Charlie’s Top 12 Rock Songs For National One-Hit Wonder Day
Let the arguments commence. This list is not an official list made by some expert that spends all night obsessing over numbers and chart positions.
I just dig these songs a lot, and unfortunately these poor artists never got a second massive single. Even though some of them are considered Rock royalty.
These songs cover a range of decades and eras in Rock. From glam to grunge and everywhere in between.
1. Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum
The story goes that Norman was watching a Gospel special on TV, and thought to himself how simple the songs were. He picked up his pad and pen and gave it a try, and it resulted in arguably the most famous and successful one-hit wonder of all time. The Kentucky Headhunters version is another favorite of mine.
2. Black Betty - Ram Jam
Black Betty was a tune that was originally made famous by the Blues legend, Lead Belly. Lead Belly's version is sung over hand-claps with no other instruments. Ram Jam took the Blues standard and made it legendary with their cover. My 4 year-old daughter's favorite version of the tune is the one done by Son of Dave. Check it out if you haven't.
3. No Rain - Blind Melon
Tragically, it was the only mega-hit for Blind Melon.
4. Mississippi Queen - Mountain
The vocals, the guitars, the cowbell...everything about this song makes you want to move. One of the greatest Southern Rock tunes of all time, and unfortunately the only hit from Mountain.
5. American Woman - Guess Who
My only complaint with this song is how the Blues style opening is removed from the radio single. It sets the rest of the song up perfectly, luring you in and then slapping you in the face.
6. Possum Kingdom - Toadies
So help me, Jesus, I've loved this song since it first came out. Another example of why the '90s were so good for Rock N Roll.
7. We're Not Gonna Take It - Twisted Sister
It's weird to think of Twisted Sister as a one-hit wonder, but they technically are. They weren't ever able to replicate the success of their staple anthem, even if they were featured in Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
8. Stuck In The Middle With You - Stealers Wheel
It's iconic. It's been immortalized in film thanks to Quentin Tarantino. It's been covered a million times, and yet nothing compares to the original.
9. Cum on Feel the Noize - Quiet Riot
Another unfortunate case of a band who just couldn't replicate the success of their big single.
10. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly
This is the song that never ends. It goes on and on my friends. And it rocks. Plus, the make-out sessions, am I right?
11. I Believe in a Thing Called Love - The Darkness
The vocals were a little bit of what it would be like if we had put Tiny Tim in a Glam Rock band. The Darkness once claimed their goal was to bring back Glam Rock, and deal a death blow to Emo. It didn't work.
12. Turning Japanese - The Vapors
It's almost impossible to not sing along to, and it has been covered by pretty much every pop-punk band that's ever put out an album.