huge commercial success, however, Knight’s career failed to take off, and she never had another hit of anywhere near the same magnitude. Even so, “Mr. Big Stuff” has withstood the test of time and is considered by many to be the greatest soul song of 1971.
Looking Glass – “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” (1972)
As a band, Looking Glass only released three singles, namely “Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne,” “Golden Rainbow” and “Brandy,” the latter being the song that the group is fondly remembered for. It managed to top the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1972 and came in at 51 in the UK Singles Chart in the same year.
Recently, the song received attention after featuring in the iconic 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, where one of the characters deems it as planet Earth’s most unusual musical composition! Though this is questionable, it’s clear that this song has captured the hearts of many over the years.
King Harvest – “Dancing in the Moonlight” (1972)
It could be argued that the band King Harvest would have had more commercial success if not for the tumultuous relationships between the members that inevitably led to some breakups during their careers.
Despite this, they managed to release one huge hit, “Dancing in the Moonlight,” which reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. In 2000, British band Toploader released a cover of the song and gained worldwide success, with their version achieving certified platinum status in the UK.
Pilot – “Magic” (1974)
In 1974, a young band called Pilot recorded their first hit single “Magic,” which peaked at an impressive fifth position on the US Billboard Hot 100. By the end of the year, it was at an excellent 31st position. In the UK, it reached number 11 on the Singles Chart, showcasing its impressive international success.
(Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Although this song was their only commercial success, three and a half decades later, Disney star Selena Gomez performed a cover on the soundtrack to the popular TV series Wizards of Waverly Place.
Cheryl Lynn – “Got to be Real” (1978)
Sugarhill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
Surprisingly, it received more success abroad, reaching number three on the UK Singles Chart, and even going as far as clinching the top spot in Canada and the Netherlands.
he song also holds a great title in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry as being an aesthetically significant, culturally influential and historically life-changing piece of music.
Despite this, the Sugarhill Gang did not enjoy much commercial success after this single and failed to reach the Billboard top 40 again.
Devo – “Whip it” (1980)
Perhaps considered the most controversial one-hit wonder of the 1980s, the video to Devo’s “Whip It” showcases a man whipping clothing off a woman, with the band claiming that the song was pro-political support for then-President Jimmy Carter.
(Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)
However, many believe that the main themes of this song are sexual. Either way, the controversies did not stop the song’s success, as it climbed to number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, it reached a decent 51 on the Singles Chart.
Tommy Tutone – “867-5309/Jenny” (1981)
with many stipulating that she was a prostitute and some co-writers disagreeing on whether she was even real in the first place!
Musician Tommy Heath of Tommy Tutone performs on stage at the 80’s Weekend held at Microsoft Theater on August 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
Sadly for Tutone, this was the only song throughout his music career that managed to make it to the top 25 of the US Billboard Hot 100. The song peaked at number four.
T.G. Sheppard – “I Loved ‘Em Every One” (1981)
Despite having a theme that many consider being inappropriate, T. G. Sheppard’s “I Loved ‘Em Every One” managed to clinch the 37th spot in the 1981 US Billboard Hot 100. However, this was a few years before the AIDS epidemic became highly televised and publicized.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
The narrator of the song reflects on all the women that he had embraced and bedded throughout the years, boasting how he thoroughly enjoyed himself and hoped that they enjoyed themselves too. The song was thought to celebrate promiscuity and was shunned by many.
Unfortunately for Sheppard, he never had a Billboard hit again, though he did manage to do reasonably well with country singles such as “Finally.”
Quarterflash– “Harden My Heart” (1981)
Quarterflash’s “Harden My Heart” is undoubtedly one of the greatest breakup songs produced in the 1980s. After waiting for hours in the cold and rain, the narrator ends up wailing over a partner who used her and decides that she will never trust another person with her heart again.
(Photo by Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Performance-wise, the song did exceedingly well, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also managed to enter the top 20 in Italy, France, and Germany.
Soft Cell – “Tainted Love” (1982)
The original version of “Tainted Love” was first composed by Ed Cobb in 1964, and the recording was done by Gloria Jones that same year. However, the cover done by the band Soft Cell in 1982 achieved greater commercial success and went on to be covered by quite some artists after its release.
(Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
It peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100, but performed better in the UK, reaching number five in the Singles Chart. Despite Soft Cell’s promising start, “Tainted Love” was their only hit song.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Come on Eileen” (1982)
Recently, the song was featured as the soundtrack to teen comedy-drama Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Modern English – “I Melt with You” (1982)
Charlene – “I’ve never been to me” (1982)
The theme of the song centers on a woman who has lived a self-preserved, wealthy lifestyle.
During the song, she has a conversation with an unhappy mother, who is yearning to earn more from life. Surprisingly, as the narrator conveys her story, she discusses how she ended up bitter and alone, mainly because she never managed to discover herself.
Thomas Dolby – “She Blinded Me with Science” (1982)
Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” centers its theme on a mad, male scientist that falls in love with his female lab assistant, which is clarified by the backup vocals sung by iconic music producer Mutt Lange.
(Photo by Erica Echenberg/Redferns)
This funky, witty classic clinched the fifth spot in the 1983 US Billboard Hot 100. It also managed a decent 56th position in the UK Singles Chart.
Naked Eyes – “Always Something there to remind me” (1983)
Interestingly, this song was the group’s debut single. Moreover, despite being poised to have more success to come, they never had another single make it to the top 10 again. However, having been recently featured in the newest season of Arrested Development, it has managed to remain relevant today.
Nena – “99 Luftballons” (1983)
Considered one of the greatest German songs ever to grace the American music scene, “99 Luftballons” gained tremendous international recognition by reaching number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.
(Photo by Peter Bischoff/Getty Images)
In fact, the song was so popular that there was even an English version released.
Kajagoogoo – “Too Shy” (1983)
British band Kajagoogoo was poised to have great success overseas, particularly in the US. “Too Shy,” released in 1983, was an instant success, clinching the fifth spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the top spot in the 1983 UK Singles Chart. Sadly for them, this was the only success that they had in the US, with the majority of their other songs performing much better abroad.
(Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Interestingly, the song’s theme discusses the efforts of a boy who is trying to convince a shy girl to stop being so uptight. Though his intent is harmless, some perceive it as rude.
Deborah Allen – “Baby I Lied” (1983)
Deborah Allen’s “Baby I Lied,” tells the tale of a heartbroken woman pouring her heart out to her ex-lover, claiming that while they were together, she was in too deep. Moreover, though she told herself that she would remain strong if their relationship didn’t succeed, now that he has left her, it’s clear that she is lying to herself.
(Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)
Thanks to its touching storyline, the song managed to reach number 26 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1983. Although Allen released other singles, none came close to the commercial success of “Baby I Lied.”
Men without Hats – “The Safety Dance” (1983)
In the early 1980s, new wave music was all the rage, and some young people were going to clubs to “pogo” dance. For those too young to remember, pogo dancing was a style where you acted like a pogo, jumping up and down as you kept your legs, torso, and arms completely stiff.
(Photo by Peter Noble/Redferns)
Because establishments deemed this dance disruptive and dangerous, they opted to remove some dancers to ensure safety within the club. Therefore, “The Safety Dance” by “Men Without Hats” was used to tease these occurrences ironically. The song was favorite and reached number three on the 1983 Billboard Hot 100.
A-ha – “Take on Me” (1984)
Animotion – “Obsession” (1984)
Though stalking wasn’t considered a crime in 1984, the theme of obsession was still prevalent. Animotion’s song “Obsession” centered on this subject matter and managed to clinch the sixth spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and the fifth spot on the UK Singles Chart.
Jack Wagner – “All I Need” (1984)
The song discusses the intricacies of a man who finds himself falling head over heels for a lady.
(Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
However, he feels confused about the situation, saying that he wasn’t planning to relay his feelings with such deep emotion.
Twisted Sister – “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (1984)
Considered to be the 1980s anthem for rebellious American teenagers, Twisted Sister’s high-energy rock song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” centers its theme on how the youth are tired of being undermined and talked down to by elders in a self-inflated and condescending manner. Released in 1884, it peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100.
AJ Pero, Jay Jay French, Dee Snider, Mark Mendoza and Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister, group portrait, out-take from the ‘Stay Hungry’ album cover shoot, New York City, United States, 1984. (Photo by Mark Weiss/Getty Images)
Simple Minds – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (1985)
Impressively, Simple Minds managed to ride on the song’s success, releasing another single called “Alive and Kicking” that managed to make it to the top five of the Billboard Hot 100.
Timbuk 3 – “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” (1986)
A classic in itself, the video to Timbuk 3’s 1986 hit “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” begins by showing the narrator as a nuclear science student. As the song progresses, it shows the narrator receiving exceptional grades and later landing a pivotal high-paying job just after graduating.
(Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
As the narrator boasts of his successes, he quips about how bright his future is to the point that he needs to wear sunglasses to prevent his eyes from burning. The song peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Timbuk 3 were even nominated for a Grammy Award the following year. Although the storytelling in this song suggests the band was going to achieve great success, their popularity plummeted, and they did not release any more hits.
Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley – “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (1987)
Bobby McFerrin – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (1988)
Despite its great success, the 1988 song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” is often confused with another iconic hit with the same name produced by reggae legend Bob Marley. In fact, this hit version was recorded by Bobby McFerrin.
(Photo by Leon Morris/Redferns)
When the song was released, it instantly attained commercial success, peaking at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart. Notably, it was the first acapella song to attain the number one spot on the US charts.
The Proclaimers – “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (1988)
“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, which reached number three on the 1988 US Billboard Hot 100, was the Proclaimers’ biggest hit. In fact, it was the only song that reached the Billboard Hot 100.
(Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
It has since been used for a myriad of sporting events, specifically in Scotland, where the Proclaimers are from. Additionally, it was featured in the soundtrack for hit TV show How I Met Your Mother.
The La’s – “There She Goes” (1988)
“There She Goes” by The La’s has had its fair share of controversy – some claim that the song is centered on a girl doing heroin, with the lyrics “pulsing through my vein” being a point of discussion.
Though the song did not become a major hit of 1988, it received moderate commercial success in the UK, the band’s native homeland. Sadly, the song’s fame was shadowed by a cover by the classic 1990s band The Parent Trap. An additional cover by SixPence None the Richer was recorded in 1999 and managed to clinch the seventh spot on the US Adult Top 40 Chart.
Alannah Myles – “Black Velvet” (1989)
The hugely successful ballad “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles was produced in 1989 to pay tribute to the powerful influence that Elvis Presley had on the music industry.
Alannah Myles performs on stage at the Wappensaal in Munich, Germany in 1996. (Photo by Bernd Muller/Redferns)
It was inspired by Elvis fans that were on a bus traveling to Graceland for the 10th memorial of his death and centers around his earlier years, also showcasing some of the dark velvet paintings of him that were adorned in fans’ homes. Upon its release, “Black Velvet” clinched the top spot on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Biz Markie – “Just a Friend” (1989)
Sinead O’Connor – “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
It was released in 1990 and topped the charts around the globe, holding onto the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for an impressive four weeks.
Mr. Big – “To Be with You” (1991)
Marc Cohn – “Walking in Memphis” (1991)
Oleta Adams – “Get Here” (1991)
it was a tumultuous time for the US about international relationsas it was beginning its campaign in the Gulf War. So, for many people who had loved ones in the army, the song “Get Here” by Oleta Adams hit home.
Oleta Adams performs on stage at Princes Trust concert, 1990, UK. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
The single address the intense emotional turmoil between two separated lovers, with the narrator coercing their lover to come back to them by any, means possible. The song did exceptionally well nationally compared with the original version by Brenda Russel, managing to peak at fifth position on the US Billboard Hot 100. Internationally, it reached number four on the UK Singles Chart.
Tom Cochrane – “Life is a Highway” (1992)
classic song with an upbeat rock tempo released in 1992, gaining Tom Cochrane a brief window of commercial success when it climbed to an impressive sixth position on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Tom Cochrane performs during ‘Live 8 Canada’ on July 2, 2005 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. The free concert is one of ten simultaneous international gigs including Philadelphia, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Barrie, Tokyo, Cornwall, Moscow and Johannesburg. (Photo by Donald Weber/Getty Images)
Consequently, Cochrane launched a tour of Africa, with the objective of raising awareness and funds to provide famine relief to impoverished communities. Though Cochrane never produced another big hit, “Life Is a Highway” was so influential that it was covered by country music group by Rascal Flatts, reviving the song’s luster and entering it into the country music sphere as well as mainstream charts.
Blind Melon – “No Rain” (1992)
Considered an all-time classic, not only due to its great musicality and vocals but also the fact that it featured iconic American actress Heather DeLoach as the “Bee Girl” in the music video, “No Rain” was the second single on Blind Melon’s debut album.
(Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)
It reached number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the UK Singles Chart in 1992, making it the most popular release of their career.
4 Non-Blondes – “What’s Up?” (1993)
However, the group didn’t want their song to be confused with that of the legendary singer Marvin Gaye’s classic.
(Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)
The song was released in 1993 and did well internationally, topping some charts around the world. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at number 14. Sadly, the group split only a year later after the release of the song, which was their only big hit.
Vince Gill feat Amy Grant – “House of Love” (1994)
is rumored to be the song that resulted in the love connection between the two. The single discusses the story of a woman that suffers a serious heartache as a result of separating from her longtime partner. She reassures herself, however, that despite the heartbreak, she knows that her lover will eventually come back to her.
NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 08: Singer-songwriter Amy Grant performs onstage during the CMA 2016 Country Christmas on November 8, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Recorded in 1994, the song achieved commercial success on the US Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 37. It also peaked at number 46 in the UK Singles Chart. Six years after releasing the song, Gill and Grant divorced their respective spouses and proceeded to make their love affair public by tying the knot in 2000.
Joan Osborne – “One of Us” (1995)
The underlying message of Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” is that no matter how unfairly we treat each other, and how imperfect each of us might be, we are all influenced by a higher power.
Joan Osborne during Joan Osborne Performs At The Seattle Memorial Stadium – September 1, 2000 at Seattle Memorial Stadium in Seattle, WA, United States. (Photo by Dana Nalbandian/WireImage)
Therefore, we should commit to overcome our differences and embrace one another. Upon release, the song peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the UK Singles Chart and was Osborne’s most significant hit.
The Tony Rich Project – “Nobody Knows” (1995)
Upon its release, “Nobody Knows” by The Tony Rich Project was destined to be a success. It dominated the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1995, peaking at number two, and also did well as an R&B crossover song. Moreover, a subsequent cover done by country musician Kevin Sharp ensured it gained popularity, staying active in the 1996 charts.
Antonio Jeffries, or The Tony Rich Project, on stage, 1996. (Photo by Des Willie/Redferns/Getty Images)
The song’s narrator talks about the woman he loves and how he let her get away from him. Despite pretending to have moved on, deep down, he is still crying for her and desperately waiting for the day she returns to him.
Los del Rio – “Macarena” (1995)
the greatest one hit wonder of all time. Though the original version did not achieve much commercial success, the remix has become a party classic that is often played at weddings and sporting events. The song managed to reach the 57th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 43 in the UK Singles Chart.
BARCELONA, SPAIN – NOVEMBER 25: ‘Los del Rio’ (L-R) Antonio Moreno Monge and Rafael Ruiz Perdigones perform during the 61st Ondas Awards 2014 on stage at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on November 25, 2014, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Miquel Benitez/Getty Images)
Deep Blue Something – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1996)
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something received a good reception with the youth of the 1990s, reaching the fifth spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996. In the UK, the song was certified platinum.
UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 01: VH1 Photo of DEEP BLUE SOMETHING (Photo by Patrick Ford/Redferns)
The narrative focuses on a couple that has fallen out of love and realized they have nothing in common, apart from the fact they both love the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The Wallflowers – “One Headlight” (1996)
While the Wallflowers have seen their share of success over the years, their greatest mainstream single to date is “One Headlight,” released in 1996, which reached the second position on the US Billboard Hot 100. Thanks to its incredible performance, the group went on to win a Grammy Award in 1997 for the Best Rock Performance by a Group or Duo.
NEW YORK – OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Musicians Rami Jaffee, Jakob Dylan, Jack Irons, Jay Joyce, Greg Richling and Stuart Mathis of The Wallflowers perform onstage at The Wallflowers presented by John Varvatos and SiriusXM at the John Varvatos 315 Bowery Boutique on October 2, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for John Varvatos)
The band is still performing to this day but has not been able to achieve success on the same level since 2000.
Meredith Brooks – “Nothing in Between” (1997)
“Nothing in Between,” more famously known by its uncensored version name of “B#*@%,” was a classic cult song of the 1990s that managed to receive two Grammy Award nominations.
Meredith Brooks performs on the ‘VH1 Divas Las Vegas’, a concert to benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, 5/23/02. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
Unfortunately, Brooks never managed to achieve the same level of commercial success again. Recently, however, the song was revived thanks to being featured as a soundtrack in an episode of the first season of Orphan Black.
Chumbawumba – “Tubthumping” (1997)
by its more mainstream name “I Get Knocked Down,” Chumbawumba’s 1997 hit – officially called “Tubthumping” – peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart. For the British band, this was their only hit in the mainstream music scene.
(Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
Trisha Yearwood – “How Do I Live” (1997)
Initially, Tisha Yearwood’s 1997 hit “How Do I Live” was intended to be sung by 14-year-old LeAnn Rimes, though executives feared that the song would not receive such a warm reception due to the nature of the single’s content, as well as Rimes’ age.
Recording artist Trisha Yearwood performs during CMA 2017 Country Christmas at The Grand Ole Opry on November 14, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mickey Bernal/FilmMagic)
Alternatively, they opted to contact country music sensation Trish Yearwood, and the two versions were released. Both gained commercial success, with Yearwood’s version peaking to the 23rd position on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Hanson – “MMMBop” (1997)
Even though the Hanson boys are still recording and releasing music today, they are yet to release a single that achieves as much success as “MMMBOp,” which topped both the US Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart in 1997.
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
It turned out that 1997 was the group’s most excellent year, as they produced another single that managed to make it to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Eagle-Eye Cherry – “Save Tonight” (1997)
Norwegian group Eagle-Eye Cherry managed to have their big break and penetrate the US music industry with their hit single “Save Tonight.” At least that was how it was thought to be.
(Photo by snapshot-photography/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Although the song peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot and number six on the UK Singles Chart, the group was unable to build on its newly gained popularity. The members gave a series of interviews on some late-night American TV shows, but their demand steadily declined afterward.
The Verve – “Bitter Sweet Symphony” (1997)
Unfortunately for the Verve, their hit single “Bitter Sweet Symphony” ended up laying the foundation for their inevitable split. In fact, the group was involved in a bitter lawsuit regarding the royalties of the song; that is after Rolling Stone filed a lawsuit claiming that the group had derived more content from their hit song “The Last Time” than on what was initially agreed.
The Verve, Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Peter Salisbury, Simon Jones, Vaartkapoen (VK), Brussels, Belgium, 19/02/1994. (Photo by Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)
That being said, the song did exceptionally well on the UK Billboard Hot 100 and is a fan favorite in the group’s native country, the UK. It is even considered by Radio 1 listeners to be the third-greatest single of all time.
The New Radicals – “You Get What You Give” (1998)
New Radicals’ debut single “You Get What You Give” was a major commercial success, having a strong standing on the Billboard Hot 100. They managed to have another notable single before the group separated shortly after the release of their only album to date, “Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too.”
“You Get What You Give” became an instant pop sensation, featuring on the soundtrack for TV shows such as Community and Glee.
Semisonic – “Closing Time” (1998)
In the romantic comedy Friends with Benefits, a light argument persists between Justin Timberlake’s character and Mila Kunis’ character on whether or not the song “Closing Time” was sung by Third Eye Blind or Semisonic.
Semisonic during Marshall Field’s Fash Bash at Chicago Theater in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Toward the end of the screen time, Timberlake’s character finally agrees that he was incorrect and that “Closing Time” was, in fact, recorded by Semisonic. If such a debate was relayed in a film, then this clearly shows how much of a one-hit wonder this song was. Released in 1998, this is the only song that the group ever had.
Len – “Steal My Sunshine” (1999)
“Steal My Sunshine” by Len is one of the most significant summer themes of the late 1990s, ranked by Rolling Stone as the 33rd best summer anthem of all time.
When it was released in 1990, the song managed to reach number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number eight on the UK Singles Chart.
Unfortunately, the group’s subsequent six singles failed to have any impact on the music industry.
Lou Bega – “Mambo No. 5” (1999)
The original version of “Mambo No. 5” was written and released by Cuban musician legend Damaso Perez Prado in 1949. However, the song did not receive mainstream attention until Lou Bega released his cover in 1999.
MANNHEIM, GERMANY – APRIL 21: Lou Bega performs during the Radio Regenbogen 30th Anniversary Celebration at SAP Arena Mannheim on April 21, 2018 in Mannheim, Germany. (Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images)
Despite its high ranking by Mental Floss as one of history’s most annoying and irritating songs, it clinched the number one spot in over nine different nations and number three on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Additionally, a cover was made by Disney, in which the names of the women were replaced with that of Disney characters.
Tal Bachman – “She’s So High” (1999)
One of the reasons why Tal Bachman’s “She’s So High” resonates with so many people is because it discusses the feeling of being in love with someone who is out of your league. Upon its release, the song received critical acclaim, clinching the top spot on the Adult Top 40. Additionally, it went on to peak at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.
SANTA CLARITA, CA – JULY 22: Singer Tal Bachman performs onstage as a special guest at The Canyon Club on July 22, 2018 in Santa Clarita, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images,)
The song has managed to maintain its relevance throughout the years, featuring on soundtracks of movies such as She’s Out of My League and Loser.
Clint Black and Lisa Hartman – “When I Said I Do” (1999)
Clint Black and Lisa Hartman, who have been married since 1991, released “When I Said I Do” in 1999, which gained international success and reached number 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
(Photo By Joe Thomas/Getty Images)
The song itself dictates that no matter the adversity surrounding their world and their relationship, the two lovers will always vow to stick together.
Nine Days – “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” (2000)
“Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” appeared on Nine Days’ fourth studio album and gained significant commercial success, reaching the sixth position on the Billboard Hot 100 and clinching the top spot on the Mainstream Top 40. It also reached number 83 on the UK Singles Chart.
The band is still together today but have not managed to achieve similar success with their subsequent albums. John Hampson, the lead singer, is now an English teacher practicing at Long Island High School.
City High – “What Would You Do?” (2001)
City High’s critically acclaimed mainstream hit “What Would You Do?” addressed controversial subjects regarding mothers who live in abject poverty and, in desperation, turn to prostitution to provide for their children.
photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect
The song reached number eight on the US Hot 100 Billboard Chart and number one on the US Rap Chart. Internationally, it clinched the third position in the UK Singles Chart.
Although they continued to produce music, City High’s subsequent singles failed to have as much impact as their debut song “What Would You Do?”.
Phantom Planet – “California” (2002)
Phantom Planet’s classic 2002 single “California” is most recognizable as the theme song from hit TV show The O.C. Internationally, it reached number nine on the UK Singles Chart.
Unfortunately, Phantom Planet never managed to capitalize on the success of “California” and separated in 2008.
Smilez and Southstar – “Tell Me” (2002)
Written and released by duo Smilez and South Star, “Tell Me” was a hip-hop song that gained popularity in 2003, reaching the 34th position on the US Billboard Hot 100 and clinching the 10th spot on the US Hot Rap Tracks of 2003.
To date, this is the only single that was successfully released by the rap duo, prompting it to be mentioned in Complex’s list of the most successful one hit wonders.
The Darkness – “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (2003)
When “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” was released by The Darkness, it was believed that they would fully penetrate the American market and usher in a new age of glam rock. Unfortunately, this was not to be.
(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)
That being said, the song did exceptionally well in the UK and managed to reach number nine on the Billboard Alternative chart. Moreover, the song has been covered by quite some artists throughout the years, including Taylor Swift in a commercial.
Fountains of Wayne – “Stacy’s Mom” (2003)
Released in 2003, “Stacey’s Mom” is the only song recorded by the Fountain of Wayne that managed to receive a Grammy nomination, as well as enter the Billboard Hot 100, in which it reached number 21.
In the UK Singles Chart, it peaked at number 11. Moreover, it was one of the first songs to clinch a number one position on iTunes.
Daniel Powter – “Bad Day” (2005)
“Bad Day” was released in 2005 by Daniel Powter and had great commercial success, being awarded certified triple platinum status by the Recording Industry Association of America.
(Photo by Tony Barson Archive/WireImage)
Additionally, it was utilized as the farewell song during the conclusion of season 5 of American Idol. However, Powter failed to replicate the same success with his subsequent songs and never appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 again.
Click Five – “Just the Girl” (2005)
Although failing to dominate the boy band world and eventually separating in 2013, the group Click Five did have some commercial success with their single “Just the Girl,” released in 2005.
(Photo by Rodrigo Varela/WireImage)
It reached the top position on the Hot Dog Singles Chart and clinched an impressive 11th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, the song was so favorite that it featured as a soundtrack in the movie John Tucker Must Die.
Gotye featuring Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used to Know” (2011)
With the hit single “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Gotye featuring Kimbra dominated the top spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 for eight straight weeks, as well as reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart and winning multiple Grammy Awards.
Surprisingly after such success, Gotye did not release a follow-up to his 2011 album “Making Mirrors.” Kimbra, however, continues to make music and released a new album in April 2018, which reached a decent 43rd position on the Billboard Hot 100.