Are They A One-Hit Wonder?

sadchild

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Here's a fun little exercise (since it came up in another thread)

The artists below are "technically" not one-hit wonders. But "subjectively", are they? Weigh in below.

(note: only putting acts with two top 40's - one of them in the top 10, not including them if they had three or more, like Knack, Simple Minds, Animotion, etc)

a-ha - #1 & #20

Alannah Myles - #1 & #36

Berlin - #1 & #23

Chris deBurgh - #3 & #34

EMF - #1 & #10

Falco - #1 & #18

Gerardo - #7 & #16

Great White - #1 & #30

Jesus Jones - #2 & #4

Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch - #1 & #10

Men Without Hats = #3 & #20

Michael Sembello - #1 & #34

Rockwell - #2 & #35

Snow - #1 & #19

Tommy Tutone - #4 & #38

Vanilla Ice - #1 & #4

Young MC - #7 & #33
 

HecticArt

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OK. If we're being subjective about it, from my perspective:

Are they one-hit-wonders?

a-ha - #1 & #20
YES

Alannah Myles - #1 & #36
YES

Berlin - #1 & #23
HELL NO

Chris deBurgh - #3 & #34
YES

EMF - #1 & #10
YES

Falco - #1 & #18
NO

Gerardo - #7 & #16
Si

Great White - #1 & #30
NO

Jesus Jones - #2 & #4
YES

Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch - #1 & #10
YES

Men Without Hats = #3 & #20
YES

Michael Sembello - #1 & #34
YES

Rockwell - #2 & #35
YES

Snow - #1 & #19
YES

Tommy Tutone - #4 & #38
YES

Vanilla Ice - #1 & #4
YES

Young MC - #7 & #33
YES

I have albums from a few of them, and even though I like a lot of their music, they didn't seem to get noticed by the general population, so I think of them as one-hitters.
 
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sadchild

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@HecticArt When I saw your answer to Gerardo I lol'd. And I mean literally burst out into audible laughter.

@Aaron In the same company with Jimi: Frank Zappa, Devo, Beck, Grateful Dead ( <- though that's their only song I like, I despise the rest)
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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The Grateful Dead only had 1 charting hit.

Dexy's Midnight Runners had several British hits including another #1 but none of those charted in the USA.

A lot of what was mentioned above is commonly played on one hit wonder shows or channels. My local FM does one Wednesday a month which they call One Hit Wonder Wednesday and they play from the above list:

a-ha - #1 & #20
EMF - #1 & #10
Falco - #1 & #18
Great White - #1 & #30
Jesus Jones - #2 & #4
Michael Sembello - #1 & #34
Rockwell - #2 & #35
Snow - #1 & #19
Tommy Tutone - #4 & #38

They also play Rupert Holmes who had at least 3 charted hits.
 
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sadchild

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@IdRatherBeSkiing Is a "charting hit" a top 40? Or any appearance on the Hot 100?

Here's VH1's list of the greatest one hit wonders (according to Wikipedia, anyway). The ones in blue had two US top 40s.

"Macarena" – Los del Río (1996)
"Tainted Love" – Soft Cell (1981)
"Come on Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
"I'm Too Sexy" – Right Said Fred (1991)
"Mickey" – Toni Basil (1982)
"Who Let the Dogs Out?" – Baha Men (2000)
"Ice Ice Baby" – Vanilla Ice (1990)
"Take On Me” - A-ha (1985)
"Rico Suave" – Gerardo (1990)
"99 Luftballons" – Nena (1984)
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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@IdRatherBeSkiing Is a charting hit a top 40? Or any appearance on the Hot 100?

Here's VH1's list of the greatest one hit wonders (according to Wikipedia, anyway). The ones in blue had two US top 40s.

"Macarena" – Los del Río (1996)
"Tainted Love" – Soft Cell (1981)
"Come on Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
"I'm Too Sexy" – Right Said Fred (1991)
"Mickey" – Toni Basil (1982)
"Who Let the Dogs Out?" – Baha Men (2000)
"Ice Ice Baby" – Vanilla Ice (1990)
"Take On Me” - A-ha (1985)
"Rico Suave" – Gerardo (1990)
"99 Luftballons" – Nena (1984)
From what I can tell, people who play one hit wonders are inconsident with their definitions. I tend to think if not top 40 it is not a hit (although that is a different debate as your other topic -- some 'hits' there that did not chart).

The rule I see applied seems to be most often to define a 1 hit wonder (I am not agreeing or disagreeing):
-- song is a huge hit. Usually #1 at least top 10.
-- artist has no subsequent charted hits (at least top 20) from other albums or releases no other albums.
-- artist has no follow up hit as strong as first hit from same album.
-- any follow up hit is a 'forgotten hit' and not played regularly.
 
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Jon

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Men without Hats - No. Safety Dance and Pop Goes The World (yes, that's them) both charted.
 

Channel98

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There are several artists who had a number-one hit and never placed another song on the Top 100. They are true one-hit wonders.

Bad Day - Daniel Powter (2006)
Dominique - Soeur Sourire, The Singing Nun (1963)
Happy Days Are Here Again - Benny Meroff Orchestra (1930)
He's Got The Whole World In His Hands - Laurie London (1958)
How Do You Talk To An Angel - Heights (1992)
In The Year 2525 - Zager & Evans (1969)
It's In The Book - Johnny Standley (1952)
Let Me Go Lover - Joan Weber (1954)
Little Star - Elegants (1958)
The Third Man Theme - Anton Karas (1950)
 

Jon

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Falco - #1 & #18
NO

Ideally, one of those hits was 'Der Komissar' which charted higher in Germany, since it was the German language version. After the Fire had one hit in America with the English language version of Der Komissar. It would be their only hit since they'd broken up by the time it was released.
 

scotchandcigar

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@IdRatherBeSkiing Is a "charting hit" a top 40? Or any appearance on the Hot 100?

Here's VH1's list of the greatest one hit wonders (according to Wikipedia, anyway). The ones in blue had two US top 40s.

"Macarena" – Los del Río (1996)
"Tainted Love" – Soft Cell (1981)
"Come on Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
"I'm Too Sexy" – Right Said Fred (1991)
"Mickey" – Toni Basil (1982)
"Who Let the Dogs Out?" – Baha Men (2000)
"Ice Ice Baby" – Vanilla Ice (1990)
"Take On Me” - A-ha (1985)
"Rico Suave" – Gerardo (1990)
"99 Luftballons" – Nena (1984)
There are several artists who had a number-one hit and never placed another song on the Top 100. They are true one-hit wonders.

Bad Day - Daniel Powter (2006)
Dominique - Soeur Sourire, The Singing Nun (1963)
Happy Days Are Here Again - Benny Meroff Orchestra (1930)
He's Got The Whole World In His Hands - Laurie London (1958)
How Do You Talk To An Angel - Heights (1992)
In The Year 2525 - Zager & Evans (1969)
It's In The Book - Johnny Standley (1952)
Let Me Go Lover - Joan Weber (1954)
Little Star - Elegants (1958)
The Third Man Theme - Anton Karas (1950)
Both of these lists miss Pop Muzik by M.
 

sadchild

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Here's my opinion on if each "two hit wonder" act listed above is "subjectively" a one hit wonder.

If I said NO, I believe their lower-peaking top 40 hit was still fairly well-known in US pop culture 10 years after it peaked.

If I said YES, I believe their lower-peaking top 40 was largely forgotten in US mainstream culture within 10 years, and only big fans of that act or genre (or music aficionados like us) still knew it.

--

a-ha - NO

Alannah Myles - YES

Berlin - YES

Chris deBurgh - YES

EMF - YES

Falco - JA

Gerardo - SI

Great White - YES

Jesus Jones - YES

Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch - YO!

Men Without Hats = YES, EH

Michael Sembello - DEFINITELY. THE SECOND HIT WAS FORGOTTEN WITHIN SIX MONTHS.

Rockwell - DEFINITELY SQUARED. THE SECOND HIT WAS FORGOTTEN BEFORE IT FELL OFF THE HOT 100.

Snow - YAH, MON

Tommy Tutone - YES

Vanilla Ice - NO

Young MC - YES
 

scotchandcigar

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Berlin is crazy to me, because the stations that play them (today) only play Metro and Sex, never Take My Breath Away. So from that perspective, they have 3 big songs that have remained popular for decades.

I was just listening to Turning Japanese by The Vapors, it was top 40 (but not top 10), but their only hit. I'd say they're a OHW.
 
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Jon

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Berlin is crazy to me, because the stations that play them (today) only play Metro and Sex, never Take My Breath Away. So from that perspective, they have 3 big songs that have remained popular for decades.

I was just listening to Turning Japanese by The Vapors, it was top 40 (but not top 10), but their only hit. I'd say they're a OHW.
When I did listen to the stations around here, it was usually 'No More Words' or 'Take My Breath Away', the latter being a soft rock staple! Almost never hear Sex, and ever so occasionally you'll hear 'The Metro.'
 
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Jon

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There's also that noted one-hit-wonder Jimi Hendrix. His only top 40 hit was All Along the Watchtower. But we know better...
Don't forget Springsteen who NEVER had a #1 hit, closest was (I believe!) Dancing in the Dark which hit #2.
 

scotchandcigar

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When I did listen to the stations around here, it was usually 'No More Words' or 'Take My Breath Away', the latter being a soft rock staple! Almost never hear Sex, and ever so occasionally you'll hear 'The Metro.'
If one listens to an alternative or adult contemporary (previously AOR) station, or a station like First Wave on SXM, they play the latter two all the time.
Don't forget Springsteen who NEVER had a #1 hit, closest was (I believe!) Dancing in the Dark which hit #2.
Why I haven't listened to pop radio ever.
 

Aaron

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Here's my opinion on if each "two hit wonder" act listed above is "subjectively" a one hit wonder.

If I said NO, I believe their lower-peaking top 40 hit was still fairly well-known in US pop culture 10 years after it peaked.

If I said YES, I believe their lower-peaking top 40 was largely forgotten in US mainstream culture within 10 years, and only big fans of that act or genre (or music aficionados like us) still knew it.

--

a-ha - NO

Alannah Myles - YES

Berlin - YES

Chris deBurgh - YES

EMF - YES

Falco - JA

Gerardo - SI

Great White - YES

Jesus Jones - YES

Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch - YO!

Men Without Hats = YES, EH

Michael Sembello - DEFINITELY. THE SECOND HIT WAS FORGOTTEN WITHIN SIX MONTHS.

Rockwell - DEFINITELY SQUARED. THE SECOND HIT WAS FORGOTTEN BEFORE IT FELL OFF THE HOT 100.

Snow - YAH, MON

Tommy Tutone - YES

Vanilla Ice - NO

Young MC - YES
I'm with you on most of these. Berlin though I feel like the larger audience would know No More Words.