One hit wonders.
When you think of a one hit wonder, often times you think of that amazing song that you were listening to that one time with that one person. More often than not you remember the music, melody, and lyrics but you don’t remember the band/group/singer who performed/rapped/sang it. Some one hit wonders are so obscure you’re not sure you even remember if you ever knew who the hit belonged to. Others belong to bands/groups/singers who your memory tells you had several, if not dozens of hits.
Regardless, one hit wonders always tug at our heart strings. They take us on a nostalgic journey back to a time when life was simpler. They take us back to Junior Prom. To high school graduation. To the first time you kissed someone. These songs, whether we loved them or not, help us hold special memories from different times in our lives. In this case, the memories from the 1990’s.
Before we get to the list, we have to set the rules. To qualify as a one hit wonder here you have to fit under the following criteria:
- The song has to have been released as a single in the 90’s.
- The song has to have made the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
- No other song by this artist can have the same criteria (single in the 90’s, top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 list).
24. Onyx “Slam”
Nothing said “get off your couch and move” like Slam. When this track spun at your junior high school dance all the boys went nuts. “Let the boys be boys” became theme for a lot of 90’s pre-dudes.
23. Wreckx-n-Effect “Rump Shaker”
Yeah, you remember this song. The second you hit play you know you’re about to teleport back to the time when all you wanted to do was see someone shake their rump… even if you didn’t know why.
22. Tag Team “Whoomp! (There It Is)”
Chances are you’ve heard this song about 42,673 times. And you know all the words. And every time you hear it you can’t help but “WHOOMP!”
21. Urban Dance Squad ” Deeper Shade of Soul”
This song is weird, but it made you want to go outside in the sun, ride your skateboard, and just chill. “Mellow. That’s my style.”
20. Lou Bega “Mambo No. 5”
Don’t pretend you didn’t sing along to this song. You know you wanted a little bit of Monica in your life…
19. Cypress Hill “Insane in the Brain”
A lot of kids in your school said, “Who you tryin’ to get crazy with, esé? Don’t you know I’m loco?” Even though they had no idea what it meant.
18. Paperboy “Ditty”
This is just a great song. Paperboy really knew how to lay it down. Hit play… You’ll remember.
17. Skee-Lo “I Wish”
Every dude wished he were a little bit taller. And that he was a baller. And had a girl who looked good so he could call her. And that he had a ’64 Impala. Not sure about the rabbit and a hat with a bat though.
16. House of Pain “Jump Around”
Actual 9th grade conversation: Me “Who are these guys?” My friend: “Some dudes from Ireland.” Me: “Ireland?!” My friend: “Yeah. We should move there. We could totally be rap stars.” Me: “Um… ok.” In case you were wondering, we didn’t move there and House of Pain are NOT from Ireland.
15. Silverchair “Tomorrow”
Everyone was calling Silverchair the next best band ever when “Tomorrow” hit the airwaves. Bet you can’t name another song of theirs…
14. Chris Gaines (Garth Brooks) “Lost In You”
Ok, I know country fans out there are calling for my head right now. How dare I say Garth Brooks is a one hit wonder. Well, we all know he isn’t. His alter ego Chris Gaines, however, is.
13. DNA “Tom’s Diner”
This song always made you think someone was peeking through your window at you. Still does… even when your window is on the 3rd floor of a building downtown.
12. Biz Markie “Just a Friend”
These days most people remember Biz Markie because he was a recent contestant on Celebrity Fit Club. But way back in 1990 Biz hit us with “Just a Friend” and stayed in our heads for years to come.
11. Green Jelly “Three Little Pigs”
Originally called Green Jello (until a copyright lawsuit popped up), heavy metal band Green Jelly got HUGE for a minute when they re-told the story of the three little pigs in a very angry way. I remember a lot of people telling me this band was from Utah because they named themselves after the State’s favorite dessert. FYI, they’re not from Utah.
10. Tom Cochrane “Life Is A Highway”
Some people reading this are saying, “Wait… This is a Rascal Flatts song.” Nope. Tom Cochrane originally made this song a hit. And never had another one. Both versions here for your listening pleasure (or pain).
9. Right Said Fred “I’m Too Sexy”
Even though you probably hated this song, you still listened to it 1,426 times.
8. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones “The Impression That I Get”
SKA! From the band who legitimized Ska for a generation, had a cameo in “Clueless”, and made you realize a Boston tough guy could make some really happy music. Probably surprises some people that the Bosstones only had one hit. Won’t surprise them that this song was the hit.
7. The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”
You heard this song so much you would walk 500 miles if you never had to hear it again… or any of the 56,887 cover versions of it. Except the MxPx one. That one is still cool.
6. Sir Mix-a-Lot “Baby Got Back”
As your parents will tell you, Sir Mix-a-Lot wasn’t the first guy to make, um, plus sized rear ends a priority. Freddy Mercury did it first with “Fat Bottomed Girls”. If you’re still reading this article, however, you liked ’em because this rapper from Seattle told you to.
5. Blind Melon “No Rain”
Some will argue that this would not have been Blind Melon’s only hit if singer Shannon Hoon didn’t overdose on cocaine. Unfortunately he did, and this is all we got.
4. Steelheart “I’ll Never Let You Go”
You probably played this song for more than one girl hoping it would get you to second base. It probably worked.
3. Beck “Loser”
Hard to believe this guy had only one “hit”. Not hard to believe it was this song.
2. The Offspring “Come Out and Play”
Another surprise… until you remember that these guys released a ton of popular stuff after 2000.
1. Sublime “What I Got”
Maybe the biggest surprise of all. You know this band. You love this band. If Bradley Nowell hadn’t died of a heroin overdose right before this song and album dropped, I have no doubt they wouldn’t be represented on this list. Sadly, they are.