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International One-Hit Wonder Day


To commemorate International One-Hit Wonder Day, I’m going to post five of my personal favorites in the category, which I’m defining via the extremely scientific method of pop hits that I love, performed by artists whose entire oeuvre is otherwise unknown to me (Because LGM is an anarcho-syndicalist collective, commenters are free to use their own criteria).

In chronological order:

ETA: Because it’s perfect for a cool fall evening, and because it might be my all-time favorite in this category, I’m adding this at the top:

Danny O’Keefe, Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues

Albert Hammond, It Never Rains in Southern California

Written when Hammond, who is English, was almost literally starving in Barcelona. English guys imagining they’re in SoCal is a theme of this list.

Billy Paul, Me and Mrs. Jones

My favorite song about adultery.

The First Edition, Beach Baby

A one-off studio band recorded this song, written in London during a rainy February afternoon, by somebody who assumed that driving from Los Angeles to San Jose was a reasonable day trip (Probably because the latter rhymes with “graduation day,” and the composer was familiar with “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”). Also notable for simply lifting a horn motif from a Sibelius symphony without attribution (They got sued and had to pay up).

Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Jackie Blue

I guess they actually had another hit but I don’t remember it so it qualifies.

“Every day in your indigo eyes

I watch the sun set but I don’t see it rise”

is a really nice couplet.

The Records, Starry Eyes

Kind of shocked this perfect power pop song didn’t even chart in its native UK and only got to #56 in the US, but that’s democracy for you I suppose.

Have at it.

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