Monday, November 9, 2015

God Bless the One Hit Wonder

Probably the most fascinating thing about popular (POP) music is the fascination of the one hit wonder. It is for me anyway. I look back on my life which happened to begin in 1970 and managed to survive some of the greatest one hit wonders ever known to mankind. Most of which will make you whistle along, or turn up the radio, with fascination over what actually happened to them. Why could they create a song that was so amazing that it actually defined an entire year? Bands like Dexy's Midnight Runners always comes to mind in these instances simply because their one hit just so happened to be the biggest hit of the first year of the 80's and as we all know the 80's were almost all one hit wonders. That is how it seems anyway.

The story of Dexy's Midnight Runners believe it or not was the easiest of them all. Their one hit was so huge that the band broke up and spent the next decade in court trying to divvy up the royalties of that one song. That actually makes sense, but other really great songs of that time fell into obscurity, only to be relived as a lost hit every time some DJ finds it in an old cart and plays it. Does anyone remember the band Opus? "Live is Life" is a song that comes up and you don't even remember it existed until it is playing and you remember it fondly. How about a band like "Big Country" whose album "Big Country" produced one hit coincidentally named "Big Country." That always makes me laugh when I'm in the car and makes my wife want to open a vein when I tell her that, every time like I hadn't the last time. When I heard a couple of years ago that the band "Ah Ha" had finally broken up, I was amazed that they could ride "Take on Me" for that long!

My area in the country in particular really likes to bang out 80's one hit wonders, and they all seem to come from the same town too. Somerville Massachusetts which most people only know about for three things. That stupid rotary with the road going straight through it and like 18 red lights making the traffic back up 8 miles when you need to get to Logan Airport, Tracy Chapman (Fast Carr) and Til Tuesday (Voices Carry). Aside from these three things I guess there is the lumber company out there but that isn't very memorable. Boston made so many of them, I would need a separate blog for all of them, Del Fuegos, Extreme, Buster Poindexter, oh the good old days and what little you could expect from an artist.

If you ever want to have a good time just turn on IHeartRadio and put on the One Hit Wonder station and get angry at all of the One Hit Wonders they get wrong! I sit in my office at work and my coworkers check in on me, wondering why I am screaming my fool head off. "MEN AT WORK ALSO DID WHO CAN IT BE NOW!" or "GOD DAMNIT PHIL COLLINS AND BILL BAILEY BOTH HAD HITS WITHOUT EACH OTHER!" Well maybe I take it too seriously, but I want you to think about this a moment, the next time you are sitting in your car and the song "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood comes on, try to change the channel. I dare you, or at the very least don't reach over and turn the volume up. Yeah you know what I am talking about don't you?