Top 10 One-Hit-Wonders

artist: misc date: 03/29/2014 category: entertainment
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Top 10 One-Hit-Wonders
Some songs are so damn good that the artist doesn't need to rely on a silly ol' career to make their mint.

After all, artists come and go - but what you need is a song that lasts forever. That's the power of a one-hit-wonder, and when you write a song that plays somewhere on radio every minute of the day around the world, you'll be made for life.

So what are the best examples of one-hit-wonders around? That's the question we posed to UG readers this week, and as usual they had sparkling taste in pop and rock. Here's the results.

10. Marcy Playground "Sex and Candy"

With 15 weeks at number one, Marcy Playground broke a record previously held by Oasis for the most weeks at the top of the chart.

9. Ram Jam "Black Betty"

This was a cover of an 18th century song which took Ram Jam to the top of the charts in the 1970s. Guitariist Bill Barlett took Lead Belly's minute-long version and took little time to rearrange and record this hit.

8. Wild Cherry "Play That Funky Music"

You wouldn't know that Wild Cherry played mostly hard rock, but disco was a growing trend at the time (and let's remember, it wasn't club beats but funk music which was the disco genre of choice back then). Between songs, drummer Ron Beitle would say "play that funky music, white boy" - and they would. It became a hit worth 2.5 million sales.

7. Drowning Pool "Bodies"

"Bodies" was written about the brotherhood in a moshpit, but its lyrics have been misinterpreted as violent. Some tried to link it to a shooting in 2011, and it was used by interrogators at Guantanamo Bay for up to 10 days at a time. Could you handle it?

6. Chumbawamba "Tubthumping"

The ultimate drinking song, thanks to its boozing lyrics and simple chorus: "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never going to keep me down." This political and relatively unknown British band stormed straight to the top of the charts in Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK, and did pretty well in the US charts too.

5. The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be"

Scotland wouldn't be the same without these bespectacled icons in their pop cannon. They're not your usual pop stars, by sound or vision, but what a fantastic song. All together now…

4. The Verve "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

The Verve were sued hard by the Rolling Stones for the use of their string sample from "The Last Time" without permission. We'd be more forgiving of the 'Stones if it weren't such a blinding tune - "Bitter Sweet Symphony" frequently earns its place in polls for the best British song.

3. The Knack "My Sharona"

One of the oldest one-hit wonders to last through to today, partly because they pre-empted the sound of the late-2000s indie rock scene decades early. Little known fact: the Sharona at the centre of the song uses the domain mysharona.com to promote her Real Estate business.

2. Europe "The Final Countdown"

How many songs can boast a number one in 25 countries? Never has something that sounds like the last level of an RPG video game become so popular.

1. Survivor "Eye of the Tiger"

The only way to sum up the stack of awesome that is this song is this: I used to win races at school sports day as a youngster by imagining this song at the starting line. For real. That's the motivational power of this track, and this week it's your best one-hit-wonder of all time.


That's the end of our roundup of the top 10 best one-hit wonders. And a pretty solid set they are, too. Sometimes you don't need a career lasting decades to earn a lasting legacy and a shut tonne of money.

What's your personal favorite one-off hit? Who would you place in your top three? Let us know in the comments.
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