Monday, June 15, 2009

Top 10 "Three Hit Wonders"

Yes there are tons of bands out there that had one hit...but how many bands had "three hits" and nothing more? I call these the "Three Hit Wonder" bands. Maybe Tom Hanks will do a sequel to the neat movie he did "That Thing You Do" and call it "That Thing You Did Two More Times"...onto to the countdown.

10.) The Cover Girls

The Hits: "Wishing On A Star", "Show Me", "I'm Hooked On You"

Analysis: Let's start with a somewhat cheesy yet perfect 80's girl band. The vocals are reed thin but the songs are catchy. "Wishing On A Star" has been remade a few times, "Show Me" has a cool vocal breakdown in the middle that recalls my days of playing around with an SK-1 casio with the voice recorder, and "I'm Hooked On You" has a one of better beats of the 1980's.

9.) Atlantic Starr

The Hits: "Always", "Secret Lovers", Masterpiece"

Analysis: If you loved wedding band love songs, then this band was made for you. In fact, the songs are almost like a trilogy. "Masterpiece" tells the story of a young couple falling in love and how awesome everything is...."Always" is pretty much the wedding song of the couple on love..."Secret Lovers" tells the end of the story as the couple have grown tired and are now having affairs with other people...good stuff.

8.) Ambrosia

The Hits: "How Much I Feel", "You're The Only Woman", "Biggest Part Of Me"

Analysis: If you've been at the dentist, a doctor's office, or a supermarket, you've heard at least one of these songs. The singer's voice is sort of funny in that he has that really high falsetto. "How Much I Feel" has some good background vocals, "Biggest Part Of Me" has the super high vocals in effect, and "You're The Only Woman" has a catchy chorus that I thought for years was Michael McDonald.

7.) C&C Music Factory

The Hits: "Everybody Dance Now", "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm", "Here We Go (Rock and Roll)"

Analysis: The only group on this list where all of their hits were from the same album. This was a MONSTER album with three huge party hits. The guy rapper had a pretty smooth delivery (though he died of AIDS I believe) and the woman singer had a lots of soul. "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm" isn't that great of song in hindsight but that's how easy it was to have a hit in the early 1990's.

6.) Ace Of Base:

The Hits: "The Sign", "All That She Wants", "Beautiful Life"

Analysis: I loved "All That She Wants", I think mainly because of the video. I couldn't tell if she's singing about having another boyfriend or another child. The video quickly cleared that up. "The Sign" was a hokey song but catchy enough where it will not be in my head the rest of today. "Beautiful Life" is funny just because the random dude in the band raps in that low voice of his "we'll party 'till the break of dawn" line.

5.) Men At Work

The Hits: "Down Under", "Who Can It Be Now", "Overkill"

Analysis: Two monster hits and an underrated one. Men At Work was the first CD I bought that I was completely disappointed in the rest of the songs on the CD. Thank God we have ITunes now. "Overkill" sort of grew on me after awhile.

4.) George Benson

The Hits: "Lady Love Me", "Give Me The Night", "Turn Your Love Around"

Analysis: You may not recognize this guy's name, but you should recognize the songs. "Lady Love Me" is a cool song musically because the key keeps going up and up throughout the song. "Turn Your Love Around" has a great chorus. "Give Me The Night" is still in regular rotation on my mixes though I thought when I was a little kid, he was singing "Give Me The Knife"

3.) The Go-Go's

The Hits: "We Got The Beat", "Vacation", "Our Lips Are Sealed"

Analysis: I'll admit, I am not a big fan of these songs or the band probably because they have been completely overplayed over the years and the videos are crap. Still, the songs were huge at the time.

2.) Mike and The Mechanics

The Hits: "Silent Runnings", "All I Need Is A Miracle", "The Living Years"

Analysis: Oh baby, three underrated hits here. "Silent Runnings" has that scary aura around it (I was frightened easily as a child), "All I Need Is A Miracle" is just one of those good driving songs and one of the best bridges of the 1980's ("if I ever catch up with you..."). Finally "The Living Years" is a sad song that I know I will bawl like a baby when my Dad passes away. The scene in the video when Mike Rutherford is standing over his dad's grave during the "when my father passed away" line still chokes me up now.

1.) Human League

The Hits: "Don't You Want Me", "Fascination", "Human"

Analysis: Three of my favorite songs. "Don't You Want Me" just has that awesome bass synthesizer line and tells a simple but good story. "Fascination" is awesome just for that low deep voice during the beginning lines ("Hey, hey hey hey, heeeeeeyyyy"). "Human" tells the story of a man who cheated on his girlfriend but if you listed to the rap at the end by the female singer, she admits she cheated too! (I didn't realize that until a couple of years ago.)

So in closing, be careful if these singers or groups're only going to get three songs you know...the rest is going to be hit or miss.


Jason O. said...

Some good catches, but Ace of Base is NOT a 3-hit wonder. In addition to the three you listed, "Don't Turn Around" was a big hit also. The Romantics would be a good one in place of them. They only had two Top 40 hits, "Talking In Your Sleep" and "One In A Million," and their most famous song, "What I Like About You".

Jason O. said...

Oh, and The Go-Go's? You forgot "Head Over Heels", so they're not a 3-hit wonder either.

Jason O. said...

How about Breathe? Their 3 hits were: "Hands To Heaven," "How Can I Fall?", and "Don't Tell Me Lies." Or Fine Young Cannibals, whose hits were: "She Drives Me Crazy," "Don't Look Back," and "Good Thing".

Anonymous said...

In addition to the catches Jason pointed out above, George Benson also had more than 4 hits. "On Broadway" and "This Masquerade" were both Top 10 hits, and he recorded the original "The Greatest Love of All," which peaked at #24. Dude, do some research lol.

Anonymous said...

Men At Work also had the #6 "It's A Mistake" and the non-charting (but very well recognized) "Be Good Johnny".