The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s Bands/Musicians
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6  reranks 12,001 votes 437 voters 61,690 views more info

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!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 1
    Up 120
    Down 42

    most listed
    Thin Lizzy

    Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    91
    “'The Boys Are Back in Town': Peaked at #12 on July 24, 1976.”
  2. 2
    Up 101
    Down 36
    Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music More
    78
    “'Werewolves of London': Peaked at #21 on May 13, 1978.”
  3. 3
    Up 103
    Down 36
    Rock music More
    77
    'Spirit in the Sky': Peaked at #3 on April 18, 1970.
  4. 4
    Up 88
    Down 36
    Rock music, Hard rock More
    75
    “'Black Betty': Peaked at #18 on September 3, 1977.”
  5. 5
    Up 72
    Down 27
    Rock music, Pop rock More
    75
    “'Dancin' in the Moonlight': Peaked at #13 on February 24, 1973.”
  6. 6
    Up 71
    Down 36
    71
    “'Because the Night': Peaked at #13 on June 24, 1978.”
  7. 7
    Up 136
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks
    Derek and the Dominos

    Blues-rock More
    71
    “'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.”
  8. 8
    Up 55
    Down 31
    Pop music, Middle of the road More
    68
    'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)': Peaked at #5 on March 28, 1970.
  9. 9
    Up 48
    Down 25
    Pop rock More
    68
    “'Magic': Peaked at #5 on July 12, 1975.”
  10. 10
    Up 109
    Down 35

    ranked low on reranks
    Free

    Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music More
    66
    “'All Right Now': Peaked at #4 on October 17, 1970.”
  11. 11
    Up 58
    Down 42

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Carl Douglas

    Reggae More
    65
    “'Kung Fu Fighting': Peaked at #1 on December 7, 1974.”
  12. 12
    Up 46
    Down 30
    Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music More
    65
    “'Pop Muzik': Peaked at #1 on November 3, 1979.”
  13. 13
    Up 101
    Down 38

    ranked low on reranks
    T. Rex

    Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock More
    64
    “'Bang a Gong (Get It On)': Peaked at #10 on March 4, 1972.”
  14. 14
    Up 48
    Down 33

    often listed
    Randy Newman

    Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock More
    64
    “'Short People': Peaked at #2 on January 28, 1978.”
  15. 15
    Up 100
    Down 38

    ranked low on reranks
    Janis Joplin

    Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music More
    63
    “'Me and Bobby McGee': Peaked at #1 on March 20, 1971.”
  16. 16
    Up 31
    Down 25

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

    Rock music More
    62
    “'Driver's Seat': Peaked at #15 on September 29, 1979.”
  17. 17
    Up 110
    Down 49
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    62
    “'Love Hurts': Peaked at #8 on March 13, 1976.”
  18. 18
    Up 99
    Down 42
    Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word More
    62
    “'Walk on the Wild Side': Peaked at #16 on April 28, 1973.”
  19. 19
    Up 61
    Down 52
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    62
    “'Cat Scratch Fever': Peaked at #30 on October 8, 1977.”
  20. 20
    Up 32
    Down 27
    Pop music, Country More
    61
    “'I Can Help': Peaked at #1 on November 23, 1974.”
  21. 21
    Up 78
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks
    Mott the Hoople

    Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock More
    61
    “'All the Young Dudes': Peaked at #37 on September 23, 1972.”
  22. 22
    Up 30
    Down 28

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ace Frehley

    Glam metal, Heavy metal, Glam rock More
    61
    “'New York Groove': Peaked at #13 on February 3, 1979.”
  23. 23
    Up 30
    Down 29

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    First Class

    Pop music More
    60
    “'Beach Baby': Peaked at #4 on October 5, 1974.”
  24. 24
    Up 75
    Down 30

    ranked low on reranks
    Wild Cherry

    Disco, Pop music, Rock music More
    60
    “'Play That Funky Music': Peaked at #1 on September 18, 1976.”
  25. 25
    Up 70
    Down 30
    New Wave, Rock music, Power pop More
    59
    “'Cruel to Be Kind': Peaked at #12 on September 29, 1979.”
  26. 26
    Up 77
    Down 37
    Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal More
    59
    'Mississippi Queen': Peaked at #21 on April 18, 1970.
  27. 27
    Up 56
    Down 19
    59
  28. 28
    Up 67
    Down 31
    Blues-rock, Nederpop, Rock music More
    58
    'Venus': Peaked at #1 on February 7, 1970.
  29. 29
    Up 70
    Down 35
    Pop music, Musical theatre More
    58
    “'Rock On': Peaked at #5 on March 9, 1974.”
  30. 30
    Up 32
    Down 35

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Keith Carradine

    58
    “'I'm Easy': Peaked at #17 on August 7, 1976.”
  31. 31
    Up 55
    Down 23
    Rock music, Glam rock More
    58
    “'Hot Child in the City': Peaked at #1 on October 28, 1978.”
  32. 32
    Up 65
    Down 35
    Pop music More
    56
    “'Afternoon Delight': Peaked at #1 on July 10, 1976.”
  33. 33
    Up 61
    Down 31
    56
    “'The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia': Peaked at #1 on April 7, 1973.”
  34. 34
    Up 47
    Down 22
    Rock music, Rock and roll More
    55
    “'Magnet and Steel': Peaked at #8 on August 26, 1978.”
  35. 35
    Up 40
    Down 16
    Pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock More
    55
    “'How Long?': Peaked at #3 on May 31, 1975.”
  36. 36
    Up 48
    Down 25
    Pop music, Rock music More
    53
    “'The Night Chicago Died': Peaked at #1 on August 17, 1974.”
  37. 37
    Up 38
    Down 21
    Rock music, Pop rock More
    53
    “'Precious and Few': Peaked at #3 on February 26, 1972.”
  38. 38
    Up 58
    Down 37
    Disco, Pop music, Contemporary R&B More
    53
    “'The Hustle': Peaked at #1 on July 26, 1975.”
  39. 39
    Up 41
    Down 25
    Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock More
    53
    “'From the Beginning': Peaked at #39 on October 28, 1972.”
  40. 40
    Up 48
    Down 32
    Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music More
    51
    “'Fool (If You Think It's Over)': Peaked at #12 on September 16, 1978.”
  41. 41
    Up 36
    Down 22
    Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock More
    51
    “'Hocus Pocus': Peaked at #9 on June 2, 1973.”
  42. 42
    Up 54
    Down 39
    Pop music, Rock music, Folk music More
    51
    “'Welcome Back': Peaked at #1 on May 8, 1976.”
  43. 43
    Up 43
    Down 29
    Folk rock, Funk More
    51
    “'Here Comes the Sun': Peaked at #16 on May 22, 1971.”
  44. 44
    Up 45
    Down 34
    Disco, Rhythm and blues More
    50
    “'Ring My Bell': Peaked at #1 on June 30, 1979.”
  45. 45
    Up 40
    Down 32
    Disco, Film score More
    49
    “'Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)': Peaked at #1 on July 2, 1977.”
  46. 46
    Up 31
    Down 25
    49
  47. 47
    Up 27
    Down 21
    48
  48. 48
    Up 49
    Down 40
    Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues More
    48
    “'Lovin' You': Peaked at #1 on April 5, 1975.”
  49. 49
    Up 27
    Down 21
    47
  50. 50
    Up 26
    Down 22

    Suzi Quatro and Chris Norman

    47
    “'Stumblin' In': Peaked at #4 on May 12, 1979.”
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