10 Awesomely Terrible 90’s One-Hit Wonders

Ah the nineties! All the cringe of the eighties with none of the talent. You’d wake up in the morning with your greasy sun-in hair, throw on a flannel shirt, a pair of light blue baggy or ripped jeans, clip on the ol’ wallet chain, and slip into your green colored Doc Martens. And as you slammed your Pogs and snapped your Slap Bracelet, you might have been listening to one of these… (Page me when you’re done enjoying the tunes.)

OMC – How Bizarre

In 2002, How Bizarre was named the 71st greatest one-hit wonder of all time on VH1 countdown. Interestingly, the debut single of the New Zealand group was not allowed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, as it was released to radio and not as a retail single. In 1997 and 1998, How Bizarre spent 36 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 Airplay chart, at #4. OMC sold an estimated three to four million records worldwide, the biggest selling New Zealand recorded and signed record ever. By mid-1995, OMC had broken up but lead singer, Pauly Fuemana used the group’s acronym as a solo artist. In January 2007 OMC released, in New Zealand, a new single, 4 All of Us, featuring Lucy Lawless on backing vocals.

Jimmy Ray – Are You Jimmy Ray?

The mean-a, lean-a, ain’t no in between-a, Jimmy Ray reached #13 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 Chart in 1997, sold 500,000 copies in the U.S. alone and then disappeared-a. Who wants to know, who wants to know what he’s doing now? Ray has re-emerged as a member of the Airplayers song production team, helping to write “hit” songs for other people.

Divinyls – I Touch Myself

One of my favorite online karaoke tunes!  When I hear this song, I touch myself. The Australian band hit #4 on the U.S. charts, and #1 spot in their native country in 1991. The song was written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, also the writers of hit songs such as I’ll Stand by You, Like a Virgin, Eternal Flame and True Colors.

Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

“Tubthumping” ranked #12 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 20 Most Annoying Songs. Chumbawamba began their music career as an anarcho-punk band in 1982, but only gained international recognition with their hit single Tubthumping, when it was released in 1997. The single release went to #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The band later made a documentary, partly in order to update those who thought Tubthumper was their first album, with hours of footage from over the past two decades.

Los del Rio – Macarena

The Macarena ranked #1 in VH1’s 2002 documentary 100 Greatest One-hit wonders. The song was originally recorded in 1992, but became a worldwide hit in mid-1996 after it was remixed by the Bayside Boys with added English lyrics. The single spent 14 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. As of 1997, the song had sold 11 million copies and was played and danced at just about every wedding. According to BBC News Service, even ten years after the song’s initial release, the singers have made USD $250,000 in royalties.

Right Said Fred – I’m Too Sexy

A playful jab at the fashion industry, the song may be ridiculous, but this 1991 mega hit by Right Said Fred made them the first band since The Beatles to reach the #1 slot in the U.S. with a debut single. Though the band has been considered a one-hit wonder in the U.S. they did go on to have several hits on British charts, including #1 single Deeply Dippy. They have been working on a comeback ever since. Fred opened a gym and Richard went on to present Gaytime TV on BBC2.

Meredith Brooks – Bitch

Would we have wanted it any other way? Perhaps. Bitch was the singer’s first hit single, released in 1997. At the time, some radio stations avoided mentioning the name of the song, instead referring to it as “a song by Meredith Brooks”. Brooks stated in interviews that Bitch was almost removed from the album because of the strong language, which according to her could have prevented it from becoming a radio hit. The song ranked #79 on VH1’s Greatest Songs of the 90’s. In 2003, the Bitch singer completed an album for children titled If I could be…. She also produced Jennifer Love Hewitt’s album BareNaked.

Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack

For one week in 1997, the Mack made it all the way to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, just behind Hanson’s (pretty much one-hit wonder) MMMBop. Singer Mark Morrison had received mild success but was known more for his criminal convictions over an alleged stabbing at Krystals nightclub in Leicester. In 1997, he was convicted of attempting to bring a stun gun onto an aircraft.

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up?

Though the song does not contain the phrase “What’s up”, due to Marvin Gaye’s 1971 song and album What’s Going On, the only thing that was up for these four real brunettes was their #14 rank on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 in 1993. Lead vocalist Linda Perry went solo in 1995 and produced hit albums for Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Pink and Kelly Clarkson.

Ini Kamoze – Here Comes the Hotstepper

This reggae dancehall hit made it all the way to #1 back in 1994. The song appeared on the soundtrack to the satirical black comedy about the fashion industry Prêt-à-Porter, starring everyone from Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren to Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett. Here Comes the Hotstepper remains Kamoze’s only U.S. #1 hit, but what more do you need when you’re the Hotstepper?


Posted by Karaoke Lounge» 10 Awesomely Terrible 90’s One-Hit Wonders « Nemi Jones 30. June 2009 at 2:59 pm :

[…] Karaoke Lounge» 10 Awesomely Terrible 90’s One-Hit Wonders Karaoke Lounge» 10 Awesomely Terrible 90’s One-Hit Wonders. […]

Posted by Rue The Day! » Terrible nineties videos 30. June 2009 at 5:27 pm :

[…] was a bad era for music. For a reminder of just how bad, you might want to see this list of 10 awesomely terrible ninties one hit wonders. Some of these I had forgotten until now…of course, not Right Said Fred, I karaoked this […]

Posted by Marvin 30. June 2009 at 6:25 pm :

Hey man, I really dig some of these songs. Especially here comes the hotstepper.

Posted by Jess 1. July 2009 at 9:25 am :

These songs bring back such good high school memories :)

Posted by John 1. July 2009 at 1:22 pm :

Funny – two of these are frequently chosen with the band! Bitch and What’s Up get a lot of attention… I’d have to agree with most of the others.

San Diego’s original live band karaoke

Posted by Michael K. Willis 1. July 2009 at 5:36 pm :

While admitting the cheesiness of these tunes I have to be honest to say that if “Tubthumping”, “I Touch Myself”, or “I’m Too Sexy” came on the radio right this second I would be up unabashedly dancing and singing along happily…sometimes there’s nothing so perfect as a “bad” pop ditty :-)

Posted by JONxBLAZE 1. July 2009 at 10:24 pm :

I still hear Ini Kamoze @ the clubs!

Posted by Joe-Mac 4. July 2009 at 2:08 am :

the best part of this article is the ability to play all the music videos at once and listen to the awesomeness :)

Posted by IFChris 15. July 2009 at 4:25 pm :

I just came to say, in honor of Ini Kamoze, MURDERER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Erin 20. July 2009 at 9:05 pm :

Is it sad that the first four of these are on my iTunes?

Posted by Jess 21. July 2009 at 9:15 am :

No I don’t think it’s sad “Erin” . I still liisten to all of these songs frequently !

Posted by Steve 3. August 2009 at 5:17 am :

What about MmBop by Hanson, might be missing a few m’s there but don’t care. If your not going to have Barbie Girl or MmBop on the list there shouldn’t be a list. You can make a finite list out of this topic anyway you should just leave an open forum

Posted by Ed 5. August 2009 at 8:35 pm :

Most of these songs are absolutely atrocious. I am so glad I am not one of those people who still listens to all the music I did when I was a teenager.

Posted by JohnUK 11. August 2009 at 7:54 pm :

This would be good if it wasnt complete nonsense.

Mark Morrison was not a 1 hit wonder, he released 2 albums in the 90’s, 1 in the 00’s and a new one sometime later this year featuring such artists as T-Pain and DMX. He had several UK top 10’s including “Return of the Mack”, “Crazy” and “Trippin”. In the late 90’s he was involved in serious talks with Death Row records over a 3 album deal, Unfortunately he was jailed and the deal faded away

Right Said Fred have had 8 studio albums with a new one due out later this year also. 3 of these in the early to mid 90’s. They have had 4 UK top 5 entrys and multiple top 40’s.

I suppose if there not in America every day though they might as well be wrote off as never existing eh?

Posted by NonUK 22. August 2009 at 12:32 pm :

Yeah but the thing is mark morrison must have been because none of those groups you mentioned arent very big either.

Posted by World’s Strangest | 10 Most Awesomely Terrible One-Hit Wonders of the 90’s 12. October 2009 at 7:23 am :

[…] Link [embedded YouTube clips] – via Rue The Day […]

Posted by rebelist 12. October 2009 at 3:03 pm :

ini kamoze is a great artist, he made some of the best 80’s reggae/dancehall songs, it’s a pity he is remembered for that crappy hotstepper song. Listen to some of his classics

Posted by Rebecca 12. October 2009 at 4:21 pm :

I’m having 90s flashbacks after reading this post. Have to agree, all these songs were pretty terrible especially the Chumbawamba song!

Posted by discolemonade 11. November 2009 at 12:25 pm :

Like it all and the videos you chose, but i have to say that in your intro when you say “all the cringe of the 80’s with out the talent” is wrong…the 90’s has waayyyy more talent than the 80’s would ever have.

Posted by Itsashirt T shirts 15. January 2010 at 2:12 pm :

I really hate the 4 non blondes song, yuk…

Posted by Reece 9. January 2011 at 9:43 pm :

The Divinyls were pretty big in Aus and not really a one hit wonder band. Chrissy is still well known even now. The rest are pretty rubbish though, apart from Tubthumping which is a perfect sports song.

Posted by Mike Behnken 28. January 2011 at 2:54 am :

Gerardo says this list FAILS and is NOT Rico Suave


Posted by LadyMatika 22. January 2012 at 4:03 pm :

hey what’s wrong with the song Bitch I like that song and also the song what’s up I sing that all the time , especially when I go to live karaoke everybody always wants me to sing that song but I agree with everybody on macarena gaaaaaa heard that song one time and that was enough for me lol that and who let the dogs out
could those songs be any more annoying gaaaaaaaa my 9 year old even thinks those songs are so lame lol

Posted by James 9. June 2013 at 8:31 pm :

LadyMatika, I disagree. Some of these songs are classics, especially Tubthumping.

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