When I think of one hit wonders, I think of the 90′s. There was so much awful pop music saturating the charts that it was difficult for any genuine talent to break through. If you think about the obvious one’s you’ll probably remember acts like The Proclaimers and Semisonic. If you scratch the surface of your memory a little you might find some of the songs that made my top ten. Here we go…
10. Green Jelly – Three Little Pigs 1992
Known as Green Jello by our American friends, these guys were banned from playing countless venues due to the onstage destruction they caused. This song gets the number ten slot purely because of the “Is this for real” factor! Possibly a guilty pleasure for many but you cannot deny the comedy value of this track. It’s silly and childish but that’s why I like it.
9. Stiltskin – Inside 1994
Scotland was never known for its grunge bands but Stiltskin we’re one said band. One of the tracks helped to a high chart position by the Levi’s 501 adverts of the 90’s. Teens across the UK spent many weeks banging their heads to it and trying to learn how to play it on guitar.
Fun fact of the day: Singer Ray Wilson went on to become the singer of Genesis from 1996 – 1998. Bizzarre!
8. Chumbawamba – Tubthumping 1997
OK, OK so this was a bit more of an obvious choice but it’s one of the ones that always got stuck in your head! With a name like Chumbawamba was it ever likely that they would remain stars?? Obviously not. Releasing a song as poppy as this was an unlikely thing for a supposed “Anarcho punk band” but they did and in 1997 it soared to number 2 in the UK charts.
7. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – The Impression That I Get 1997
Ska punk may have been big on the underground in the 90’s but it sure as hell never made it to the UK charts.. Until The Bosstones released this mammoth dance floor filler that is.
6. New Radicals – You Get What You Give 1998
“Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson. You’re all fakes, run to your mansions. Come around, we’ll kick your ass in!” – You can’t argue with that, can you?
5. Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s 1995
Yeah.. OK.. So maybe this is another obvious choice but it’s an undeniably good pop song. I challenge you to listen and not have it stuck in your head after!
Here’s a weird one. The film Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired the lyrics to the song (obviously) and in turn these lyrics were the inspiration behind another film: Roman Holiday.
4. Republica – Ready To Go 1996
If you’d asked me in 1996 if I liked this song I would have looked down at my feet in an attempt to hide the guilt and quietly said “No”. The honest answer would have, of course, been yes! Because, how could you not like this song? It’s cheesy as hell and everyone secretly loves a bit of cheese.
3. Harvey Danger – Flagpole Sitta 1998
If you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t know that song’.. You do! It’s the soundtrack to channel 4’s Peep Show from series two, onwards.. “I’m not sick but I’m not well..” ..You know it!
2. Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm 1993
Possibly one of the greatest one hit wonder’s of all time. I bought this on cassette after their Top Of The Pops performance. I can still remember every single word. It’s a song you never forget. And the best thing about it is that there’s not even any words in the chorus. Just a hummed “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm!” Genius!
Drum Roll please…..
1. Babylon Zoo – Spaceman 1996
This song gets my number one slot because it’s the true definition of a one hit wonder. Not because it’s a great song. It’s not! There is one single reason why this song went to number 1 in the UK charts. The marketing genius of whoever was behind those Levi’s 501 adverts I spoke about earlier. The first part of the song sounds like a catchy, upbeat dance number, just like the music that was saturating the charts in the 90’s. The electronic drum loop and the sped up high vocal were the only parts of the song to be featured in the advert. And rightly so. It’s the only good part! I can remember all the school kids talking about how they were going to buy the single when it was finally released. You can imagine everyone’s shock and disappointment when it came out and they realised the part of the song they loved only lasted about 20 seconds before the track descended into slow and miserable grunge rock!
Here’s the video.. Try not to laugh too hard..