From rock and roll to pop, this list features music's best one hit wonders from the 1970s, listed by performer and ranked by fans internationally. So many popular '70s songs served as artists' only singles to reach the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. These 70's musicians had extensive careers, either in the US or other countries, but despite their fame, they never released another hit song in the Top 40 over the course of that decade.
That being said, numerous singers and groups listed below produced 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 names on this 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 he performed other hit singles as the lead guitarist for KISS. Finally, some artists on the list simply held lengthy careers with niche audiences, such as Warren Zevon (whose "Werewolves in London" proved to be his only Top 40 single.) Other acts were simply flash-in-the-pans with a big moment in the spotlight, who then faded into obscurity.
Who are some of the greatest one hit wonders from the 1970s? Vote below based on the quality of their music rather than just their popularity, fame, or number of radio spins.
'Layla': Peaked at #10 on August 5, 1972.
- 'Spirit in the Sky': Peaked at #3 on April 18, 1970.
- This has to be the best one hit wonder of the '70s; My Sharona #1 in 1979
'All Right Now': Peaked at #4 on October 17, 1970.
'No Matter What': Peaked at #8 on April 17, 1970.
'The Boys Are Back in Town': Peaked at #12 on July 24, 1976.
'Bang a Gong (Get It On)': Peaked at #10 on March 4, 1972.
'Love Hurts': Peaked at #8 on March 13, 1976.
'Baker Street': Peaked at #2 on June 23, 1978.
- 'Mississippi Queen': Peaked at #21 on April 18, 1970.
'Werewolves of London': Peaked at #21 on May 13, 1978.
'Play That Funky Music': Peaked at #1 on September 18, 1976.
'Black Betty': Peaked at #18 on September 3, 1977.
'All the Young Dudes': Peaked at #37 on September 23, 1972.
'Dancin' in the Moonlight': Peaked at #13 on February 24, 1973.
'Yesr of the Cat': Peaked at #8 on March 4, 1977.
'We Just Disagree': Peaked at #12 on November 25, 1977.
- 'From the Beginning': Peaked at #39 on October 28, 1972.
'How Long?': Peaked at #14 on October 12, 1973.
'Baby Come Back': Peaked at #1 on January 13, 1978.
'Cruel to Be Kind': Peaked at #12 on September 29, 1979.
- 'Venus': Peaked at #1 on February 7, 1970.
'Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo': Peaked at #23 on March 23, 1974.
'How Long?': Peaked at #3 on May 31, 1975.
- 'Afternoon Delight': Peaked at #1 on July 10, 1976.