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Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Top 10 One-Hit Wonders of All Time

They just had one hit, but they made it count

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Last week we asked our readers to vote for their favorite One Hit Wonders of all-time. Some famous one hit wonder bands (The Vapors, The Buggles) existed barely long enough to record their lone hit, while others (Los del Rio, The Knack) continued to plug away for years after their brief moment at the top. Some (Sir Mix-A-Lot) revel in the notoriety their hit continues to brings them, while others (Devo) see that hit as the very thing that killed their career. Any way you look at it, the industry is littered with one hit wonders. Here are your top 10.

By Andy Greene


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2. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – ‘Come On Eileen’

Dexy's Midnight Runner's frontman Kevin Rowland says that his massive hit "Come On Eileen" was inspired by a real girl. "It's about somebody I grew up with," he told Melody Maker in 1982. "It's absolutely true all the way. I was about 14 or 15 and sex came into it and our relationship had always been so clean. It seemed at the time to get dirty and that's what it's about. I was really trying to capture that atmosphere." The video benefited from the fact that MTV was brand new and desperate for anything they could broadcast. The constant play helped Dexy's Midnight Runners score a huge smash, but they broke up just three years later after failing to match it in America. Rowland has toured Europe with different incarnations of the group over the past few years.

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1. A-ha – ‘Take On Me’

Tell anybody in Europe that A-ha are one-hit wonders and they'll look at you like you're crazy. Over there — and especially in their native Norway — A-ha scored hit after hit and were massively popular. They even played at the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994. In America, however, they are the band with the cool animated video and the singer with the insanely high range. Last year the group went on a farewell tour, and they talked to Rolling Stone about the legacy of "Take On Me." "I have no doubt that the video made the song a hit," said keyboardist Magne Furuholmen. "The song has a super catchy riff, but it is a song that you have to hear a few times. And I don't think it would've been given the time of day without the enormous impact of the video."

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