What makes a one-hit wonder? While these bands might have had decades-long careers, they only scored one big, massively popular song. These 10 artists were blessed–or cursed–with just one hit, but the catchy tunes are so easy to get stuck in your head.
Thanks in part to a featured scene in the 90s film “Reality Bites” starring Winona Ryder, The Knack saw their signature tune rocket to #1 on the charts. And now they’re stuck playing it at every concert for the rest of their lives.
In 1980, UK band the Vapors released a track called “Turning Japanese.” The New Wave hit struck a chord with listeners, but the band broke up a year later. However, songwriter David Fenton says that it’s still so popular that he can live off the royalties for the rest of his life.
It became one of the most iconic videos of the 90s alt music scene–you know, the one with the little girl in the bumblebee costume? Sadly, lead singer Shannon Hoon died from a drug overdose in 1995.
This ridiculously catchy 1997 song from Chumbawamba was a smash hit for the British band. They never saw the same heights of success before or after, but the song will be stuck in our heads forever.
Did you know that A-ha is from Norway? Their massive English-language hit “Take on Me” was bolstered by that amazing music video, which ran approximately every 20 minutes on MTV.
This Scottish band found themselves with a bona fide hit on their hands with “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles),” which is insanely fun to sing along with at a bar. They never had another hit, but the Proclaimers can enjoy the royalties from the many movies and TV shows that have used the song.
If you’re only going to have one hit song, make it truly iconic. “Baby Got Back” is a ridiculous anthem in praise of butts that roughly 40% of the population of 30-something women can recite from memory.
Be honest, could you name the band behind the Macerana before this? The song–which blew up thanks to the Bayside Boys remix that we all know and love–was everywhere in the 90s. You couldn’t leave your house without someone forcing you to do the dance.
Despite only having one mainstream hit with “MMMBop,” the former teenybopper brothers have a weirdly dedicated fanbase to this day. Hanson is still making music–and, to be honest, they grew up into a handsome trio of dudes. Maybe their fans are onto something?
This 2003 hit is probably the worst song on the list. The obnoxious–yet oh-so catchy–tune by Fountains of Wayne is about having a crush on–you guessed it– somebody’s mom.