Rock The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s  

Adam Tyler
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List Rules 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 ordered by

1
459 210
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music “'Werewolves of London': Peaked at #21 on May 13, 1978.”

2
495 261
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music “'The Boys Are Back in Town': Peaked at #12 on July 24, 1976.”

3
491 192
Norman Greenbaum is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music 'Spirit in the Sky': Peaked at #3 on April 18, 1970.

4
511 176
Derek and the Dominos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock “'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.”

5
358 189
Ram Jam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Hard rock “'Black Betty': Peaked at #18 on September 3, 1977.”

6
301 189
King Harvest is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Pop rock “'Dancin' in the Moonlight': Peaked at #13 on February 24, 1973.”

7
438 158
Free is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music “'All Right Now': Peaked at #4 on October 17, 1970.”

8
409 177
T. Rex is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock “'Bang a Gong (Get It On)': Peaked at #10 on March 4, 1972.”

9
362 182
Wild Cherry is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Disco, Pop music, Rock music “'Play That Funky Music': Peaked at #1 on September 18, 1976.”

10
308 189
Mott the Hoople is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock “'All the Young Dudes': Peaked at #37 on September 23, 1972.”

11
411 171
Nazareth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal “'Love Hurts': Peaked at #8 on March 13, 1976.”

12
271 175
David Essex is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music, Musical theatre “'Rock On': Peaked at #5 on March 9, 1974.”

13
418 185
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music “'Me and Bobby McGee': Peaked at #1 on March 20, 1971.”

14
269 159
Shocking Blue is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock, Nederpop, Rock music 'Venus': Peaked at #1 on February 7, 1970.

15
276 162
Nick Lowe is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
“'Cruel to Be Kind': Peaked at #12 on September 29, 1979.”

16
340 150
Mountain is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal 'Mississippi Queen': Peaked at #21 on April 18, 1970.

17
238 69
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
bri-gri added New Wave, Rock music, Power pop This has to be the best one hit wonder of the '70s; My Sharona #1 in 1979

18
261 172
Patti Smith Group is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
“'Because the Night': Peaked at #13 on June 24, 1978.”

19
362 183
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word “'Walk on the Wild Side': Peaked at #16 on April 28, 1973.”

20
270 155
Nick Gilder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Glam rock “'Hot Child in the City': Peaked at #1 on October 28, 1978.”

21
203 66
Gerry Rafferty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Crabbs added Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

22
289 184
Starland Vocal Band is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music “'Afternoon Delight': Peaked at #1 on July 10, 1976.”

23
240 165
Terry Jacks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
C_Moorehead added Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock “'Seasons in the Sun': Peaked at #1 on March 2, 1974.”

24
226 181
Edison Lighthouse is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music, Middle of the road 'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)': Peaked at #5 on March 28, 1970.

25
239 144
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock “'From the Beginning': Peaked at #39 on October 28, 1972.”

26
196 111
Player is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
DebbyHood added Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock "Baby come back"  Oct 77

27
180 155
Focus is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock “'Hocus Pocus': Peaked at #9 on June 2, 1973.”

28
199 157
Sniff 'n' the Tears is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music “'Driver's Seat': Peaked at #15 on September 29, 1979.”

29
244 236
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal “'Cat Scratch Fever': Peaked at #30 on October 8, 1977.”

30
160 86
Gary Wright is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
brew2112 added Rock and roll

31
204 119
Ace is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock “'How Long?': Peaked at #3 on May 31, 1975.”

32
131 66
Al Stewart is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Crabbs added Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

33
207 139
Walter Egan is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Rock and roll “'Magnet and Steel': Peaked at #8 on August 26, 1978.”

34
213 147
Pilot is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop rock “'Magic': Peaked at #5 on July 12, 1975.”

35
219 146
Paper Lace is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music, Rock music “'The Night Chicago Died': Peaked at #1 on August 17, 1974.”

36
174 170
M is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music “'Pop Muzik': Peaked at #1 on November 3, 1979.”

37
218 152
Vicki Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
“'The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia': Peaked at #1 on April 7, 1973.”

38
139 101
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
C_Moorehead added Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

39
141 105
Redbone is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

40
110 28
Badfinger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Scott Hays added Synthpop, Classic rock, Pop music

41
178 137
Richie Havens is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Folk rock, Funk “'Here Comes the Sun': Peaked at #16 on May 22, 1971.”

42
199 155
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues “'Lovin' You': Peaked at #1 on April 5, 1975.”

43
172 144
Climax is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Pop rock “'Precious and Few': Peaked at #3 on February 26, 1972.”

44
186 159
John Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music “'Welcome Back': Peaked at #1 on May 8, 1976.”

45
201 183
Carl Douglas is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Reggae “'Kung Fu Fighting': Peaked at #1 on December 7, 1974.”

46
117 77
Sugarloaf is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
C_Moorehead added Rock music, Psychedelic rock

47
168 108
Dave Loggins is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop music, Country “'Please Come to Boston': Peaked at #5 on August 10, 1974.”

48
171 141
The Buggles is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s

49
148 124
Mike Oldfield is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
laustcawz added Synthpop, Rock music, World music “'Tubular Bells': Peaked at #7 on May 11, 1974.”

50
166 141
Chris Rea is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music “'Fool (If You Think It's Over)': Peaked at #12 on September 16, 1978.”