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Renegade Expressions

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One Hit Wonders, Greatest one-hit wonders of all time, one-hit wonders,

I always joke that I would love to be a one-hit wonder. My love for music is so great that I would relish the opportunity to have that one song climb the charts, stay for a while and then fade away like the morning dew. For every one-hit wonder, there are probably thousands of individuals holding on to a pipe dream. Having those meager ambitions are OK if you are a regular Joe, but would be dire for a recording artist. For an artist that dedicates time and money to their craft and struggles to get a recording contract, becoming a one-hit wonder is the last thing on their minds. Artists don’t plan to be one hit wonders; it’s something that just happens. Some artists end up being one hit wonders because of death – The Big Bopper, Their band/group breaking up – New Radicals or their genre/era of music comes to an end – Disco/Grunge. There are however other artists who tried for years and were never successful in finding another hit song. A few of those artists went on to have relatively successful careers, while others found new career paths.

So what exactly is a one-hit wonder? Though it might seem self-explanatory, there are different definitions and the criteria for casting an artist into the musical realm of has-been or never-was varies. Here are two helpful definitions: here and here.

For my post, I made it as simple and straightforward as possible. All the artists on my list had only one big hit; this is the song that came to define their careers. When you think of these artists, these are the songs that come to mind. It might be difficult to name another song, much less a minor hit by these artists. Sometimes, one hit song is enough.

You can check out VH1’s list of “100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders” and the website Forgotten Hits “Top 100 One Hit Wonders.”

These are my favorite One Hit Wonders (In no particular order):

1. Biz Markie – Just A Friend (1990)

2. Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy (1988)

3. Blind Melon – No Rain (1993)

4. New Radicals – You Get What You Give (1999)

5. 4 Non Blondes – Whats Up (1992)

6. Haddaway – What Is Love (1993)

7. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (1997)

8. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares To You (1990)

9. Semisonic – Closing Time (1999)

10. Joan Osborne – One Of Us (1995)

7 comments on “One Is Enough: My Favorite One Hit Wonders

  1. stannyha says:

    Strangely enough, I never thought of Sinead O’Connor as a one hit wonder but that track is her trademark track indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renegade Expressions says:

      I can appreciate that, i bet there are other one-hit wonders out there that somebody thinks should not be labeled as such. I like Sinead but she is definitely a one-hit wonder. After her incident on SNL all those years ago, there was no way the powers that be were gonna give her another hit. Also, during my research for this post i found out that there are some very popular artists who are actually one-hit wonders but are not labeled as such.


  2. Lennox says:

    99 Red balloons for me! Love that song! That VH-1 special is always fun to watch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renegade Expressions says:

      Haha interesting choice. I kinda like it too. Truth is there are many songs by one-hit wonders i love.I would give By His Deeds – VC, a honorable mention too.


  3. tantoverde says:

    I am indifferent to music (tssssssss) Maybe I just need somebody like you to read about it first and them to listen? Love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renegade Expressions says:

      Thanks for checking out my blog. In regards to music….anything I can do to help? Music makes everything better.


      1. tantoverde says:

        Thank you, I will just read 🙂 You know, about 70% of my friends, including my best friends are musicians. Professionals musicians. I make them desperate 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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