Top 10 One-Hit Wonders of All Time.

Do you remember these one-hit wonders? These songs were so popular from the '70s to today that they still get stuck in our heads!


These are the songs we will never forget

Making one hit is already a big accomplishment for a musician. Source: Freepik

Have you ever heard of one-hit wonders? It’s a musician or band with only one song to make it big. 

Some of these songs were so popular they’re still remembered today, even though the artists themselves never quite reached that level of success again. 

So, today we’re looking at some of the biggest one-hit wonders of all time. 

Whether you’re a fan of these songs, you can’t deny their place in history! 

The biggest one-hit wonders of all time

There are a lot of bands out there that had one successful hit song and then faded into obscurity. Here’s a list of the top 10 one-hit wonders of all time. 

Whether you loved or hated them, these songs were undeniably popular for a brief moment. Check it out!

1. Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love.’

Originally released in 1981, everyone has covered it from Marilyn Manson to Taylor Swift. But what is it about this song that makes it so timeless?

“Tainted Love” is both a catchy pop song and a provocative commentary on love and relationships.

The lyrics tell the story of a woman addicted to a man who doesn’t love her, and the speaker’s pleas for love are tinged with irony and resignation. 

The result is a song that is both catchy and thought-provoking and continues to resonate with listeners decades after its release.

2. The Vapors – ‘Turning Japanese’

These one-hit wonder bands will stay forever in people’s minds. Source: Adobe Stock.

The Vapors were one of the great one-hit wonders of the new wave era, thanks to their 1980 hit ‘Turning Japanese.’ 

The song was a quirky ode to Asian culture, with references to manga and martial arts. Its popularity was boosted by a clever video featuring the band members in a range of comical disguises.

Despite its success, the song was one of the Vapors’ last singles – they split up shortly afterward and never managed to replicate their chart success.

3. Gotye – ‘Somebody That I Used to Know.’

In 2012, one-hit-wonder Gotye topped the charts with his song ‘Somebody That I Used to Know. 

The song was hugely successful, selling over 15 million copies worldwide and winning multiple Grammy Awards. However, Gotye has faded into obscurity, and the song remains his only claim to fame. 

4. Chumbawamba – ‘Tubthumping’

The song is an ode to the working class and quickly became a staple at sporting events and barbecues across the country. 

In an interview, band member Dunstan Bruce said, “It’s about hope and survival. It’s saying that just because you’re knocked down doesn’t mean you have to stay down.”

 The message of resilience resonated with people, and ‘Tubthumping’ became one of the most iconic songs of the 1990s.

5. Blind Melon – ‘No Rain.’

With its catchy chorus and iconic bee girl music video, Blind Melon’s “No Rain” is one of the most well-known one-hit wonders of the early ’90s. 

The song was released in 1992 as the lead single from the band’s debut album and quickly became a top 10 hit in the US. 

However, despite its commercial success, “No Rain” failed to launch Blind Melon’s career in the long term. The band’s follow-up album was a commercial flop, and their record label dropped them shortly after that. 

They attempted to make a comeback in 1995 with a new album and tour, but it was unsuccessful.

6. The Knack – ‘My Sharona.’

The song is as a tribute to frontman Doug Fieger’s then-girlfriend, Sharona Alperin. 

The Knack tried to replicate their success with follow-up singles, but they ultimately failed to match the popularity of ‘My Sharona.’ 

In recent years, the song has been used in several commercials and movies, helping to keep the legacy of the band alive. 

Regardless of their limited success, The Knack will always be remembered for their iconic hit song.

7. Big Country – ‘In a Big Country.’

Unfortunately, some bands will only hit success one time. Source: Adobe Stock.

For anyone who grew up in the 1980s, Big Country’s “In a Big Country” is an instantly recognizable song. 

The Scottish group achieved massive success with the single, which topped charts worldwide and earned them a Grammy nomination. 

Despite their brief moment in the spotlight, Big Country is a part of the one-hit wonders. 

However, their influence can still be felt today – in fact, “In a Big Country” was in a commercial for Red Dead Redemption 2. 

8. Norman Greenbaum – ‘Spirit In The Sky

His song, ‘Spirit In The Sky,’ was a massive hit in 1969, and it has since become something of an anthem for hippies and wannabe hippies alike. 

Greenbaum was never a hippie – a folk singer who decided to try writing rock songs. 

The result was ‘Spirit In The Sky,’ a song that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the late 1960s. These days, Greenbaum is retired and living in northern California. 

9. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – ‘Come on Eileen’

 ‘Come on Eileen’ was an impossible song to resist, with its catchy chorus and upbeat tempo. 

It’s one of those songs you can’t help but sing along to, no matter how many times you’ve heard it. 

Even though the band only had one big hit, they’re still remembered fondly by music fans worldwide. 

10. A-ha – ‘Take on Me

The Norwegian pop group A-ha rode the wave of synth-pop popularity with their catchy song and innovative music video. 

The video featured a rotoscoped animation of lead singer Morten Harket, which was hugely popular and helped the song top the charts in the US and the UK. 

The band had a successful career, but Take on Me remains their most well-known song. 

The most influential songs ever!

Whether they evoke feelings of nostalgia or simply capture the human experience, these songs have made a lasting impression on the world. 

Check out our list of the most influential songs ever recorded.

young woman listening most influential songs ever

The most influential songs ever: top 5

Find out which are the most influential songs ever and discover how they changed the way we hear music to this day. Read on for more!

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