We all know about one hit wonders. Rick Astley. Europe. Right Said Fred. VH-1 runs an entire programming schedule with shows about them. But have we ever thought about the ones who fared better than the one hit wonders? Those that made not just one but two solid hits? They had high hopes after the second hit because few ever reach that stage. But unfortunately their stars never got brighter.  

Well here is a chance to shine their star a bit brighter by acknowledging those two hit wonders we all wish we could hear more often because damn it, they just made good songs. That’s why they were hits.

And without further ado, here is my current list. I call it current because I will update it from time to time as I think of and hear of other two hit wonders, from here on out called 2HWs. This is not to be confused with the 2Legit2Quit, or 2L2Q, research project where they are finding artists who actually turned out to quit despite their legitimacy as artists having been proven.

(Update: it turns out this list is not as objective as I initially thought.  There are some artists who had more than two hits but I never heard those other ones.  So the question came up as to what constitutes a two hit wonder on this list.  The best answer I can give is that since it is my blog I will post those artists who I only know two of their songs.  But I will also mention their other hits as people point them out.  Ok, on with the show…)

Feel free to write in with any suggestions and I will add them. I will need artist/band name and the two song names.

  • Rob Base and EZ Rock – ‘It Takes Two’ and ‘Joy and Pain’
  • Crystal Waters – ‘100% Pure Love’ and ‘Dada-dee-dada-daa’
  • Men At Work – ‘Who Can It Be Now’ and ‘Land Down Under’  **this entry is being contested by Kevin Wiggen as he claims they have a couple other hits, ‘Overkill’ and ‘It’s a Mistake’.  I listened to both songs but did not recognize either. Wikipedia shows that ‘Overkill’ #3 in the U.S. charts in 1983. Kevin, maybe you’re just too old for this list.
  • Terrence Trent D’Arby – ‘Sign Your Name Across My Heart’ and ‘Wishing Well’ – my all time favorite two hit wonder.  I love both of these songs.
  • Tone Loc – ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Funky Col Medina’
  • PM Dawn – ‘Set Adrift on Memory Bliss’ and ‘Paper Doll’
  • White Lion – ‘Rise Again Little Fighter’ and ‘When the Children Cry’ ** my only senior citizen friend, Kevin Wiggen, has also contested this entry, claiming the song ‘Stay’ was a hit.  I looked it up and it actually did hit high up on the charts but after listening to it I have to admit I have never heard it.  I also think Kevin once saw Mozart live in concert.

Added on 7/8 (thanks Em for the submitting these!):

  • Bow Wow Wow – ‘I Want Candy’ and ‘Do You Wanna Hold Me’
  • Animotion – ‘Obsession’ and ‘I, Engineer’

Added on 7/10 (thanks to Aaron Murphy for these suggestions):

  • Bel Biv Devoe – ‘Poison’ and ‘Do Me’
  • ABC – ‘Aeisha’ and ‘Playground’
Added on 7/21 (thanks to Hassan Arshad for these suggestions.  The AD is a great one!)
  • Arrested Development – ‘Mr Wendel’ and ‘Tennessee’
  • Spin Doctors – ‘Two Princes’ and ‘Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong’
Added on 7/22 (thanks to Hassan again; he is now mildly addicted to discovering new 2 hit wonders)
  • Fine Young Cannibals – ‘She Drives Me Crazy’ and ‘Good Thing’
  • Kris Kross – ‘Jump’ and ‘Warm It Up’