The Top 7 Rock One Hit Wonders

One hit wonders. We’ve heard the term but what does it actually mean?

To be honest, it has a wide range meaning, and most definitely a 50 shades of grey area, so accept our apologies if anyone gets a little pissed with these so-called “wonders” we’ve collated. One or two mainstream gems in here, but largely some untapped “wonders” from the past decades….and we’ve gone waaaaaaaay back in scrawling through the ages of the internet…. we’re talking pre-dial up internet folks! And, we say untapped because some bands listed here need to be followed up on as they got stuck in their own state and scene of the time.  Anyway, enjoy the Top 7 Rock One Hit Wonders…. we’re sure we missed some, so let us know haha!!

7. Push Push – ‘Trippin’

Push Push, the hard rock band out of New Zealand, landed in Australia’s Top 50, charting as high as #25 all the way back in 1991 with a song called, ‘Trippin’’. It was #1 in their native country and the band even went onto support Ac/Dc in New Zealand. In fact, that support act famously cut short their set due to a fire that started under the stage and they went on to blow up the speaker system accidentally, which in turn left Ac/Dc having to lower the level of their sound that show. The band completed just the one and only album, A Trillion Shades of Happy and disbanded a short time into 1993. Push Push recently reformed in 2016 to play a few shows and release some new music. We’re quite sure that they’ll never be heard again in these parts though. Who remembers ‘Trippin’‘?


6. Non-Intentional Lifeform – ‘Living or Existing’

Non-Intentional Lifeform or simply N.I.L. were an Australian band formed in 1995 out of Perth and signed to Roadrunner Records. Members included Andrew Day (guitar, vocals, trombone, mandolin, and didgeridoo), Declan de Barra (vocals), Hywel Stoakes (bass) and Adam Pedretti (drums). They had a minor Australian hit with their single ‘Living or Existing?‘ from their only full length album, The Uisce in 1997. Known for their incredible stage presence and unique sound, not dissimilar to a Faith No More/Mr Bungle hybrid the band toured with Korn, Marilyn Manson, Kiss, Helmet, Dubwar, Grinspoon and Superheist as well as playing shows with The Prodigy, Deftones, The Living End, Fear Factory, The Mark of Cain, Cosmic Psychos, The Avalanches, Shihad and Bodyjar. The band split up in 1998. Drummer, Adam Pedretti later joined Killing Heidi. If you’re a fan of this track, by far not their best, try track down their EP, Air Left Vacant. It’s worth the hunt.


5. Harvey Danger – ‘Flagpole Sitta’

Harvey Danger was an American indie rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, 1993 by journalism students at the University of Washington. The band rose to prominence in 1998 with the single ‘Flagpole Sitta’, which was a Triple J favourite of the time, even charting inside the Top 50. The track was later used as the theme tune to the British sitcom Peep Show and has appeared on a few movies throughout the last two decades as well. The band went onto release three albums believe it or not, although we’re not sure if anyone could actually name another track by this band other than this banger…..


4. Max Q – ‘Way of the World’

We delve back into the 80s now, with the Michael Hutchence side project, Max Q. Max Q consisted of Hutchence (vocals and songwriting) and Ollie Olsen (songwriting and production), who were accompanied by key members of the post-punk scene in Melbourne, Australia; most of whom had previously collaborated with Olsen. The project followed on from Hutchence and Olsen’s work on the film, Dogs in Space, where they had first met. The band’s self-titled album was released in 1989 and ‘Way of the World’ was the lead single, a cracking pop rock tune that was ahead of its time, almost with a tinge of industrial goth rock or emo to it. The album is no longer in print and has never been re-issued and the band never performed any live shows.


3. Dreamkillers – ‘Sarah’

1990 saw Brisbane outfit, Dreamkillers burst onto the local scene playing a raunchy mix of punk-inspired, hard rock/heavy-metal mish mash that became their trademark sound. Whilst Dreamkillers may have not gained widespread acclaim for their rare blend of music, their incredible stage shows and angst had them opening up for some of the biggest international groups at the time including, Sepultura, L7, Body Count, The Damned, and Rollins Band. Their single, ‘Sarah’, another Triple J favourite was released in 1995 from their album, Scorched Earth Policy. A conglomerate of groove, industrial punk rock Aussie madness, it’s a worthy gem to be found. Is it a one-hit wonder? Maybe in areas outside of Brisbane.


2.  Europe – ‘The Final Countdown’

This one is going to be controversial, but seriously who amongst the 99.999999% of the population could name one other song from Europe besides their 1986 classic, ‘The Final Countdown’. The title track from the Swedish band’s third album peaked at #2 on the Australian charts but topped many countries charts around the world at that time and has been used for various advertising, movies, tv shows and even sporting clubs ever since. The band recently toured Australia, our Perth coverage can be found here and frontman Joey Tempest co-hosting Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall here.


and the winner is…

1. Scatterbrain – ‘Don’t Call Me Dude’

1990’s, ‘Don’t Call Me Dude’ from New York’s, Scatterbrain peaked at #14 on the ARIA Charts and their eclectic mix of thrash, groove, jazz and comedy was enough to drag their sorry arses all the way to Australia for a tour that same year, with singer Tommy Christ often wearing a chicken suit on stage. I kid you not. The riff alone should be enough to notch up the band as the #1 One Hit Wonder in this little article. The band lasted until 1995, reforming in 2007 for a handful of reunion shows. Try get this out of your head once you’ve remembered.


How’d we go first time around? Surely there’s something we missed but without a doubt, the one hit wonders we’ve mentioned this time around are worthy enough of their spots.

Written by James ‘Plugga’ Birkin @KeepnTabs73


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About Plugga73 (370 Articles)
Writing, reviewing, interviewing, exploring new and old heavy music. From punk to grunge to hardcore to death metal to thrash and everything in between. I've been writing in the music industry now for several years including the websites LOUD, SF Media, Tone Deaf, The Metal Review and AMNplify. I'll be the one talking about bands from the 90s all the time..... Hit me up on twitter @Plugga73