As a child, I fell in love with Rupert Holmes ‘Piña Colada Song’, a jaunty tune about infidelity, rudeness and general relationship apathy that rhymes “in the rain” with “half a brain”.  Ralph Waldo Emerson it ain’t, is what I’m saying, but it did preface my love for goofy one-shot superheroes like Skateman and the half-season of ‘Automan’ I saw in middle school.  All in all, most of the space on my MP3 player is occupied by bands that never hit big again, interspersed with The Monkees entire discography and a bunch of George Carlin monologues.  In a fit of what is probably actually irony, one of them is ‘That Thing You Do’, a song from a movie that satirizes the entire idea of the one-hit wonder, leading us to today’s earwormy query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) has a deep love for The Strawberry Alarm Clock of ‘Incense And Peppermints‘ fame, but that may just be the name, asking: Who or what is your favorite one-hit wonder?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Most of mine come from the late 90s because that was my early teenage years. I loved Chumbawamba, Natalie Imbruglia, and LEN. I loved every song that was on their album but they never had anything other than their one song.

  2. Daniel Langsdale on

    Doing some web research to figure out who/what qualifies as a “one-hit wonder,” I’ve found many that I quie like and many I’m fine they were never heard from again.

    I’ve decided that my favorite of the has to be Joey Scarbury’s “Believe It Or Not” theme for The Greatest American Hero, which apparently charted in 1981. A close second was Alannah Myles and “Black Velvet,” but that might be as much to do with the sultriness of the video than the song.

    Honorable mention has to go to The Grateful Dead who apparently only ever cracked the charts with “Touch of Grey” in 1987.

    Also notable are the number of actors in the 1980s who qualify, including Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, Don Johnson, and Bruce Willis.

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