19. “Unbelievable” By EMF
We didn’t require much in way of lyrics in the ’90s. Not for songs like “Unbelievable” anyway. The dance hit is known primarily for its “You’re unbelievable” refrain. Couldn’t tell you much else about it, though — only that it hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and continues to be a dance club classic.
18. “Everything About You” By Ugly Kid Joe
Ugly Kid Joe continues to play live shows, hosting a joint tour with Skid Row just last year. Their 1992 hit “Everything About You” remains an instantly recognizable anthem to hater-ade. Rock on, boys!
17. “Cry” By Waterfront
If you haven’t heard, don’t remember, or forgot about this soulful 1988 pop song from the one-hit wonder act Waterfront, you’re welcome. Waterfront had just the one album and just the one hit (No. 10 in the US, No. 17 in the UK) until 2011’s Ghosts of the Good comeback that contained a country version of this tune.
16. “Who Let The Dogs Out?” By The Baha Men
The Baha Men hit No. 1 in Australia and New Zealand with their instantly recognizable bark-anthem from 2000. While they didn’t enjoy the same success here in the States, they did chart in several Billboard categories. It’s also one of the few songs that Siri will actually respond to.
15. “Mambo No. 5” By Lou Bega
Few who were introduced to the song “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega probably realize that by the time the song hit No. 1 on the US Billboard Top Mainstream charts in 1999, it was already 50 years old. The initial recording happened in 1949 by Cuban star Dámaso Pérez Prado. Bega successfully modernized it and made it his own, though.
14. “Banditos” By The Refreshments
“Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people…”
Right around the intrusion of the Internet into our daily lives, The Refreshments scored with this 1996 hit that famously (and accurately) laid down those lyrics. Close to 20 years later, YouTube commenters continue to prove them right. The band itself broke up in ’98, so they didn’t have much time to churn out any more hits. Unfortunate.
13. “Barbie Girl” By Aqua
“Barbie Girl” is one of those songs you either love or hate. Bursting onto the scene in 1997, it proved to be the signature song of Aqua, and nothing they did after that came close to its success. Now if you’ll excuse us, we don’t want to waste too many words on it.
12. “Kiss The Rain” By Billie Myers
Billie Myers’ 1998 hit “Kiss The Rain” was born from the happy accident of a misunderstood lyric. While listening to “Glycerine” by Bush, Myers thought Gavin Rossdale was singing “Kiss the rain” instead of “Glycerine.” Once she discovered the truth, she found herself still enamored with the line and the song grew from there.
11. “I’m Too Sexy” By Right Said Fred
English band Right Said Fred scored a huge international hit with 1992’s “I’m Too Sexy,” charting at No. 1 in five countries including the United States. They followed it up with “Don’t Talk Just Kiss,” a lesser hit before disappearing from the mainstream for good shortly thereafter. You can still keep up with the act over at RightSaidFred.com. They remain active.
10. “Would I Lie To You?” By Charles & Eddie
Played this for the wife recently. She remembered it but had always thought the voices belonged to women. Sorry, Charles & Eddie. Your lone hit is still a nice piece of nostalgia from the early ’90s, though.
9. “Roll To Me” By Del Amitri
I feel a little bad putting Del Amitri on a one-hit wonders list. They deserve much better, and they did have a longer career outside the States. (Seek them out. Seriously.) But alas, they’re here because the masses likely know them only for their 1995 hit “Roll to Me.” Darn fine song, but they’ve done much better.
8. “Waiting For A Star To Fall” By Boy Meets Girl
Boy Meets Girl was the husband-wife songwriting team of George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam. They wrote and performed this song in 1988 after being rejected by Whitney Houston. They had previously inked her No. 1 hits “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “How Will I Know,” but for some reason this got a pass and so they cut and released it themselves on their Reel Life album. It turned out to be a pretty wise move. The song hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts.
7. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” By Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin pushed out this aggravating little ditty in 1988, and was promptly typecast as the Happy Guy for the rest of his career. In retrospect, it is a nice little toe-tapper, but I sure did hate it at the time.
6. “Nobody Knows” By The Tony Rich Project
In 1996, the Tony Rich Project released this heartbreaker and promptly rose up the charts even inspiring a country version by Kevin Sharp (don’t bother). Rich was nominated for a Grammy and managed to hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
5. “Regulate” By Warren G. And Nate Dogg
With Warren G. and Nate Dogg, it’s hard to figure why they were never able to reproduce the lightning in a bottle that was their 1994 hit. Every syllable of this masterpiece is smoother than silk, but very much legit in the gangsta department.
4. “How Bizarre” By OMC
This 1996 song tore up the radio airwaves and also landed on two film soundtracks by 1998 (Palmetto and Disney’s remake of The Parent Trap). OMC, a New Zealand-based music group, was responsible for it, and they were never able to recreate it.
3. “Ice Ice Baby” By Vanilla Ice
A more blatant musical ripoff we did not see again until Kid Rock mangled “Werewolves of London” and “Sweet Home Alabama” together a few years ago. The Ice Man’s 1990 contribution to this list of one-hit wonders took its cues from David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure.”
2. “Tubthumping” By Chumbawamba
Deep, deep lyrics. Okay, maybe not. But we do appreciate the message to this tub-thumping tune from 1997. Unfortunately, that was it for Chumbawamba, but not many bands can churn out a song with such staying power. No shame in that!
1. “I Touch Myself” By The Divinyls
She wants you. She don’t want anybody else. And when she thinks about you, well, she’s anything but subtle about it. This 1991 Classic was the only smash hit the Divinyls ever had, and with the tragic death of lead singer Chrissy Amphlett in 2013 of breast cancer, it looks like it will have to do. RIP, dear lady.