It’s Saturday night, it’s late and you’re a couple of drinks down.
It all goes quiet and then that hook blares out over the speakers – you know the one everyone knows, but no-one has any idea who sings it.
Since 1990, September 25 has been set aside as ‘One-Hit Wonder Day’. A day to celebrate those sweet 2–4 minutes that make your limbs flail like the wacky inflatable man down at the local used car dealer.
Making a list of the best one hit wonders of all time is a difficult prospect, and I’m likely to get most of them wrong. So, in no particular order, here are 10 one hit wonders which you should add to your playlist.
Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl (1981)
That Rick Springfield, he’s cool with the lines.
The Vapors – Turning Japanese (1980)
There are some pretty out-there theories on what this song is about, and I’m not going near any of them. Nevertheless, this hit landed at #1 on the Australian charts for two weeks in 1980.
Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen (1982)
This classic was #1 in the UK, US, Ireland and Australia, and anyone would have thought that Dexys Midnight Runners were set for a life of packed stadium concerts. They’re still around, simply going by Dexys these days, but unfortunately there are no plans to tour Australia anytime soon.
The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star (1979)
The video for this hit was actually the first music video show on MTV – and what a video! Also, if your song ends up being covered by The Presidents Of The United States Of America, you know you’ve achieved greatness.
Chumbawamba – Tubthumping (1996)
With a catchy chorus and some baffling lyrics, this hit was all the rage in 1996. If Chumbawamba did nothing else, they gave us a hit that can be played over any sport montage from now until eternity.
A-ha – Take On Me (1985)
This magnificent hit was big enough to knock UB40 and Chrissie Hynde’s cover of “I Got Your Babe” from the #1 spot.
Craig McLachlan & Check 1-2 – Mona (1990)
The fact that no YouTube video of this song even has 500,000 views is seriously disappointing to me. The song, actually written in 1957 by Elias McDaniel, hit #2 on the UK charts, only surpassed by Elton John at the time.
Men Without Hats – Safety Dance (1983)
In my opinion, this is one of the greatest music video clips and band names of all time. How nightclubs in 2014 don’t spontaneously break out into the Safety Dance at certain times is beyond me.
Hanson – MMMbop (1997)
These three long hair brothers worked their way into my lounge room in the 90’s and into the hearts of teenage girls everywhere. Actually, I seem to remember some of my mates having their poster on the bedroom wall. Also worth noting is that this song ranked #17 on AOL Radio’s “100 Worst Songs Ever” list in 2010…
The Knack – My Sharona (1979)
I’ve left this classic until last on purpose. I go mad for this song now, I can’t imagine what I would have been like if I was around in 1979.
There are a lot of classic one-hit wonders, these are only 10 of them. What’s your one-hit jam?