One-Hit Wonders are ONEderfully Nostalgic!


“Better to live one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep.” – Tibetan Proverb

Today’s nostalgic Music Monday post is dedicated to those artists who — despite their talent and tenacity — ended up having only one real “hit” to their name.  Sure, they may have made multiple albums, maybe they even had mild success with other songs (or even success writing for others). But these artists will be best remembered for — heck maybe they will only be remembered for — their one big hit.

You know the songs we are talking about. The songs that had a catchy hook. The songs that had a sick beat. The songs that had a super cool guitar lick. Maybe soaring vocals. A melodic chorus.  Lyrics you memorized… 

I knew a guy who was tough but sweet / He’s so fine he can’t be beat.

(Yeah, you know that one.  I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow. Classic one hit wonder material).

These are the songs that would come on the radio you would turn up LOUD and sing to with the windows rolled down on a Saturday night.

Turn up, the radio / I need the music, gimmie some more.

(Rock on! That’s of course Turn Up the Radio by big hair ’80s band Autograph).

When we think of one-hit wonders, artists and songs from the ’80s — like Bow Wow Wow and Autograph — quickly come to mind. But one-hit wonders span the decades, and we have put together a YouTube playlist of a bunch of our favorite one-hit wonders from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Most you have probably heard before — they were hits after all — but some may be new to you. Either way, we hope they bring you many happy, nostalgic memories.

YouTube Playlist: One-Hit Wonders – From the ’50s to the ’90s!

Curious as to what’s on the playlist? Here’s a few songs to give you a little taste of the awesome Onederful hits you will find:

Earth Angel – The Penguins (1954)

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – Steam (1969)

Playlist: One-Hit Wonders – From the ’50s to the ’90s!

Pop Muzik – M (1979)

What About Me? – Moving Pictures (1982)

Playlist: One-Hit Wonders – From the ’50s to the ’90s!

MMM, MMM, MMM, MMM – Crash Test Dummies (1993)

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And here’s an interesting little one-hit wonder story:  You remember the New Radicals, right? Their excellent, 1990-something, one-hit wonder song was You Get What You Give.

While the New Radicals may have had that as their only big hit, the band’s lead singer, Gregg Alexander, wrote most of the music for the 2013 Keira Knightly/Adam Levine/Mark Ruffalo movie, Begin Again — writer-director John Carney’s follow-up flick to his Oscar-winning hit movie, Once.  One of the movie’s songs, Lost Stars, which Alexander co-wrote, was nominated for an academy award for Best Original Song. Needless to say, Gregg Alexander’s time as a tiger is lasting far more than a day…

Anyway, Lost Stars is one of our favorite songs, so we’ll share it here, even though it’s not a one-hit wonder, for anyone involved…

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Let us know what you think of our One-Hit Wonder Playlist!  Did we miss any of your favorites?


At the The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.


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41 thoughts on “One-Hit Wonders are ONEderfully Nostalgic!

  1. It’s like a writer producing one novel that will survive forever. Maybe it’s bittersweet, but most people never get to leave such a big mark on the world. One hit that everyone can immediately start singing seems like a wonderful life accomplishment.

  2. what a cool idea! Listening to the mix and now I am wallowing in nostalgia, too! 🙂 Kisses from Switzerland!

  3. We were just talking about a few of these the other day! I completely forgot about the crash test dummies!

  4. Wow, these bring back memories. Every time I hear one hit wonders the song by billy ray cyrus comes to mind. This is a great list that you have put together.

  5. Oh gosh, so many great one-hit wonders, but I don’t know if I can remember their names. Though, I wish there was a place with it all compiled somewhere so I could re-live the 90s through music! One that I DO remember is BBMak? BBMack? Back here Baby.

    So good.

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