One Hit Wonders 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!

1
472 237
Thin Lizzy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Thin Lizzy Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music “'The Boys Are Back in Town': Peaked at #12 on July 24, 1976.”

2
391 206
Warren Zevon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Warren Zevon Americana, Blues-rock, Rock music “'Werewolves of London': Peaked at #21 on May 13, 1978.”

3
469 171
Norman Greenbaum is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Norman Greenbaum Rock music 'Spirit in the Sky': Peaked at #3 on April 18, 1970.

4
488 160
Derek and the Dominos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Derek and the Dominos Blues-rock “'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.”

5
344 171
Ram Jam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Ram Jam Rock music, Hard rock “'Black Betty': Peaked at #18 on September 3, 1977.”

6
288 172
King Harvest is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
King Harvest Rock music, Pop rock “'Dancin' in the Moonlight': Peaked at #13 on February 24, 1973.”

7
394 157
T. Rex is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
T. Rex Psychedelic folk, Rock music, Folk rock “'Bang a Gong (Get It On)': Peaked at #10 on March 4, 1972.”

8
419 146
Free is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Free Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music “'All Right Now': Peaked at #4 on October 17, 1970.”

9
345 167
Wild Cherry is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Wild Cherry Disco, Pop music, Rock music “'Play That Funky Music': Peaked at #1 on September 18, 1976.”

10
393 156
Nazareth is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Nazareth Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal “'Love Hurts': Peaked at #8 on March 13, 1976.”

11
286 177
Mott the Hoople is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Mott the Hoople Rock music, Soul rock, Glam rock “'All the Young Dudes': Peaked at #37 on September 23, 1972.”

12
258 162
David Essex is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
David Essex Pop music, Musical theatre “'Rock On': Peaked at #5 on March 9, 1974.”

13
393 172
Janis Joplin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Janis Joplin Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk music “'Me and Bobby McGee': Peaked at #1 on March 20, 1971.”

14
256 144
Shocking Blue is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Shocking Blue Blues-rock, Nederpop, Rock music 'Venus': Peaked at #1 on February 7, 1970.

15
321 138
Mountain is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Mountain Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal 'Mississippi Queen': Peaked at #21 on April 18, 1970.

16
255 153
Nick Lowe is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Nick Lowe “'Cruel to Be Kind': Peaked at #12 on September 29, 1979.”

17
215 58
The Knack is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
bri-gri added The Knack New Wave, Rock music, Power pop This has to be the best one hit wonder of the '70s; My Sharona #1 in 1979

18
250 156
Patti Smith Group is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Patti Smith Group “'Because the Night': Peaked at #13 on June 24, 1978.”

19
348 168
Lou Reed is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Lou Reed Noise rock, Blue-eyed soul, Spoken word “'Walk on the Wild Side': Peaked at #16 on April 28, 1973.”

20
255 142
Nick Gilder is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Nick Gilder Rock music, Glam rock “'Hot Child in the City': Peaked at #1 on October 28, 1978.”

21
280 165
Starland Vocal Band is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Starland Vocal Band Pop music “'Afternoon Delight': Peaked at #1 on July 10, 1976.”

22
187 57
Gerry Rafferty is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Crabbs added Gerry Rafferty Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

23
228 149
Terry Jacks is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
C_Moorehead added Terry Jacks Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock “'Seasons in the Sun': Peaked at #1 on March 2, 1974.”

24
218 167
Edison Lighthouse is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Edison Lighthouse Pop music, Middle of the road 'Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)': Peaked at #5 on March 28, 1970.

25
185 99
Player is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
DebbyHood added Player Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock "Baby come back"  Oct 77

26
223 134
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Emerson, Lake & Palmer Rock music, Progressive rock, Art rock “'From the Beginning': Peaked at #39 on October 28, 1972.”

27
174 141
Focus is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Focus Nederpop, Rock music, Instrumental rock “'Hocus Pocus': Peaked at #9 on June 2, 1973.”

28
189 144
Sniff 'n' the Tears is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Sniff 'n' the Tears Rock music “'Driver's Seat': Peaked at #15 on September 29, 1979.”

29
233 218
Ted Nugent is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Ted Nugent Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal “'Cat Scratch Fever': Peaked at #30 on October 8, 1977.”

30
149 77
Gary Wright is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
brew2112 added Gary Wright Rock and roll

31
194 110
Ace is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Ace Pop music, Pop rock, Soft rock “'How Long?': Peaked at #3 on May 31, 1975.”

32
117 59
Al Stewart is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Crabbs added Al Stewart Pop music, Rock music, Folk music

33
205 135
Pilot is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pilot Pop rock “'Magic': Peaked at #5 on July 12, 1975.”

34
195 129
Walter Egan is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Walter Egan Rock music, Rock and roll “'Magnet and Steel': Peaked at #8 on August 26, 1978.”

35
208 136
Paper Lace is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Paper Lace Pop music, Rock music “'The Night Chicago Died': Peaked at #1 on August 17, 1974.”

36
210 140
Vicki Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Vicki Lawrence “'The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia': Peaked at #1 on April 7, 1973.”

37
163 157
M is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
M Synthpop, New Wave, Pop music “'Pop Muzik': Peaked at #1 on November 3, 1979.”

38
128 90
Gary Numan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
C_Moorehead added Gary Numan Synthpop, New Wave, Rock music

39
132 94
Redbone is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Redbone Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

40
97 20
Badfinger is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Scott Hays added Badfinger Synthpop, Classic rock, Pop music

41
191 144
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Minnie Riperton Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues “'Lovin' You': Peaked at #1 on April 5, 1975.”

42
171 129
Richie Havens is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Richie Havens Folk rock, Funk “'Here Comes the Sun': Peaked at #16 on May 22, 1971.”

43
166 134
Climax is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Climax Rock music, Pop rock “'Precious and Few': Peaked at #3 on February 26, 1972.”

44
194 171
Carl Douglas is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Carl Douglas Reggae “'Kung Fu Fighting': Peaked at #1 on December 7, 1974.”

45
179 154
John Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
John Sebastian Pop music, Rock music, Folk music “'Welcome Back': Peaked at #1 on May 8, 1976.”

46
110 70
Sugarloaf is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
C_Moorehead added Sugarloaf Rock music, Psychedelic rock

47
158 101
Dave Loggins is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Dave Loggins Pop music, Country “'Please Come to Boston': Peaked at #5 on August 10, 1974.”

48
160 133
The Buggles is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s

49
159 133
Chris Rea is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Chris Rea Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music “'Fool (If You Think It's Over)': Peaked at #12 on September 16, 1978.”

50
135 115
Mike Oldfield is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
laustcawz added Mike Oldfield Synthpop, Rock music, World music “'Tubular Bells': Peaked at #7 on May 11, 1974.”