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Love Me Two Times: 20 Greatest Two-Hit Wonders of All Time

Here today, here a second time, gone tomorrow

Tim Roney/Getty Images; Peter Noble/Redferns; Tim Roney/Getty Images

The term "one-hit wonder" is thrown around derisively, aimed at artists whose pop success were a bit too evanescent – how else could we rationalize Kajagoogoo and Lou Bega to future generations? Here's 20 artists who managed to stick around a little longer. By Keith Harris and Maura Johnston

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3. ? and the Mysterians

"96 Tears" (1966, Number One) and "I Need Somebody" (1967, Number 22)

An unlikely chart-topper, "96 Tears" is a masterpiece of brokenhearted OCD vengeance, with ? (government name: Rudy Martinez) enumerating exactly how much he wants his ex to cry over nagging organ stabs. These garage-rockers kept the public's attention with "I Need Somebody," again distinguished by a repetitive organ riff before it breaks unexpectedly into "Mary Had a Little Lamb." A third Mysterians tune, "Can't Get Enough You Baby," wasn't a hit until Smash Mouth covered it in the late Nineties.

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2. Golden Earring

"Radar Love" (1973, Number 13) and "Twilight Zone" (1982, Number 10)

This chugging Dutch outfit's first chart success came from a pulsing track about a man communicating with his lover while driving – something that's commonplace now, sure, but during the pre-cellphone era it required mental powers of a more advanced nature. The strident "Twilight Zone," which hit for them nine years later, is a spoken-sung chronicle of a descent into madness inspired by the spyjinks of Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity. Years after its release, it would be incorporated into the Twilight Zone pinball game.

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1. Men Without Hats

"Safety Dance" (1983, Number Three) and "Pop Goes the World" (1987, Number 20)


Let other new-wavers moon about nuclear war or impersonate post-apocalyptic pirates – these Montreal goofs bucked the zeitgeist with chirpy utopian glee. To hear Ivan Doroschuk sing of it, "The Safety Dance" wasn't just a (somewhat hazily defined) way of moving your body, it was a (no less hazily defined) way of life. The even sprightlier "Pop Goes the World" was the tale of Johnny and Jenny, a pair who form a synth-pop band and remake our culture in their own adorable image. The keyboard hook was so infectious that the most aggro meathead might wish this twee fantasy was a reality.

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