Rock The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s  

Adam Tyler
Originally by
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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
452 209
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
488 259
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
486 190
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
505 173
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
354 186
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
299 187
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
405 174
T. Rex is listed (or ranked) 7 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.”

8
432 158
Free is listed (or ranked) 8 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.”

9
358 181
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
305 187
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
407 168
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
266 174
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
413 183
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
267 157
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
272 161
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
334 148
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
231 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
258 170
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
358 180
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
267 153
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
199 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
287 181
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
236 162
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
223 178
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
234 142
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
195 109
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
180 151
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
196 155
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
242 232
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
157 85
Gary Wright is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
brew2112 added Rock and roll

31
201 119
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
128 65
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
204 138
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
216 144
Paper Lace is listed (or ranked) 34 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.”

35
210 145
Pilot is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Pop rock “'Magic': Peaked at #5 on July 12, 1975.”

36
215 150
Vicki Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 36 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.”

37
170 167
M is listed (or ranked) 37 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.”

38
137 99
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
138 103
Redbone is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Funk

40
107 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
197 152
Minnie Riperton is listed (or ranked) 41 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.”

42
174 137
Richie Havens is listed (or ranked) 42 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.”

43
171 142
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
200 180
Carl Douglas is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s
Reggae “'Kung Fu Fighting': Peaked at #1 on December 7, 1974.”

45
184 159
John Sebastian is listed (or ranked) 45 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.”

46
114 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
165 107
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
168 140
The Buggles is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best One-Hit Wonders of the 1970s

49
144 120
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
164 139
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.”