It will never be designated as a National Holiday, but the yearly occasion is certainly worth celebrating. Oldies stations across the country paid due tribute to September 25, known to music lovers as National One Hit Wonder Day.
Over the past six decades, hundreds of performers have become associated with just one hit that appeared on the charts. Some of the most obvious are Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance” and Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out.”
Many of these bands have actually enjoyed long careers with legions of faithful fans, people who appreciate the bulk of the group’s work beyond just the most recognized tune. Frank Zappa, who charted only once with “Valley Girl,” is a prime example. He is revered as one of the most influential artists in the history of rock.
Here are ten one hit artists who have better songs than their most well-known hit.
Fountains of Wayne Known For Stacy’s Mom
Nearly every song in this power pop band’s twenty year catalogue trumps their one hit, especially gems like “Hackensack” and “Red Dragon Tattoo.”
Jigsaw Known For Sky High
On the flip side of the same album as the above you can find “Love Fire”, which is even catchier than the chart topping title track.
Mott The Hoople Known For All The Young Dudes
David Bowie gave fellow Brit Ian Hunter this hit, but the latter himself wrote even better tunes like “All the Way To Memphis” and “I Wish I Was Your Mother.”
The Knack Known For My Sharona
Doug Feiger and Breton Averre struck gold with this number one, only to see better songs like “Art War” and “Another Lousy Day In Paradise” go virtually unnoticed.
T. Rex Known for Bang a Gong (Get It On)
Pick any song from Marc Bolan’s discography, be it “Ride a White Swan” or “Mambo Sun” or “Jeepster” among dozens of others, and you will wonder why Gong gave the band its only mainstream recognition.
Jo Jo Gunne Known for Run Run Run
Although scampering through the charts and bringing recognition to the group’s debut album, it is the sophomore record Bite Down Hard that holds superior tunes like “Ready Freddy.”
Terry Jacks Known For Seasons In The Sun
Tracks like “Concrete Sea” and “The Love Game” are better than Jacks’ well-known version of the Rod McKuen composition.
Deep Blue Something For Breakfast At Tiffany’s
“Home” is the title track, and it is even better than the song named after Truman Capote’s book.
Semisonic For Closing Time
Sports arena are constantly playing the hit by Dan Wilson’s Nineties band, but their best track came an album earlier with “Brand New Baby.”
Ben Folds Five For Brick
Piano-pounding Folds found some recognition when he served as a judge on a prime time network game show years after his only hit, while also managing to create many superior tunes like “Rockin’ the Suburbs” and “Zak and Sara.”