Who Deserved Their 15 Minutes?

Hey guys,

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.

  1. Soft Cell - Tainted Love

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!

  1. Dexies Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen

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.

  1. A-ha - Take On Me

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.

  1. Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

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).

  1. Gotye ft Kimbra - Somebody I Used To Know

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?


I don’t know about favorites, but my least favorite is Crazy Frog. In fact I don’t even know if that Hit No.1. Either way I just really hate Crazy Frog.

My top one is just like you, Somebody I Used To Know. Another one would be Sir Mix-A-Lot Baby Got Back :snake:

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Throwback… I remember she couldn’t catch a break and when she finally did she flopped. She never blew up as much as this song did

Cassie : Me and You


One of the catchiest; artist gone too soon.

Blind Melon - No Rain

Edit: I would absolutely rather be a one-hit wonder; I would imagine that most people don’t even recognize who Blind Melon is by the lead singer or video without the audio.


There was one I remember:

This was on top of ten all over the world in those times, still great listening to.
But it was the only one from this band. Was about 1968

May we can put this on our “Friday list” :smiley:

Would you like to know a such one from a classic composer? :grinning:

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Oooo nice list you’ve come up with already I’ll really have to think about what other ones I know of.

I very much think that smash mouth was slept on after shrek.

For any given year, there are only a few songs that have a chance to keep being played on an ongoing basis. All of those musicians got one - and the odds of that were low in the first place, the odds of a repeat are lower.

Somebody I Used to know will be played on throwback playlists 40 or 50 years from now. A lot of the more “successful” bands today won’t even have that.

I feel like PSY was a one hit wonder with Gangnam Style

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Also Lil Nas X with Old Town Road

Oh how did I forget that lol. Didn’t reply here because I wasn’t sure who one hit wonders were :joy:

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