One-hit wonders

Created by Alma Barroca on 17 Nov 2018 | Last edited by Alma Barroca on 31 Jan 2020
One-hit wonders

Collection that will feature artists known for a song only, usually disappearing from the public eye after sometime, without releasing other songs as successful.

Artist | Brazil MPB

Only hit: Palpite.

Artist | Brazil Pop

Only hit: Feelings.

Top 3 songs:  Feelings Mujer Dime

Only hit: Come On Eileen.

Top song:  Come On Eileen
Artist | Germany Latino

Only hit: Mambo Nº 5.

Artist | Belgium Pop

Only hit: Born to be Alive.

Top song:  Born to Be Alive

Only hit: The Eye of the Tiger.

Only hit: My Sharona.

Only hit: Words.

Artist | Canada Rock

Only hit: Mmmh Mmmh Mmmh Mmmh.

12. Haddaway

Only hit: What is Love.

Only hit: Tell Him.

Top song:  Tell Him

Only hit: Maniac.

15. Baltimora
Artist | Italy Dance

Only hit: Tarzan Boy.


Only hit: (I Just) Died in Your Arms.

17. Deee-Lite

Only hit: Groove Is In The Heart.

Only hit: What's Up.

19. Century
Artist | France Pop-Rock

Only hit: Lover Why.

Artist | Jamaica Pop

Only hit: Kung Fu Fighting.

Top song:  Kung Fu Fighting
23. O-Zone

Only hit: Dragostea din tei.

24. Visage

Only hit: Fade to Grey.

25. Gazebo
Artist | Italy Rock

Only hit: I Like Chopin.

Only hit: Chacun fait c'qui lui plaît.

28. Baha Men

Only hit: Who Let The Dogs Out.

Artist | Australia Pop

Only hit: Torn (Ednaswap cover).

Only hit: Do You Love Me.

Top song:  Do You Love Me

Only hit: Fight Song.

Only hit: When The Rain Begins To Fall.

Only hit: I'll Be There For You.

Only hit: Surfin' Bird.

Top song:  Surfin' Bird
Artist | Ireland Rock

Only hit: The days of Pearly Spencer.

36. Extreme

Only hit: More Than Words.

37. Texas

Only hit: Summer Son.

Only hit: Tô Nem Aí.

Only hit: First Time.

Only hit: Reality.

Top 3 songs:  Reality Go On Forever Sun
41. Opus
Artist | Austria Pop

Only hit: Live is Life.

Only hit: Voyage, Voyage.

Only hit: In the Year 2525.

Top song:  In the Year 2525

Only hit: Would I Lie To You?.

Only hit: Runaway Train.

Artist | France Folk

Only hit: Prayer in C.

Artist | Honduras Dance

Only hit: Sopa de Caracol.

Top song:  Sopa de Caracol
49. Des'ree

Only hit: Life.

51. Sarajane
Artist | Brazil

Only hit: A Roda.

Top song:  A Roda

Only hit: Spirit In The Sky.

Top song:  Spirit in the Sky

Only hit: Coisas Que Eu Sei.

Only hit: Eloise.

55. Grauzone

Only hit: Eisbär.

Artist | France Pop

Only hit: C'est la ouate.

Top song:  C'est la ouate
58. DÖF

Only hit: Codo (Düse im Sauseschritt)

Only hit: Your Woman.

Artist | Italy Disco

Only hit: Ma quale idea.

Artist | Belgium Pop

Only hit: Ça plane pour moi.

62. Larusso
Artist | France

Only hit: Tu oublieras.

Top song:  Tu m'oublieras
63. Rockwell

Only hit: Somebody's Watching Me.

64. Alemuel
Artist | Germany Pop

Only hit: Kleiner Hai.

Top song:  Kleiner Hai

Only hit: 19.

Top song:  19
66. Stretch

Only hit: Why Did You Do It.

Top song:  Why Did You Do It?
67. Harpo
Artist | Sweden Pop

Only hit: Moviestar.

Artist | Netherlands Pop

Only hit: Susana.

Top song:  Susanna

Only hit: Don't Stop The Music.

Alma BarrocaAlma Barroca    Sun, 18/11/2018 - 18:24

Hi! Thanks for these. I'll add them, but as I'm a detail oriented person, which is their one and only hit?

Diazepan MedinaDiazepan Medina    Sun, 18/11/2018 - 20:06

Morris Albert - Feelings
Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
The Archies - Sugar Sugar
Lou Bega - Mambo nº 5
Shocking Blue - Venus
Patrick Hernandez - Born to be alive
Survivor - The eye of the tiger
The Knack - My Sharona
F.R. David - Words
Crash Test Dummies - Mmmh Mmmh Mmmh Mmmh
Haddaway - What is love
The Exciters - Tell him
Michael Sembello - Maniac
Baltimora - Tarzan Boy
Cutting Crew - (I Just) Died In Your Arms
Deee-Lite - Groove is in the heart
Right Said Fred - I'm too sexy

BreezyDayBreezyDay    Sun, 18/11/2018 - 22:15

Oh it's so much fun to read this list. Thanks Diazepan Medina and Alma Barroca!!

AchampnatorAchampnator    Sun, 18/11/2018 - 18:28

From Lou Bega would I say is it Mambo No. 5

BreezyDayBreezyDay    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 01:27

The USA never appreciated Big Country. I've read that a lot of their music is great. I'm going to check out their UK hits. . .I love their guitars which are "evocative" of Scottish instruments and also the Scottish accent of the lead singer.

Some bands may have only had one hit but that doesn't mean their other music wasn't good. I wonder if Rickie Lee Jones' Chuck E's in Love is considered a OHW. The entire album was good, although a bit depressing and high in estrogen. (I love Night Train and Young Blood.)

Thanks for the links to these lists. It helped me to find some fun music that I had forgotten about. I will go through the lists more carefully when I have time. . .

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:01

What's Up did make somewhat of a comeback thanks to a He-Man YouTube video parody but the comeback may have been a bad thing too ha ha

Diazepan MedinaDiazepan Medina    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 01:45

Not precisely a one hit wonder. Her version of "Never can say goodbye" was in fact her first hit.

malucamaluca    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:08

I think a real One-Hit-Wonder would have only one song entry here on lyricstranslate with lots of translations added to it... Wink smile

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:09

Yeah I noticed that after I checked to see if "Where'd You Go?" was on lyricstranslate

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:34

Yeah I know but maybe they are considered one hit wonders because of who they collaborated with for that particular song?

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:42

Well many people consider them a one hit wonder but I don't because I have seen on YouTube people using other songs by them but it's called Where'd You Go? by Fort Minor

I forgot who sung this one but it's an annoying cheerleadering song: Hey Mickey!

(Now You're Just) Somebody I Used To Know

(I'm a) Bitch!

Born to be wild (I think that was a one hit wonder)

The Buggles - "Video Killed the Radio Star" (1980)

I'm Blue

Bow Wow Wow: I Want Candy

Anita Ward – "Ring My Bell" (1979) (I HATE that song! She sounds so annoying)

Willow Smith: Whip My Hair

Devo: Whip It!

Don't You Forget About Me (known for playing in the movie The Breakfast Club)

The Weathergirls: It's Raining Men!

Spirit in the Sky

She Blinded me with Science!

a-Ha: Take on me (even though Deadpool helped the song comeback)

Jump 'n the Saddle Band – "The Curly Shuffle" (1984)

Twisted Sister - "We're Not Gonna Take It" (1984) (I disagree with this one as well)

Nena – "99 Luftballons" (1984) and also the English version 99 Red balloons
John Waite - "Missing You" (1984)

Rockwell - "Somebody's Watching Me" (1984) (Michael Jackson has a small part in this song)

Harold Faltermeyer - "Axel F" (1985) better known as Crazy Frog

The Hamster Dance

The Safety Dance

Pretty Poison: Catch Me (I'm Falling)

Don't Worry Be Happy (NOT by Bob Marley!)

EMF: Unbelievable

Sinead O'Connor – "Nothing Compares 2 U" (1990)

Mellow Man Ace – "Mentirosa" (1990)

Candyman – "Knockin' Boots" (1990)
Deee-Lite – "Groove Is in the Heart" (1991)

Tom Cochrane – "Life Is a Highway" (1992) (The Rascal Flats later covered this song which made it's way into the first Disney Cars movie.)

Sir Mix-A-Lot – "Baby Got Back" (1992)

Kris Kross – "Jump" (1992)

Billy Ray Cyrus – "Achy Breaky Heart" (1992)

House of Pain – "Jump Around" (1992)

Aqua: Barbie Girl

95 South – "Whoot, There It Is" (1993) (no basketball game was complete without this song)

Tag Team – "Whoomp! (There It Is)" (1993)

Blind Melon – "No Rain" (1993)

The Proclaimers – "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" (1993)

Lit: My Own Worst Enemy

Tal Bachman – "She's So High" (1999)

The Calling – "Wherever You Will Go" (2002)

James Blunt – "You're Beautiful" (2006)

Bad Day

Metro Station: Shake It

tatu: All the things she said (I also disagree with this one.)

Cali Swag District – "Teach Me How to Dougie" (2010)

Gotye and Kimbra – "Somebody That I Used to Know" (2011)

Magic! – "Rude" (2013)

Tinashe – "2 On" (2014)

Fountains of Wayne – "Stacy's Mom" (2003)

Teenage Dirtbag

Nine Days – "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" (2000) (this is the story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world...)

WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? (appeared in The Rugrats Movie)

Natalie Imbruglia – "Torn" (1997)

Tommy Tutone – "867-5309/Jenny" (1981)

Soft Cell – "Tainted Love" (1981)

King Harvest – "Dancing in the Moonlight" (1972)

Billy Paul – "Me and Mrs. Jones" (1972)

Mungo Jerry – "In the Summertime" (1970)

Edison Lighthouse – "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" (1970)

The Surfaris – "Wipe Out" (1963) (not very many words to that song)

Ronald & Ruby – "Lollipop" (1958)

Bobby Day – "Rockin' Robin" (1958)

The Monotones – "The Book of Love" (1958)

Laurie London – "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" (1958)

Diazepan MedinaDiazepan Medina    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:45

1) Toni Basil sang Hey Mickey

2) Simple Minds besides "Don't you forget about me" also had a couple hits more like "Alive and Kicking" (nº 3 in USA and nº 7 in UK) and "Belfast Child" (nº 1 in UK)

3) A-ha is a one-hit wonder ONLY IN USA. In the UK they had 6 singles on the top 5

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:50

1) yes I know that but my spell check would not let me keep her name!

2) and yet they are still considered one hit wonders -.-

Diazepan MedinaDiazepan Medina    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:53

I know

Another thing. It aches me to consider Men without hats as a one hit wonder. Maybe because "Pop goes the world" was so underrated, and still a soccer fans classic

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 03:16

Yeah maybe so. I know I left many "I disagree with this one" comments but too many people consider them one hit wonders. It pains me to consider Fort Minor as one hit wonders too!

malucamaluca    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 14:50

Nena was also no one-hit-wonder, she had several hits and is still popular in Germany.

Alma BarrocaAlma Barroca    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 22:13

I'll add them little by little. Wink smile

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Mon, 26/11/2018 - 02:39

OK thank you Regular smile and sorry for making you work so much

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 02:48

The Contours – "Do You Love Me" (1962)

The MASH "Theme from M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless)" (it actuality has words to it)

Michael Andrews and Gary Jules "Mad World"

Rachel Platten "Fight Song" (the UK considers it an one hit wonder)

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 03:18

Here are some well known songs but they are considered one hit wonder collaborations

Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory" (1982)
Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson, "I Know Him So Well" (1985)
David Bowie and Mick Jagger, "Dancing in the Street" (1985)

malucamaluca    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 14:54

Jermaine Jackson & Pia Zadora - When The Rain Begins To Fall

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 03:43

Do the Bartman

Turtle Power

Eh-Oh! (From the Teletubbies... I have no clue how that song charted in the UK -.-)

Oochie Coochie (1991) I'm sure I misspelled that)

M People: Moving on up

Rednex: Cotton Eyed Joe (where did this group come from and where did they go?)

The Rembrandts: I'll Be There For You (better known as the opening theme song from Friends)

Des'ree: You Gatta Be

Soul Asylum: Runway Train

Snow Patrol: Chasing Cars

The Party of Five theme song

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 08:21

This group seems to be one hit wonders as well 🤔 because I've only heard of 2 of their songs but I've heard this song the most:

Yakety Yak is a song written, produced, and arranged by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for The Coasters and released on Atco Records in 1958, spending seven weeks as #1 on the R&B charts and a week as number one on the Top 100 pop list. This song was one of a string of singles released by The Coasters between 1957 and 1959 that dominated the charts, one of the biggest performing acts of the rock and roll era.

The song is a "playlet," a word Stoller used for the glimpses into teenage life that characterized the songs Leiber and Stoller wrote and produced. The lyrics describe the listing of household chores to a kid, presumably a teenager, the teenager's response ("yakety yak") and the parents' retort ("don't talk back") — an experience very familiar to a middle-class teenager of the day. Leiber has said the Coasters portrayed "a white kid’s view of a black person’s conception of white society." The serio-comic street-smart “playlets” etched out by the songwriters were sung by the Coasters with a sly clowning humor, while the saxophone of King Curtis filled in, in the up-tempo doo-wop style. The group was openly "theatrical" in style—they were not pretending to be expressing their own experience.

The threatened punishment for not taking out the garbage and sweeping the floor is, in the song's humorous lyrics:

"You ain't gonna rock and roll no more,"
And the refrain is:

"Yakety yak; don't talk back."

Popular culture

Québécois duo Les Jérolas recorded in 1959 a French version "Rouspet' pas"
The sax solo by King Curtis inspired the 1963 Boots Randolph song "Yakety Sax"
Sha Na Na performed this as part of their set at the original Woodstock Festival and recorded 2 live covers of the song in 1971 and 1972
The song was covered by Jan & Dean and was planned to be released on their album Carnival of Sound in 1968. Carnival of Sound was not released until 2010.
Lee Perry released a cover version in 1969 (as Lee Perry and the Upsetters), altering the lyric "You ain't gonna rock and roll no more" to "You ain't gonna reggae reggae reggae no more"
The Pipkins covered their song in 1970, produced by John Burgess.
Electronic/disco group El Coco covered this song in 1975 with some comedy elements, taken from their debut album, Mondo Disco, released on AVI Records.
Vince Vance & The Valiants, one of multiple groups parodying Barbara Ann as "Bomb Iran" in 1980, created a similarly themed 2005 parody called "Yakety Yak (Bomb Iraq)".
Stand by Me, the 1986 classic coming of age drama included "Yakety Yak" on its iconic soundtrack.
The song has also been mixed & recorded by 2 Live Crew for the 1988 movie Twins. In the same film, Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sings along, with hilarious results, as the song plays in his earphones while flying to the United States.
The song is sung by the Coasters in the 1988 horror-comedy Phantom of the Ritz which the four-man group makes a cameo appearance.
It has also served as the theme to Clive Anderson's chat-show Clive Anderson Talks Back during the 1990s, and as the opening theme of the 1988 movie The Great Outdoors.
It was the inspiration and theme song for the 2002-2003 Canadian/Australian animated series, Yakkity Yak.
A modified version, "Yakety Yak, Take it Back", was used in a 1990 all-star PSA for the Take It Back Foundation.
A music video starring Plucky Duck as the kid tasked with chores, and a group of anthropomorphic yaks in police officer suits, aired on the 90th episode of Tiny Toon Adventures and used in The Plucky Duck Show.
The song was parodied for use in adverts for Radox bath soak and McCain Micro Chips in the 1980s and 1990s respectively.
The song name was used for the code name of Ubuntu 16.10, a Linux operating system with its versions all named after animals.
Phantom Planet covered this song for the soundtrack of the 1999 film Mumford.

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 16:30

That's because everybody has already heard that the bird is the word

makis17makis17    Sat, 24/11/2018 - 13:59

Beautiful song!

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Wed, 28/11/2018 - 04:30

Another song that comes to my mind is Mmmmbop by the Hansons as a one hit wonder

BreezyDayBreezyDay    Fri, 30/11/2018 - 03:43

Oh I remember hearing Sopa de Caracol twenty years ago at a wedding reception, covered by a little three-man band. What a great memory. It came into my head many times over the years and I knew it was about sopa (soup) but didn't know the name. (Still don't know Spanish though.)

malucamaluca    Fri, 30/11/2018 - 03:46

It's mostly in Garifuna.

BreezyDayBreezyDay    Fri, 30/11/2018 - 04:02

Oh, thank you. I remember a lot of rhythmic words (lara lara lara, w Spanish pronunciation) and wondered if they were people's names or made-up sounds. I'll look up the translation.

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Fri, 30/11/2018 - 18:44

Now Gotye is just somebody that we used to know :p

Sailor PokeMoon2Sailor PokeMoon2    Fri, 30/11/2018 - 18:46

And the '90s wouldn't be the '90s without Vanilla Ice and his one hit wonder song Ice Ice Baby

AchampnatorAchampnator    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 09:50

I would say Right Said Fred's One Hit was Your My Mate not I'm too sexy

malucamaluca    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 11:09

"I'm Too Sexy" was their first and probably biggest hit, as far as I remember, but they had a few popular songs. "Don't Talk Just Kiss" and "Deeply Dippy" were played on radio and MTV quite often. I wouldn't consider them a one-hit-wonder.

magicmuldermagicmulder    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 11:17

Yup. "I'm Too Sexy", then "Don't Talk Just Kiss". The other two were slightly less successful.

malucamaluca    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 11:45

I would erase several artists from this list, as they are no real one-hit-wonders.
Sinéad O'Connor for example, I own several of her discs and a DVD, she has many beautiful songs and could earn her living with music all her life. As well as Nena.

A real one-hit-wonder has only one song and failed to build a career in music I'd say.

And I didn't even know Willow was a singer, never heard the supposed hit. She's famous for being the daughter of Will Smith, I suppose.

Well, back in the day this song was catchy by a famous daughter :

I'd not put it necessarily in the category one-hit-wonder though.

magicmuldermagicmulder    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 15:43

Agreed. Nena would only belong there if the list were really US-centric. She sold millions of other singles and albums in Germany and all over Europe.

Alma BarrocaAlma Barroca    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 18:39

Sure, I just added those that I was recommended. Just tell me which you think should go and I do it - I don't now many of them, honestly, so I can't say if they are or not one hit wonders.

malucamaluca    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 23:14

As I said, in my opinion at least Sinead O'Connor and Nena are big stars, not one-hit-wonders.
Also Right Said Fred had a few popular songs, not just one.
Maybe Nazareth should also be eliminated from the list (I know, I suggested them, but I take it back).

Willow Smith I don't think belongs here either, she's very young, who knows she might become a great singer in the future. The proposed hit isn't even among the Top 3 songs on her list, but I haven't listened to her music yet.

Here is one one-hit-wonder in German:

magicmuldermagicmulder    Fri, 08/02/2019 - 09:27

Oh I love Codo! The Humpe sisters (singers and producers) were quite successful with other projects, however, from Humpe & Humpe to Ich & Ich and 2Raumwohnung.

You can basically list every Neue Deutsche Welle song here as many were one hit wonders (Geier Sturzflug "Bruttosozialprodukt", Fräulein Menke "Hohe Berge", Markus "Ich will Spaß", ...).

malucamaluca    Fri, 08/02/2019 - 22:04

Geier Sturzflug and Markus had other hits (Besuchen Sie Europa and Kleine Taschenlampe brenn)...

FlopsiFlopsi    Thu, 08/08/2019 - 12:31

Ah, so I'm not alone. I think it's unfair to add Jermaine Jackson as a one-hit-wonder. Yes, "When the Rain Begins to Fall" was his only no. 1 hit, but his album "Dynamite" had a lot of hits at that time, even the videos of this album had been published on VHS.
Top-10-hits had been "Daddy's Home" (no. 9 - U.S.), "Let's Get Serious" (no. 8 in the U.K, no. 9 in the U.S.) and "Do What You Do" (no. 6 - U.K.).
This is only his solo-career, we're not talking about The Jackson 5 or The Jacksons...
According to Wikipedia I could even add more if considering that "the term is most commonly used in regard to music performers with only one top-20 hit single that overshadows their other work".

dionysiusdionysius    Thu, 07/02/2019 - 18:47

White Town have had several albums but only really known for Your Woman.

AchampnatorAchampnator    Fri, 08/02/2019 - 06:24

Also Nena sung her Song “Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann“ bilingual together with Kim Wilde and called it “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime“ and this version I guess also is/was very famous and favoured from some people

MiniacMiniac    Fri, 08/02/2019 - 06:16

Black aka Colin Vearncombe is one hit wonders? You don't say. Sinead O'Connor, Nena? There's been a mistake. Regular smile

magicmuldermagicmulder    Fri, 08/02/2019 - 09:29

Black's follow-up single "Everything Is Coming Up Roses" was quite successful, too, so I'd say "two hit wonder". Wink smile

MiniacMiniac    Fri, 08/02/2019 - 19:40

Please, let's be fair. Regular smile He wasn't popular enough, maybe. But he was a good singer and very well loved. Regular smile

SiHo_92SiHo_92    Fri, 08/02/2019 - 19:58

I hope that Rachel Platten will be able to overcome her "One-Hit-Wonder"-status one day. Wink smile

marcos.sullivanmarcos.sullivan    Fri, 31/01/2020 - 14:58

How can you call Dexys Midnight Runners a one hit wonder? They had several other hits in the UK, including "Geno" which reached #1. A true one hit wonder has one song which reaches #1 and then they never make the charts again e.g. From a UK perspective Serge Gainsbourg is a one hit wonder with "J'Taime...", though the French would surely disagree.