Top 5 One Hit Wonders
1. A-ha – ‘Take On Me’
Tell anybody in Europe that A-ha are one-hit wonders and they’ll look at you like you’re crazy. Over their and especially in their native Norway — A-ha scored hit after hit and were massively popular. They even played at the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994.
2. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – ‘Come On Eileen’
Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s frontman Kevin Rowland says that his massive hit “Come On Eileen” was inspired by a real girl. “It’s about somebody I grew up with,” he told Melody Maker in 1982. “It’s absolutely true all the way. I was about 14 or 15 and sex came into it and our relationship had always been so clean. It seemed at the time to get dirty and that’s what it’s about…
3. Norman Greenbaum – ‘Spirit In The Sky’
In the late Sixties, Norman Greenbaum came across Porter Wagoner playing a gospel song on tv. “I thought, ‘Yeah, I could do that,’ knowing nothing about gospel music,” Greenbaum told the New York Times in 2006. “So I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes.” The result was “Spirit In The Sky,” a gigantic hit that’s kept Greenbaum wealthy for the past 40 years because it’s been used in countless movies and TV commercials. The irony is that Greenbaum – who penned the words “I got a friend in Jesus” — is Jewish.
4. Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’
“Tainted Love” seems like the quintessential Eighties song, but it actually dates back to 1965, when it was recorded by Marc Bolan’s future girlfriend Gloria James. It wasn’t a hit at the time, but in 1981 British synthpop duo Soft Cell New-Waved it up and created a masterpiece.
5. The Knack – ‘My Sharona’
For a very brief period in 1979, the Knack looked like the future of rock & roll. It was the summer of the infamous Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park and many old-school rock fans were ready to embrace a new band. Into this void stepped the Knack, whose flawless debut Get the Knack blew up on the strength of their power-pop classic “My Sharona.” The song was inspired by Knack frontman Doug Fieger’s girlfriend Sharona Alperin, who now works as a real estate agent. Their second album didn’t fare very well, and they split in 1981. Five years later they got back together, but any momentum they had was long gone. They played to a cult audience until shortly before Fieger’s death in 2010.
Credit to Rolling Stone Magazine.