Today we celebrate one of the most important holidays of the year: National One-Hit Wonder Day. Yes, that's right, today we honor all of those artists who only had one hit song, only had three or four minutes of pop bliss to give to the masses. Now, some of you might be saying, "That's kind of sad!" Well, if you are saying that, stop saying it, and ask yourself how many hit songs you have. Then ask yourself how much money you made off of those hit songs you didn't have. Exactly. Zero. Zero monies.
As I was compiling the songs for this list it became apparent that the 1990s seemed to be the Golden Age of classic one-hit Wonders. So this is a list of one-hit wonders from the 1990s. I present these thoughts and comments without irony, as I believe that a good song is a good song, regardless of how many other good songs a band or artist might have had. Enjoy!
"How Bizarre" - OMC - 1995 - This is an all-time favorite 90s jam. Everyone likes this song. However, it's bittersweet: OMC's lead singer Pauly Fuemana passed away in 2010.
"Are You Jimmy Ray?" - 1997 - He's meaner, he's leaner, he ain't no inbetweener, he's Jimmy Ray - and who wants to know about him, huh? This might not have been a huge hit, but it's a personal favorite of mine for its inane lyrics and crisp rhythm guitar sound.
"Macarena" - Los Del Rio [Bayside Boy Mix] - 1995 - It doesn't get much bigger for a one-hit wonder. "Macarena" sold over four million copies and spawned a worldwide dance craze that Oprah even got in on. If you haven't heard this in a while, you're in for a treat. I just put it on and can't help smiling at this dance classic! Heyyyyyyyyy macarena!
"Tubthumping" - Chumbawumba - 1996 - Did you know that in the UK a "tubthumper" is a politician and "tubthumping" is political campaigning? Yes, you knew that, because Chumbawumba has always been your favorite anarcho-punk band, duh.
"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" - Crash Test Dummies - 1993 - You know, a lot of people find this song laughable, but I think it's a moving tale of disparate characters connected by themes of alienation that are filtered through a lens of paralyzing loneliness vis-a-vis a Dickensian hopelessness of Marxian rage. The classic formula for a 90s hit.
"Bitch" - Meredith Brooks - 1997 - This song makes me want to storm the ramparts! I mean, it just seems like an honest portrayal of what all people are: both good and bad, both sweet and sour. It's life, baby!
"What's Up?" - 4 Non Blondes - 1992 - All it took was a simple chord progression for Linda Perry to squawk over while wearing a hat she stole from Slash to make this a hit. Linda Perry actually went on to pen tunes for the likes of Christina Aguilera, Pink, Courtney Love, and others, but "What's Up?" was the only 4 Non Blonde Hit. Also: the titular phrase "what's up" is never said during the song itself.
"Steal My Sunshine" - Len - 1999 - Summer is over, but you can always get a bit of SUNSHINE when you listen to this gem from Len. If you're feeling like summer make sure to listen to this song "L-A-T-E-R" this week.
"Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand" - Rocket - 1995 - It's amazing how a great sample can change a song. I mean, the verses of this song are mediocre, but when you put that sample of B.B. King singing "I been down hearted, baby!" in the chorus, you have a hit and anthem on your hands.
"Flagpole Sitta" - Harvey Danger - 1998 - Man, the 90s ruled. Each and every one of these one-hit wonders is spectacular, and "Flagpole Sitta" might be the greatest of them all. The lyrics are genuinely brilliant and this is one of the catchiest tunes on this list - and that's saying something! "They cut off my legs now I'm an amputee goddamn you!"
OK that's all she wrote, folks! We can agree: the 1990s had some sweet tunes, right? OK, follow me on Twitter @DannyMoney. Peace!