There are quite a lot of artists in whose creative library there is only one hit, very famous, but only one. What is behind the term and who can be attributed to one-time performers?
All musicians strive for fame and earn money on their own music. We dream that people would be interested in our work, love it and remember it for many years. However, it often happens that the desire to become famous plays a cruel joke with the performers: a hit appears in their arsenal, after which, unfortunately, there is nothing more than the offensive label “One Hit Group”.
It is not known for certain who was the first one-hit group. The term first appeared in the media in 1977 – an unpleasant label was hung on the Swedish group ABBA in the Canadian newspaper Winnipeg Free Press.
A one-hit group or one-hit performer is a musical group or artist in whose work there is only one known composition. The performer is associated with a specific composition, while other songs are not only unknown to anyone, but also not interesting.
Before the advent of streaming and YouTube, the music industry called a hit any song that made the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In practice, hits were called songs that settled in the top 40 positions of the list, while the remaining 60 songs were simply classified as popular tracks.
Today the situation has changed: the Billboard charts no longer play such a role in the music industry, so to receive the status of the author of one hit, it is enough to release only one hit song. It doesn’t matter how the track gets publicity: the song can “shoot” on YouTube, on SoundCloud or in any other way.
It is worth noting that the unpleasant status is not applicable to all performers. So, for example, the tracks of Jimi Hendrix, The White Stripes, Rush, Beck and The Grateful Dead got into the Billboard Hot 100 for the first 40 lines only once, but this does not make them performers of one hit. The overall influence on the music, the love of the public, the high sales of albums and the presence of other famous songs takes many musicians out of the notion of a “One Hit Band”.
The reverse is also true. There have been examples in the history of music whose songs consistently hit the charts, but this did not save them from being labeled unpleasantly. Getting into the Billboard Hot 100 does not mean instant status as a one-hit artist. The title is assigned behind the scenes and over time, while the status does not depend on the amount of music released, nor on its quality and fame. If the artist continues to be active, always remains popular and releases other popular songs, he will never become the owner of such a status.