One-Hit Wonderful – "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

kingslp.jpgIn my opinion, the greatest one-hit wonder in history is the sublime Louie Louie by The Kingsmen. Stupidly catchy organ backed by a pounding primal beat with fratboy wailing atop… it was always gonna shake up and wake up the world.
“Louie Louie” was actually written by Richard Berry in 1955 and has since become a garage hymn and a standard to everyone else. The Kingsmen’s ’63 version is still the best known, and hilariously, was the subject of an FBI investigation about the supposed obscenity of the lyrics. After a few listens, the investigation ended without prosecution (and probably a buncha men in suits doin’ the mash potato). Click over to see The Kingsmen performing the song live on the legendary Shindig! show way back when…

Continue reading »

One-Hit Wonderful – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich's "Legend of Xanadu"

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

xanadu.jpgOnce upon a time, there were five pals from Wiltshire, who christened themselves Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. An interesting band monicker I think you’ll agree. The group had one of the biggest hits of the sixties with the wonderful Latin and whip flavoured Legend of Xanadu.
The vocalist Davy Dee was an ex-policeman and, for ace rock ‘n’ roll trivia, was at the scene of the car accident that took the life of American rocker Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee had taken Cochran’s guitar from the accident and held it until it could be returned to his family. Did Cochran’s death pass the torch from one rocker to another? Probably not, but Legend of Xanadu is a blinding little track. If you haven’t heard the track, click over for a listen… but be warned, you’ll be humming it all weekend and it’s likely that you might go window shopping for a whip…

Continue reading »

One-Hit Wonderful – The Trashmen's Surfin' Bird

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

trashmen.JPGOne of the greatest one-hitters of all time is the delightfully nonsensical racket of Surfin’ Bird by The Trashmen. Surfin’ Bird was a huge hit with the soldiers in Vietnam, testified by its appearance in ‘Nam flick Full Metal Jacket. The track was also a firm fave amongst the punk fraternity, being covered by the Ramones, The Deviants and The Cramps, before being championed by the oddball Pee-Wee Herman.
The lyrics sound like they took minutes to come up with. Well, they took even less time than that as the bulk is lifted from the titles of two different tracks, the first being The Rivingtons’ Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow, and another Rivingtons’ track, The Bird Is The Word from 1963. This should be a karaoke classic as you don’t have much to remember and you don’t really need a decent singing voice… the trademark of a truly great one-hit wonder! Click over the jump to listen to the glorious noise of Surfin’ Bird!

Continue reading »

One-Hit Wonderful – Lene Lovich's 'Lucky Number'

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

Sometimes, a record appears from nowhere. It sounds and looks like nothing else. It’s weird. It’s catchy. It’s… something. One such hit was ‘Lucky Number‘ from the marvellously bonkers Lene Lovich. Released on the hip Stiff record label, Lucky Number stormed the charts and left people dancing… and scratcing their heads. Have a listen to it and think of a recent(ish) Gwen Stefani tune and then tell me where she got her vocal style from…

[video Leouiche]

One-Hit Wonderful – I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) by The First Edition

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

One-hit wonder is a bit of a woolly term… sometimes a ‘hit’ can be something that achieved notoriety long after release without a subsequent reissue. One such track is the stupendous I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) by The First Edition. The group, normally a bunch of country rockers, starred a young Kenny Rogers up on the mic, and was made famous by its appearance in the sublime The Big Lebowski. So, let’s fly into the weekend in a psychedelic fuzz with a brilliant performance of the track on the legendary Smothers Brothers Hour.
[video 2old2rock]

One-Hit Wonderful – Count Five's Psychotic Reaction

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction is probably my favourite one-hit wonder of all time. Hitting the top 5 of the American charts in 1966, this Yardbirds-y rocker was the true sound of punk, dealingas it did with juvenile issues over wiry snotty guitars. Legendary rock ranter Lester Bangs described the song as “a real schlockhouse grinder” which sums up this rockin’ rattler superbly. Sit back and dig the sound of garage punk:

[video provided by blurpnroll]

One-Hit Wonderful – Middle of the Road's 'Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep'

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

I saw a pal recently and recalled that once, whilst very very drunk, we had a dance to the preposterous one-hit novelty record, ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep‘ by the aptly named Middle of the Road. Of course, I’m not proud of my shimmy to this… so all I can hope for is that it gets stuck in your head like it’s been stuck in mine all week.

[video provided by monre]

One-Hit Wonderful: Streetband – 'Toast'

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

The one hit wonder is the perfect place to find the more unusual pop song. Think Mr Blobby. Think Popcorn by Hot Butter (although it was a cover of a Gershon Kingsley track, it was only a hit once). Well, here’s a nice little oddity about everybody’s fave breakfast grub, toast. Yep, Toast by The Streetband sneaked into the charts in 1978 and featured a fresh faced Paul Young on the mic. Watch the video below and start dreaming of all the things you can have on toast.
[video provided by TheCatKeaton]

One-Hit Wonderful – Was (Not Was) 'Everybody Walk The Dinosaur'

One-Hit Wonderful, Video

No Comments

On this very day in 1952, David Was of Was (Not Was) was born. You may not recall the name Was (Not Was) by virtue of the fact it’s a terrible monicker… but you may recall the big hit Everybody Walk The Dinosaur. It’s far from a great record and you’ll inevitably have it stuck in your head all weekend. I’m sorry about that… but it is David Was’ birthday!