10 Best One-Hit Wonders In Rock Music History

Once was enough for these blink-and-you'll-miss-it successes.

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The phrase “One-Hit Wonder” is usually used as a derogatory term in music.

It’s often code for an artist who didn’t live up to their potential, who didn’t capitalise on the success of a massive hit and become a superstar. To be a one-hit wonder is to be considered a failure.

However, surely one hit is better than none?

Think of all the bands out there who would kill to have just one of their songs become famous, to be the talk of the town for just a few weeks. Being a musical legend is nice and all, but it takes a lot of effort just to get recognised for a single piece of work.

Rock music is no stranger to this phenomenon, as plenty of artists have hit it big only to vanish within a couple of months. They have endured criticism and mockery for far too long, and now it’s time to celebrate them for the visionaries that they are.

Just to be clear, the definition of a one-hit wonder for this list is a band that had just one song chart in the top 20 of either the UK or US.

Got that?


10. No Rain - Blind Melon

Music videos - they were fun while they lasted.

Before the internet came along and essentially rendered them useless, a good music video was key to a song's success.

Make a good video, and your song might just end up in heavy rotation on MTV! That's when you know you've made it to the big leagues.

One band who discovered this for themselves are Blind Melon, aka the group behind 1992's No Rain.

The second single from their self-titled debut album, No Rain grew in popularity through its inventive music video and the character of Bee Girl. She was a girl who dressed as a bee. What more do you want?

It might not be to everyone's tastes, but No Rain sold extremely well. In went Silver in the UK, shifting over 200,000 copies, and it charted at number 17 in the country's rankings.

Unfortunately, this would be the pinnacle of this band's career. Their next biggest hit was the song Change, which only reached 35 in the UK.

Back home, the band haven't appeared in the Billboard charts at all since No Rain came out.

Oh dear.

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Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.