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

The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s

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

From rock and roll to pop, these are music's best 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 Photo: user uploaded image
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  1. 1
    + 257
    - 104

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

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  2. 2
    + 213
    - 86


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

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  3. 3
    + 228
    - 75


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

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  4. 4
    + 269
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks
    Blues-rock “'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.”

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  5. 5
    + 152
    - 75

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Rock music, Pop rock “'Dancin' in the Moonlight': Peaked at #13 on February 24, 1973.”

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  6. 6
    + 190
    - 82


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

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  7. 7
    + 176
    - 75


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

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  8. 8
    + 228
    - 72

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

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  9. 9
    + 211
    - 73


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

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  10. 10
    + 135
    - 83


    Pop music, Musical theatre “'Rock On': Peaked at #5 on March 9, 1974.”

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  11. 11
    + 140
    - 73


    “'Cruel to Be Kind': Peaked at #12 on September 29, 1979.”

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  12. 12
    + 146
    - 77


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

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  13. 13
    + 137
    - 76


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

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  14. 14
    + 194
    - 81

    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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  15. 15
    + 148
    - 79

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Pop music “'Afternoon Delight': Peaked at #1 on July 10, 1976.”

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  16. 16
    + 125
    - 67


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

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  17. 17
    + 143
    - 84

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    “'Because the Night': Peaked at #13 on June 24, 1978.”

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  18. 18
    + 207
    - 87

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

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  19. 19
    + 201
    - 85

    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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  20. 20
    + 118
    - 84


    Pop music, Middle of the road 'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)': Peaked at #5 on March 28, 1970.

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  21. 21
    + 167
    - 69

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

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  22. 22
    + 106
    - 65


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

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  23. 23
    + 66
    - 31

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

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  24. 24
    + 86
    - 66


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

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  25. 25
    + 86
    - 85

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

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  26. 26
    + 103
    - 67


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

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  27. 27
    + 106
    - 74


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

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  28. 28
    + 86
    - 74


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

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  29. 29
    + 110
    - 64


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

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  30. 30
    + 47
    - 25

    added by C_Moorehead
    Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

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  31. 31
    + 125
    - 112


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

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  32. 32
    + 103
    - 57

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

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  33. 33
    + 36
    - 5

    ranked low on reranks & added by Crabbs
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

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  34. 34
    + 53
    - 36


    Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

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  35. 35
    + 102
    - 75


    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues “'Lovin' You': Peaked at #1 on April 5, 1975.”

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  36. 36
    + 115
    - 74


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

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  37. 37
    + 82
    - 65

    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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  38. 38
    + 109
    - 91


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

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  39. 39
    + 91
    - 64


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  40. 40
    + 44
    - 30


    Folk music, Country, Blues

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  41. 41
    + 93
    - 69


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  42. 42
    + 45
    - 23

    added by brew2112
    Rock and roll

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  43. 43
    + 90
    - 67


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

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  44. 44
    + 28
    - 10

    added by Crabbs
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

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  45. 45
    + 102
    - 76


    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music “'Welcome Back': Peaked at #1 on May 8, 1976.”

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  46. 46
    + 88
    - 64


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

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  47. 47
    + 105
    - 80


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

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  48. 48
    + 43
    - 25

    added by C_Moorehead
    Smooth jazz, Jazz

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  49. 49
    + 96
    - 76


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

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  50. 50
    + 100
    - 80


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

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159 +

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