Pick: Do you consider these musicians one-hit wonders?

You know, a-ha had another Top 20 hit after "Take on Me."

There are two things that should be made clear: First, there is nothing wrong with being a one-hit wonder. Thousands of bands go through their career without ever scoring a hit. It's just a fact of the Billboard Top 100. 

Secondly, many people consider the following musical acts to be one-hit wonders. You can find them listed on popular sites like this and this and this.

But we want to know what you think! Because, frankly, it often comes down to you being a fan. Somewhere, someone is a massive Carl Douglas fan who collected all his singles. We offered some arguments.

Compare your opinions to the rest!

  1. Vicki Lawrence had a massive pop hit with "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" but she is also a TV star. Do you consider Vicki a one-hit wonder?
  2. a-ha is mostly known for its song "Take on Me" — but "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." was also a Top 20 hit. What is a-ha?
  3. Twisted Sister is mostly known for its song "We're Not Gonna Take It" but is this hair-metal band a one-hit wonder?
  4. "For What It's Worth" was the only big hit Buffalo Springfield had. One member went on to much bigger things, obviously. So what is Buffalo Springfield?
  5. Devo is mostly known for "Whip It," it's lone Top 40. It's the only song people really stream heavily on Spotify. Is this cult act a one-hit wonder?
  6. T. Rex is mostly known for "Get It On" (you know, "Bang a gong…") but is this glam-rock pioneer more than a one-hit wonder?
  7. Arlo Guthrie had one charted hit, "City of New Orleans," but another song of his is played a lot at Thanksgiving. What is he?
  8. Stealers Wheel is mostly known for "Stuck in the Middle" — but "Star" was kind of a hit at the time, too. What are they?
  9. Starland Vocal Band is mostly known for "Afternoon Delight" — but the band did win the Best New Artist Grammy and got its own TV variety show. So what it is?
  10. Looking Glass is mostly known for "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" — but "Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne" barely scratched the Top 40. So…?
  11. Carl Douglas is mostly known for "Kung Fu Fighting." Believe it or not, his follow-up, "Dance The Kung Fu," was kind of a minor hit. Does that matter anymore?

Pick: Do you consider these musicians one-hit wonders?

Your Result...

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque nec ante ipsum. Mauris viverra, urna et porta sagittis, lorem diam dapibus diam, et lacinia libero quam id risus.
Save with
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

44 Comments

Post a comment
MichaelCoughlin 1 month ago
Devo had several songs on MTV and Working in a Coal Mine almost made it to the Top 40 (#43) and the fact that a-ha had a 2nd hit that went to #20 and that should definitely automatically disqualify them from being considered a one-hit wonder, but they usually get lumped into that category. And even though "I Wanna Rock" by Twisted Sister only made it to #68 doesn't change the fact that I heard it every bit as much as "We're Not Gonna Take It" back in the day on radio and MTV. Radio had a bad habit of avoiding some songs made popular on MTV and MTV had no choice but to ignore some big radio hits because there wasn't a video for everything. It was a strange time. I am always shocked when I find out songs that I know and love from the early '80s never made the charts. and that is often.
JDnHuntsvilleAL 1 month ago
Actually, I consider Twisted Sister a NO-hit wonder, but that's just me.

I have a huge "album" in my iTunes _I_ call "One Hit Wonders". Not all of them really are -- it's just that a lot of them are the only song I liked from some groups. Others I later realized had a second song I liked, but kept them in the album for convenience.
texasluva 1 month ago
72% similar to the most popular responses. A couple were a few percentage points off. The hit songs though I really like. I have most of them on one of my 200+ Youtube play lists. Had Buffalo Springfield as so much more.
Cyn_Finnegan 1 month ago
a-Ha was NOT a one-hit wonder. In fact, their most recent song, Foot of the Mountain, was a big hit.
Andy Cyn_Finnegan 1 month ago
That's what I'd looked at when answering most of these. I thought about hits some of the performers had outside of the U.S., such as a-ha, or groups with songs that barely got any play or recognition beyond their "one hit", such as Devo or Twisted Sister. Which is probably why I scored 54%.
daDoctah 1 month ago
The ultimate one-hit wonder has to be the artist whose only top 40 single made it to number one and stayed there for ten weeks straight.

Debbie Boone.
Utzaake 1 month ago
36% similar. Love this. Most of the questions are argument starters and its responses are purely subjective.
texasluva Utzaake 1 month ago
Yep. Just the eye of the beholder.
RosemaryFoxx 1 month ago
Buffalo Springfield a One Hit wonder? IF that was the Case, then Neil Young should be listed as well. Who writes these questions. A lot of the other bands listed were just that, Buffalo Springfield was much more and gave more rise to different groups, CSNY, Stills-Young, Steven Stills, Neil Young, Loggins and Messina, Riche Furay.
MarkSpeck RosemaryFoxx 1 month ago
And Poco, which was founded by Richie Furay and Jim Messina after Buffalo Springfield broke up, though neither of them was in the group when they had their biggest successes in the late '70's.
BrittReid 1 month ago
T-Rex was huge in England.
Catman BrittReid 1 month ago
Huge, perhaps. But such small arms.
Baldman BrittReid 1 month ago
Also they were nominated to the R&R Hall of Fame.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
63% similar
63% similar to the most popular responses

Lots of 1 hit wonders, IMO. Still think they are all talented! :)
Barry22 1 month ago
81%, what ever that means. Gerry Rafferty (Baker Street) was a member of Stealers Wheel. T-Rex was a much bigger band in England, still revered today. One member of Buffalo Springfield made it big? Neil Young, Stephen Stills of course. Richie Furay went on to form Poco. FYI, for the last few months of their existence, for whatever reason, Jim Messina played with the band. He also was an original member of Poco.
MarkSpeck Barry22 1 month ago
Messina was their producer, who got tapped to fill in for Bruce Palmer, who got busted for drug possession.

The same scenario played out a few years later. Messina was only supposed to produce Kenny Loggins' debut album, but wound up playing on the album with him, hence the title "Kenny Loggins With Jim Messina Sittin' In". The two of them worked so well together, they decided to make the act permanent, hence Loggins and Messina.
Martin 1 month ago
T. Rex and A-ha were only one hit wonders in the U.S. In their home countries, they were major stars but only had a single hit in the U.S. This is also true of people like David Essex, Pink Lady and Slade among others.
Other groups made a major impact upon music despite having only one top ten hit. Aside from Twisted Sister and Devo, this includes the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed, Eddie Cochran and so many more.
MrsPhilHarris Martin 1 month ago
I was a massive David Essex fan back in the day.
TCKirkham Martin 1 month ago
Martin, that's a GREAT point - I mean really, does any one really think of an iconic band like the Grateful Dead as a one hit wonder just because they made it to the top 40 just ONCE, and LATE in their career, with "Touch Of Grey"? it's the reason I hate that term - it's so not fair. Take Hanson, for instance - they had ONE huge hit with "Mmm Bop" and several lower charting singles - 'Where's The Love", "Weird", "This Time Around", "Penny And Me", and a couple others - all between 1997-2003, and yet they have one of the biggest, most loyal fandoms out there, continue to produce fantastic music and just celebrated TWENTY FIVE years together as a band - and oldest brother Ike is barely forty! The only reason any act ends up a one-hit wonder is because music outlets - radio and tv - control what you hear in the mainstream and they decide what becomes a hit. And since that hold started to break in the 2000s, more and more people are considered hits even though they have yet to produce a single hit radio single - Grace Vanderwaal and Sawyer Fredericks are perfect examples - no radio hits yet, but they sell out concerts everywhere and their albums move well towards their fans, and that's all you need in this current musical age...the era of the so-called "one hit wonder" is truly at an end...thank goodness...
peacefrog77 1 month ago
63% Similar, don't agree with Buffalo Springfield, Devo and T-Rex being one hit wonders but I'm a fan of rock music.
MarkSpeck John 1 month ago
I also got 63 percent.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?