One Hit Wonderland - Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry

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Comments (95)
  • MrKingOfWin  - My top 11 list for your next 1 hit wonders
    avatar
    In no particular order
    11.Never Gonna Give You Up-Rick Astley
    10.All Along the Watchtower-Jimi Hendrix(Seriously, he WAS a one-hit wonder, literally speaking of course)
    9.Because I got High-Afroman
    8.Jump Around-House of Pain
    7.Funkytown-Lipps Inc
    6.Smooth Criminal-Alien Ant Farm
    5.Can't Touch This-MC Hammer
    4.Ice Ice Baby-Vanilla Ice
    3.Who Let the Dogs Out-Baha Men
    2.Macarena-Los Del Rio
    1.House of The Rising Sun-The Animals
  • Dakota The Mad
    avatar
    How is The House of the Rising Sun a One-hit wonder for The Animals? They made other hits. Like "We Gotta Get out of This Place", which peaked at number 13 on Billboard's Hot 100.
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    Yeah, it's just that that is the only song everybody I know remembers about them. It may be different for you, but that is just in my place
  • dragonpullman  - The Animals
    The Animals, believe it or not, actually weren't a One Hit Wonder, aside from "House of the Rising Sun", they had two more Top 10 hits in the United States. Those songs were "See See Rider" (#10, 1966) and "San Franciscan Nights" (#9, 1967). They also had seven singles that made it into the Top 20. However, you are right in saying that "House of the Rising Sun" is their most well known song.
  • Dark Jak
    avatar
    While you are techinically right about Hendrix only having one Top 40, a One Hit Wonder by definition, is someone who is only remember for one song. This definitly can be said about Hendrix.

    And as for Animals, they had over a dozen Top 40 hits in the U.S.A., even more so overseas. Their pretty far from being One Hit Wonders.
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    That is ONE definition, it also has the literal definition of only having one song to chart
  • Wombatkidd
    Yeah, that is the ONE definition Todd uses when making these videos though. It's right in the intro.
  • EpicFish
    avatar
    "is someone who is only remember for one song. This definitly can be said about Hendrix." I'm sorry but what?! All Along The Watchtower is NOT the only song people remember Hendrix for. As another commenter pointed out:

    Purple Haze (I hear that song a dozen times on the radio)
    Hey Joe
    Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
    Foxey Lady
    Fire
    The Wind Cries Mary
    Little Wing
    Machine Gun
    Red House
    Rock Me Baby
    Wild Thing
    Angel
    Hear My Train a Comin'
    Are You Experienced?
    The Star Spangled Banner for cryin' out loud!

    All Along The Watchtower might have been his only Number One Hit, but it is NOT the only song he is known for! Even a casual fan knows of a few of these songs!
  • PlasticFrogCG
    avatar
    I think he meant "can't be said about Hendrix".
    I know I've failed to proof read my own comments many times only to facepalm later. Then again, there is an "edit" button on these comments.
  • Dark Jak
    avatar
    Let's chalk this up to me being an idiot who doesn't proof read my own comments.
  • Mary001
    avatar
    The Animals are NOT a one hit wonder. They also have "We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". Baha Men had another big song back in the day that was like "I can move it like this, I can shake it like that". And maybe it's just me, but Alien Ant Farm did a cover and I believe Todd already said he hates that version. The fact that it's a cover makes me want to dismiss him reviewing the song, because..it's a cover! I have a reason, I just can't put it into words...oh, and even if Jimi is a "technical" OHW, I know of "Purple Haze", and I know that's a fairly well-known song. So to me he doesn't really count.
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    I FORGOT about the Alien Ant Farm one THANK YOU!!!
  • LikaLaruku
    avatar
    MC Hammer had other hits. "Too Legit to Quit" was probably his biggest.

    Oh, I've got an idea for an April Fools episode of One Hit Wonder; "Tunak Tunak Tun" by Daler Mehndi.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    avatar
    Jimi - not really a one hit wonder. As others have pointed out, he is known for other songs than the one you cite. But also, he's not really a pop musician. He really doesn't fit the theme of the show that Todd has already established. It'd be like having MC Hammer on Headbanger's Ball.

    Alien Ant Farm - it's a cover of a Michael Jackson song. So what if they enjoyed a bit of success from it? It's still not really their song at all. One hit wonder? More like no hit wonder-unless-you-count- the-one-they-stole. And I don't.
  • JetstreamGW
    avatar
    Astley's a poor choice. He was a huge deal in the 80s. Among teenaged girls anyway

    Nobody remembers him at all now, but back then he was pretty big.

    The only reason anyone remembers "Never Gonna Give you up" at all at this point is because 4Chan got ahold of it.
  • Korahn
    avatar
    I'd add Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by Crash Test Dummies. I mean, I love their albums (and Superman's Song is still hauntingly awesome) but Mmm.. was the only song of theirs one could classify as a hit.
  • fanime1
    avatar
    Sorry, but Alien Ant Farm shouldn't count. It's a cover of a Michael Jackson song, and so Not Their's. So far, Todd hasn't put any cover in One Hit Wonderland, and I honestly don't see why he should.
  • thewreckofisengard  - Awesome
    Glad somebody else likes this song too. Most people just think of it as a novelty song but it really is much more then that.
  • MrKingOfWin  - My honorable mention
    avatar
    Also In no particular order
    1.Smells Like Teen Spirit-Nirvana
    2.Always Look on the Bright Side of Life-Monty Python(I'm as shocked as you)
    3.Thank You-Dido(I don't know if it's her one hit or not, which is why it's not on the main list)
    4.Lola-The Kinks(Same problem as #3)
  • hordrisstheconfuser
    The Kinks had loads of hits, Dido had way more than one hit, and Nirvana had Lithium, and a few others.
    As for Jimi Hendrix...
    Foxy Lady
    Hey Joe
    Purple Haze
    Voodoo Chile

    The Animals?
    We gotta get outta this place
    Don't let me be misunderstood
    Boom Boom

    I can't really argue with the others though.
    I feel some of the other critics have blasted Vanilla Ice enough, or at least shown us more of him than i can stand.
    I'd like to see Tod's take on Rick Astley.
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    Jimi Hendrix only had one COMMERCIAL HIT!!!
    that is the literal definition of ONE HIT WONDER. None of the other songs from Jimi had charted EVER(or at least in his lifetime, I don't know, which seems to be a recurring theme in these comments)
  • TragicGuineaPig
    avatar
    Doesn't matter, MrKingOfWin. His music went on later to enjoy long-term success, even if he never charted another song. He is well-known for plenty of other songs.

    You're arguing here what really amounts to a technicality. TECHNICALLY, you might be able to call him a one hit wonder, if and only if you operate with an extremely narrow definition of the term. But, the counter offered to you by myself and others is that he is well known for far more music than that. In the end, his overall success and the long-term legacy of his musical repertoire prevent us from labeling him according to the narrow definition you present us with.

    What I mean is this: Hendrix is not defined as an artist by the short-term success in the same way a true one hit wonder is; rather, he is defined by the long-term enduring quality of his whole body of work. And for that reason, he cannot be labeled a one hit wonder in any but the most narrow definition of the term.

    But most importantly, he doesn't really fit the theme of this show as Todd has thus far established it. In the end, it's really Todd's call if he wants to to a Hendrix show, but I think he would ultimately point to Hendrix' complete body of works rather than to his "one hit".
  • JetstreamGW
    avatar
    That's not the point, mate. This is all about bands that (in the US anyway) faded into obscurity after one major popular hit.

    It's not necessarily about people who only charted once. You're never gonna see Hendrix or Nirvana here because both of them are among the more popular acts of all time.
  • Freezer
    By that narrow logic, the Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin were also one-hit wonders.
  • Huginn  - The Kinks aren't One Hit Wonders
    You obviously have no idea, what you are talking about. With all the others you might be right (although I'm not too sure about The Animals. And Monty Python was a Comedy Group, not a Music Band. Plus, "The Lumberjack Song" was pretty big, too), but you are definitely wrong about The Kinks. They had at least two or three Top Ten Hits in the US ("Lola", "You really got me" and I think "All Day and all of the Night", there's maybe one more, but I'm not sure), so they hardly qualify as One Hit Wonders.

    But now to the real important part: Todd, I really liked your Pop Song Reviews, although I don't know a lot of the artists you review. But then you had the idea of "One Hit Wonderland" and everything got even better. Keep up the good work, and keep those One Hit Wonders coming.
    And I would love to see the Crash Test Dummies with "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm" on your show (although I don't know if they were One Hit Wonders in the US, too. They certainly were here in Germany).
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    ACTUALLY yes, MP was CLASSIFIED as a OHW, seriously LOOK IT UP!
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    I make mistakes, in this case I made several!
  • dragonpullman  - The Kinks
    The Kinks definitely weren't a One Hit Wonder, they had other hits such as "You Really Got Me" (#7, 1964), "Tired Of Waiting For You" (#6, 1965) and "Come Dancing" (#6, 1983).
  • Mary001
    avatar
    Nirvana? What? Granted, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is the most well known, and just a tad overrated, but it's by far not their only hit. I mean they have:
    In Bloom
    Lithium
    Heart-Shaped Box
    The Man Who Sold The World (yes a cover, but still)
    Rape Me
    Come As You Are

    And countless others. Definitely not a OHW.
    Monty Python...I don't think that's really music you can consider for this, but what do I know?

    Dido has a song called "Here With Me", not to mention she was featured on an Eminem song, "Stan"...though granted it was a sample of "Thank You".

    And The Kinks...uh. "You Really Got Me" and, well, for me at least, "Sunny Afternoon". Not a OHW.
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    My Bad, I am no music expert by any means, but then that is why I have the internet
  • PlasticFrogCG
    avatar
    Eric Idle would like a word with you.
    You do know he wrote many songs while with the Pythons and continued his music career when they split, right?
  • Goobian
    You kids that weren't around when a band was at their peak cannot define if someone was a one hit wonder or not. Nirvana? Really? They had a lot more songs then Teen Spirit. You probably just hear a Nirvana song on the radio and don't know it's them. And Dido has had more then one hit too.

    And MC Hammer was a one hit wonder. He crashed and burned hard. He had a comical song called pumps and a bump. That was a complete objectifying song that went against his morals. He started trying to make gangster rap. I would like to see Todd do a back story to him.
  • Freezer  - Please Hammer Don't Hurt Him
    "U Can't Touch This" wasn't the SECOND biggest hit from "PLease Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em": "Pray" (peaking at #2) and "Have You Seen Her" (#4) were both bigger chart toppers than "U Can't Touch This", which topped at #8 on the Billboard Top 100. He had two more top ten from his next album, "2 Legit 2 Quit": The title track (#5) and "Addams Groove" (#7).

    Sorry: You're pretty definitively wrong about MC Hammer.
  • Jegsimmons
    avatar
    1. Nirvana isn't a one hit wonder....also nirvana sucks, the grunge movement (Alice in chain excluded though they're more metal if anything) almost killed rock music as a whole by making it whiny and too lazy in music composition.
    Thank christ post grunge over took it and thanks christ 10 times over for the new wave of american heavy metal that started up in thanks to bands like pantera.
    2. i dont think movie songs count
    3. dont think they're one hitters
    4. lola, dont have enough info to comment
  • sprezzatura
    avatar
    The Kinks are kind of the best kept secret of pop music, if you ask me- until I really got onto them, I'd always be hearing covers of their songs, and songs of theirs in movies and stuff, and then when I'd look it up, I'd be all "Yup. The Kinks again." Judging from the way they leak into pop culture, I wouldn't really call them a one hit wonder myself.

    Also, is that REALLY the only song of Nirvana's to chart? That's so odd. When I think of one hit wonders, I usually think of some song everyone remembers, but can't place the artist at all. Everybody seems to know who Nirvana are lol.
  • War1309
    avatar
    though not a one hit wonder Id like to see Genghis Khan if for no other reason to act as a counter point to the whole gangnam style
  • GD82
    avatar
    That would be interesting. And for some reason I just can't hate Moskau, even if that fvcking song always gets stuck in my head.
  • FrustratedWhiteMale
    "I Know What Boys Like" By The Waitresses

    I mean it. The Song itself isn't amazing or terribly interesting. But pretty much every other song on the album was new wave gold.

    Ane band has a bit of an interesting history and their "other Hit" in Europe "Christmas Wrappings is awesome
  • BoomKrakatoa
    avatar
    Wild cherries, eh? Aren't some of those poisonous?

    Hmm...I wonder if all those piano bits Mr. TITS plays at the beginning are all played by ear?
  • andx0r
    avatar
    One Hit Wonderland is rapidly becoming my most eagerly anticipated column on this site.
  • Rue_Ryuzaki2  - oh
    avatar
    I enjoy it when "Play that funky music" plays on the radio when Im traveling. but like you said Todd there are better bands than wild cherry from that era.
  • chromesthesia
    avatar
    This song is so fun and makes me laugh.
  • Mousy Voice
    avatar
    Funny. when you said that the song sounded like Play That Funky Music as played by Kenny G, that was immediately came to my mind too.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    avatar
    You're absolutely right about this: "Play That Funky Music" is Waaaaaay better than "Afternoon Delight".
  • death_entrap  - If MrKingOfWin is QUITE finished...
    Afroman - Because I Got High

    Soft Cell - Tainted Love

    Bobby McFerrin - Dont Worry, Be Happy

    Chumbawamba - Tubthumping

    The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star

    Chris Isaac - Wicked Game

    Toni Basil - Mickey

    That's how you do it, son.
  • MrKingOfWin
    avatar
    Yes, yes I AM quite finished
  • The Movie Explorer
    avatar
    You failed to mention that “Play That Funky Music” was pretty much a note-for-note copy of Sly Stone’s “Thank You.”.

    They weren’t the only rock & rollers to become a disco one hit wonder. Atlanta’s Alicia Bridges started out as a Janis Joplin wannabee, of course her one foray into disco (“I Love the Night Life”) wound up totally eclipsing the rest of her career.
  • ArthurCrane  - No Surprise
    avatar
    This reminds me of how Aerosmith wrote a song called No Surprise, which was itself a retelling of one of the band's first big gigs and how it got the band a record deal.
  • Goat Boy
    avatar
    Even more amazing: Someone actually likes Afternoon Delight?
  • TragicGuineaPig
    avatar
    I do!! :D

    Oh, wait. You mean the SONG "Afternoon Delight". Yeah, I hate it too, it sucks.
  • sprezzatura
    avatar
    Bahahaha no kidding. I shudder to think of the kind of people that lurk about the internets...
  • badgersprite
    avatar
    Brilliant. Somehow, I knew you would be doing this one next.

    And hell yeah, this song is fucking awesome.
  • LikaLaruku
    avatar
    Bleh, 70s music; The only decade I can't tolerate a single genre of music from. I'll go wash my ears out with some Glenn Miller.

    My mom thought it was funny that I hated disco, since I love hardcore, hardhouse, goa-psy, chiptunes, club, eurobeat, para-para, & 90s dance.
  • PlayMp1
    avatar
    Okay, so you like jazz. How much jazz? Most jazz fans and jazz musicians I know also like funk... pure, good funk (like Tower of Power, Parliament/Funkadelic, and Maceo Parker) is basically jazz set straight and based around layering ostinatos instead of jazz's typical melodic progressions.
  • Freezer
    You. Me. Outside. With knives.
  • jeshnyx
    avatar
    This song will forever go down in the history as an awesome funk rock song. Oh and Todd the opening riff of the song is actually played on guitar, not bass :P
  • PlayMp1
    avatar
    I thought exactly that when he said it. Bass tends to have a very "pure" sound about it, even when amplified (except when distorted, obviously - Lemmy's bass is anything but pure). That guitar riff is anything but pure and clean, like bass.
  • PlayMp1
    avatar
    Todd, you forgot the most important mostly-white 70s funk group: Tower of Power. I mean, the tenor sax player for Tower of Power just happens to be the leader for the goddamn SNL band, and What Is Hip is a classic.
  • Artimaeus
    Turn up the Radio-- Autograph
  • AlucardsQuest
    avatar
    I hate this song, so I guess I'm not your friend. Kind of a shallow point of view however if you ask me... maybe for both of us. but then I see all pop music of all eras as shallow.
  • JehuTron
    avatar
    Just like I thought, Disco was indeed the Dubstep of the 70s, it was everywhere, alot of singers and bands were riding it's bandwagon, and people got sick of it because of that, personally, I like both. (Bite me, I like Dubstep, it's fun, but only in measured doses, of course)

    if there's any band I want Todd to cover in a future OHW episode, it would be Milli Vanilli, they would make a fun little episode to watch. ^^
  • Treiz  - meh
    avatar
    nice, love the song but agree that their other stuff doesn't hold up. Too bad really.
  • CyborgPrince
    avatar
    I've heard this song, but never really knew the band. I guess I now know why. They never got well known outside of this song. In all honestly, I didn't know they were white. I guess I had automatically assumed they were black because they were doing funk, but I guess Wild Cherry goes to show that white people can get funky too.
  • DTNext
    avatar
    i for one like miss you by the rolling stones
  • EpicFish
    avatar
    I'd still like to see Digital Underground's Humpty Dance covered on this some day.
  • Freezer
    Digital Underground had at least one other hit, AFAIK: "Same Song" from the "Nothing But Trouble" soundtrack - AKA "The song that introduced the world to 2Pac".
  • Kaiju-Z
    avatar
    This is freaky o - o

    The other day I was singing that song to myself. And now you put up a vid on it! D:
  • Mr Fox
    avatar
    Dido's had quite a lot of hits, but I imagine there's that whole transatlantic barrier distorting the view, much like in A-Ha's case - she's certainly had a far more hitraking career in the UK/Europe than in the US.

    I'd second Chumbawamba as a recommendation, if only because I still think that their reputation as having made only Tubthumping is really unfair for a group with such a HUGE, varied (and far more intelligent than the aforementioned song, even if that has its subversive nature too) discography.

    But really, aside from that, I'd just like to be corny for a moment and give massive kudos to Todd. I've been checking out this site for a good few years now but only recently came across your corner of it, and it's actually made me want to register. Love your take on pop music, and especially love these One Hit Wonderland videos - I've always had a strange interest towards the careers of one-hit wonders so this really hits the spot for me. Keep up the great work Todd! And sorry for being a cheeseball who posts stuff like this on the net.
  • Mephisto
    You want to talk about one hit wonders? What about T.a.T.U. and "All the things she said"?

    Aqua probably doesn't qualify, but most might not remember anything more than "Barbie Girl"

    And who can forget Silverchair and Tomorrow?

    Todd can mine so much info on so much that his show will never, ever, ever, see the end...ever, ever, ever, ever.
  • Romanticide
    avatar
    didn't T.a.t.u. got other popular songs? O.o

    Anyways, does anybody noticed that more inside the 2000s the less one hit wonders we have got lately, seems like the music industry is now aiming for constant mediocrity instead of one good song and lots of flukes after... is kinda weird O.o
  • Mr Fox
    avatar
    I think it only seems like that's the case because of a combination of living in this era and the way digital sales have changed the market. Only a small number of hit songs will continue to live outside the era they first appeared in and that's especially true with fleeting phenomena like one-hit-wonders; the rest history largely filters out, with only those who have a higher interest towards the said artists knowing better. Only time will tell which hits will really transcend time and continue to live. That's also why it might feel like there's a constant stream of mediocrity at play: that was the case at each era but we forget nearly all of it (and nostalgia clouds the rest).

    I'd say that within around the last year alone, PSY and Gotye have fairly good chances of becoming one-hit wonders that we'll see featured in One Hit Wonderland 2025. The former's the definition of a novelty hit and will be the highlight of many school reunions in a decade or so with its silly dance and catchy title phrase. The latter I can see becoming much like A-Ha: continued success in his native Australia and possibly to a lesser extent somewhere else, but nowhere to be found in the US.

    (big apologies if this message appears twice, the system ate my last comment and I've no idea if it'll appear again)
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