It was the Baha Men that first posed the question “Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who?” and our reply was “No one cares. Please be quiet”. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the song from being played endlessly over the Summer of 2000.
It’s a blessing that not all one-hit wonders are as unbearable as that one though. Today I’m going to take you through 5 hits which provided their artists with a well-deserved 15 minutes of fame.
While Soft Cell actually had a string of hits in the UK, Tainted Love was their only song to chart in the US. It was a cover of a song originally by Gloria Jones, and Marilyn Manson would go on to cover it again in 2001. You guys can decide which version is best!
With an irresistible knee-slapping rhythm and a singalong chorus that no one actually knows the words to, this little number is sure to get any wedding party on its feet. Alas, Dexy and his/her midnight runners were destined never to match their first single’s success.
One of the catchiest melodies ever, paired with an innovative music video managed to produce one of the most iconic singles of the 1980s. A-ha subsequently received commercial success after this but Take On Me overshadows the rest of their discography into obscurity.
What’s the perfect recipe for a commercial hit? Sample one of the best bands of all time and try and ride a trend wave. Mr Ice managed to execute both perfectly in the shape of Queen and the exploding 80s/90s hip hop scene. He then managed to live off the success of the song for the next 3 decades, even appearing on the British version of Celebrity Big Brother (it doesn’t get much better than that).
This is a bona fide classic. A Grammy award winning song that was impossible to avoid for over a year and still shows up all the time across TV, movies, and the internet. It’s hard to believe that the sheer success of this track wouldn’t be enough to make a career for anyone who wanted it. Answers in the comments as to why Gotye didn’t go stratospheric!
It is worth bearing in mind that some artists are perfectly content with their 15 minutes of fame without having to stumble through an undignified pursuit of the limelight. Los del Rio, of The Macarena fame, were overjoyed to see their song go platinum but were content with it being a one off. They remain a humble and happy duo in their native Spain.
So what about you guys; what are some of your favorite one-hit wonders? Would you rather spend years touring to make ends meet with a modicum of fame, or have a viral hit and receive global adulation for a short period of time, then disappear?