Making a hit song is difficult. You have to predict what’s going to be popular, come up with a catchy melody and have it approved by your record company. There’s only one thing harder than making a hit song: making another one! These are the artists who had one great hit and lost their magic touch right after. Here are the top 10 old school one-hit wonders.
#10 – “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles
Most people remember this hit as a classic ’80s tune, but the song actually came out in 1979. In 1981, MTV began it’s first ever broadcast with this music video.
#9 – “Who Let The Dogs Out?” by Baha Men
This 1998 single, created by Bahamian group Baha Men, was subject to a 2019 documentary that premiered at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas. If you’ve ever wondered what dogs the song is talking about, it’s referring to sexist men who catcall women on the street.
#8 – “My Sharona” by The Knack
“My Sharona”was released in 1979 and was Capitol Records’ fastest selling record since The Beatles released “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in 1964. The song is about a young girl the lead singer Doug Fieger fell for at a department store.
#7 – “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies
Most people cite Gorillaz as being the first virtual band, but technically this accolade belongs to The Archies. Released in 1968, “Sugar, Sugar” was the first song released by a fictional band. The band is fronted by Archie Andrews of Archie Comics fame, and it was written in real life by songwriters Jeff Barry and Andy Kim.
#6 – “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
“Ice Ice Baby” was Vanilla Ice’s debut single released in 1990. The song borrows its famous bassline from “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie. After hearing the song, Bowie & the members of Queen sued Vanilla Ice for song credits and royalties.
#5 – “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.
“Funkytown” was released in 1980 and describes songwriter Steven Greenberg’s happy place. This disco hit reached #1 in the United States, Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands, and Australia.
#4 – “99 Luftballons” by Nena
This German hit released in 1983 along with Nena’s debut album. An English version was released the next year, but it failed to reach the top of the charts like the original did.
#3 – “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners
While Dexys Midnight Runners had a few popular tracks in the UK, “Come On Eileen” is the only hit single that reached the US and other countries. There are many different versions of the song; one adds a Celtic fiddle solo, and another adds an acapella coda.
#2 – “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
This classic synthpop song was the #1 UK single of 1981. Most people don’t know that the song is actually a cover of a Gloria Jones single released in 1964 and written by Ed Cobb.
#1 – “Take On Me” by A-Ha
This classic single released in 1984 is almost synonymous with the ’80s. The song is most famous for its visually-impressive music video which sees the band animated in a sketchy-drawing style.