I seem to get into more drunken arguments about semantics more than anything else.
Essentially, this particular debate began in regard to the Bloodhound Gang. I mentioned that I’d be extremely content in life if I could happen to be a one-hit wonder like them.
The song I was referencing:
My friend slammed back that they had two hits because of this song:
If you go by YouTube views, The Bad Touch beats Fire Water Burn hands down (28.5+ million vs. 2.5+ million). But I also know the song Why’s Everybody Always Pickin’ On Me? (which has 1+ million views), and that still doesn’t mean it achieved the same level of apparent one-hit wonderness…
It’s not like I haven’t wished for my own solo hit in regard to a particular single before. I would be ecstatic to have a song stand the test of time like Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl (true story) when I know he’s had other songs (Don’t Talk to Strangers and I’ve Done Everything for You), and I always considered him a one-hit wonder.
So is that the key to my interpretation of one-hit wonder? It’s the song that the artist is primarily known for that will stand the test of time.
Now I know that there are novelty acts that are “pure” one-hit wonders. But as for most artists, it’s not like a record company wants their product to produce only one hit… they’ll always try to release more songs off the same album, or at least one of the following album.
It looked like Sara Bareillis‘ Love Song would have been her only offering to the world until her second album had hits, so…
In conclusion to this Drunken Recollection rambling, what makes a one-hit wonder a one-hit wonder? Take it away, Wikipedia:
In the U.S., a “pure” one-hit wonder is an artist that manages only one song on the Billboard Hot 100, regardless of the song’s peak position. However, most American music industry insiders consider a song in the top forty positions of the Billboard Hot 100 to be a hit. Thus, any performer who recorded only one song that reached the Top 40 is, technically, a one-hit wonder, regardless whether another song peaks in the “bottom 60.” However, the term is more generally applied to musicians best known for only one song.
Or as I said sort of:
It’s the biggest hit that artist is known for that will stand the test of time.