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?