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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  Name
Score
  1. 36
    Up 30
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks
    Ace

    Pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    68
    “'How Long?': Peaked at #3 on May 31, 1975.”
  2. 31
    Up 28
    Down 23

    most listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ace Frehley

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Glam rock More
    73
    “'New York Groove': Peaked at #13 on February 3, 1979.”
  3. 45
    Up 27
    Down 22
    64
  4. 55
    Up 23
    Down 24

    ranked high on reranks
    Amii Stewart

    Disco, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B More
    60
    “'Knock on Wood': Peaked at #1 on April 21, 1979.”
  5. 44
    Up 41
    Down 31

    ranked low on reranks
    Anita Ward

    Disco, Rhythm and blues More
    65
    “'Ring My Bell': Peaked at #1 on June 30, 1979.”
  6. 110
    Up 1
    Down 4
    No image

    Austin Roberts

    36
  7. 52
    Up 18
    Down 15
    62
  8. 47
    Up 36
    Down 30

    ranked low on reranks
    Bill Conti

    Disco, Film score More
    63
    “'Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)': Peaked at #1 on July 2, 1977.”
  9. 34
    Up 26
    Down 25

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Billy Swan

    Pop music, Country More
    69
    “'I Can Help': Peaked at #1 on November 23, 1974.”
  10. 62
    Up 23
    Down 26

    ranked high on reranks
    Black Oak Arkansas

    Rock music More
    56
    “'Jim Dandy': Peaked at #25 on February 16, 1974.”
  11. 17
    Up 52
    Down 17

    ranked low on reranks
    Blues Image

    81
  12. 85
    Up 6
    Down 16

    ranked high on reranks
    Bram Tchaikovsky

    New Wave, Rock music, Power pop More
    50
    “'Girl of My Dreams': Peaked at #37 on September 1, 1979.”
  13. 106
    Up 2
    Down 3
    No image
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    40
  14. 18
    Up 54
    Down 35

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Carl Douglas

    Reggae More
    80
    “'Kung Fu Fighting': Peaked at #1 on December 7, 1974.”
  15. 51
    Up 32
    Down 31

    ranked high on reranks
    Cheryl Lynn

    Disco, Pop music, Rhythm and blues More
    62
    “'Got to Be Real': Peaked at #12 on February 17, 1979.”
  16. 41
    Up 41
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Chris Rea

    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    67
    “'Fool (If You Think It's Over)': Peaked at #12 on September 16, 1978.”
  17. 33
    Up 30
    Down 20

    ranked high on reranks
    Climax

    Rock music, Pop rock More
    70
    “'Precious and Few': Peaked at #3 on February 26, 1972.”
  18. 78
    Up 13
    Down 20
    53
    “'Playground in My Mind': Peaked at #2 on June 16, 1973.”
  19. 89
    Up 24
    Down 18
    48
  20. 71
    Up 17
    Down 21
    Bubblegum pop More
    54
    “'Chick-a-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)': Peaked at #9 on May 8, 1971.”
  21. 90
    Up 10
    Down 19

    often listed
    Daniel Boone

    Pop music More
    46
    “'Beautiful Sunday': Peaked at #15 on September 16, 1972.”
  22. 64
    Up 40
    Down 20

    ranked low on reranks
    Dave Loggins

    Pop music, Country More
    56
    “'Please Come to Boston': Peaked at #5 on August 10, 1974.”
  23. 73
    Up 11
    Down 19

    ranked high on reranks
    David Dundas

    54
    “'Jeans On': Peaked at #17 on January 29, 1977.”
  24. 24
    Up 60
    Down 34
    Pop music, Musical theatre More
    79
    “'Rock On': Peaked at #5 on March 9, 1974.”
  25. 74
    Up 17
    Down 24
    53
    “'Makin' It': Peaked at #5 on July 21, 1979.”
  26. 95
    Up 4
    Down 2
    No image
    Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    44
  27. 63
    Up 15
    Down 21

    ranked high on reranks
    Deodato

    56
    “'Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)': Peaked at #2 on March 31, 1973.”
  28. 1
    Up 121
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Derek and the Dominos

    Blues-rock More
    100
    “'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.”
  29. 13
    Up 50
    Down 27

    often listed
    Edison Lighthouse

    Pop music, Middle of the road More
    83
    'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)': Peaked at #5 on March 28, 1970.
  30. 101
    Up 3
    Down 3
    No image
    Pop music, Rock music More
    41
  31. 98
    Up 3
    Down 2
    No image

    Edward Bear

    43
  32. 32
    Up 33
    Down 22
    Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    70
    “'From the Beginning': Peaked at #39 on October 28, 1972.”
  33. 112
    Up 0
    Down 4
    No image

    about to drop off
    Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell

    30
  34. 39
    Up 23
    Down 26

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    First Class

    Pop music More
    67
    “'Beach Baby': Peaked at #4 on October 5, 1974.”
  35. 48
    Up 20
    Down 18

    ranked high on reranks
    Five Stairsteps

    63
  36. 42
    Up 30
    Down 20

    ranked high on reranks
    Focus

    Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock More
    66
    “'Hocus Pocus': Peaked at #9 on June 2, 1973.”
  37. 68
    Up 20
    Down 23
    55
    “'Music Box Dancer': Peaked at #3 on May 5, 1979.”
  38. 5
    Up 95
    Down 34

    the people's #1
    Free

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    92
    “'All Right Now': Peaked at #4 on October 17, 1970.”
  39. 46
    Up 22
    Down 24

    ranked high on reranks
    Funkadelic

    Psychedelic soul, Acid rock, P-Funk More
    63
    “'One Nation Under a Groove': Peaked at #23 on November 11, 1978.”
  40. 49
    Up 23
    Down 20
    Synthpop, Pop music More
    63
    “'Popcorn': Peaked at #9 on October 21, 1972.”
  41. 109
    Up 2
    Down 5
    No image

    Hurricane Smith

    37
  42. 99
    Up 4
    Down 3
    Adult contemporary music, Folk music More
    43
  43. 8
    Up 88
    Down 33

    ranked low on reranks
    Janis Joplin

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    88
    “'Me and Bobby McGee': Peaked at #1 on March 20, 1971.”
  44. 84
    Up 17
    Down 26

    ranked low on reranks
    Jessi Colter

    Outlaw country, Pop music, Country More
    50
    “'I'm Not Lisa': Peaked at #4 on June 21, 1975.”
  45. 69
    Up 4
    Down 4
    Pop music More
    55
  46. 79
    Up 9
    Down 16

    ranked high on reranks
    Jo Jo Gunne

    Rock music More
    52
    “'Run Run Run': Peaked at #27 on March 18, 1972.”
  47. 108
    Up 2
    Down 4
    Pop music More
    38
  48. 38
    Up 49
    Down 35
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    68
    “'Welcome Back': Peaked at #1 on May 8, 1976.”
  49. 105
    Up 2
    Down 3
    Popular music, Folk music, Alternative country More
    40
  50. 76
    Up 11
    Down 18

    ranked high on reranks
    Jonathan Edwards

    Folk music, Country More
    53
    “'Sunshine': Peaked at #4 on January 15, 1972.”
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