In doing some research for this playlist, I came across some scary one-hit wonder purists. People that lay down rules like 'a one-hit wonder shall only have one top-40 hit; a group with a #1 hit and a song that reached #39 on the charts is disqualified.' Or, 'if an artist who was formerly in a more successful band only has one hit as a solo artist, it doesn't count.' Zoinks.
I'm not a one-hit wonder purist, but there is one guidelines I needed to stick to: I only used the American charts to determine success because things get messy if you start throwing in success in the UK, the rest of Europe, Canada, Australia, or Japan (my apologies to fans of Honeymoon Suite, T'Pau, Modern English and Boomtown Rats). But in general, the only criterion was, like pornography, I'd know it when I saw it.
There were some difficult decisions like including Devo (whom I find very influential) and Til Tuesday (I can dig Aimee Mann, but it wasn't until recently that I knew she got her start in TT). I removed Rick Astley and Gary Wright because they had other #1 and #2 hits respectively (I was quite ashamed that I didn't pair Rick with 'Together Forever'). And I didn't include "Touch of Grey" or "Tom Sawyer" because, even though they'd be nice additions to this playlist, singles just aren't the point for them.
So no, the methodology isn't perfect. And the amazing folks of the King Biscuit Flower Hour unfortunately (though understandably) didn't rush out to record every group with the slightest hint of promise, so there are many one-hitters missing here. But it's an interesting look into the phenomenon. Almost all of these tracks are by new wave or glam metal bands from the 80's. More importantly, it's almost impossible to listen to one of these tunes and not be mentally transported to a different time and place...and I always seem to be happy there.
You can read more about why I love one hit wonders so much on our blog:?