List of one-hit wonders on the UK Singles Chart
This is a list of artists who have achieved one #1 hit on the UK Singles Chart and no other entry whatsoever on the chart. The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles uses this definition of "one-hit wonder", which is a controversial term with various other proposed definitions.
A hit is attributed to the main artist given credit. If a single is released by two artists with the conjunction 'and' or 'versus' then both artists have equal billing (e.g. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg) and are both counted as having a #1 (in this case "Je t'aime... moi non plus") whereas if the conjunction between two artists is 'featuring' or 'with' (or similar) then the first artist is considered the main artist for that hit, with the other artist listed being given a lesser billing (usually in these cases they would be additional vocalists or contributing instrumentalists). For reasons of clarity (and brevity), the lower billed artists are not considered a one-hit wonder here even if it is their only hit.
Artists who are classed as one-hit wonders within the past 12 months are not yet added to the list, as they may still follow-up their #1 with another hit. A one-hit wonder from earlier who now go on to score another hit will be removed from this list.
Artist Peak Date Song Notes Kitty Kallen 11 September 1954 "Little Things Mean a Lot" Despite scoring other hits in her native US, Kallen never achieved another hit on the UK Chart, which at this point was a mere Top 12. The Dream Weavers March/April 1956 "It's Almost Tomorrow" In the US, they scored a minor hit some months later, but then faded into obscurity there also. The Kalin Twins 23 August 1958 "When" It was heavily suggested that their song "Forget Me Not" be issued as a follow-up, however this was not pursued. The Kalin Twins remain the only one-hit wonder male siblings (composed of twin brothers). Jerry Keller 10 October 1959 "Here Comes Summer" Despite writing many hits, Keller only ever had one hit in his own right. Ricky Valance 1 October 1960 "Tell Laura I Love Her" Ricky Valance was the first British one-hit wonder (hailing from Wales). He scored further hits in Europe, but none in the UK. B. Bumble and the Stingers 19 May 1962 "Nut Rocker" The song reappeared on the UK Chart ten years later, reaching #19. An instrumental group, B. Bumble and the Stingers had already scored their biggest hit in the US. The Overlanders 29 January 1966 "Michelle" It reached #1 in January 1966 for three weeks. They are the earliest British group to be classed as a one-hit wonder. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown 17 August 1968 "Fire" The group did score a hit (self-titled) album, but neither the band nor Arthur Brown in his own right managed to secure another placing in the singles chart. Zager and Evans 30 August 1969 "In the Year 2525" The song was written five years earlier, but did not become a success in the UK until it made #1 in the US. It remains either member's only hit. Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg 11 October 1969 "Je t'aime... moi non plus" The song was banned by the BBC, which is believed to be a major factor in the song's success. Serge Gainsbourg, a controversial French singer and director, scored his only UK chart success with this song. He was the first non UK/US one-hit wonder. The Archies 25 October 1969 "Sugar Sugar" The Archies were ostensibly cartoon characters from the TV series, The Archie Show which was based on the popular Archie Comics published since the 1940s. In reality, the song was performed by a group of session singers. Other singles were released under their name, but none found success in the UK. Lee Marvin 7 March 1970 "Wand'rin' Star" Recorded for his then-current film, Paint Your Wagon. Marvin did not release any further singles. Norman Greenbaum May 1970 "Spirit in the Sky" The song was his only hit, but went on to reach #1 twice more in versions by Doctor and the Medics and Gareth Gates. Matthews' Southern Comfort 31 October 1970 "Woodstock" The band was led by Iain Matthews, who despite appearing in various other groups, never had another hit. Recorded earlier by Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Clive Dunn 9 January 1971 "Grandad" Clive Dunn was starring in the TV sitcom Dad's Army when he released this novelty single. Dunn released several follow-ups but never hit the chart again. The Simon Park Orchestra 29 September 1973 "Eye Level" Theme tune to the TV series, Van der Valk. It eventually sold over a million copies in the UK. Typically Tropical 9 August 1975 "Barbados" Regarded as a pastime by the two members, follow-up singles failed to chart and the duo split not long after. J. J. Barrie 5 June 1976 "No Charge" Barrie, former manager of Blue Mink with a cover of a Harlan Howard song also featured Vicki Brown (wife of Joe Brown) on vocals. The Floaters 27 August 1977 "Float On" The Detroit group followed their only hit with a cover of Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" Althea & Donna 4 February 1978 "Uptown Top Ranking" Ill-advised follow-up, "Puppy Dog Song" proved to be their downfall. Brian and Michael 8 April 1978 "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs" The song featured St. Winifred's School Choir on uncredited backing vocals, who went on to become one-hit wonders in their own right two years later. Anita Ward 16 June 1979 "Ring My Bell" Written by Frederick Knight originally for Stacy Lattisaw, however instead it became Memphis born Anita Ward's only hit. The follow-up "Don't Drop My Love" found few buyers. Tubeway Army 30 June 1979 "Are 'Friends' Electric?" Immediately afterwards, the band dissolved, but not before also scoring a #1 album at the same time. Lead singer Gary Numan went on to enjoy a successful career afterwards. Lena Martell 27 October 1979 "One Day at a Time" Martell charted four UK top 20 albums, however her recording of a Kris Kristofferson song was her only hit single. Fern Kinney 15 March 1980 "Together We Are Beautiful" Originally a B-Side, the song became her biggest and only UK success. MASH 31 May 1980 "Suicide Is Painless" Theme tune to the film MASH. Sung by actor Ken Prymus, but released under the name MASH. St Winifred's School Choir 27 December 1980 "There's No-one Quite Like Grandma" The choir featured lead vocalist Dawn Ralph and future TV actress Sally Lindsay. They were also the school choir backing group on Brian and Michael's 1978 #1. Joe Dolce Music Theatre 21 February 1981 "Shaddap You Face" Novelty song, now notoriously known for keeping Ultravox's hit "Vienna" from reaching the #1 spot. Charlene 26 June 1982 "I've Never Been to Me" The song's success took Charlene by surprise and no new material was available for release afterwards until it was too late. Phyllis Nelson 4 May 1985 "Move Closer" Her album was also a hit, but follow-up single "I Like You" fell just short of the Official Top 75 chart, peaking at #81. MARRS 3 October 1987 "Pump Up the Volume" Despite its success, no follow-up was ever released. MARRS was a one-off project between two groups - A R Kane and Colourbox. Robin Beck 19 November 1988 "First Time" Used as a jingle by Coca-Cola. Follow-up "Save Up All Your Tears" narrowly missed out on chart inclusion by peaking at #84. In 2006, Swedish dance outfit Sunblock, along with Robin Beck, recorded a cover, which peaked at #9 in the UK. Partners in Kryme 28 July 1990 "Turtle Power" Used in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The pair had disbanded before even releasing an album. Hale and Pace 23 March 1991 "The Stonk" Charity single for Comic Relief. Doop 19 March 1994 "Doop" Two Dutch producers followed up their techno version of the 1920s dance The Charleston with the unsuccessful "Huckleberry Jam" Teletubbies 13 December 1997 "Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!"" The Theme to the popular BBC children's television series sold over one million copies. Mr Oizo 3 April 1999 "Flat Beat" Used as the jingle for Levi Jeans and fronted by glove puppet, Flat Eric. This was his only UK hit but continues a successful career in France and on the underground dance scene. Baz Luhrmann 12 June 1999 "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" The song consisted of Australian voice actor Lee Perry reading an essay written by an American newspaper columnist over a gentle backbeat. Rui Da Silva 13 January 2001 "Touch Me" The single was Da Silva's only UK chart hit, although featured vocalist Cass Fox released her own version, which became a minor hit five years later. DJ Pied Piper 2 June 2001 "Do You Really Like It?" A follow-up was recorded but never released. Las Ketchup October 2002 "The Ketchup Song" Three Spanish sisters' recording of "The Ketchup Song", sung partly in Spanish and English, using the hit "Rappers Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang. However, they still have a successful career in their native Spain. Yanou 9 November 2002 "Heaven" This cover of a Bryan Adams hit featured vocals by Do. The Kumars 22 March 2003 "Spirit in the Sky" Charity single with Gareth Gates for Comic Relief. Michael Andrews 27 December 2003 "Mad World" Featuring vocals by Gary Jules. Frankee 22 May 2004 "F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)" A response to the previous #1 "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" by Eamon. 3 of a Kind 21 August 2004 "Baby Cakes" Despite the song's success, a follow-up single was never released. Steve Brookstein 1 January 2005 "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" The first winner of the X Factor with a cover of a Phil Collins hit. Nizlopi 24 December 2005 "The JCB Song" Two school friends John Parker and Luke Concannon had a surprise #1 hit, but failed to chart again. Vanessa Jenkins and Bryn West 15 March 2009 "Barry Islands in the Stream" The two characters from hit BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey originally sang the song in an episode of the series, before recording it with Sir Tom Jones and Robin Gibb for Comic Relief. Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP 25 July 2010 "We No Speak Americano"
Under an alternative name
- The KLF scored a single hit as The Timelords (the #1 "Doctorin' the Tardis" in 1988), but scored individual hits as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (aka The JAMs) and 2K, and several hits, including another #1, as The KLF.
- Isaac Hayes reached #1 as Chef with "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)" in 1998. He had hits under his own name during the 1970s.
Collaborations classified as one-hit wonders
The following collaborations are classified as "one-hit wonders" by Guinness Hit Singles because each of these particular combinations of artists had a single #1 hit with no other chart entries in this particular configuration. However, in each case, each of the participating artists had at least one additional hit separately.
- Frank and Nancy Sinatra, "Somethin' Stupid" (1967)
- Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra, "Xanadu" (1980)
- Queen and David Bowie, "Under Pressure" (1981)
- Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory" (1982)
- Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson, "I Know Him So Well" (1985)
- David Bowie and Mick Jagger, "Dancing in the Street" (1985)
- Cliff Richard and The Young Ones, Living Doll" (1986). Cliff Richard has had many hits in his own right. Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson made other chart entries as their spoof band Bad News, along with Nigel Planer who also had a solo hit in 1984 as character 'neil'. Actor Christopher Ryan is the only member of this line up who did not have any other chart appearances.
- Aretha Franklin and George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me" (1987)
- Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden and Stock Aitken Waterman, "Ferry Cross the Mersey" (1989)
- Englandneworder, "World in Motion" (1990) (a collaboration between chart acts England World Cup Squad and New Order)
- Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff, "Dizzy" (1991)
- George Michael and Elton John, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (1991)
- George Michael and Queen, "Five Live (EP)" (1993)
- Cher / Chrissie Hynde / Neneh Cherry, "Love Can Build a Bridge" (1995)
- Puff Daddy and Faith Evans, "I'll Be Missing You" (1997)
- Run DMC Vs Jason Nevins, "It's Like That" (1998)
- Queen and 5ive, "We Will Rock You" (2000)
- Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and Pink, "Lady Marmalade" (2001)
- Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman, "Somethin' Stupid" (2001)
- JXL vs Elvis,"A Little Less Conversation" (2002) (JXL normally uses name Junkie XL and also named as co-artist in DJ Tiesto vs Junkie XL - "Obsessions")
- Will Young and Gareth Gates, "The Long and Winding Road" (2002) (double A-sided single; paired with "Suspicious Minds" by Gates as a solo artist)
- Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne, "Changes" (2003)
- LMC vs U2, "Take Me To The Clouds Above" (2004)
- Beyoncé and Shakira, "Beautiful Liar" (2007)
- Sugababes Vs Girls Aloud, "Walk This Way" (2007)
- Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua, "What a Wonderful World" (2007)
Eva Cassidy is currently the only artist to appear posthumously as a One Hit Wonder in any of the lists in this article.
One hit wonders excluding collaboration work
This list is the opposite to the "Collaborations classified as one-hit wonders list" as this is artists who went to number one on their own with their only solo hit, however their only additional chart entries were with other artists.
- John Denver on his own, had a single chart entry going to #1 with "Annie's Song" in 1974. He also collaborated with Placido Domingo on another record, which charted but did not make number one.
- Steve 'Silk' Hurley on 24 January 1987 had his only UK solo chart entry "Jack Your Body" which went to number 1. The well-known producer had scored many hits on the UK Dance Chart and was a member of JM Silk (who have had other chart entries). Hurley refused to promote himself as a solo artist and went on to remix many more chart hits.
Aggregate ensemble groups
The following is a list of aggregate ensemble groups. These are usually put together for charity purposes. The ones listed below are one-hit wonders in their respective line-ups, but each is made up of several chart artists. The following line-ups have all reached #1 in their only hit under these umbrella group names:
- Band Aid ("Do They Know it's Christmas?", 1984)
- USA for Africa ("We Are the World", 1985)
- The Crowd ("You'll Never Walk Alone", 1985)
- Ferry Aid ("Let It Be", 1987)
- Band Aid II ("Do They Know it's Christmas?", 1989)
- Dunblane ("Knocking on Heaven's Door", 1996)
- Various Artists ("Perfect Day", 1998)
- Band Aid 20 ("Do They Know it's Christmas?", 2004)
- The X Factor Finalists ("Hero", 2008)
- The X Factor Finalists ("You Are Not Alone", 2009)
- Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band ("The Official BBC Children in Need Medley", 2009)
- Helping Haiti ("Everybody Hurts", 2010)
- Shout for England ("Shout", 2010)
- The X Factor Finalists ("Heroes", 2010)
As the contestants in the UK TV show The X Factor were different every year, the group of finalists were different each year as well, despite keeping the same name. In a similar manner, there have been a few different collaborations under the name "Various Artists", which have charted, none of which match the one singing "Perfect Day" as listed above, which is why they are eligible for inclusion on this list.
- List of Christmas number one singles (UK)
- List of number-one singles (UK)
- List of one-hit wonders in the United States
- List of one-hit wonders on the UK Albums Chart
- List of one-hit wonders on the UK Official Download Chart
- Most weeks on UK Singles Chart
- ^ Chartstats - Chart week ending 11 September 1954
- ^ Chartstats - "It's Almost Tomorrow" chart run
- ^ Billboard - Artist biography
- ^ Artist Direct - The Kalin Twins
- ^ IMDb.com - Jerry Keller biography
- ^ Ricky Valance official website - biography
- ^ Rockabilly - B.Bumble and the Stingers biography
- ^ 45-rpm - Overlanders
- ^ Chartstats - Single and Album Chart discography
- ^ Oldies.com - Zager and Evans biography
- ^ France vision - Serge Gainsbourg
- ^ Classic bands - The Archies
- ^ Discogs - Lee Marvin
- ^ Chartstats - Lee Marvin discography
- ^ Iain Matthews official website - biography
- ^ Dad's Army - "Grandad" by Clive Dunn
- ^ TV.com - Van Der Valk
- ^ Every hit - UK million sellers (#24)
- ^ Typically Tropical at Discogs.com
- ^ NME.com - JJ Barrie
- ^ Chartstats.com - Singles chart week ending 27 August 1977
- ^ Althea & Donna at Discogs.com
- ^ Manchester beat - "Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs"
- ^ Disco - Disco.com - Anita Ward
- ^ Footstompin.com - Lena Martell
- ^ The official charts.com - "Together we Are Beautiful"
- ^ IMDb.com - Sally Lindsay
- ^ one-hit wonders - St Winifred's School Choir
- ^ Joe Dolce official website - career biography
- ^ Allmusic.com - Charlene biography
- ^ Chartstats.com - Phyllis Nelson Chart discography
- ^ Robin Beck official website - Biography
- ^ Chartstats.com - Robin Beck chart discography
- ^ Allmusic.com - Partners in Kryme Discography
- ^ Hale and Pace and the Stonkers at Discogs.com
- ^ Doop at Last.fm
- ^ The Official Charts.com - Million Sellers
- ^ Mr Oizo discography at Discogs.com
- ^ The London Independent, 20 February 2000
- ^ Chicago Tribune - Extract of original essay
- ^ Chartstats - Cass Fox - "Touch Me"
- ^ Rui Da Silva biography at MySpace
- ^ Reg transfers - Interview at the time of follow-up single
- ^ Las Ketchup at AskMen.com
- ^ Biography at Yanou's MySpace page
- ^ Every hit.co.uk - Christmas No.1s
- ^ 3 of a Kind at Last.fm
- ^ The Daily Mail, 17 October 2006
- ^ Chartstats.com - Steve Brookstein single and album discography
- ^ Nizlopi - official website biography
- ^ http://www.chartstats.com/artistinfo.php?id=4932
- ^ Steve 'Sik' Hurley biography on MySpace page
- wwwk.co.uk - One-hit wonders list
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited, p. 540. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
UK Music Charts UK Singles Chart
Number ones (of the 1950s • 1960s • 1970s • 1980s • 1990s • 2000s • 2010s)
Best-selling (of the 1950s • 1960s • 1970s • 1980s • 1990s • 2000s)Best-selling by year • Christmas number ones • Number-one artists • Most number ones • Most weeks on chart • One-hit wonders • Instrumental number ones • Posthumous number ones • Simultaneous UK and US number ones • Top 10 singles • Records
UK Albums Chart
Number ones (of the 1950s • 1960s • 1970s • 1980s • 1990s • 2000s • 2010s)
Best-selling (of the 1960s • 1970s • 1980s • 1990s • 2000s)Best-selling by year • Christmas number ones • Most number ones • Most weeks on chart • One-hit wonders • Posthumous number ones • Simultaneous UK and US number ones
Number-one singles (of the 2000s • 2010s)
Number-one albums (of the 2000s • 2010s)Best-selling • Christmas number ones • Number-one artists • Most number-one singles • One-hit wonders
Other charts Related
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