Stylus Magazine’s Top 50 One Hit Wonders

By: Stylus Staff

Posted 03/26/2007 - 08:00:53 AM by downloadsofist:
 not positive, but isn't that Gabby speaking the verses on "Naked Eye"?
Posted 03/26/2007 - 08:25:59 AM by :
 One hit wonder? One eyed blunder. Sun stymied us under. Stylus' premature thunder. Dats a wonder hit one won't ya? I evaporate like the chalk dust. This list is the shitlist. You made my smashfist, kapow, the top of the charts, like a fizz to the sparkler, a wetrag to the flame, a rage in a bottle, the boozed bee's knees, 's a squeeze I been telling you all - A one hit wonder is a song that prolongs justice within its decorum of ephemeral momentary altitude. So to abhor its keenness and reply to this faux-auxiliary putative reasoning, the punters who read this shite, this shisenhower full-bowels to bursting blissdream of aphasia shall inherit the song itself, a single to which your insignifica appellates, scholar. Pertain yourself - I have a song to name but a two. A twat could do it. You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties Jona Lewie. While stepping up to the bass its....Peter Schilling and Major Tom. Recondite superiorism.
Posted 03/26/2007 - 08:41:19 AM by florenz6:
 I must have missed some wonders. From the first ten songs, I only know the wonderful "Money" from the debut album from the Flying Lizards (1979).Strangely enough, on one of my first travels to London, in the Eighties, I had two tapes with me, one containing the two great albums from The Flying Lizards ("Fourth Wall" was the other one"). I havent´heared them for years, but they are still great stuff in my memory: weird, ultra-cool, electronic vignettes with sharp rhythms and weird things and voices going on. Part of my baggage was a broken heart, too, and I still wonder what made me go for the Lizards to cure my pain. It´s so different from the common medicines for grief and loss. It was around Christmas, and I ruinied a party of my old, freshly married friend Dave W. by telling their guests the truth (the whole story!) after being asked: "how are you?" . His wife killed me with her looks, I got real fever, and the Lizards were the best kind of a black hole I could loose myself in. But there was something in that music that made me feel alive in spite of all the mechanical sounds and artificial scenarios.
Posted 03/26/2007 - 09:10:50 AM by ebenoit:
 I am greatly saddened to see the splash page attached to this article featuring the image of Soft Cell. They were a one hit wonder in the States, but not in the UK and some parts of the EU. Tained Love, though a great remake, was hardly their best track, just their most accessible. It's a shame that the US never saw the beauty in Torch (which reached #2 in the UK), Say Hello Wave Goodbye (which reached #3 in the UK), etc. It's even more interesting that the image chosen is a still from a performance of "Bedsitter" from Top of the Pops.
Posted 03/26/2007 - 09:21:49 AM by vohpoh:
 Whaddayamean "There She Goes" forgot all the dark, scary and uncomfortable parts? The song's about heroin!! "The feeling that remains" is craving, not nostalgia.
Posted 03/26/2007 - 09:38:36 AM by scooper:
 @ ebenoit: ha. i thought the same thing, and i live in the states!
Posted 03/26/2007 - 12:07:17 PM by ebenoit:
 Scooper, I live in the States as well actually. I am just a SC/MA fanatic is all. :) I have always hated seeing them lumped into one hit wonder categories in this country.
Posted 03/26/2007 - 12:10:26 PM by cuneyt81:
 I realize Love and Rockets didn't have any hits as big as "So Alive", but surely "No New Tale to Tell" was a hit, was it not? Even if a minor one...
Posted 03/26/2007 - 12:51:56 PM by jonathan:
 vohpoh: I'm aware of the purported "There She Goes"-heroin link, but I don't think it's very important or interesting, even if it was truly the band's intention. I hear nothing in the music to suggest that the song is anything but an expression of joy - there is certainly nothing that sounds, as I said, dark or scary or uncomfortable, like, for instance, some of the musically similar moments on R.E.M.'s "Reconstruction of the Fables." The La's lyrics leave the subject ambiguous, but like most tracks that could be about either drugs or girls, it sounds far better if you assume substance abuse has nothing to do with it. There's a reason that out of the multitude of movies that use the song to soundtrack scenes, "Trainspotting" was not one of them.
Posted 03/26/2007 - 01:21:30 PM by badhaircut:
 I keep waiting for an L7 reunion but it's just not happening. Why?
Posted 03/26/2007 - 07:23:53 PM by boilingboy:
 "There She Goes" sounds better if you ignore the lyrical intent? How about "The One I Love"...a love song? Or "Every Breath You Take"...does it sound better if you imagine it as a wedding reception tune? Many Stylus writers are too in love with their subjective memories. I'd rather hear a song as what the artist intended...for those who look a little deeper.
Posted 03/26/2007 - 09:25:26 PM by cvbcvb:
 In response to boilingboy, the difference comes in the sound of the song more than in the lyrical passages. One of the things that makes "Every Breath You Take" so great is the fact that the music could complement either take, the "wedding reception" angle or the supposedly intended stalker angle. "There She Goes", even if it is a great song, sounds like nothing but a breath of fresh air. So I agree with jonathan that the heroin idea doesn't change the way I hear the song.
Posted 03/27/2007 - 04:57:50 AM by jamest:
 Seriously this list is crazy. What is going on with this. Tones on Tail. Soft Cell... This list was written by a group of crazy people. I have never thought to comment before but this makes ones blood boil. You guys need to dial it back. Stick with the favorite planets or maybe do a list of best ice cream flavors or something like that.
Posted 03/27/2007 - 10:49:13 AM by J_R_K_:
 i'm predicting zodiac mindwarp & the love reaction "prime mover" for #1.
Posted 03/27/2007 - 11:40:39 AM by cwperry:
 To me, a one-hit wonder is a band/artist who hit it out of the park only once but in a way the whole country/world noticed. Some of the things on this list, however, I've barely heard of. Black Rob's "Whoa"??? What??? Who the fuck is Black Rob? I'll go back to my Marty Robbins albums now . . .
Posted 03/27/2007 - 12:55:24 PM by remission_:
 cwperry: as someone who listens to rap music by people other than Outkast, El-P, MF Doom, Ghostface, (insert name of rapper/rap group respected in the indie rock world), it's strange to me that you are questioning the appearance of people like Black Rob on this list. I vividly remember when songs like "Whoa", "Return of the Mack" and "Deja Vu" were being played all day on rap radio. Maybe you dont remember them because you dont generally like that kind of music. I've never heard of L7, Tornados, The Flying Lizards, and several other bands on this list so far, but i'm not questioning their inclusion just because of that.
Posted 03/27/2007 - 01:09:01 PM by remission_:
 I should also add that if Sir Mix-A-Lot isnt in the top three then i'll seriously question the validity of this list, as a large majority of people between the ages of 18-45 knows at least a few lines of "Baby Got Back" and i cant think of many other one hit wonders that have had that impact. But maybe i'll be surprised.
Posted 03/27/2007 - 01:41:45 PM by diggles:
 the group that had a hit with "Telstar" was called The Tornados not The TornadoEs ...
Posted 03/27/2007 - 03:07:25 PM by maciej:
 Yeah, "Whoa" was definitely on BET (and to a slightly lesser extent MTV) like every two seconds when it came out.
Posted 03/27/2007 - 03:30:03 PM by Giantandre:
 Wasn't "Ladyfingers" by L. Jackson on MTV all the time in 1999 and wasn't "Shirley" by L7 a hit as well ... if not it's a kick ass song
Posted 03/27/2007 - 03:32:27 PM by Giantandre:
 I guess I need to read the whole post, my bad ...but I still think that getting your video played all the time ='s a hit
Posted 03/27/2007 - 04:12:59 PM by florenz6:
 Every day there is is one "one-hit-wonder" for me. After "Money", now it´s "Take Five". Thanks, Tal, for that little-known fact. Dave Brubeck was obviously cleverly marketing his success. It´s a shame he didn´t allow Paul Desmond to play the famous tune in a piano-setting. Desmond created a soft, warm and intense tone that was easy to enjoy, but no easy listening. In his late years he published a very good live-double album, with an excellent version of "Take Five" (yes, of course, without a piano)! By the time of that recording, he knew he had cancer and that he would die quite soon, but the warmth and soul were still there!
Posted 03/28/2007 - 10:07:17 AM by cvbcvb:
 Awesome. I was listening to Cornershop recently and was hoping to see them on here.
Posted 03/28/2007 - 10:22:10 AM by florenz6:
 No re-discovery this time, on the third day. Generally I think it´s a fine idea to make a list of these one-hit-wonders.I would like to see the upheaval that takes place when some Stylus guy would say some nice things about Terry Jacks´ "Seasons In The Sun":) P.S. And, please, don´t forget one fo the most magic one-hit-wonders of the 2oth century, Laurie Anderson´s "Superman"!
Posted 03/28/2007 - 11:54:22 AM by cwperry:
 remission_: You're assuming I'm an indie-rock guy. I could've picked any number of people; I chose Black Rob. If I had used L7, a band you've never heard of, would you have written the same things? My point is the same as yours, so lay off.
Posted 03/28/2007 - 11:55:06 AM by cwperry:
 remission_: You also miss my point, which was about what I consider to be a one-hit wonder.
Posted 03/28/2007 - 11:55:40 AM by cwperry:
 remission_: And, finally (this is my last response to remission_), if Black Rob had 3 songs "played all day on rap radio," then he's not a one-hit wonder.
Posted 03/28/2007 - 01:57:16 PM by timellison:
 What the hell's wrong with the Psychotic Reaction album?
Posted 03/28/2007 - 06:28:32 PM by idunnowhy:
 can't wait for Harvey Danger...oh please let them be on here
Posted 03/28/2007 - 06:51:02 PM by phollott:
 The parallelism implied between "I'm dead I'm dead undead" and "I'm alive so alive" is purely brilliant. One pedantic issue, however, I believe the "bagpipe" solo on Under the Milky Way was actually distorted harmonica.
Posted 03/29/2007 - 07:37:43 AM by T____B:
 Pump up the Volume by M/A/R/R/S was collaboration between Colourbox and AR Kane.
Posted 03/29/2007 - 08:57:39 AM by blackrooster:
 LEN!!! That that truly is a crock of sh!t. I can't believe that it got in this list. I do have fond memories of the hotstepper though.
Posted 03/29/2007 - 10:05:51 AM by Ninja_Blacksox:
 "Possum Kingdom" had better make the list. Anybody who thinks "I Come From the Water," "Away," "Backslider," or "Tyler" were proper follow-ups is sorely mistaken. Besides - Spacehog had "Mungo City" and Sinead O'Connor had... That other song...
Posted 03/29/2007 - 10:14:49 AM by bassman08:
 That Junior Senior song is really fucking sweet.
Posted 03/29/2007 - 11:10:17 AM by dentist:
 Surely Snow's "Informer" will be in the top 10??
Posted 03/29/2007 - 11:51:05 AM by cwperry:
 I never get tired of "Cars." Those live drums send me over the edge.
Posted 03/29/2007 - 02:52:26 PM by super_are:
 if q lazarus isn't on this list you guys haven't done your job
Posted 03/29/2007 - 04:38:24 PM by saltlick:
 I can see where this is going.... you bastards are gonna put MC 900 ft. Jesus in the top ten.
Posted 03/29/2007 - 08:47:57 PM by grodinsky:
 so this site has made the full circle of self parody? or what
Posted 03/30/2007 - 07:21:44 AM by florenz6:
 Yesterday I heared Eleni Mandell playing live in Krefeld, Germany. Utterly beautiful, witty, moving! Her song "Girls" could be a future "one hit wonder" (if the people now finally start to discover this brilliant songwriter woman and her new album "miracles Of Five") P.S. No "Superman" from Laurie Anderson on the list?! How could that happen??:)
Posted 03/30/2007 - 07:26:12 AM by kuttor:
 Yes, T____B has right: Colourfield was the acoustic band of Terry Hall, and Colourbox members took part in M/A/R/R/S
Posted 03/30/2007 - 02:54:46 PM by cwperry:
 I've never heard the #1 song. Does this mean I'm outside Stylus's demographic?
Posted 03/30/2007 - 04:28:48 PM by driveblind:
 You already admitted that this list was heavy on 90s songs, so how could you have possibly passed over Crash Test Dummies? There was that month or two where everyone was humming "Mmm mmm mmm mmm." And then they were gone.
Posted 03/30/2007 - 04:29:30 PM by cvbcvb:
 So you say you're going by US standards. Therefore it surprises me to no end that Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners isn't even on here. Hell, I was expecting to see it at #1.
Posted 03/30/2007 - 05:55:40 PM by idunnowhy:
 man what a bummer the top 10 was... i haven't even heard #1 or #2... I suppose if I downloaded them they'd sound familiar.
Posted 03/30/2007 - 06:46:14 PM by barbarian:
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Posted 03/30/2007 - 06:50:44 PM by paperdrums:
 where the hell is "cannonball"? yes, i'm aware they had "saints" and "divine hammer", but... come on.
Posted 03/30/2007 - 07:54:10 PM by jkqd14:
 Come on Eileen? Melt With You? Total Eclipse of the Heart? This list blows, man.
Posted 03/30/2007 - 10:14:12 PM by cinatyte:
 Sorry Stylus, but I've never even heard the top 2 songs either. Leaving off "Come on Eileen" altogether? What a silly, silly list. It's almost as if you decided to pull a rabbit out of your hat with the top 2, as if to say, "ha! betcha none of you saw THAT one coming!" Other than that, okay, if horribly biased towards the '90s. Still love "Lovefool" and "Your Woman" though.
Posted 03/31/2007 - 08:23:58 AM by smezzer:
 anyone who hasn't heard the top two should give up on life. right now
Posted 03/31/2007 - 11:25:05 PM by PlatypusQuest:
 That MiamiHorror remix of "Music Sounds Better" is SO GOOD. I can't stop playing it.