The 1996 film, That Thing You Do, is a musical comedy about the quick rise and fall of a pop-band, the Wonders, whose only claim to fame is their single hit song. In the film, their pop song “That Thing You Do” reached the top of the charts and then, due to internal conflicts, the band disbanded and became one of the musical world’s “one-hit wonders”.
The term “one-hit wonder” is used to describe performers who become very popular due to one hit single. This is usually caused by serious musicians who found it hard to continue with their level of success after their popularity has gone. Some one-hit wonders are novelty songs, while some singers become one-hit wonders because their careers were cut short due to deaths or the unexpected break up of the group.
Although the term is used mainly for musicians, this can also be applied to writers, composers, athletes and TV shows. Anyone who vanishes into anonymity after one single sterling performance is classified as a one-hit-wonder.
Here are 7 famous one-hit musical wonders from the 1990s and 2000s.
No. 1: Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice, 1990)
Written by Vanilla Ice and DJ Earthquake, the song has the familiar bass-line of “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie. This song was released in Vanilla Ice’s 1989 debut album Hooked. It was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts and is said to have helped introduce hip hop to a more mainstream audience.
No. 1: I’m Too Sexy (Right Said Fred, 1992)
Who can forget the cheesy lyrics of “I’m Too Sexy” by English pop group Right Said Fred? Written from the point of view of a narcissistic fashion model, the song is about his high level of sexiness, thus making him too sexy for almost everything. The song peaked at No. 2 in the UK charts, and reached No. 1 in the United States.
No. 1: Macarena (Los Del Rio, 1996)
Los Del Rio’s dance song, Macarena, is about a woman named, “Macarena”. The song first appeared in the 1994 in the album A mi me gusta and was an international hit until 1996, and surprisingly, have spawned its own cult followers. It’s ranked 5 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100, and ranks 1st on Billboard’s All Time Latin Songs. In 2002, VH1 ranked Macarena as the No.1 Greatest One Hit Wonder of All Time.
No. 1: How Bizarre (OMC, 1996)
In 1995, the song “How Bizarre” was released in New Zealand by the musical group OMC. It was subsequently released in the United States however, since it was only released to radio and not as a retail single, it was not allowed to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100. It did, however, chart on on the US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay in 1997. In 1998, the song was featured in the movie Palmetto.
No. 1: Tubthumping (Chumbawumba, 1997)
“I get knocked down, but I get up again … “ is Tubthumping’s most prominent lyric. The song was released by British punk band Chumbawumba in 1997 and was the band’s most successful single. It peaked at No. 6 in the United States, 2 on the UK Singles Charts and topped the charts in other countries such as Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland.
No. 1: Who Let the Dogs Out (Baha Men, 2000)
“Who Let the Dogs Out? Who? Who? Who?” (or woof woof woof – the choice is yours) was written and recorded by Anselm Douglas for the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival of 1998. It caught the attention of Steve Greenberg who was, at that time promoting a group called The Baha Men. The song has been used on various movie trailers, and has been included in various movies. It reached No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and peaked at No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart.
No. 1: Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus, 2000)
“I’ve got two tickets to Iron Maiden Baby, Come with me friday, don’t say maybe…” Teenage Dirtbag is often associated with the movie, Loser. It was released in July 200 by American alternative rock group Wheatus. Although released in the United States, it was most successful in Australia where the song spent 4 weeks at No. 1. It peaked at No. 2 in the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2012, it re-entered the UK Singles chart and peaked at No. 36. I re-entered the UK Singles Chart again in 2013, reaching No. 46.
Do you know of any other One-Hit-Wonders? What were their songs and what happened to the singers?
Video Credits: Embedded from Youtube