3) THE INEXPLICABLE ONE-HIT WONDER
It is important to clarify these from the Awesome One-Hit Wonderses of the world. First of all, the I.O.H.W. almost invariably comes at the beginning of the artist’s career. Without the I.O.H.W., there never really would have been a band in the first place. And once the I.O.H.W. is over, the band is over. …Hence the highly existential question: “Why?” As in; “So this is all you had in the tank, huh?” Or even more simply: “What the hell went wrong?”
Inexplicable One-Hit Wonders are called Inexplicable for a reason. Hearing them is like staring at an old yearbook photo of yourself. Probably a yearbook photo from the eighties (when so many of these songs were written). …I used to wear that sweater? …I had that haircut? You still recognize and even understand the person in the photo, but really, you’ve Moved On. In the same way (sort of), “Come On Eileen” is a great song, but what’s the deal with those overalls? What’s the deal with those inexplicable lyrics? …And “Relax, don’t do it/ When you want to come” …those were the words to a hit song?
Put more simply — “Fast Car” will always be a good song. “Relax,” on the other hand — well, we’re not so sure about that one yet. It’s all a little inexplicable, in a way.
The I.O.H.W. is also a dangerous category for a young artist to fall into. However, some do manage to escape it. I would have bet a million dollars (for instance), that “My Name Is” would have been the only Eminem song that anyone ever heard. I turned out to be wrong (in a good way). On the other hand, in a bad way, would anyone have ever guessed that we’d still be talking about Britney Spears ten years after “Hit Me Baby One More Time”? But “Oops! I Did It Again” secured her place in the firmament, for better or for worse.
You just never can tell, can you?
It’s all so… inexplicable.
THE MORAL: Sing for the moment, Carpe Diem, gather ye rosebuds while you may, life moves pretty fast; you might never be this happy (or wealthy) again, so enjoy it while it lasts, bucko.
OTHER EXAMPLES: “You Get What You Give” by The New Radicals, “She Blinded Me with Science” by Thomas Dolby, “Rock n’ Roll, Part 2? by Gary Glitter, “Steal My Sunshine” by Len, “How Bizarre” by OMC, “Lovefool” by the Cardigans, “Connected” by Stereo MCs, “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love” by Jane Child, “Unbelievable” by EMF, “Right Here Right Now” by Jesus Jones, “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles, “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, “Breathe Me” by Sia, “Spaceship” by Angie Aparo, “Circle of Friends” by Edie Brickell, “Stay” by Lisa Loeb, “Jump Around” by House of Pain, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by The Scorpions, “Gangster’s Paradise” by Coolio, “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash, “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugar Hill Gang, “This or That,” by Black Sheep, and on and on and on… And of course, “Louie Louie,” “Land Down Under,” “Safety Dance,” and “Come On Eileen,” each of which has a good claim for being the über one-hit wonder song.