It’s Thursday and that can only mean one thing: throwback. We are throwing back musically this week and remembering some of the ’90s one-hit wonders that we all still – admit it! – hum along to when throwback hour kicks off. Admittedly some on our list had more than just the one song but let’s just say their follow up efforts never proved as good as that one elusive hit.
Let’s have a look at the hits we wish we had more of.
Shanice – I Love Your Smile
“Sitting in my class just drifting away…” cooed Shanice and we all thought of that one guy/girl whose smile we loved. I know I did! It reached the top ten in 22 countries, including the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Shanice never had a bigger hit.
CeCe Peniston – Finally
Peniston was only 21 when “Finally” bust onto the US club scene in 1991 and became an instant dance anthem. In October ’91 it peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play for two weeks, and within three months of “Finally”, the US sale of the single reached over 500,000 copies, and over 3 million worldwide. Finally, it was happening to CeCe, but it ran its course.
Lou Bega – Mambo No.5
Was it the wrath of all the women scorned? Despite mega-hit “Mambo No 5” rising to No. 3 in American and No. 1 pretty much everywhere else, Lou Bega never reached the dizzy heights of the womanising groove shuffle anthem again. But while it lasted, we were on our feet jiving.
House of Pain – Jump Around
A hiphop classic from 1992, “Jump Around” was a sad lone hit for the Brooklyn-based hip-hop trio which disbanded four years later lead rapper Everlast left to pursue his solo career.
Haddaway – What is Love?
Hadda-who? is what the millennial generation will be asking, but we’ll have you know, back in 1993, Haddaway had it, if only for a brief second. By the beginning of 1994, worldwide sales of “What Is Love” had already reached 2.6 million. Sadly, Haddaway’s follow-up efforts didn’t reach anywhere near the dizzying heights of the addictive dance anthem “What is Love?”
MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This
Granted, MC Hammer who introduced Hammerpants to the world of dodgy style choices may have had a few other hits, but name one and we will walk down our high street in Hammerpants. Thought so.
Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby
“Alright, stop!” is how Robert Matthew Van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice, broke into the rap scene in 1990 with “Ice Ice Baby”. Despite later, less mainstream musical output and a loyal underground following, Vanilla Ice never had another monster hit like the one which became the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts.
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch – Good Vibrations
The acclaimed Oscar nominated actor Mark Wahlberg as a wannebe rapper by the name of Marky Mark. Yup, that’s right! Following in the footsteps of his big bro, New Kids on the Block’s Don Wahlberg, Marky set up his own boy band – of the hiphop variety – and in 1991 released “Good Vibrations”. The song became a number-one hit in the United States, Sweden, San Marino and Switzerland. Looking back now, we think it’s for the best Wahlberg ditched the funky bunch and pursued a career in acting.
Kris Kross – Jump
For about eight weeks back in 1992, we briefly considered wearing all our clothes backwards; coincidentally this was around the time we were jumping around to a a massive hit by two boys named Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith, better know as Kris Kross. “Jump” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks and certified double platinum.
Los de Rio – Macarena
Once a party starter with its coordinated dance taking weddings, parties, discos across the globe by storm, perhaps this one is best left in the annals of dodgy ’90s music. Back in 1995 though, we clearly thought otherwise as it spent 14 weeks at the top spot on the Billboard charts. Hands up anyone who can still remember the moves? Oh, only me, then.
Charles and Eddie – Would I Lie to You
This mellow song, the debut single by the American pop-soul duo proved to be their biggest hit. A major international success, it reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in November 1992, and was also number one in New Zealand, Germany and Austria. It was a top five hit in several other European countries while in Australia and Canada it went to number 3. The single became a Top 20 hit in the US, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. One of the one hit wonders we genuinely are sad was not followed by more.
Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack
There is no denying British R&B star Mark Morrison put out new material but none reached the success of his biggest hit to date, the 1996 single “Return of the Mack” which became a number-one or Top 10 hit in several European countries in 1996 and peaked at number 2 in the United States the following year.