The term "one hit wonder" with regards to music has become almost useless thanks to overuse. Have I really seen Rick Springfield referred to as a one hit wonder? I know "Jessie's Girl" is the one everybody remembers best, but the man had sixteen other Top 40 hits - including 4 others in the Top 10. You can call Springfield a lot of things, but a one hit wonder sure isn't one of them
(And before anyone asks, I happen to like Rick Springfield's music. There. I said it. But that's not the topic at hand.)
In discussing the whole one hit wonder thing, there is a peculiar class of artist that gets tagged with the label all the time. These are the singers or bands who scored one monster hit, then followed it up with a lesser hit that has since been forgotten. As a result, they get branded "one hit wonders" even though they aren't. I doubt they complain about it, though, since at least people still talk about them.
Here are five "one hit wonders" who aren't, plucked from 1970s & 80s music (which is what I know best):
1)Starbuck ("Moonlight Feels Right", #3)
Almost exactly a year after their big hit, they returned to the Top 40 with "Everybody Be Dancin'". It got as high as #38 before disappearing into the ether after two whole weeks in the Top 40.
2)Henry Gross ("Shannon", #6)
After scoring with possibly the saddest song ever written about a dog, Henry made a 2 week cameo in the Top 40 with "Springtime Mama" ascending to #37. Does anyone who isn't already a huge Henry Gross fan remember this song?
3)Looking Glass ("Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)", #1)
Not only did Looking Glass break a single from their follow-up album, it's a pretty good companion piece to "Brandy". "Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne" still only reached as high as #33 during its 3 week stint in the Top 40.
4)Tommy Tutone ("867-5309/Jenny", #4)
The crazy part is not that Tommy Tutone managed another hit besides what I affectionately refer to as a gleefully perverse love song. No, what's crazy is that "Angel Say No" was on the charts almost two years before that famous temptation for phone pranksters. "Angel Say No" got as high as #38 and stayed only 2 weeks in the Top 40.
5)Stacey Q ("Two of Hearts", #3)
I only juuuust barely remember Stacey Q in the first place, but she looked like she might possibly be the Next Big Thing in 1986. Alas, "We Connect" only made it as high as #35 (though it spent 4 weeks in the Top 40 - kinda weird, actually) before it vanished. But it looks like she is still hanging in there, and good for her.
I might do another little survey like this in the future, because the pop charts are loaded with anomalies that fascinate me.