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August 11, 2005

Favorite One-Hit Wonders

I don't know what it is, but I'm having a really hard time writing about sports these days. I mean, I'm still watching the Twins (great game last night), I'm going to the Vikings game this Friday (thanks for the tickets, COD!), and I am really pumped for the Gophers upcoming football season. More about that later, I'm sure. But right now I have nothing to say about any of this. So, let's talk about something else.

Yesterday my brother and I were in the car riding home from work and the song "Amadeus" came on the radio. What a fantastic song. So many memories. Anyway, it got me to thinking about "one-hit wonders" and which ones are my favorites. Which ones get me to stop and listen no matter what? Here is my list:

  1. "Amadeus" by Falco -- I can't decide if the English or the German version is better. Which one has the Motzart biography in it? I love that part.
  2. "Let's Go All the Way" by Sly Fox -- I think this song is actually about nuclear war. Good memories with this song too. In college, my roommate (Curt in Grand Forks) had this song on tape. One day we propped his stereo in the window and blasted this song into the courtyard of our dorm. Needless to say, we were the BMOC that day.
  3. "Funky Town" by Lipps, Inc. -- I don't know why I like this song, but I really, really do. I will always stop to listen to it. I have even been known to bust into a "robot" when I hear it. A very bad "robot" mind you, but as I've said before, I've got nothing to prove to anyone.
  4. "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell -- This usually tops most people's lists. And it is also up there for me. Good Levi's commercial based on this one.
  5. "The Promise" by When in Rome -- If you don't recognize this one you would if you heard it. Just a fantastic song. Re-introduced to me by Napoleon Dynamite.
  6. "Pump Up the Volume" by M/A/R/R/S -- Good movie, good song. I wish they would play this one more on the radio.
  7. "Whip It" by Devo -- This song is so lame it is good. Wasn't it written some MIT graduates? What is the story behind this song?

That's it for now. Obviously there are more "one-hit wonders" but these are my favorites. Feel free to add your own.

Posted by snackeru at August 11, 2005 8:59 AM | Lists


Cameo's "Word Up" cannot be denied. The single best example of the nasal "funk voice" - a style that never fails to amuse.

Posted by: Chapman at August 11, 2005 11:12 AM

If Devo qualifies as a one hit wonder, then I may go with Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out." Though he has a couple other minor hits, like "Is She Really Goin' Out with Him" reintroduced in "There's Something About Mary," I believe. (This disc is worth it.)

Another favorite is Level 42's "Something About You." Level 42 was a very tight jazz grove instrumental band that got forced to "pop it up and add lyrics." They were a great band. (Another disc worth every penny.)

As you can guess, I love both those artists. Joe Jackson is still puttin' out music. Level 42 isn't - as a band anyway.

Looking through some lists, I also see some other wonderous wonders:

"Der Kommissar" by After the Fire
"Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell
"Take on Me" by A-Ha
"Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora
"When I'm with You" by Sheriff
"Waiting for a Star to Fall" by Boy Meets Girl
"Turing Japanese" by Vapors
"Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners
"867-5309/Jenny" by Tommy Tutone
"The Captain of Her Heart" by Double
"Walk the Dinosaur" by Was (Not Was)
"I Melt with You" by Modern English
"What I Am" by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians
"I Got a Girl" by Tripping Daisy

Note: I'm not necessarily saying I liked all of the above songs.

Posted by: bjhess at August 11, 2005 1:43 PM

Oh, and never forget "Rico Suave" by Gerardo.

Posted by: bjhess at August 11, 2005 1:45 PM

I can't hear Golden Earring's "Twilight Zone" without feeling ten - fifteen years younger. Great song.

Posted by: cheesehead's wife at August 11, 2005 1:58 PM

Wow! Good suggestions everyone! I forgot to mention "Whoever You Are" by Geggy Tah and "In the Meantime" by Spacehog. We've discussed these before, though...

Posted by: Shane at August 11, 2005 5:25 PM

Devo did a cover of "Satisfaction" that alternatively humored and infuriated me.

Posted by: SBG at August 11, 2005 7:40 PM

Not sure if it counts as one hit wonder, but "Joey" by Concrete Blonde always brings me to tears. Unrecognized genius and unrequited love are the saddest things in this world.

Posted by: cheesehead's wife at August 11, 2005 9:46 PM

I think Brett Favre and the Packers are one hit wonders. Does that count?

Posted by: Brian Maas at August 11, 2005 10:07 PM

FYI: Lipps Inc was a Minneapolis Band and Funky town is about Minneapolis... Perhaps that is why you like it???

Posted by: DouglasG at August 23, 2005 8:49 PM

Holy cow, Douglas! I had no idea. Thanks for that interesting tidbit. My love of that song all makes sense now!

Posted by: Shane at August 24, 2005 1:10 PM

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