National One-Hit Wonder Day takes place on September 25 every year. Our one-hitters represent a special part of our rock history. Some of the biggest songs of rock have come from the one-and-done artists. To make this list, I focused on the ’70s and ’80s primarily. It is a pleasure revisiting these songs. I hope you enjoy the list as well.
How This One-Hit List Was Made
Not only did I research existing lists, but I also set up several Facebook surveys in the classic rock groups I am a part of. I value opinions. My favorite and your favorite may be two different songs, but the conversation and the respect of other views are things that I value in my passion for rock. Over a thousand comments were received, and I read them all.
Some of the bands on this list did have light charting success on other songs, but nothing that broke the Top 40. That’s where it gets dicey. I wouldn’t consider Twisted Sister a one-hit wonder since they also have “I Wanna Rock.” I looked up the charts for “I Wanna Rock.” It spent three weeks on Billboard and peaked at #68, so yeah.. kinda… Twisted Sister is a one-hit wonder. #bummer
In order for a band to be considered a one-hit wonder on this list, they had only one song that cracked the U.S. Billboard Top 40. We had a lot of Donnie Iris’s “Ah! Leah!” (great song) answers, but Donnie had several Billboard hits. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band is also not a one-hit wonder. Billboard lists seven songs in the top 40 of the Hot 100 back in the day.
After careful research, these are my picks for the best one-hit wonders of classic rock in no particular order.