39. “Mercy” By Duffy
Duffy has a wonderful throwback voice to the days of the 1960s. Her 2008 single “Mercy” definitely sounds like it belongs in another decade (in a good way). Unfortunately, she wasn’t too fond of the fame that her smash hit brought, and has since fought the urge to “become a recluse.” Chances are, you haven’t seen more of Duffy because she doesn’t want to be found.
38. “New Soul” By Yael Naïm
French-Israeli Indie folk singer Yael Naim got her first and only hit with the 2008 song “New Soul” after Apple decided to use it as part of the marketing campaign for their MacBook Air line of laptops. As a result, you might have thought this was something put together in-house, but no, not the case.
37. “Chasing Cars” By Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol’s 2006 song “Chasing Cars” is best known by the refrain, “If I lay here / If I just lay here / Would you lie with me and just forget the world?” Unfortunately, the mainstream has pretty much forgotten them, with no further hits to speak of in the last eight years. They are still active, though, so fingers crossed!
36. “Hate Me” By Blue October
Houston-based alt-rock band Blue October had three releases that you might be familiar with — “Calling You,” “Into The Ocean,” and 2006’s “Hate Me,” which remains their best-known song, and their only big hit, reaching No. 2 on the US Billboard Modern Rock chart.
35. “Bad Day” By Daniel Powter
Powter’s last known performance was as recent as July 2013, though you’ve kind of got to wonder what the guy sings other than his 2006 hit “Bad Day,” which rose to prominence through a Coca-Cola marketing campaign and extensive use on the show American Idol.
34. “Listen To Your Heart” By D.H.T.
D.H.T.’s 2005 cover of the Roxette song “Listen To Your Heart” was a big hit for the group, but they were never able to reproduce the success of the source band. While Roxette had a number of hits throughout the ’90s, this song among them, D.H.T. remains known for only this, and they haven’t released an album since 2006.
33. “1985” By Bowling For Soup
Springsteen. Madonna. Way before Nirvana. Is it us, or was 2004 a heck of a year for music? Anyone who grew up in the ’80s can’t help but love this nostalgic look back. Amazingly, it only went to No. 22 on the Australian charts and No. 23 in the US.
32. “Heaven” By Los Lonely Boys
Los Lonely Boys scored big in 2004 with their crossover hit “Heaven” (or “How Far Is Heaven,” if you don’t recognize it from just the one-word title). The band continues to play live shows and record studio albums, but their success has never topped this, their sole No. 1 song.
31. “Ocean Avenue” By Yellowcard
Yellowcard was one of many groups in the ’90s and ’00s — as evidenced by this list — that were able to land one huge hit only to have the rest of their stuff stagnate. The year for “Ocean Avenue” was 2004. Thankfully, they’re still active, so you never know what the future might hold. On an oh-crap-look-how-old-I’m-getting note, it’s hard to believe this is now 10 years old.
30. “The Reason” By Hoobastank
Hoobastank’s 2004 release “The Reason” was a smash No. 1 hit in the US, Canada, Mexico, Italy, and the UK. The video adds an interesting dimension to the song, where instead of it being a straight love song, it’s about a group of guys (and one girl), who stage a diversion to commit a pawn shop robbery. For some reason, that gives us a new respect.
29. “Stacy’s Mom” By Fountains Of Wayne
Always thought of the 2003 Fountains of Wayne hit “Stacy’s Mom” as a “Jessie’s Girl” for the MILF generation, though it takes more of a cue from The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” musically. FOW never were able to move past the success of their salute to cougars, but they did hit No. 3 on the US charts, so that’s a nice consolation.
28. “The Boys Of Summer” By The Ataris
The Ataris put a hard-rock spin on Don Henley’s “The Boys Of Summer” in 2003, and there’s a good chance if you were born in the ’90s, you think it’s the original. Not so, but the switch-up in approach does breathe new life into this classic.
27. “Why Can’t I?” By Liz Phair
Liz Phair’s 2003 ode to cheating, “Why Can’t I?” remains her biggest hit, even though her career has been steady and successful, thus bringing into question the one-hit wonder moniker. Nevertheless, when you have one song that eclipses your entire body of work, we think that makes you worthy of inclusion. Personally, we’d love to see more of this 46-year-old beauty.
26. “Heaven” By DJ Sammy And Yanou Featuring Do
This 2002 remake of the Bryan Adams’ song was one of two covers on the DJ Sammy album — the other being “The Boys Of Summer.” “Heaven” was the bigger of the two hits, but ol’ DJ couldn’t do much else.
25. “Wherever You Will Go” By The Calling
“Wherever You Will Go” peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Adult Top 40 for 23 weeks. The latter accomplishment is made even more special by the fact that it is the second longest running No. 1 in the chart’s history. Billboard Magazine eventually named it the No. 1 song of the decade on their Adult Pop Charts.
24. “Smooth Criminal” By Alien Ant Farm
The original “Smooth Criminal” was recorded by Mr. Anything-but-a-one-hit-wonder, Michael Jackson. In 2001, Alien Ant Farm took a crack at it with a harder-edged version that hit No. 1 in Australia and the US.
23. “Because I Got High” By Afroman
“Because I Got High,” the only mainstream hit of Afroman, landed on charts around the world in 2001, reaching No. 1 in the UK as well as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway. The marketing of this number was a master’s class in the power of modern technology. Afroman distributed it mainly through concerts and allowed the song to be posted to file-sharing service Napster. This eventually landed it on The Howard Stern Show. From there, it appeared in the films Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Disturbia, A Thousand Words, and The Perfect Score.
22. “Breathless” By The Corrs
This 2001 hit from Irish pop rock group The Corrs managed to hit No. 1 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary charts. It also scored big in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK, reaching the top of the charts in each country.
21. “Crazy For This Girl” By Evan And Jaron
Play Evan and Jaron’s “Crazy For This Girl” for most people, and they will say, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard that one.” Nevertheless, the 2001 hit never climbed above No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and it failed to hit No. 1 in any country where it was released. Good song and solid album, though. Jaron released a country song, “Pray For You” in 2009 and charted at No. 20.
20. “Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)” By Nine Days
Contrary to popular belief (and continued misnaming efforts from people on the Internet), the 2000 song “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” belonged to a one-hit wonder band known as Nine Days and not, under any circumstances ever, Third Eye Blind or 3 Doors Down. Can we now lay that to rest, please?