Three One-hit Wonder Bands With More Substantive Work Behind Them

Having a hit can sometimes be a curse for musicians
Doug Fieger of The Knack - File Photos
Doug Fieger of The Knack - File Photos / Jeffrey Mayer/GettyImages

If you stick to dictionaries, the definition of one-hit wonder(s) (in music), seems to be quite simple - “a musical group that has achieved recognition on the basis of only one widely popular song.”

Yet, in real-world situations, things usually don’t turn out to be that simple. Through the decades of pop/rock music, there was quite a series of artists/bands that were created to put out a limited series of songs (usually formulaic) deemed to be a hit. 

Those songs could be hit, quite a few of them were, but after that limited series, or even just one song such artists would disappear, never to be heard of (at least not in that musical shape or form).

On the other hand, there are quite a few of those artists and bands who set out to present a more substantial body of work, had a hit or two (intentionally or not so), that actually did them more harm than good, as their other work besides that hit or hits never truly got the full appreciation it deserved.

The following three bands had a huge (or just a big) hit, but their other work was somehow left lingering in the shadows, only big fans following them through. 

The Knack

“My Sharona” was such a big hit back in the late seventies that its echoes still linger to this day. It took The Knack to the top of the charts around the globe. In many ways, it and Get The Knack, the debut album it was taken from, were (and still are) considered as the epitomes of the seventies power pop.

Yet, even though the band put out a series of quite solid, often refined power pop songs and albums, as far as the wider audience was concerned, it was as if they simply dropped off the planet. They kept soldiering on until the early death of the band’s main man Doug Fieger back in 2010.


What The Knack did for power pop, it was in many ways what Free did for hard rock back in the late sixties. Yet, while their first two excellent albums (Tons of Sobs - 1968 and Free - 1969) were mainly critics’ faves at the time), it was only “All Right Now,” that huge hit single from their third album (“Fire and Water,” 1970) that brought them to the attention of a wider audience, the song still blasting from various widows and parties to this day.

Still, even with a series of good to excellent five albums Paul Kossoff, Paul Rogers, and the rest of the band (with members changing) up until 1973, everything the band did fell into shadows compared to that one single song.


Back in mid-seventies England pub rock was a big thing, particularly among the rock critics there, with bands considered to be working within the genre favoring a range of styles.

Ace were among them, their main attraction being singer Paul Carrack, who made a solid solo career after he left the band.  Ace though came up with three thoroughly sophisticated soul/R&B albums at the time, that got very little wider attention when released.

Yet, it was only decades later, particularly during the COVID crisis that ‘How Long,” a song from the band’s 1975 album ‘Five-A-Side” became such a huge hit on streaming services, that the band’s name started floating around. Still, it didn’t seem that the success of the single did much to promote their three excellent albums.

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