Lists

List: Top 15 One-Hit-Wonders of the 00s

The 00s had less one-hit-wonders than the 90s. Everyone remembers that decade’s ‘Spaceman’ and ‘Flat Beat’. For every one-hit-wonder, there are countless career artists honing their craft. But the music charts wouldn’t be the same without these fly by night acts. Here I countdown, and remember the top One-Hit-Wonders of the naughties.

This chart is heavily-weighed towards the start of the decade, as some artists who released songs this year may actually go on to do something more. (In some cases, like Agnes’ ‘Release Me’, probably not, but you can’t really be sure.) Also, this list is not the best songs. No one-hit-wonder could ever be the best of anything, now could it?

15. “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” – Train (2001)

I know they may have gone on to release a good few more albums (including one this week), but on this side of the Atlantic, the only thing that Train are known for is this song. The song actually won two Grammys, believe it or not. But they’ve spent the last eight years trying to do it again.


14. “Bad Day” — Daniel Powter (2006)

The man in the bobble hat (it covers a scar apparently) had that one song, with that girl from the OC in the video. Can you name any of Daniel Powter’s other songs? Perhaps ‘Jimmy Gets High’? Yeah, I doubted it.

13. “I Don’t Wanna Know” – Mario Winans featuring Enya & P.Diddy (2004)

This Fugees-sampling song featured our very own Enya, and was set to launch Winans into the stratosphere. Instead he ended up like many other Puff Daddy prodigies, and was relegated to obscurity. Anyone remember Yung Joc or Murphy Lee?

12. “Graduation (Friends Forever)” – Vitamin C (2000)

Vitamin C’s Colleen Fitzpatrick may have had friends forever with this overplay ditty, but she definitely did not have a career forever, or any sort of tenure in the pop world. She disappeared without a trace after this song. But is probably living off royalties from Debs/Grad balls and class reunions.

11. “How You Remind Me” – Nickelback (2001)

They may have staged a minor comeback last year, perhaps hopping on the back of Kid Rock’s illgotten success, but Nickelback will always be remembered for this one song. It was so “now” (and all they had going for them), that they played it twice at Slane 2001.


10. “Absolutely Everybody” – Vanessa Amorosi (2000)

Released outside of Australia to promote the 2000 Sydney Olympics, ‘Absolutely Everybody’ seemed to be in the Irish (and UK) charts all summer. She released a Best of compilation in 2006, which I’m guessing has sixteen different mixes of this song, and nothing else.

9. “Wherever You Will Go” – The Calling (2001)

The love song that launched a thousand teenage romances in 2001, and had single girls crying and pining everywhere, ‘Wherever You Will Go’ was one of the worst travesties of early naughties pop. It’s probably one of the worst travesties of pop ever. That and ‘Hey There Delilah’, which just barely missed this list.


8. “Don’t Upset The Rhythm” – Noisettes (2009)

I thought I’d be ballsy and put a song from 2009 on the list. But I feel this one is particularly accurate, as their debut album is filled with absolute rubbish (this included). TV advertisements do make brief careers, and this one is no different. You won’t see her again.


7. “Freestyler” – Bomfunk MC’s (2000)

Released in 2000 in the UK (and everywhere outside their native Finland), ‘Freestlyer’ was Bomfunk MC’s only success. Similarly, the album it’s taken from, In Stereo was also their only success. That’s nearly ten years ago now.

6. “Butterfly” – Crazy Town (2001)

With a terrible video, some terrible looking band members, and a terrible chorus, ‘Butterfly’ by Crazy Town was always destined for success. Or maybe they got lucky. Looking back on it, I’d say it was the latter. Definitely the latter.

5. “Standing In The Way Of Control” – The Gossip (2007)

Whether the remix or the original, this song was everywhere in 2007. The band have not been many places since. Their latest record was a stuttering effort, and I doubt too many labels are in any hurry to release another album from Beth Ditto and co.

4. “Bohemian Like You” – The Dandy Warhols (2000)

The Dandy Warhols have definitely done other things this decade. They have many hardcore fans. But as far as the mainstream goes, this is all they ever had. Once again, a song from a TV advertisement, this is one of the better one-hit-wonders of the decade.

3. “California” – Phantom Planet (2003)

Teen dram The OC helped many bands’ careers, but none more so than Phantom Planet. The band that once featured Jason Schwartzman looked set to become succesful like him, but were also shown up to be one-trick-ponies. The band are still going. Somewhere.


2. “Stacy’s Mom” – Fountains of Wayne (2003)

Fountains of Wayne have a lot more songs than this. They even have better songs than this. Their live show actually is very entertaining. But to the casual observer, there’s only this. It’s like the American Pie of music. (The film, not the Don McLean song). With all these new cougar films and TV shows, perhaps it’s time for a re-release?

1. “Mad World” – Gary Jules and Michael Andrews (2003)

It may be a cover version of a Tears for Fears song, but Gary Jules’s ‘Mad World’ was the biggest one hit wonder of the 00s. It was also the worst ever Christmas number one. What a depressing song for Christmas. What a depressing song full stop. Even Bob the Builder’s number one was better.

Related posts:

  1. List: Top 15 Pop Songs of the 00s
  2. List: Uncut’s Top 150 Albums of the 00s
  3. List: NPR’s ATC’s Top 30 Songs of the Year so far

2 Comments

  1. bad list, pal, I read a lot of your stuff and this is actually the first thing i’ve at any time really really disagreed with. Most of the songs you overlooked are cross generational in addition to iconic. your own #10 and #7 shouldnt surface on here time.

  2. My top 5 best one hit wonders of the 90′s are
    05. One of Us Joan Osborne
    04. Tubthumping Chumbawamba
    03. Bad Boys Inner Circle
    02. I’m Too Sexy Right Said Fred
    01. Baby Got Back Sir Mix-A-Lot

    Check out my site to see the other 15!

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