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Top Ten 1 Hit Wonders

Discuss your favorite songs, artists or post your top ten lists from the new wave era or related genres.

Top Ten 1 Hit Wonders

Postby Plata66 » Fri Apr 18, 2003 8:06 am

1. Favourite Shirts - Haircut One Hundred
2. Eyes Of A Stranger - Payolas
3. All Roads Lead To Rome - The Stranglers
4. My Ever Changing Mood - The Style Council
5. Nowhere Girl - B-Movie
6. Doot Doot - Freur
7. Stool Pigeon - Kid Creole and the Coconuts
8. Major Tom - Peter Schilling
9. Fade To Grey - Visage
10.One Step Beyond - Madness
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Postby fritzb » Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:16 pm

Haircut One Hundred and Madness weren't really 1 Hit Wonders. "Love Plus One" and "Our House" were bigger hits for each band (at least in the US). I liked each of your picks better though (my personal preference).
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Postby Alvy » Sat Apr 19, 2003 4:37 am

I believe in addition to those...
THe Style Council have a couple more tunes ie. [i]you're the best thing[/i], and [i]long hot summer[/i] enjoyed a little air time.
Visage had many hits, like [i]Damn don't cry[/i], [i]Love Glove[/i] and the cover [i]In the year 2525[/i].
Kid Creole had a breakout video to [i]Indicot[/i]

But maybe it is just regional air play......
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Postby Bob M » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:20 pm

Well, putting together such a list depends on what your definition of a one-hit wonder is.

Is it that the band is known for that song and that song alone? Is it that the band had just one single chart on the Billboard Hot 100? Or is it that the band had just one single make it into the Billboard Top 40?

Just for the record, this is the list of new wave and/or new wave inspired songs that would be classified as "one-hit wonders" based on the artist only having one song make the top 40. YMMV on the definition of "one-hit wonder" though.

(Note: The number indicates the single's peak position. An asterisk (*) means the artist may have had another single in the top 40 outside of the New Wave era. It's a list I compiled from an old site listing lyrics to top 40 hits and they garnered the top 40 info from Billboard charts, so some of the info may not be entirely accurate.)

Der Kommissar - After the Fire (#5)
Tarzan Boy - Baltimora (#13)
Mickey - Toni Basil (#1)
Iko Iko - The Belle Stars (#14)
In A Big Country - Big Country (#17)
Digging Your Scene - The Blow Monkeys (#14)
I Wanna Be a Cowboy - Boys Don't Cry (#12)
Right on Track - Breakfast Club (#7)
What I Am - Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians (#7)
Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles (#40)
Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush (#30)
Under the Milky Way - The Church (#24)
Someday, Someway - Marshall Crenshaw (#36)
Whip It - Devo (#14)
Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners (#1)
She Blinded Me with Science - Thomas Dolby (#5)
Slipping Away - Dave Edmunds (#39)
10-9-8 - Face to Face (#38)
Axel F - Harold Faltermeyer (#3)
Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood (#10)
Cry - Godley & Creme (#16)
Love Plus One - Haircut One Hundred (#37)
Miami Vice Theme - Jan Hammer (#1)
19 - Paul Hardcastle (#15)
One Night in Bangkok - Murray Head* (#3)
Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly) - Icicle Works (#37)
Wicked Game - Chris Isaak (#6)
White Horse - Laid Back (#26)
Cruel to Be Kind - Nick Lowe (#12)
Pop Muzik - M (#1)
Chase - Giorgio Moroder (#33)
Pass the Dutchie - Musical Youth (#10)
99 Luftballoons - Nena (#2)
Cars - Gary Numan (#9)
Funky Town - Pseudo Echo (#6)
Heartbreak Beat - Psychedelic Furs (#26)
The Politics of Dancing - Re-Flex (#24)
A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing) - Romeo Void (#35)
Major Tom (Coming Home) - Peter Schilling (#14)
Beat's So Lonely - Charlie Sexton (#17)
Kiss Them For Me - Siouxsie and the Banshees (#23)
Let's Go All the Way - Sly Fox (#7)
Tainted Love - Soft Cell (#8)
My Ever Changing Moods - The Style Council (#29)
It's My Life - Talk Talk (#31)
Puttin' on the Ritz - Taco (#4)
Girls - Dwight Twilley* (#16)
Perfect Way - Scritti Polliti (#11)
They Don't Know - Tracey Ullman (#8)
Turning Japanese - The Vapors (#36)
Valley Girl - Frank & Moon Unit Zappa (#32)
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Postby Bob M » Tue Apr 22, 2003 3:22 pm

A correction to the list I posted: I believe Chris Isaak charted a few years later in the top 40 after "Wicked Game" was released as a single.
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Postby stillcool » Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:50 am

These are some 80's 1 hit wonders from England:-

1. Alphaville - Big In Japan
2. Freiheit - Keeping The Dream Alive
3. Sly Fox - Let's Go All The Way
4. Nena - 99 Red Ballons
5. Blue Mercedes - I Want To Be Your Property
6. Blue Zoo - Cry Boy Cry
7. Berlin - Take My Breath Away
8. Robin Beck - First Time
9. Army Of Lovers - Crucified
10. Animotion - Obsession

As far as I know - in England a 1 hit wonder is an artist who gets only 1 #1 placing and then nothing else - ever!

The tracks listed here are 80's ralated hits where the artist has had no other hit before or after the mentioned track that entered the UK top 40.
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Postby duke of hockley » Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:38 am

I love the 'one hit wonder' my area of Canada the biggest 'OHW' was the band Endgames and their song 'First, last for everything'. It got air time by only one station (the legendary CFNY - the spirit of radio) and was one of the most requested songs they had. By the time everyone caught on to how great the track was it was a 'delete' and could only be found in used record bins at som second hand stores or at garage sales. It really defined an era in radio in my area. It has become available on a compilation CD that I found using this site as a resource....
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Postby red » Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:27 am

Hey Still cool, how about

1) Jimmy the Hoover Tantalise
2) Breathe Hands to heaven
3) Danny Wilson Mary's prayer
4) Then jericho The Big Area
5) Martha and the Muffins Echo Beach
6) The Passion I'm in love with a German film star
7) Devo Whip it
8) Boogie Box High Jive talking
9) Sex Gang Children Sebastiane
10)The Railway Children Every Beat of the Heart

I don't really know if the list is entirely accurate, but I like them all anyhow
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Postby Frau_Blucher » Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:49 am

[quote]Originally posted by Plata66

3. All Roads Lead To Rome - The Stranglers


Great lists - I concur and don't have that much to add. BUT OH MY GOD, the Stranglers a one hit wonder?!!!!!! I consider them to be one of the seminal new wave foundation-layers out there. Check out many of these great (and good) songs and you'll be in for a treat:

Midnight Summer Dream
It's A Small World
Ships That Pass In The Night
The European Female (In Celebration Of)
Golden Brown
Let's Tango In Paris
Blue Sister
Never Say Goodbye
Dagenham Dave
No More Heroes
96 Tears (Mysterions cover)
All Day And All Of The Night
Always the Sun
Bring On The Nubiles
English Towns
Hangin Around
The Man They Love To Hate
Walk On By (Bacharach cover)
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Postby unguarded moment » Thu Feb 12, 2004 9:33 am

I tend to consider one-hit wonders artists who were mainly known for just one song, never mind if they were a number on somebody's chart within a "top forty" or who-gives-a-crap top 50 or top 10,000 context. For this reason many, many New Wave artists can fit this description, but I'll name a few.

"Turning Japanese" by The Vapors; sure they put out a great first album and good second but they'll forever be identified with this classic pop ditty.

"Everywhere That I'm Not" by Translator. I love this band and they had quite a few great songs even better than this one but unfortunately very few people can even name another song by them. This is one band I wish had more success than they did.

"Cars" by Gary Numan. Sorry Numan fans but he never equalled this one, or even came close.

"Yachting Type" by Yachts. I know it's kinda minor but it's a great song regardless.

"Girl Of My Dreams" by Bram Tchaikovsky. An argument can be made as to whether he was even a New Wave artist, but he left us with a power pop classic.

"Video Killed The Radio Star" by Buggles. Too much has been made about it being the first video freakin' MTV played, and although their second album was better than what I read they never had another "hit."

"867-5309/Jenny" by Tommy Tutone. Another debatable "New Wave or not" artist but they had this hit and then sank quickly.

"Eighties" by Killing Joke. Okay, this is a little later than what I consider the New Wave era (1985) but they were a New wave band, and their song "Complications" from 1980 is one of my favorites from that year. Anyway, did they ever top this song?

"The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats. Not one of my favorites but other than "Antarctica" I don't recall any other song of theirs of significance.

"Working Girl" by The Members. Another artist who had other great tunes but they were mostly overlooked for this gem. Yeah, "Offshore Banking Business" and "Sound of the Suburbs" were semi-known but didn't come close popularity-wise.

"Maybe Tomorrow" by The Chords. This may be too obscure for some but it is a Mod classic, power pop of the highest order that rivaled some of Paul Weller's best in his heyday.

"Second Choice" by Any Trouble. Another pop gem by a British act that didn't fit in any particular niche, which probably led to their downfall. Were they Pop? Were they New Wave? Punk? Pub-Rock? Elvis Costello clones? It's all Rock & Roll to me.

"Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. No, "Sex Dwarf" wasn't close to popularity.

"Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners. Didn't care for it much when it first appeared but I think it gets better with age. Now, I never get tired of it.

"Never Say Never" by Romeo Void. Yes, they also did "A Girl In Trouble) but their claim to fame will always be this one. Got to be one of the all-time New Wave compilation fillers (see how many CD's have this song on it.)

"I Don't Like Mondays" by Boomtown Rats. "Rat Trap" is a MUCH better song, and so are other Rats songs, but when the "average" person thinks of this band what song comes to mind? One of my favorite bands, though.

"My Sharona" by The Knack. Hate to put them here as I like all of their albums but they couldn't live up to the hype (not necessarily their fault) and ultimately plummeted to cut-out 'ville after three albums.
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Postby cubby » Thu Feb 12, 2004 9:46 am

A few more to add to the list:

Fiction Factory-Feels Like Heaven
Peter Godwin-Images of Heaven
Q-Feel-Dancing In Heaven
Tracey Ullman-They Don't Know
Re-Flex-The Politics of Dancing
General Public-Tenderness
The Assembly-Never Never
Arcadia-Election Day (OK, I know Duran Duran side project, but only 1 hit)
Red Rockers-China
The Plimsouls-A Million Miles Away
The Call-The Walls Came Down
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Postby Jason² » Fri Feb 13, 2004 2:12 am

Man, I HATE the term "one hit wonder"! First off - most of the songs in this thread were never "hits" by any standards. VH1 really pisses me off with this when they include bands like Devo, Soft Cell and Concrete Blonde in their "Top 100 One Hit Wonders..." - in many ways it marginalizes the band and their contributions to music.

Sure, there ARE bands who literally have ONE notable song in their repertoire, but they are few and far between. Most of the time there's only one song of note (to me) because I haven't bothered to dig deeper into their catalog to hear what else they've done.

At any rate, I intendeded to post about The Stranglers from reading that first list, but someone beat me to the punch. The thing I found most funny about that post is "All Roads Lead To Rome" wasn't even a single from them - let alone a "hit" - yet they've got something like 20 or 30 singles to their name - and if you go by the British charts, plenty of "hits".

Incidentally, to the guy that posted above me - The Call had a bunch of "hits" after "Walls Came Down" - including "Everywhere I Go" and "I Still Believe" (and, of course "Walls Came Down" wasn't really a "hit" for them)
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Postby ekahob » Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:02 am

The Assembly's "Never Never" might be a true and perfect one-hit-wonder since Vince Clarke and Feargal Sharkey never even recorded anything else together. They never had a chance not to be one-hit-wonders as The Assembly. Then again, they did have hits with other bands and since I feel the term one-hit-wonder is an insult I don't think this term should apply to this song.

Here are some definitions that may help (or confuse) and maybe make you laugh: ... hit+wonder
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Postby Blaster » Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:40 am

I also dislike the term "1 Hit Wonder". I believe may "big" bands, possibly even Lead Zepplin & Pink Floyd, would fall into this category if you just go by how many #1 Pop Chart hits they made.
Somone will list a band like AlphaVille that had no "#1" I'm aware of, but "Forever Young, Politics Of Dancing, Dance with Me, Melody, Jet set society" are all equally "popular" with this band.
Other mentions of "Berlin (Sex, The Metro ect..), Devo, Madness, Romeo Void, Soft Cell ect.." are also puzzling to me, since many singles from these bands were staples at Clubs & Alt. Radio Stations of the time.
What are the True 1 hit wonders of the New wave era, that most true "New wavers" would agree had only 1 memorable song given any club/radio airplay at all??
Perhaps Q-feel, The Buggles, Total Coelo and Suzanne Fellini Fit???
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Postby unguarded moment » Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:42 am

I don't consider the term "one-hit wonder" derogatory. Many artists had only one or two albums, or no album at all, and to have been known or famous for a certain song and nothing else would have been all I could have asked for if I was in a band. Once again, blame the friggin' media, they love to apply labels and nicknames to things they take a simplistic view at.
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