Yes I know we did one back in the Disqus Channel days, but this version deliberately disqualifies that tournament’s winner. Also, isn’t it fun to take on something not from the over-represented twin decades of the 80’s/90’s?
Still, there are going to be a LOT of ambiguity/debate when settling the definition of ‘one-hit wonder’, that especially started to get more pronounced this decade, so a quick run through of the bigger discussion points:
- Hendrix Clause – Gorillaz and Amy Winehouse only technically had one (US) hit, but we wouldn’t count them as one-hit wonders, no? Like the namesake Jimi Hendrix, turns out numerous acclaimed/well-loved acts had only one chart on the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 but y’know, weirdoes like us don’t care for such mainstream tastemakers. The more egregious examples like the aforementioned two would usually be disqualified on this mark.
- A notable subgroup of this would be British (or similarly for other overseas territories) acts that tore up the charts in their home countries, but barely made a dent in Yankeeland (if they even did!) For the purposes of this being a mostly US site I’ll take on the controversy a la ‘avocado is a vegetable’ and use US charts as the general basis for a lot of these acts.
- ‘No-Hit Wonders’ – sometimes, the artist’s biggest hit didn’t even chart (at least, again, in the US) but has lodged itself in pop culture at large through media usage, sports anthems and, uh, memes. Well whatever, they’re fair game if you can make a good argument that your chosen act can easily be recognised as having 1) Having A Hit/Anthem/Classic and 2) it’s usually the only song most people would associate.
- Of course this is subject to debate, given that I’ve faced pushback for considering acts like, say, Fountains of Wayne anything less than a beloved talented act. Hence the spirit of enlightened debate here to help stake your claim (be civil as always though).
- Astley Clause – Of course you may face the inverse problem with chart measurements, in that some ‘one-hit wonders’ may have actually had more than one hit! Sure, it turns out Vanessa Carlton and Chamillionaire actually had one other song crack the Top 40, but if we’re here forgetting those ‘hits’, well, they’re fair game for this!
- The THUNDERDOME – if all else fails (i.e. the Discourse gets out of control/goes nowhere), I’ll initiate this snappily-named feature before the first round for the most contentious songs to fight their way through, but be warned…
Don’t forget to put in the artist and song titles for those who may not be able to view the videos!
Hope to end with a bracket of 32 songs. Nominations end 8 October, 10 PM EST