The older you get, the more you realize most of the songs that defined your youth were recorded by one-hit wonders, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Too often the term gets thrown around as an insult, but before one acts disparagingly toward these bands, they need to ask themselves the question: what do I have to brag about? The fact these 1990s acts were able to score one act that connected with the masses is to be commended, and not necessarily indicative of their only success. Just their biggest. Let’s look at our 10 favorites from the ‘90s.
10. “Dirty Love” By Thunder
Going way back to 1990 for our first pick on this list of one-hit wonders. Pay no mind to the ridiculous hair and the horribly dated wardrobe. Thunder knew how to rock! (At least on this track, they did.) It was never a huge hit, though it was able to chart. Still, it’s a great take-no-crap tune that’ll have you coming back from that breakup in no time.
9. “Baby Got Back” By Sir Mix-A-Lot
Not only do we proudly present this as one of our one-hit wonders, we’ll go as far to say it’s the ultimate anthem to the female butt. One thing is for certain by the end of it: we know where Sir Mix-A-Lot (aka Anthony Ray) stands on the issue.
8. “What’s Up?” By 4 Non Blondes
Linda Perry wrote and performed this song with her band, 4 Non Blondes, in 1993. It had a unique sound thanks to Perry’s vocals and that moaning guitar, both of which served it well. “What’s Up?” hit No. 1 in 10 countries and charted in the top 20 here in the States.
7. “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” By Deep Blue Something
“Breakfast At Tiffany’s” is a cross-generational song that will be instantly familiar to people born from around 1975 to 1995. It was released in ’95 and inspired by the Audrey Hepburn film of the same name, which itself was a rather loose adaptation of the Truman Capote book.
6. “Cumbersome” By Seven Mary Three
7M3 continues to tour, but their big commercial success happened in 1994 with the release of “Cumbersome,” a song about soured love. It hit No. 1 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1996.
5. “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” By Crash Test Dummies
Canadian folk rockers, the Crash Test Dummies, penned and sang this song about childhood suffering and isolation. It hit No. 1 in several countries including the US and Germany. It was also nominated for a Grammy but lost out to All-4-One’s “I Swear” for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals.
4. “I Touch Myself” By The Divinyls
How can you ever forget this tune, if you’ve heard it even once? The provocative lyrics are playful and fun. Its commercial performance was also impressive, achieving No. 2 in the US and No. 1 in Australia. Unfortunately, we lost lead singer Chrissy Amphlett in 2013 at the age of 53 after a long fight with breast cancer.
3. “Closer To Free” By The BoDeans
Recorded in ’93, released in ’96, this song would achieve widespread popularity as the theme song of the TV show Party of Five. Great little anthem of independence that instantly takes us back to a happy time.
2. “Return Of The Mack” By Mark Morrison
Mark Morrison’s groove about getting back your mojo is a must-listen for men everywhere. The song was recorded in ’95, released in ’96, and a No. 1 hit in multiple countries, including the US and UK.
1. “Epic” By Faith No More
“Epic” by Faith No More has one of the most bad-a guitar openings that you’ll ever hear. Sure, it’s not big on lyrics, but just try to play Rock Concert without picking this song. We dare ya!