The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s Bands/Musicians

The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s

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One hit wonders from the 1970s, listed by performer. This is a list of popular 70s songs from bands or artists who only had one single reach the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. Many of these bands and artists had extensive careers, either in the US or other countries, they just didn't ever have another single reach the Top 40 after the songs on this list.Vote up and down your faves!

Many of the bands and artists listed had popular hits in their native countries. For example, Shocking Blue's only breakthrough song in America was the now-iconic "Venus," but they had a number of successful hits in their native Netherlands. Additionally, many of the artists on the list had massive success with other groups or projects. Lou Reed's only major single as a solo artist in the '70s was "Walk on the Wild Side," but of course he's more famous for his work with The Velvet Underground. Ace Frehley makes the list for his single "New York Groove," but had other singles as the lead guitarist for KISS. Finally, some artists on the list just had lengthy careers but a niche audience, such as Warren Zevon (whose "Werewolves in London" proved to be his only Top 40 single.) Other acts were simply flash-in-the-pans who had a big moment in the spotlight, then faded into obscurity.

Who are some one hit wonders from the 1970s? This is an attempt to list every one hit wonder artist of the '70s. Think you have an example of a 1970s hit that was the only Top 40 US single for a band or artist? Let me know in the comments!

List Criteria: Bands / artists that had one & only one Top 40 US single between 1970 and 1979

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    1. 1
      Up 119
      Down 42

      most listed
      Thin Lizzy

      Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
      98
      “'The Boys Are Back in Town': Peaked at #12 on July 24, 1976.”
    2. 2
      Up 100
      Down 36
      Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
      89
      “'Werewolves of London': Peaked at #21 on May 13, 1978.”
    3. 3
      Up 71
      Down 27
      Rock music, Pop rock More
      86
      “'Dancin' in the Moonlight': Peaked at #13 on February 24, 1973.”
    4. 4
      Up 101
      Down 36
      Rock music More
      85
      'Spirit in the Sky': Peaked at #3 on April 18, 1970.
    5. 5
      Up 87
      Down 36
      Rock music, Hard rock More
      85
      “'Black Betty': Peaked at #18 on September 3, 1977.”
    6. 6
      Up 70
      Down 35

      often listed &ranked high on reranks
      Patti Smith Group

      83
      “'Because the Night': Peaked at #13 on June 24, 1978.”
    7. 7
      Up 132
      Down 32

      ranked low on reranks
      Derek and the Dominos

      Blues-rock More
      83
      “'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.”
    8. 8
      Up 107
      Down 35
      Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
      80
      “'All Right Now': Peaked at #4 on October 17, 1970.”
    9. 9
      Up 101
      Down 37
      Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock More
      79
      “'Bang a Gong (Get It On)': Peaked at #10 on March 4, 1972.”
    10. 10
      Up 55
      Down 30
      Pop music, Middle of the road More
      78
      'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)': Peaked at #5 on March 28, 1970.
    11. 11
      Up 47
      Down 25
      Pop rock More
      76
      “'Magic': Peaked at #5 on July 12, 1975.”
    12. 12
      Up 58
      Down 41

      often listed
      Carl Douglas

      Reggae More
      75
      “'Kung Fu Fighting': Peaked at #1 on December 7, 1974.”
    13. 13
      Up 46
      Down 29

      often listed
      M

      Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
      74
      “'Pop Muzik': Peaked at #1 on November 3, 1979.”
    14. 14
      Up 98
      Down 42
      Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word More
      74
      “'Walk on the Wild Side': Peaked at #16 on April 28, 1973.”
    15. 15
      Up 108
      Down 49
      Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal More
      73
      “'Love Hurts': Peaked at #8 on March 13, 1976.”
    16. 16
      Up 97
      Down 38

      ranked low on reranks
      Janis Joplin

      Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
      73
      “'Me and Bobby McGee': Peaked at #1 on March 20, 1971.”
    17. 17
      Up 30
      Down 23

      often listed &ranked high on reranks
      Sniff 'n' the Tears

      Rock music More
      73
      “'Driver's Seat': Peaked at #15 on September 29, 1979.”
    18. 18
      Up 76
      Down 32
      Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock More
      72
      “'All the Young Dudes': Peaked at #37 on September 23, 1972.”
    19. 19
      Up 75
      Down 37
      Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal More
      70
      'Mississippi Queen': Peaked at #21 on April 18, 1970.
    20. 20
      Up 69
      Down 35
      Pop music, Musical theatre More
      70
      “'Rock On': Peaked at #5 on March 9, 1974.”
    21. 21
      Up 30
      Down 27

      often listed &ranked high on reranks
      Ace Frehley

      Glam metal, Heavy metal, Glam rock More
      70
      “'New York Groove': Peaked at #13 on February 3, 1979.”
    22. 22
      Up 69
      Down 30
      New Wave, Rock music, Power pop More
      70
      “'Cruel to Be Kind': Peaked at #12 on September 29, 1979.”
    23. 23
      Up 75
      Down 29
      Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
      70
      “'Play That Funky Music': Peaked at #1 on September 18, 1976.”
    24. 24
      Up 30
      Down 28

      often listed &ranked high on reranks
      First Class

      Pop music More
      69
      “'Beach Baby': Peaked at #4 on October 5, 1974.”
    25. 25
      Up 47
      Down 32
      Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
      69
      “'Short People': Peaked at #2 on January 28, 1978.”
    26. 26
      Up 32
      Down 26

      often listed &ranked high on reranks
      Billy Swan

      Pop music, Country More
      69
      “'I Can Help': Peaked at #1 on November 23, 1974.”
    27. 27
      Up 66
      Down 31
      Blues-rock, Nederpop, Rock music More
      68
      'Venus': Peaked at #1 on February 7, 1970.
    28. 28
      Up 54
      Down 23
      Rock music, Glam rock More
      68
      “'Hot Child in the City': Peaked at #1 on October 28, 1978.”
    29. 29
      Up 59
      Down 50

      often listed
      Ted Nugent

      Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal More
      67
      “'Cat Scratch Fever': Peaked at #30 on October 8, 1977.”
    30. 30
      Up 55
      Down 19
      67
    31. 31
      Up 65
      Down 34
      Pop music More
      67
      “'Afternoon Delight': Peaked at #1 on July 10, 1976.”
    32. 32
      Up 32
      Down 34

      often listed
      Keith Carradine

      65
      “'I'm Easy': Peaked at #17 on August 7, 1976.”
    33. 33
      Up 46
      Down 22
      Rock music, Rock and roll More
      64
      “'Magnet and Steel': Peaked at #8 on August 26, 1978.”
    34. 34
      Up 37
      Down 21
      Rock music, Pop rock More
      64
      “'Precious and Few': Peaked at #3 on February 26, 1972.”
    35. 35
      Up 61
      Down 30

      ranked low on reranks
      Vicki Lawrence

      63
      “'The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia': Peaked at #1 on April 7, 1973.”
    36. 36
      Up 39
      Down 25
      Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock More
      62
      “'From the Beginning': Peaked at #39 on October 28, 1972.”
    37. 37
      Up 39
      Down 16
      Pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
      60
      “'How Long?': Peaked at #3 on May 31, 1975.”
    38. 38
      Up 58
      Down 36
      Disco, Pop music, Contemporary R&B More
      58
      “'The Hustle': Peaked at #1 on July 26, 1975.”
    39. 39
      Up 47
      Down 31
      Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
      58
      “'Fool (If You Think It's Over)': Peaked at #12 on September 16, 1978.”
    40. 40
      Up 53
      Down 38
      Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
      57
      “'Welcome Back': Peaked at #1 on May 8, 1976.”
    41. 41
      Up 34
      Down 22
      Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock More
      57
      “'Hocus Pocus': Peaked at #9 on June 2, 1973.”
    42. 42
      Up 47
      Down 25
      Pop music, Rock music More
      57
      “'The Night Chicago Died': Peaked at #1 on August 17, 1974.”
    43. 43
      Up 30
      Down 24
      57
    44. 44
      Up 23
      Down 29

      ranked high on reranks
      Funkadelic

      Psychedelic soul, Acid rock, P-Funk More
      57
      “'One Nation Under a Groove': Peaked at #23 on November 11, 1978.”
    45. 45
      Up 41
      Down 28
      Folk rock, Funk More
      56
      “'Here Comes the Sun': Peaked at #16 on May 22, 1971.”
    46. 46
      Up 26
      Down 21
      56
    47. 47
      Up 45
      Down 33
      Disco, Rhythm and blues More
      55
      “'Ring My Bell': Peaked at #1 on June 30, 1979.”
    48. 48
      Up 40
      Down 31
      Disco, Film score More
      55
      “'Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)': Peaked at #1 on July 2, 1977.”
    49. 49
      Up 34
      Down 32
      Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
      55
      “'Got to Be Real': Peaked at #12 on February 17, 1979.”
    50. 50
      Up 25
      Down 23
      Synthpop, Pop music More
      55
      “'Popcorn': Peaked at #9 on October 21, 1972.”
    51. 112 +

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