Wednesday Question: Best One-Hit Wonders Rock Bands?

One-hit wonders or not, they still made some timeless tunes, right?

Ultimate Guitar

The music world can be a strange place, and not everyone that reaches superstardom is guaranteed to hold on to it.

One-hit wonders are the perfect example. Some bands simply made a tune or two that suddenly topped the charts around the globe and then just disappeared off the face of the earth, or ultimately reappeared in some cheesy reality show.

But despite only getting to briefly shine, these songs tend to stick around and even symbolize the era in which they were created. Anyhow, our Wednesday question for this week is:

What's the best one-hit wonder rock band?

Also, these tunes tend to often be regarded as guilty pleasures, so don't hesitate to reveal your favorites nonetheless.

Same rules as always apply - only one suggestion per comment, vote up the candidates you support and vote down the ones you dislike. We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG Top 10. Let the voting begin!

529 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Europe. They have some other good songs, but because of "The Final Countdown" they remain one-hit wonder band for the wider public.
    Well said, well said. I love Europe and they do have other songs (semi hits even) but I bet if you asked the general public who The Final Countdown was by they wouldn't know.
    Good choice. I love a lot of Europe but I completely agree.
    I don't even... 8 platinum records and 9 gold records disagree with Europe being a one hit wonder.
    Yeah, how the hell is that a one-hit wonder? They also had multiple hits at the time when 'The Final Countdown' was released (Rock the Night, Wings of Tomorrow, Carrie, etc...) This is like saying that Bon Jovi was a one-hit wonder because of 'Living on a Prayer'...
    Well... this song is one of my all time favourites, and I couldn't name one more song by Europe.
    Rock the night, Cherokee, Girl From Lebanon, Ready or not, Stormwind, Scream of Anger, In the future to come, Open your Heart, On Broken Wings, Carrie, Prisoners in Paradise, Open your Heart lol Europe ****ing rocks
    well hits are based on popular songs that hit #1 on the you could have platinum and gold records without big hit songs pre-late 90's, therefore they could still be a one-hit wonder if they've only had one actual hit song.
    Way Cool JR.
    A song does not have to be #1 to be classified as a hit song, all it has to be is in the chart hit list. If a band had several songs in the charts then they can not be considered a 1 hit wonder.
    Way Cool JR.
    Just because all the younger generation may not know who they are doesn't automatically qualify them as 1 hit wonders. When in fact they are just the opposite of that.
    I don'ť know man, it's like saying that Nirvana was one-hit band because of Smells Like Teen Spirit.
    funny this song reminds me of an indy wrestler long ago coming out of this song
    The Verve - "Bitter Sweet Symphony" - for the most of people they are one-hit wonder band.
    here in the U.S. they are sadly a one hit wonder. its a shame, because they haven't released anything i don't thoroughly enjoy.
    I always thought this was a coldplay song haha, definitely a one hit wonder.
    Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
    Burning heart, high on you etc... There's many other hits that survivor had other than just eye of the tiger.
    Danjo's Guitar
    I've feel like we've successfully proven that there is actually no such thing as a one hit wonder. Can we all go home now?
    He actualy has the record for most number 1's in UK for a male solo artist, but I have to say, this fact and this song are the only things I know about Rick Astley (Oh yeah right, and rickrolling)
    Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag
    *Wheatus Still, exactly what I first thought, amazed that it took this long for someone to choose it.
    That first self-titled album is great. Still listen to it regularly. I haven't listened to any of their other stuff though.
    I saw them live at my uni during Freshers week, they were really really good
    a-ha - Take on me
    This, so many times. Apparently in Norway they're huge, but from my American perspective, definitely a one-hit wonder. Great band though, very underrated.
    Part of me wants to say The Proclaimers since they only had one hit in the US, but the Scottish half of me wants to say they are too great to be called a one-hit wonder.
    They have a bunch of other great tunes but absolutely belong on this list. Same with Home for A Rest by Spirit of the West.
    Blind Melon - No Rain Heroin ruins everything
    I knew I was gonna get bumped into this, BLIND MELON ARE AWESOME AND EXTREMELY UNDERRATED BAND! The rest of their first album's amazing!
    Yes--And they have two other albums that are also very good, though not quite as upbeat as the first album. Also, none of the songs on the first album sound anything like No Rain. However, I'm totally ok with the fact that most people write them off as the bee girl band.
    I thought he was addicted to cocaine, not heroin. XD Aaah like it makes a difference.
    Smoke a gram of coke and a gram of heroin and tell me there's no difference.
    No thank you. I didn't mean there wasn't a difference between cocaine and heroin, I meant that it didn't matter which drug he was addicted to, the fact of the matter is drugs killed the guy and put an end to the band.
    Drowning Pool - Let The Bodies Hit The Floor
    Little do many people know that the song's title is actually just "Bodies". xD
    "Pity", "Sinner", "I Am", "Tear Away", "37 Stitches", "Feel Like I do", "Soldiers", "Enemy", "Turn so Cold", and "Step Up"
    Unfortunately, no one really gives a shit about Drowning Pool other than "Bodies", so I would have to say this qualifies.
    Chumbawamba - Thumbthumping
    Asia - Heat of the Moment
    You know how I know you're gay? You like Asia
    You know how I know that you're a judgemental prick? You call people gay based on their music choices.
    Spin Doctors - Two Princes
    A-ha - Take on me
    On a related note, 'Reel Big Fish' I don't think I need to say much more than the fact their best of CD was called 'Greatest Hit and More' (Sell Out, if that wasn't obvious)
    Well, no. Velvet? Lifelines? Summer Moved On? Did Anyone Approach You? Minor Earth Major Sky? Crying in the Rain? Living Daylights?
    Spacehog - “In the Meantime” Great song, great band. They've actually recorded a lot of amazing music but they only had one hit.
    Harvey Danger-Flagpole Sitta
    They're a band that definitely needs more credit. Hell, their 3rd album is free on their website and lead singer Sean Nelson's solo album Make Good Choices is great.
    OFFTOP (just for fun ): Haddaway - "What Is Love" - amazing song
    The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star
    This one deserves to make the list. Too bad this comment is too far down the comment section for enough people to see it, let alone upvote it.
    Local H - Bound for the Floor Awesome band, just only noticed for that song.
    I know its not rock, but, Coolio- Gangstas Paradise
    I thought he had a string of hits in the 90s? "Fantastic Voyage" and "C U When U Get There" were also big hits for him. Good stuff if you haven't heard.
    Extreme: the funkmetal band that's only known for its acoustic cover of the ballad 'More than words'.
    How come no one has chosen Cult of Personality by Living Colour?
    Because they had other successful singles? Love Rears it's Ugly Head and Solace of You spring to mind
    Layla - Derek and the Dominos Great one album by great musicians, but still technically one hit wonders
    Dream Theater - Pull Me Under Let's face it, nobody here has avoided dozens of Dream Theater songs, but they only had the ONE hit. They even titled their compilation "Greatest Hit (...And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)" in recognition of the complete lack of big hits they had.
    Wait. Are you seriously calling a band which is just touring for its 12th album in bigger venues than probably any prog band ever except for Pink Floyd a one-hit wonder? The "one hit" part applies, but literally nothing else makes sense.
    we're talking about one hit wonders over here, DT is a huuuuge band, i don't even reckon "pull me under" as such a great song, six degrees of turbulence beats the crap out of it, there are maany maaaany great songs by them, if journey or boston are not chosen for their one hit wonders DT shouldn't be either
    Ratt - "Round and Round" .... though I'm not too up on my Ratt knowledge, did they have any other big hits? Really good band, I'm just not familiar with how they fared chart wise.
    I never heard it on the radio, but I remember that the 'Slip of the Lip' video was in MTV's daily top 10 countdown in '87 or '88, for quite a while (yes, when that channel played videos). I don't know if that qualifies it as a hit or not, though. It does in my book! Ratt & Roll!!
    Way Cool JR.
    RATT is far,far,far from being 1 hit wonders. You should be ashamed of yourself. LOL Other big hits from them: Dance, Slip Of The Lip, Body Talk, I Want A Woman, Way Cool Jr., Lack Of Communication, Back For More, The Morning After, I'm Insane, Scene Of The Crime, Wanted Man, You're In Trouble, You're In Love, Lay It Down, Tell The World, You Think You're Tough, Shame Shame Shame, Nobody Rides For Free.