90s One-Hit Wonders That Rocked

90s One-Hit Wonders That Rocked

Blind melon no rain 90s
Blind Melon, 1993. Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images.

We head back to the 90s to relive just a few of the great rock one-hit wonders. We could seriously be here all day. Make sure you let us know your faves on our Facebook page.

Blind Melon – "No Rain" 

In February of 1992, Blind Melon entered the studio to record their self-titled debut album. “No Rain” was the second single from it and was the one that propelled them to being platinum-selling artists, going to number 1 in the US, and Canada. Their follow up album, “Soup”,  failed to rise to the heights of their self-titled record, and with the sad death of lead singer Shannon Hoon in 1995 just 8 weeks later, the band would never be more than a one-hit wonder. But what a great tune. 


Marcy Playground – "Sex and Candy"

Nothing exemplifies a one hit wonder more than these facts. 15 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Number 1 in Canada, top 20 across Europe and number 8 in Australia after release. It was the debut single from their debut album, but can you name ONE other song from Marcy Playground? I’ll wait. 



Cherry Poppin’ Daddies – "Zoot Suit Riot"

Well, this was definitely one from left field. A swing revival was taking off in the late 90s, and these guys mixed it with big ska vibes, and created a bit of a monster. I bought their compilation album of the same name due to the single, and I’ve flogged the hell out of it ever since. I’m a massive fan of what they do, and it was "Zoot Suit Riot" that nabbed them their most success. This was despite the band insisting that the song would never get commercial airplay. They were wrong. In the States, the major stations picked it up and helped it achieve a number 15 spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Track chart, which in turn gave it great exposure to the rest of the world. One BRILLIANT one hit wonder.


Semisonic – "Closing Time"

This is one of those songs that people know of, but can barely remember the name of the band who recorded it. A true calling of any one hit wonder. Semisonic only released 3 studio albums, and it was this one from their second offering, Feeling Strangely Fine that resonated. Being featured in TV shows like Rule Of Engagement, How I Met Your Mother, and American Dad, along with being featured in movies like Due Date, this one hit wonder has lasting qualities for not only being the bands signature song but being a bloody good one too. 


New Radicals – "You Get What You Give"

For a band that was only around from 97-99, they sure hit it out of the park with this one. 

A freight train of a hit. "You Get What You Give" went to number 1 in Canada and New Zealand, but it was top 10 in 5 other countries and top 20 in 10 countries. EVERYONE knows this song. EVERYONE. It still gets flogged on commercial radio everywhere and will have made it’s writers an enormous amount of money in royalties. The Edge from U2 has been quoted as saying that “I really would love to have written that”. High praise. 


Eagle-Eye Cherry – "Save Tonight"

I wonder how many people think that Eagle-Eye Cherry is a band name? You’d be mistaken, that’s one man’s name. And a talented man he is. Fun fact, he’s also Swedish. I dunno why he couldn’t follow up this monster hit from 1997. I was and still am a fan of it. It reached a modest number 20 on the ARIA charts here in Australia, but went to number 1 on THREE of the Billboard charts at the time in the US and was top 10 in TEN countries. A certified 90’s hit, and One Hit Wonder. 


Len – "Steal My Sunshine"

Lucky this list isn’t in any particular order, because this one could be right at the tippy top, couldn’t it? It was released months before their album You Can’t Stop The Bum Rush, and when it was added to the soundtrack for the movie GO, radio stations picked up and ran with it. It went TOP TEN in 6 countries as a result, and would forever label the band a one-hit wonder. Apparently, the writers wanted it to be kind of like The Human League’s "Don’t You Want Me", which changes between male and female vocals, which in hindsight, is the only similar thing about the two songs. The film clip was SO late 90s fashion it hurts. 


House of Pain – "Jump Around"

Ok, it’s not exactly rock music, I’m stretching the boundaries, I’ll admit it, but WHAT A TUNE! Plus future Limp Bizkit member DJ Lethal is in the group, so that’s longbow. This is the only off genre song I’ll throw in, I promise. Thing is, I don’t know anyone who likes rock music who doesn’t like this song. It’s primal, it’s angry, it’s abrasive, it’s rad. It achieved a number 15 on the ARIA charts in 1992, and went top 10 in 4 countries around the world. It’s a dance floor filler, party starter, and a bona fide one hit wonder of the 90s


Chumbawamba – "Tubthumping"

Believe it or not, these guys actually had some moderate success on the UK indie charts a billion years before "Tubthumping" came out. So does that exclude them from this list? No way. We hadn’t heard of them until "Tubthumping", and we didn’t hear from them after it, planting them firmly in the one hit wonder family. The raucous chorus, the gentle trumpet, the softly sung ‘pissing the night away’, the ‘whiskey drink, lager drink’ part, all formed to make one hell of a party anthem. It went to number 1 in SEVEN countries and was a hit in TEN more. This was truly their one and only international hit, and I dare say, made them enough money to live on forever. 


And if you love these tracks then our 'I Like: The 90s' playlist will surely be right up your street...



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