Published on September 25th, 2012 | by Alan Cross2
Why I Won’t Be Celebrating One-Hit-Wonder Day
Apparently today is when we’re supposed to salute acts who have had one–and just one–chart hit. Not me. Why? Because the concept of a one hit wonder (hereafter referred to as a OHW) is just too damned fuzzy. The definition of a OHW is both too narrow and too broad.
An infographic in today’s Toronto Sun lists the following songs as OHWs:
- “Whip It”/Devo
- “Take on Me”/a-ha
- “Tainted Love”/Soft Cell
- “She Blinded Me with Science”/Thomas Dolby
- “Nothing Compares 2 U”/Sinead O’Connor
See the problem? If you’re remotely familiar with any of those acts, you’ll know that they’re famous for more than just the one song yet they’re lumped into the same categorie as ilk from Los del Rio (“The Macarena”), Carl Douglas (“Kung Fu Fighting”) and Rick Dees (“Disco Duck”).
And look some of these other supposed OHWs. Blind Melon fans will fight to the death if you suggest that the only song that mattered from them was “No Rain.” “Jump Around” is the only important song from House of Pain? What about the other (British) chart hits for Dexy’s Midnight Runners beyond “Come on Eileen?” And Dee Snider has to be pissed about being called a OHW for “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
So what does qualify as a geniune OHW? Consulting Wikipedia, there are no fewer than 15 caveats and definitions. You try and figure it out.
But don’t let me stop you. If you want to spend the day listening to dreck like “Afternoon Delight” (Starland Vocal Band, 1976), “How Bizarre” (OMC, 1996) and–ugh–“Cotten Eye Joe” (Red Nex, 1994), fill yer boots. Just beware of the earworms and the brain damage.