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

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

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!

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  1. 1
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    most listed Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music “'The Boys Are Back in Town': Peaked at #12 on July 24, 1976.”

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 155
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    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music “'Werewolves of London': Peaked at #21 on May 13, 1978.”

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  3. 3
    + 156
    - 52

    Rock music 'Spirit in the Sky': Peaked at #3 on April 18, 1970.

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  4. 4
    + 95
    - 57

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Pop music, Musical theatre “'Rock On': Peaked at #5 on March 9, 1974.”

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 187
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    Blues-rock “'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.”

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  6. 6
    + 134
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    Rock music, Hard rock “'Black Betty': Peaked at #18 on September 3, 1977.”

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  7. 7
    + 109
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    Rock music, Pop rock “'Dancin' in the Moonlight': Peaked at #13 on February 24, 1973.”

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  8. 8
    + 119
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    Disco, Pop music, Rock music “'Play That Funky Music': Peaked at #1 on September 18, 1976.”

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  9. 9
    + 160
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    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music “'All Right Now': Peaked at #4 on October 17, 1970.”

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  10. 10
    + 106
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    Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock “'All the Young Dudes': Peaked at #37 on September 23, 1972.”

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  11. 11
    + 146
    - 54

    Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock “'Bang a Gong (Get It On)': Peaked at #10 on March 4, 1972.”

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  12. 12
    + 98
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    New Wave, Rock music, Power pop “'Cruel to Be Kind': Peaked at #12 on September 29, 1979.”

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  13. 13
    + 90
    - 57

    Blues-rock, Nederpop, Rock music 'Venus': Peaked at #1 on February 7, 1970.

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  14. 14
    + 80
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Pop music, Middle of the road 'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)': Peaked at #5 on March 28, 1970.

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  15. 15
    + 105
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    “'Because the Night': Peaked at #13 on June 24, 1978.”

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  16. 16
    + 88
    - 41

    Rock music, Glam rock “'Hot Child in the City': Peaked at #1 on October 28, 1978.”

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  17. 17
    + 146
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    ranked low on reranks Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music “'Me and Bobby McGee': Peaked at #1 on March 20, 1971.”

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  18. 18
    + 95
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    Pop music “'Afternoon Delight': Peaked at #1 on July 10, 1976.”

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  19. 19
    + 151
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    ranked low on reranks Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal “'Love Hurts': Peaked at #8 on March 13, 1976.”

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  20. 20
    + 62
    - 58

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music “'Pop Muzik': Peaked at #1 on November 3, 1979.”

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  21. 21
    + 73
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    Rock music, Rock and roll “'Magnet and Steel': Peaked at #8 on August 26, 1978.”

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  22. 22
    + 89
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    often listed Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal “'Cat Scratch Fever': Peaked at #30 on October 8, 1977.”

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  23. 23
    + 112
    - 53

    ranked low on reranks Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal 'Mississippi Queen': Peaked at #21 on April 18, 1970.

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 73
    - 49

    Pop rock “'Magic': Peaked at #5 on July 12, 1975.”

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  25. 25
    + 130
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    ranked low on reranks Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word “'Walk on the Wild Side': Peaked at #16 on April 28, 1973.”

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  26. 26
    + 62
    - 47

    Rock music “'Driver's Seat': Peaked at #15 on September 29, 1979.”

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  27. 27
    + 83
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    Reggae “'Kung Fu Fighting': Peaked at #1 on December 7, 1974.”

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  28. 28
    + 55
    - 47

    Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock “'Hocus Pocus': Peaked at #9 on June 2, 1973.”

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  29. 29
    + 69
    - 34

    Pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock “'How Long?': Peaked at #3 on May 31, 1975.”

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  30. 30
    + 66
    - 41

    Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock “'From the Beginning': Peaked at #39 on October 28, 1972.”

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  31. 31
    + 56
    - 34

    added by C_Moorehead Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock “'Seasons in the Sun': Peaked at #1 on March 2, 1974.”

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  32. 32
    + 68
    - 41
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  33. 33
    + 28
    - 9

    added by DebbyHood Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock "Baby come back"  Oct 77

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 81
    - 55

    Disco, Pop music, Contemporary R&B “'The Hustle': Peaked at #1 on July 26, 1975.”

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 59
    - 44

    Rock music, Pop rock “'Precious and Few': Peaked at #3 on February 26, 1972.”

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  36. 36
    + 69
    - 53

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music “'Fool (If You Think It's Over)': Peaked at #12 on September 16, 1978.”

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 65
    - 48

    Pop music, Rock music “'The Night Chicago Died': Peaked at #1 on August 17, 1974.”

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  38. 38
    + 61
    - 49

    Folk rock, Funk “'Here Comes the Sun': Peaked at #16 on May 22, 1971.”

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 21
    - 15

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 69
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    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock “'Short People': Peaked at #2 on January 28, 1978.”

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 74
    - 48
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  42. 42
    + 50
    - 51

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Glam rock “'New York Groove': Peaked at #13 on February 3, 1979.”

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 83
    - 52

    ranked low on reranks “'The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia': Peaked at #1 on April 7, 1973.”

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  44. 44
    + 51
    - 53

    Disco, Film score “'Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)': Peaked at #1 on July 2, 1977.”

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  45. 45
    + 42
    - 50
    ) open
  46. 46
    + 23
    - 21

    Pop music, Country

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  47. 47
    + 45
    - 54

    Pop music, Country “'I Can Help': Peaked at #1 on November 23, 1974.”

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  48. 48
    + 43
    - 56

    Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues “'Got to Be Real': Peaked at #12 on February 17, 1979.”

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  49. 49
    + 26
    - 35
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  50. 50
    + 41
    - 57

    Pop music “'Beach Baby': Peaked at #4 on October 5, 1974.”

    ) open
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