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Why so many one hit wonders?

Posted By: Trentb

Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 04:58 AM

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with one hit wonders, I'd like to be one. I know the business being how it is, has something to do with it, but it seems like some bands can't seem to write anything close to their first bit.

I just heard Turning Japanese by the vapors, this is really a killer song, whether you want to admit it or not, the guitar work alone is freakin great, and it mixed Japanese musical motifs with punk rock. Just a very catchy song.

Just wonder why they couldn't write anything even close, is it the idea that everybody has one song In them. Dylan once said everybody has one song in them... Heck of a track for sure... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914
Posted By: Barry David Butler (D)

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 01:58 PM

That Ah Ha Song was and still is incredible......
I expected HUGE things from then and Nothin....
Who wrote that song ?
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 02:18 PM

Yeah I nearly posted that. That keyboard riff is amazing, and even the video is considered one of the greatest videos of all time, then boom, gone from existence! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914
Posted By: Barry David Butler (D)

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 02:43 PM

Do you know who wrote it and Produced it?
Who sang it.......I never heard a song like that since or before....
It's like some guys landed in a space ship.....did this song and then just got back on the ship and went back to wherever the hell they came from.....The Beatles probably landed here to as they were other worldly.....Thanks for the Cool Post....
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 02:46 PM

The Aha song is enjoyable, but it was the groundbreaking video that made it a worldwide hit at the height of when that was most important. Their follow up video's weren't nearly as interesting and thus they disappointed folks who quickly moved on. The song is straight pop, but the video was novel and novel songs often result in one hit wonders. Rock Power Ballads are another example. Fans often didn't care for what the band REALLY did, but loved the ballad which fans of the band often hated. "More than words" is a great example of that. There was a major disconnect between their usual fare, and that song and the fan bases were separated between the hit and their real sound.
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:05 PM

Seems every decade there are dozens of one hit wonders. how about the verve, they wrote this epic song, bitter sweet symphony, and you would think some other song would be even half as good, not the case.

And these poor guys not only we're one hit wonders, but got sued by the Rolling Stones for stealing the motif from she's a rainbow, and lost! A one hit wonder, who lost the wonder part.. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1lyu1KKwC74
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:09 PM

Originally Posted by Trentb
Seems every decade there are dozens of one hit wonders. how about the verve, they wrote this epic song, bitter sweet symphony, and you would think some other song would be even half as good, not the case.

And these poor guys not only we're one hit wonders, but got sued by the Rolling Stones for stealing the motif from she's a rainbow, and lost! A one hit wonder, who lost the wonder part.. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1lyu1KKwC74


The lawsuit was the reason for their disappearance. They lost EVERYTHING including the right to even perform it. The Stone's lawyer was one of the most powerful and nasty attorney's (just what you want if you are them) in the industry and they learned quickly they messed with the wrong band. That was one of the most devastating slap downs in what was the new era of Sampling in pop music. (Versus Rap where its very DNA is in sampling).

Brian
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by Trentb
Seems every decade there are dozens of one hit wonders. how about the verve, they wrote this epic song, bitter sweet symphony, and you would think some other song would be even half as good, not the case. And these poor guys not only we're one hit wonders, but got sued by the Rolling Stones for stealing the motif from she's a rainbow, and lost! A one hit wonder, who lost the wonder part.. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1lyu1KKwC74
The lawsuit was the reason for their disappearance. They lost EVERYTHING including the right to even perform it. The Stone's lawyer was one of the most powerful and nasty attorney's (just what you want if you are them) in the industry and they learned quickly they messed with the wrong band. That was one of the most devastating slap downs in what was the new era of Sampling in pop music. (Versus Rap where its very DNA is in sampling). Brian
It's sad in a way, the stones don't need the money, and when you think about it, the stones stole most of their music from the early blues men. It's a revolving door. Still, doubtful they could write another song like that
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:24 PM

Well,
Sometimes an artist will cover a Hit song and that will be the only song they release. Sonny James recorded a song YOUNG LOVE and it was a huge it. Tab Hunter covered it and also had a hit. A one hit wonder. But Tab Hunter was also an Actor so the majority of his success was elsewhere.There was a song ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM, by the Everly Brothers, a big hit and covered by Richard Chamberlain also a hit but that was his only song he released and he was also an Actor so the majority of his success was elsewhere. Of course an Artist will have one hit and can't repeat it. It happens.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:30 PM

Radio Payola was also a culprit. Artist has a big hit, the hands go out for way more money the next time. Don't pay up? Don't get anymore airplay, which prior to the internet was your only option, with a handful of historical exceptions.
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:32 PM

Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Well, Sometimes an artist will cover a Hit song and that will be the only song they release. Sonny James recorded a song YOUNG LOVE and it was a huge it. Tab Hunter covered it and also had a hit. A one hit wonder. But Tab Hunter was also an Actor so the majority of his success was elsewhere.There was a song ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM, by the Everly Brothers, a big hit and covered by Richard Chamberlain also a hit but that was his only song he released and he was also an Actor so the majority of his success was elsewhere. Of course an Artist will have one hit and can't repeat it. It happens.


true, but a lot of bonfired one hit wonders don't even have a second halfway decent song!
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:34 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Radio Payola was also a culprit. Artist has a big hit, the hands go out for way more money the next time. Don't pay up? Don't get anymore airplay, which prior to the internet was your only option, with a handful of historical exceptions.


Yeah, I'm sure the business end of it is a major reason for a lot of them.
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 03:51 PM

Rember this one? Lol. 20 million views on YouTube
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc

But what about their other songs.....?
Posted By: Ray E. Strode

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 05:05 PM

Whazzat?,
Those One hit Wonders don't even have decent second song? That's why I'm here! So they can have a second decent song! Most Artists can't write, some never wrote any songs. Geronimo!
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 05:50 PM

Lol there ya go. As I think about it, I think it may be that when you have one song that exceeds expectations, and is really unique, and gets played to death in radio, people are looking to hear something as good, which they can't do. I think when you rely on production your sound can get old very fast

Even Don McLean will never write another American Pie, for that matter Led Zepllin will never write another stairway to heaven, Billy Joel never write another Piano Man, The boss will never write another Born To Run. There is something to be said for having a steady career built on albums, not singles.

Cause in once you get pigeon holed into one song, unless you can outdo it, you could be done! Only the real rock and music stars can have sustained careers with ups and downs
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 06:50 PM

There's a million reasons this might be true. Fans and incredibly short attention span. Band, label, disagreements. Personality quirks. And overall things that just don't work out. The bigger question is why do certain things work in the first place? Very subjective and no one really knows what is going to work or not. So many of the writers and artists I have known over the years, didn't know the songs that became huge hits or even signature songs, were going to do what they did. They almost always believe one of their other songs would be the huge "pay off" songs.

Ray, I have breakfast about three days a week with members of Sony James' band. He didn't know either.

MAB
Posted By: John Voorpostel

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 06:54 PM

I expect there are fewer "one hit wonders" than you think...The Vapors did do more than one album...and "Spring Collection" was a pretty good tune.

Gotta remember there are charts all around the world. Chris deBurgh was the #1 artist in Europe for several years, and is still popular here in Canada...yet he barely registerer in the USA...and primarily for Lady In Red.
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 07:00 PM

[quote=Marc Barnette]There's a million reasons this might be true. Fans and incredibly short attention span. Band, label, disagreements. Personality quirks. And overall things that just don't work out. The bigger question is why do certain things work in the first place? Very subjective and no one really knows what is going to work or not. So many of the writers and artists I have known over the years, didn't know the songs that became huge hits or even signature songs, were going to do what they did. They almost always believe one of their other songs would be the huge "pay off" songs. Ray, I have breakfast about three days a week with members of Sony James' band. He didn't know either. MAB[/quote


That's true a lot of time you read article...study the hits... How in the hell can you study hit sings? Once they are gone, they are gone. It's really uniqueness

Nobody has a song called turning Japanese. They nailed it, they just couldn't do it again
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 07:04 PM

Originally Posted by John Voorpostel
I expect there are fewer "one hit wonders" than you think...The Vapors did do more than one album...and "Spring Collection" was a pretty good tune. Gotta remember there are charts all around the world. Chris deBurgh was the #1 artist in Europe for several years, and is still popular here in Canada...yet he barely registerer in the USA...and primarily for Lady In Red.


Yes that's true, I read the the guys who did Mexican radio, had other songs that were popular in other countries. But, why didn't they last as long as others, sometimes your talent, and your luck runs out

....But nobody talks about the other vapors album.

The point is, you would think that being signed, and having a hit, would give you a much better chance of having at least another successful album or song, more so than somebody who is just starting out, but not always true
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 07:13 PM

Just realized I didn't post the link to turning Japanese lol.

Enjoy!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LR4XNqrqxrU
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/14/17 07:32 PM

This one was all gimmick. The phone number was being called all over the country, and he even had a message in Chicago where he's from thanking fans for calling it.

But I tell ya, I have a hard time turning it off when I hear it in radio
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6WTdTwcmxyo
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/15/17 03:31 AM

This one is destined to be a one hit wonder, I like the song simply because it's fun, we need more songs like this around.
230 million views lol https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6JCLY0Rlx6Q
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/15/17 05:37 PM

Hey guys, I love it when you post something or mention something with people I have a connection with.

Trentb, Alex Call, who wrote 867-5309, is in Nashville and an aquaintance of mine. We've done a few shows together and he always does that song last. He talks about phone lines melting down all over the country due to people trying to call that number. I think in some states they wouldn't give out that number because of prank phone calls. I guess we all wish we could just have one of those.

I was talking about you guys today to a friend of mine, who played bass and toured with Sony James for many years, as well as having a few of Sonny's "B sides" on his singles. Ray, I was thinking about you and asked him his take on this subject. Sonny did have YOUNG LOVE and was a huge hit. He was sort of one of those heartthrobs of that era and that song was huge. While he did go on to have over 31 number one songs they weren't always in the same places, they might chart huge in some areas and not in others, but Young Love was always the one people knew him from.

But Sonny was a bit of a diva ,and while he consistently worked, he made it harder on himself politically than he could have. So probably did not receive as much radio airplay as he might have or been put on as many shows as some of his contemporaries. So personal issues, other problems come up in entertainers, their management, publishers, etc. that have an effect on overall track record, reputation, etc.

And of course there is always the fact of some people only have one really good song in them. Hard to figure out, but I really don't think it is just one thing. We do hear a certain trait in Nashville among hit writers. Sometimes you will see them at a show and they will play their ONE SONG that was a huge hit. But you hear their other songs and the leave a lot to be desired. So you might conclude that they had a really good co-writer (or co-writers) on their big hit.

Always a puzzling situation to ponder. Hope you all have a good day.

MAB
Posted By: DesireInspires

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/15/17 05:41 PM

Originally Posted by Trentb
This one is destined to be a one hit wonder, I like the song simply because it's fun, we need more songs like this around.
230 million views lol https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6JCLY0Rlx6Q

Wow, that a nice change up from contemporary dance music. A retro vibe but still entertaining.
Posted By: Trentb

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 03/15/17 05:55 PM

Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Hey guys, I love it when you post something or mention something with people I have a connection with. Trentb, Alex Call, who wrote 867-5309, is in Nashville and an aquaintance of mine. We've done a few shows together and he always does that song last. He talks about phone lines melting down all over the country due to people trying to call that number. I think in some states they wouldn't give out that number because of prank phone calls. I guess we all wish we could just have one of those. I was talking about you guys today to a friend of mine, who played bass and toured with Sony James for many years, as well as having a few of Sonny's "B sides" on his singles. Ray, I was thinking about you and asked him his take on this'l subject. Sonny did have YOUNG LOVE and was a huge hit. He was sort of one of those heartthrobs of that era and that song was huge. While he did go on to have over 31 number one songs they weren't always in the same places, they might chart huge in some areas and not in others, but Young Love was always the one people knew him from. But Sonny was a bit of a diva ,and while he consistently worked, he made it harder on himself politically than he could have. So probably did not receive as much radio airplay as he might have or been put on as many shows as some of his contemporaries. So personal issues, other problems come up in entertainers, their management, publishers, etc. that have an effect on overall track record, reputation, etc. And of course there is always the fact of some people only have one really good song in them. Hard to figure out, but I really don't think it is just one thing. We do hear a certain trait in Nashville among hit writers. Sometimes you will see them at a show and they will play their ONE SONG that was a huge hit. But you hear their other songs and the leave a lot to be desired. So you might conclude that they had a really good co-writer (or co-writers) on their big hit. Always a puzzling situation to ponder. Hope you all have a good day. MAB


Wow I never even realized the song wasn't written, by tommy tutone lol. We didn't have the net when this came out so we were on our own.

Yes, I believe there were even some lawsuits, where people with the number claimed mental abuse and anguish, but didn't think they should have to change their number...I don't think any of them actually won, the judges probably said, get a new number.

Lol, people didn't think in terms of area code, they dialed 8675309 wherever they were. Then I remember reading that the phone number was sold, let me see if I could find the article

Here it is. http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/02/02/ebay.jennys.number/index.html?eref=rss_us
Posted By: Lilly

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 09/22/19 01:22 PM

Turning Japanese by the vapors is a great song. The other one hit wonder I loved was Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins. It must be really hard for these musicinas to come from such a high of being on top of the charts to losing contracts and disappearing.
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 09/24/19 06:51 PM

You have to consider this about that ONE HIT & why it is difficult to replicate. Generally the writer has had a lifetime (long or short) to come up with their initial "Hit". So you may have to write 50-100-300 songs to get that ONE SONG that stands out.

But of course we expect the next tune to surpass the last one.

It doesn't generally work that way. I just wrote possibly my best tune "First Love, Last Love" 2 months ago since my first song written in 1981. It took me 38 years to get to that tune
Posted By: Michael Zaneski

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 09/25/19 12:36 AM

Just for fun..in my rough guess-timation...


1) One tenth of the one hit wonders..lacked real staying talent..

These were folks prone to the lone "novelty" hit...Listen to albums by Paper Lace who had the hit "The Night Chicago Died" pitch-y vocals, weak songs..Daddy Dewdrop "Chickaboom," Jimmy Castor Bunch "Troglodyte" and the band that destroyed "Hooked On A Feeling" with ugga chagga, ugga chagga..

2) One tenth were too "niche" a market..

Mungo Jerry's "In The Summertime" was great, but they were basically a jug band and the scope of their popularity inherantly limited, as "jug band" just wasn't gonna catch on in a big way.

3) One tenth of them did go on to have other hits, but under other names or in different bands.

Derek and the Dominoes, Stealer's Wheel (Gerry Rafferty), Free (lead singer went on to front Bad Company)

4) One tenth were "crossovers" when crossovers from that genre were a happening thing..

Like the easy listening brand of Country in the early seventies that gave Ray Price (For the Good Times), Lynn Anderson (Rose Garden), and many others their one hit.

5) 60% are a mystery or never made another hit for various and sundry reasons..

Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes "If You Don't Know Me By Now" --one of the greatest vocals and recordings of all time. Made several albums. Same with Billy Paul and "Me and Mrs. Jones." They both had several songs that shoulda been follow up hits, but weren't. Perhaps they were "too soul" for most mainstream pop radio and their one hit could be considered "crossovers" cuz they each had several top ten hits on the Billboard/Cash Box Soul Charts.


Posted By: Michael Zaneski

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 09/26/19 01:15 AM

Five favorite one hit wonder songs

1) If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

2) Walkin' In Memphis - Marc Cohn

3) Me and Mrs. Jones - Billy Paul

4) One of Us - Joan Osborne

5) Have I The Right - The Honeycombs


"Have I The Right" holds one of my earliest memories of sneaking into my sisters bedroom when I was 6 and playing her 45 records. I just remember Pat Boone, Elvis, and this. This is the record that maverick and half-crazed British indie producer Joe Meek (remember Telstar?) took the band out to his studio's staircase to record the pounding bass beat (by stomping) when the chorus kicks in. But it's that warped guitar intro that gets me every time.

Like half the people that bought the record, I probably wouldn't have heard Joan Osborne's song if it weren't for the TV Series "Joan of Arcadia" starring a young Amber Tamblyn, whose career I continue to follow as she has become a well respected poet, filmmaker, and fiction author.
Posted By: Michael Zaneski

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 09/27/19 06:17 AM

My favorite "one hit wonder" artist had 6 hits--ALL under different one-hit-wonder band names and none with his own. 4 within months of each other.

This would be Tony Burrows who sang on

My Baby Loves Lovin' under the band name "White Plains"
Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) with "The Edison Lighthouse"
Gimme Dat Ding with "The Pipkins"
and United We Stand by "The Brotherhood of Man"

This was 1970. The Beatles had just broken up. Burrows, a Brit, had been in bands since the early Sixties and so decided to make a go of being a studio musician, and scored some amazing success in a very short period of time. We're talkin' a 4-5 month period in 1970.

There could be a movie made--in how he would appear in "Top of the Pops" --in three different bands, in the same show! And the show's producers didn't know he was in all three bands, and thought it was a gag, him changing costumes and joining the various bands..and so the BBC banned him from the show, after that!

Burrows is all but forgotten, but Elton John remembers him. He sang on "Levon" and "Tiny Dancer."

All but forgotten..but Burrows is KING of the one hit wonders. Too bad there's no biographical material on the man. I would love to shape a story around him, cuz those hits happened right when I started listening to radio, and I love 'em all. Yes, some of it was bubblegum, but he elevated it..

He would be eighty now, still alive..

Mike
Posted By: Gavin Sinclair

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 09/27/19 03:08 PM

OK, Tony Burrows is definitely the champ. Fascinating. I remember all of those, but never knew the connection. Bubblegum for sure, but plenty of flavor.

I remember Brotherhood of Man mostly for their Eurovision Song Contest winning song, "Save Your Kisses For Me," but that was after he left. Actually, any of these songs would have been prime Eurovision fodder. smile
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 09/27/19 04:30 PM

Man, Michael, those are some GREAT FACTS!!!! Cool to hear them. For years, one of my best friends was from Liverpool. She grew up hanging out with the Beatles, Hermans Hermits, Gary and the Pacemakers, and all those people before they were PEOPLE. She actually used to help carry PETE BEST'S drums in the backstage of the Cavern, because she was too young to get in the front door. She was a hoot. Unfortunately passed away three years ago due to Cancer, but we had a great time together. And she had an amazing life!
She had mentioned that name Tony Burrows before but was never able to connect all those dots. She just talked about him being cute at the time and that he was well known throughout England. That is a very funny thing being on Top of the Pops at the same time.

That is a documentary on it's own rights. Thanks for the info. I'm gonna use that one.
MAB
Posted By: Dave Rice

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 10/09/19 08:06 PM

I couldn't help but notice this was/is an old thread... resurrected to create even more conversation by Brian among the well informed crew that have responded (and keep responding) thus far.

Like Marc, I really enjoyed Zaneski's impressive knowledge of the subject. This brings me to ask the question, "Does anybody remember the song called PANTS ON THE GROUND?" I wonder if the guy who originally wrote it and performed it actually made any money, and where he is today? Yeah, money or not, it would be nice to write a one hit wonder.... I think???

Old guy hugs to all!

----Dave
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 10/09/19 08:58 PM

Originally Posted by Dave Rice
I couldn't help but notice this was/is an old thread... resurrected to create even more conversation by Brian among the well informed crew that have responded (and keep responding) thus far.

Like Marc, I really enjoyed Zaneski's impressive knowledge of the subject. This brings me to ask the question, "Does anybody remember the song called PANTS ON THE GROUND?" I wonder if the guy who originally wrote it and performed it actually made any money, and where he is today? Yeah, money or not, it would be nice to write a one hit wonder.... I think???

Old guy hugs to all!

----Dave


If you mean the army sgt who auditioned with the song pants on the ground, and it went viral, and american idol actually recorded it, I believe he was sued, by somebody else saying it was THEIR song lol.

Im not sure id take ownership of that song.
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 10/09/19 09:04 PM

https://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2016/01/tbt-american-idol-pants-on-the-ground
Posted By: Dave Rice

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 10/10/19 11:08 PM

Hi FD:

I attempted to use the link you provided but it would not bring up "Pants on the Ground." Thanks for trying, anyway.

----Dave
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 10/11/19 10:42 AM

The link worked for me. Good laugh.
Posted By: Gavin Sinclair

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 10/11/19 12:31 PM

Worked for me too. I hadn't seen that. It provided a good chuckle to start the day smile
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 10/15/19 03:00 PM

Here is the actual link to the finished song. To me, it sounds just as good as any other commercial rap song, which shows how much production matters. And he probably made more money than the any of the actual contestants did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxQwV6OWsxo

Another cover, lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNEBwPFZ2dU
Posted By: Jeff Epstein

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 12/12/19 03:11 AM

HA! I do ďMy Baby Loves LoviníĒ in my live set. Itís a great song and people remember it. Iíd like to do Love Grows as well, but I havenít learned it yet.

Tony Burrows DOES rock!! 😎
Posted By: John W Selleck

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 12/12/19 10:18 AM

My favorite one hit wonder is a group called Looking Glass, the song, "Brandi" was the only one that got them any real fame though they did put out a couple of albums. One of my demo guys had a CMA # 1 in the UK for 2 weeks with a co-write from me. He will never hit # 1 again either. LOL!
Posted By: Fdemetrio

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 12/14/19 03:31 PM

There's also artists who have long careers but never have a hit. The Boss comes to mind. Born To Run was NOT a hit and even the record company was thinking of dropping him cause it was his 3rd record, no hits.

They say he was afraid of being labeled by one hit, and avoided putting hit songs out! He gave hits away to other artists cause he didnt want to release them himself. Id say his career choice worked for him.
Manfred Mann turned Blinded By The Light into a hit, When he released his version he probably thought it was a filler song.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Iaca30QbOo, compared to the hit version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpq35wyDi7I

He gave away hits like Because The Night to Patty Smith, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OjW1TDANxk
Gave away fire To The Pointer Sisters, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9S5EZgIJck
Protection to Donna Summer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBzoIJdPiZI

His first hit was Hungry Heart, and he almost gave that to the Ramones, Ramones said Bruce you write songs, write us one! But his manager said, not this time your keeping this one, was his first hit. He doesnt have many even top ten hits maybe a couple
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 12/17/19 01:03 PM

For many years there have always been "RADIO HITS" and "PRODUCT HITS." Radio hits were the songs that were all over the radio, but didn't move much product. The singers were usually flat on sales, didn't have big shows, sell merchandise, etc. And those were usually the one hit wonders.
The "product hits" were the ones who didn't chart much, but moved all kinds of product.

The biggest example I would say would be JIMMY BUFFET and MARGARITAVILLE. It never reached beyond number ten on the charts, yet has spawned an empire that is worth beyond TWO BILLION dollars. It wasn't until his duet with "IT'S FIVE OCKLOCK SOMEWHERE" with Allen Jackson that he ever had a number one song. But Jimmy has engineered a career that is beyond the imaginings of almost any artist in history. Hundreds of millions in annual summer rite of passage concerts, resturants, and now a retirement community that will rival the VILLAGES.

So yes, there are a LOT of artists that derive very long and successful careers regardless of radio success. There are others who are ICONIC artists, that build their own genre. Lyle Lovett, kd lang, John Prine, Harry Connick Jr. and many more have succeeded far beyond any radio success. Actually, I'd contend that those are far more successful than just about any of the radio people. So when it comes to having a career, the one hit wonder is the rule rather than the exception.

MAB
Posted By: Dave Rice

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 12/17/19 02:30 PM

Then there are those of us who experience "NO HIT BLUNDERS"... LOL! Guilty as charged!

Merry Christmas, Marc... and thanks for all your insight.

----Dave
Posted By: Marc Barnette

Re: Why so many one hit wonders? - 12/17/19 05:50 PM

Thank you Dave. I'll dedicate a verse of my special Christmas song for your holiday enjoyment:

"HO, HO, HO'S ARE WALKING UP AND DOWN MY STREET
LOW, LOW, LOW RIDERS ARE CHASING ME
SEVEN LATIN LORDS A LEAPING, THAT'S THE GANG LURKING IN THE DARK
IT'S A NOT SO MERRY CHRISTMAS, HERE IN THE TRAILER PARK"

I hope you have a great one, from one "NO HIT FLUBBERS, to ANOTHER!

MAB
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