Six stunning one-hit wonders from the 1970s

These were all memorable hits back in the 1970s, but somewhat surprisingly they weren't followed up by more from the same artist.

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When it comes to the 1970s there does seem to be a lot of one-hit wonders. And I mean a lot. Despite there being plenty to choose from, it can still be tricky to select a list. That's probably down to how you define a single hit, and of course where in the world you are measuring chart success. 

Some artists may be huge in their own country or some parts of the world but don't hit the heights of the charts in other major music industry countries. David Essex is often cited as a one-hit wonder in the US Billboard Hot 100 with “Rock On”. Readers in the UK will wonder about that. Essex had 19 Top 40 hits there, a couple at number one, not to mention his 16 Top 40 albums, TV and film acting, and stage show successes. 

To keep it clear and simple, here are six songs that comfortably fit a tighter definition as one-off hits in the top 40 charts across several major music industry countries including the US and UK, with one very minor exception.

Six 1970s one hit wonders

M - Pop Muzik

This one is a very memorable one-hit wonder. It comes from musician Robin Scott under the name of M. “Pop Muzik” was a simple but catchy and very dance-orientated mix and blend of various types. Synths, keyboards, electronic drum beats, and unusual vocals all combined effectively. 

As a fun, quirky but stylish pastiche, it quickly became an earworm of the late 1970s when it was released in March 1979. It was also a big hit, reaching number two in the UK charts where it would undoubtedly hit the top spot but Art Garfunkel and “Bright Eyes” held it off. It did hit number one around most of Europe, the US, and Canada though. Some claim it was the first new wave number one in the US. That probably depends on how you define new wave - a whole other article and debate!