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  • Gavin Scott

One-Hit Wonders On The Australian Chart: The 1990s

Originally posted in 2014. Updated in 2020.


I recently compiled a list of genuine one-hit wonders on the Australian singles chart during the 1980s. I won't rehash everything I said there about who I consider to be a one-hit wonder (and who I don't) you can read it here, instead. Now, as promised, it's time to tackle the 1990s and I'll do things in a similar way.


Julee Cruise fitted into the quirky world of Twin Peaks perfectly

First, I'll look at artists who had one number 1 single and no other top 50 appearances. Then, I'll move on to acts that had a solitary top 10 single and no further top 50 hits and in a separate post, I'll compile a list of two-hit wonders (including a potentially controversial showing by Los Del Rio).

Ultimate One-Hit Wonders: one number 1 and no further hits

One quick note before we get started: the list of chart-topping one-hit wonders from the '90s doesn't include Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras' six-week number 1, "Amigos Para Siempre (Friends For Life)", since Sarah had previously visited the top 50 (on 1986's "All I Ask Of You"). You ready to kick some ass?


"Sucker DJ" by Dimples D

Entered the Australian chart: March 3, 1991

Weeks at number 1: Two

No other top 100 entries

By the early '90s, Australia had finally got its collective head around rap music even if it was only the ultra-commercial end of the hip-hop spectrum, and songs like this, Heavy D & The Boyz' "Now That We Found Love" and Young MC's "Bust A Move" that tended to feature on the ARIA chart. "Sucker DJ" dated back to 1983, when hip-hop legend Marley Marl (who is name-checked in the lyrics) recruited vocalist Crystal Smith to front the track, then called "Sucker D.J.'s (I Will Survive)". That version of the song did approximately nothing, but a Ben Liebrand remix, which added the theme tune to I Dream Of Jeannie to the track, turned it into a smash hit in a handful of countries, including Australia.

More on "Sucker DJ" here.



"Falling" by Julee Cruise

Entered the Australian chart: March 10, 1991

Weeks at number 1: One

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest hit: "Wired For Sound" (with B(if)tek), number 82 in 2000

There was no bigger TV show in 1991 than Twin Peaks well, as far as I was concerned, although a certain chart-topping animated family (see below) might beg to differ. So much of the creepy atmosphere of the cult series was created by Angelo Badalamenti's memorable score, which in turn took its inspiration from the 1989 Julee Cruise album, Floating Into The Night, that Angelo had written and produced with Twin Peaks creator David Lynch. Julee performed "Falling" on the show, while an instrumental version of the song served as the series' main theme tune.

More on "Falling" here.



"Here's Johnny" by Hocus Pocus

Entered the Australian chart: January 22, 1995

Weeks at number 1: Six

No other top 100 entries

From one musical extreme to the other... like rap, dance music also broke through in a big way in the '90s and techno was just one of the many genres to cross over from the clubs to the charts. But, like "Sucker DJ", it was a track with a novelty bent that became techno's biggest hit. "Here's Johnny" featured Jack Nicholson dialogue from The Shining over the top of its relentless beat, and achieved what other acts like Ultra-sonic and Scooter (at least at this stage in their career) couldn't by breaking into the ARIA top 50. The song appears to have been around as early as 1992, before Central Station Records licensed it for release in Australia in late 1994. As for Hocus Pocus, they were Dutch duo Peter Garnefski and Ferry Ridderhof, who we'll see under a different alias later on.

More on "Here's Johnny" here.



"Insensitive" by Jann Arden

Entered the Australian chart: June 18, 1995

Weeks at number 1: One

No other top 100 entries

She may be a one-hit wonder in Australia, but Canadian singer Jann Arden has had a long and successful career back home, with multiple top 10 singles on the Canadian chart over the past two decades. However, it was her 1994 single "Insensitive" which broke through in Australia after its release and high-rotation radio play the following year. The song ended up having quite a long lifespan, finally cracking the US top 20 in 1996 after its use in the Christian Slater/Mary Stuart Masterson film, Bed Of Roses.

More on "Insensitive" here.



"How Bizarre" by OMC

Entered the Australian chart: February 25, 1996

Weeks at number 1: Five

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest hit: "Right On", number 88 in 1996

Here's another act that had more success at home in this case, New Zealand but as far as most of the world is concerned, OMC had only one hit: global smash "How Bizarre". By the time the song was released, the band, whose name stood for Otara Millionaires Club, consisted of frontman Pauly Fuemana and producer Alan Jansson. The pair would later fall out over royalties, and with good reason  for a long time, the song was the highest-selling track ever to emerge from New Zealand, although it's now been overtaken by Lorde's "Royals".



"Crush" by Jennifer Paige

Entered the Australian chart: September 20, 1998

Weeks at number 1: Two

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest hit: "Sober", number 58 in 1999

There's not much to the Jennifer Paige story it's really just the classic case of an artist striking gold (or double platinum, as was the case in Australia) first time out and then being unable to better that performance. After failing to follow-up this lead single from her debut album with another hit, Jennifer was dropped by her original label in the early '00s, but returned in 2008 with a European-only album and then a Christmas collection in 2012.



Almost One-Hit Wonders: one number 1 and a second minor hit

Compared to the '80s tally of 16 genuine one-hit wonders, the '90s only had six but there are quite a number of chart-topping artists whose next best effort was so fleeting that they can almost be classed as one-hit wonders.


Deee-Lite

Number 1 single: "Groove Is In The Heart" (1990)

Next biggest single: "Power Of Love" (number 47, 1990)



The Simpsons

Number 1 single: "Do The Bartman" (1991)

Next biggest single: "Deep, Deep Trouble" (number 35, 1991)



Cut 'n' Move

Number 1 single: "Give It Up" (1994)

Next biggest single: "Peace, Love And Harmony" (number 35, 1994)



Crash Test Dummies

Number 1 single: "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" (1994)

Next biggest single: "Afternoons And Coffeespoons" (number 40, 1994)



Joan Osbourne

Number 1 single: "One Of Us" (1996)

Next biggest single: "St Teresa" (number 43, 1996)



Chumbawamba

Number 1 single: "Tubthumping" (1997)

Next biggest single: "Amnesia" (number 34, 1998)



Sixpence None The Richer

Number 1 single: "Kiss Me" (1999)

Next biggest single: "There She Goes" (number 47, 1999)



Lou Bega

Number 1 single: "Mambo No.5 (A Little Bit Of...)" (1999)

Next biggest single: "I Got A Girl" (number 31, 1999)



B-List One-Hit Wonders: one top 10 single and no further hits

Only six artists achieved the ultimate in one-hit wonderdom during the 1990s. But, there were 81 different acts that did the next best thing landing a solitary top 10 hit and never gracing the top 50 (and sometimes the top 100) with their presence again.


In the '90s, we started to see more collaborations and featured artists on tracks so for the purposes of this list, an act can only be a one-hit wonder if all artists credited had only one hit. That means DNA featuring Suzanne Vega (1990's "Tom's Diner") don't make the cut since she had three top 50 records in the 1980s and they were credited as "featuring" on Kylie Minogue's "Shocked". Neither does Regina Belle although she only hit the top 50 once on 1993's "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)", it was a duet with four-time top 20 visitor Peabo Bryson.


It'll all make sense as we proceed and it's only the odd case where there could be any debate over an artist's one-hit wonder status. And like all lists of 1HWs, there are some songs so brilliant you wonder how the artists in question couldn't repeat the feat and some tunes so terrible you'll be cursing me for reminding you of their existence.


"Lambada" by Kaoma

Entered the Australian chart: December 24, 1989

Peak: number 5

No other top 100 entries

Not only was the dance forbidden, but this summer smash lifted elements (unauthorised, of course) from three different songs the original Bolivian folk tune, the accordion arrangement from a dance version and the Portuguese lyrics from yet another version. Cue: legal action.

More on "Lambada" here.



"Infinity (1990s: Time For The Guru)" by Guru Josh

Entered the Australian chart: April 29, 1990

Peak: number 4

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Whose Law (Is It Anyway?)" (number 64 in 1990)

Declaring a whole decade as yours is pretty ambitious, and as it turned out Paul Walden couldn't even dominate one entire year, with follow-ups to the mostly instrumental "Infinity" falling way short.

More on "Infinity..." here.



"Lily Was Here" by David A Stewart & Candy Dulfer

Entered the Australian chart: June 10, 1990

Peak: number 10

David A Stewart no other top 50 entries / Candy Dulfer no other top 100 entries

David A Stewart next biggest single: "Jack Talking" (as Dave Stewart & The Spiritual Cowboys, number 57 in 1990)

1990 was the year of the saxophone-led instrumental hit, with this track from the Dutch film of the same name (original title: De Kassière) providing saxophonist Candy Dulfer with her one and only chart hit in Australia. Meanwhile, Dave Stewart is one of a small number of artists to be a one-hit wonder twice in different guises here in his own right and as a member of The Tourists. Yes, he was half of the incredibly successful Eurythmics, but his career before and after that is a very different thing.

More on "Lily Was Here" here.



"Spin That Wheel" by Hi Tek 3 featuring Ya Kid K

Entered the Australian chart: June 17, 1990

Peak: number 5

Hi Tek 3 no other top 100 entries / Ya Kid K no other top 50 entries

Ya Kid K next biggest single: "Move It To The Rhythm" (as Technotronic featuring Ya Kid K, number 52 in 1995)

If you think calling Dave Stewart a one-hit wonder is problematic, here's another conundrum. Rapper Ya Kid K was part of two other ARIA top 10 hits: Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam" and "Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over)", but she was not credited in her own right on either track (despite being given "featuring" billing in the UK on "Get Up!"). Therefore, "Spin That Wheel" is her only Australian top 50 credit. Uncontroversially, the track was also the only chart hit for Dutch trio Hi Tek 3. Don't worry, none of the other one-hit wonders are as complicated as the last two.

More on "Spin That Wheel" here.



"Show Me Heaven" by Maria McKee

Entered the Australian chart: November 4, 1990

Peak: number 3

No other top 100 entries

Taken from the soundtrack to the Nicole Kidman/Tom Cruise film Days Of Thunder, big ballad "Show Me Heaven" was the only hit performed by former Lone Justice frontwoman Maria McKee. She did, however, also write "A Good Heart" for everyone's favourite two-hit wonder Feargal Sharkey (a song which was produced by Dave Stewart!). Bizarrely, "Show Me Heaven" was not at all successful in America.

More on "Show Me Heaven" here.



"I'm Free" by The Soup Dragons featuring Junior Reid

Entered the Australian chart: November 25, 1990

Peak: number 9

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Mother Universe" (number 67 in 1991)

The words Madchester and baggy don't mean so much in Australia, with The Soup Dragons one of the only acts from those British music scenes to make much impact in Australia and that was only because of this remake of the 1965 song by The Rolling Stones.

More on "I'm Free" here.



"Wiggle It" by 2 In A Room

Entered the Australian chart: January 20, 1991

Peak: number 3

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "She's Got Me Going Crazy" (number 72 in 1991)

As I mentioned above, rap music was finally making headway into the Australian chart on a regular basis in the early '90s, thanks in no small part to the chart-topping success of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice without whom Rafael "Dose" Vargas and Roger "Rog Nice" Pauletta (the two in 2 In A Room) might have found themselves to be no-hit wonders in this country.

More on "Wiggle It" here.



"Because I Love You (The Postman Song)" by Stevie B

Entered the Australian chart: February 10, 1991

Peak: number 8

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "I'll Be By Your Side" (number 73 in 1991)

He was the king of freestyle (the Miami-based dance sound that never took off in Australia), but Steven Hill (the B came from middle name Bernard) did succeed with this syrupy ballad a US number 1  that I always thought was slightly out of tune.

More on "Because I Love You..." here.



"How To Dance" by Bingoboys featuring Princessa

Entered the Australian chart: April 14, 1991

Peak: number 3

No other top 100 entries

The Austrian trio used so many samples in their debut single that they can't have made much money from "How To Dance". And, despite the ambitious title of the accompanying album, The Best Of Bingoboys, their dance instruction ended here.

More on "How To Dance" here.



"Love Rears Its Ugly Head" by Living Colour

Entered the Australian chart: May 19, 1991

Peak: number 10

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Cult Of Personality" (number 54 in 1989)

With four top 30 albums to their name, Living Colour were more a long-player kind of band. In fact, the top 10 success of "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" was largely due to the Soulpower remix (which you can hear in the link above) and not the album version (which features in the music video below). The remix was a softer version that likely appealed to an entirely different audience than the ones buying their albums.

More on "Love Rears Its Ugly Head" here.



"Pump It (Nice An' Hard)" by Icy Blu

Entered the Australian chart: July 28, 1991

Peak: number 10

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "I Wanna Be Your Girl" (number 88 in 1991)

With a stage name that matched her positioning as the female Vanilla Ice, Icy Blu (real name: Laurel Yurchick) really owed her success (such as it was) to the liberal use of Salt 'n' Pepa's "Push It" in this debut single.

More on "Pump It..." here.

"Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D & The Boyz

Entered the Australian chart: August 4, 1991

Peak: number 6

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Is It Good To You" (number 71 in 1991)

See, I told you rap became a thing in Australia in the early '90s and there were few rappers who were literally bigger than Heavy D (real name: Dwight Myers), who weighed over 150 kilos at his death in 2011 and made, er, light of his size with his stage name and album titles. While more successful in the US, Heavy D's only Australian hit was this O'Jays remake.

More on "Now That We Found Love" here.



"Wind Of Change" by Scorpions

Entered the Australian chart: August 4, 1991

Peak: number 7

No other top 100 entries

Every hard rock act needs its power ballad, and this trip "down to Gorky Pa-ark" had fans waving their cigarette lighters in the air to a topical tune as the German band sang about the end of the Cold War.

More on "Wind Of Change" here.



"Do Anything" by Natural Selection

Entered the Australian chart: November 3, 1991

Peak: number 10

No other top 100 entries

Besides being a long-forgotten pop gem, this US number 2 hit is notable for featuring spoken interjections throughout by regular Madonna backing singer Niki Harris. Niki would end up having further success (although not in Australia) with some guest spots on Snap! singles "Exterminate" and "Do You See The Light (Looking For)".

More on "Do Anything" here.



"Stop The War In Croatia" by Tomislav Ivčić

Entered the Australian chart: December 1, 1991

Peak: number 7

No other top 100 entries

Two years after this protest song surprisingly hit the Australian top 10, the Croatian folk singer got even more political and was elected to the Croatian parliament. Tragically, he died in a car accident before he could take office.

More on "Stop The War In Croatia" here.



"James Brown Is Dead" by L.A. Style

Entered the Australian chart: March 29, 1992

Peak: number 7

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "I'm Raving" (number 65 in 1993)

Like rap, dance music crossed over onto the ARIA top 50 in the early '90s, with the likes of The KLF, C&C Music Factory, 2 Unlimited, KWS and Snap! all scoring big chart hits. At the harder end of the spectrum was this slice of Dutch techno which pre-empted the demise of the Godfather of Soul by some 14 years.

More on "James Brown Is Dead" here.



"Cry" by Lisa Edwards

Entered the Australian chart: May 3, 1992

Peak: number 5

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Until The Day" (number 86 in 1993)

Being one of John Farnham's backing singers hadn't been enough for Venetta Fields to land herself a hit with 1987's "Only One" but perhaps she should have recorded a cover version instead like fellow backup performer Lisa Edwards, who took this 1985 track by Godley & Crème 38 places higher on the Australian chart than the original had managed.

More on "Cry" here.



"Sesame's Treet" by Smart E's

Entered the Australian chart: August 23, 1992

Peak: number 6

No other top 100 entries

The Prodigy had done it first turning a 1970s British animated public information commercial into a rave hit with "Charly", spawning imitators in the form of Urban Hype's "A Trip To Trumpton" and this breakbeat spin on the theme to Sesame Street, which was the only one of the three to find success in Australia. Guess we should count ourselves lucky.

More on "Sesame's Treet" here.



"Ain't No Doubt" by Jimmy Nail

Entered the Australian chart: September 6, 1992

Peak: number 5

No other top 100 entries

Another song that had a greater backstory in the UK was this single by the Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Spender star, who'd already reached the British top 3 with his 1985 cover of "Love Don't Live Here Anymore". As far as Australia was concerned, he was that guy who mumbled his way through this top 5 hit.

More on "Ain't No Doubt" here.



"White Men Can't Jump" by Riff

Entered the Australian chart: September 13, 1992

Peak: number 6

No other top 100 entries

Criminally, their US top 30 Boyz II Men-style ballad "My Heart Is Failing Me" made no impact in Australia, but this Boyz II Men-style new jack swing track taken from the Wesley Snipes/Woody Harrelson basketball film of the same name did the business instead.

More on "White Men Can't Jump" here.



"Would I Lie To You?" by Charles & Eddie

Entered the Australian chart: November 1, 1992

Peak: number 3

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "NYC (Can You Believe This City?)" (number 73 in 1993)

The musical equivalent of chocolate milk (don't blame me  it's what they called their second album), Eddie Chacon and the late Charles Pettigrew showed much promise but never outdid this smooth throwback soul track. 

More on "Would I Lie To You?" here.



"Jump!" by The Movement

Entered the Australian chart: November 8, 1992

Peak: number 7

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "B.I.N.G.O." (number 84 in 1993)

It was only for the hardcore or so the lyrics of this techno track claimed. As well as replacing "motherfucker" for "everybody" for the radio version, "Jump!" featured the word "jump" no less than 92 times.

More on "Jump" here.



"Tequila" by A.L.T. & The Lost Civilization

Entered the Australian chart: November 15, 1992

Peak: number 8

No other top 100 entries

In a lot of ways it was a genius move to remake a party song everybody's familiar with and it gave the Mexican-American rapper born Alvin Lowell Trivette an easy hit single across the '92-'93 festive season. In a lot of other ways it was just awful.

More on "Tequila" here.



"If I Ever Fall In Love" by Shai

Entered the Australian chart: January 24, 1993

Peak: number 4

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Baby I'm Yours" (number 70 in 1993)

We've already seen Riff, and by 1993 there were a heap of four-piece vocal harmony R&B groups coming out of the States, none of whom managed the kind of longevity Boyz II Men did. There was a version of "If I Ever Fall In Love" with musical accompaniment, but the song (which would be covered by Gabrielle & East 17 in the UK) always sounded better a cappella.

More on "If I Ever Fall In Love" here.



"How Do You Talk To An Angel" by The Heights

Entered the Australian chart: January 31, 1993

Peak: number 3

No other top 100 entries

The fictional band from the short-lived TV series of the same name featured Charlotte Ross (Eve Donovan on Days Of Our Lives) and future Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jamie Walters (who, as Ray Pruit, pushed Donna down a flight of stairs) among its members. But, by the time the former US chart-topper debuted on the ARIA chart, The Heights had been axed in the States.

More on "How Do You Talk To An Angel" here.



"Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-N-Effect

Entered the Australian chart: February 7, 1993

Peak: number 10

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Wreckx Shop" (number 81 in 1993)

The song was co-written and co-produced by new jack swing pioneer Teddy Riley, and the trio responsible featured his brother Markell in the line-up, but a lot of the attention "Rump Shaker" received was due to its babes-in-bikinis music video. Side point: another of the song's co-writers was Pharrell Williams, who'd been discovered by Teddy. 

More on "Rump Shaker" here.



"The Hitman" by AB Logic

Entered the Australian chart: May 16, 1993

Peak: number 6

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "AB Logic" (number 60 in 1993)

There were more Eurodance acts than you could poke a stick at (and many music fans would've liked to do a lot more serious damage than that) in the mid-'90s. Belgian duo AB Logic had the requisite composition of female singer Marianne Festraets and male rapper K-Swing.

More on "The Hitman" here.



"Freak Me" by Silk

Entered the Australian chart: May 30, 1993

Peak: number 3

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Girl U For Me" (number 57 in 1993)

Joining Shai in the Australian top 5 in 1993 were fellow vocal harmony group Silk, who raunched things up a notch with this seductive track co-written and co-produced by Keith Sweat. Just like the Shai song, "Freak Me" would find success in Britain following a pop cover version by boy band Another Level.

More on "Freak Me" here.



"What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes

Entered the Australian chart: August 1, 1993

Peak: number 2

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Misty Mountain" (number 78 in 1995)

Stuck in the runner-up position for five weeks behind Meatloaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" (an awful top 2 if ever there was one), "What's Up?" was the second and most successful single by the group that spawned future superstar songwriter and producer Linda Perry.

More on "What's Up?" here.



"The Floor" by Johnny Gill

Entered the Australian chart: August 1, 1993

Peak: number 6

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Rub You The Right Way" (number 59 in 1990)

The singer who replaced Bobby Brown in New Edition had failed to ignite the Australian charts with any of his previous solo efforts, but this lead single from fourth album Provocative more than made up for it even if, conversely, it was one of his worst performing singles in the States since New Edition's split.

More on "The Floor" here.



"Three Little Pigs" by Green Jelly

Entered the Australian chart: August 1, 1993

Peak: number 6

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Anarchy In The UK" (number 94 in 1993)

Owing much of its popularity to the accompanying claymation video clip, this nightmare version of "Three Little Pigs" (which was initially only released in the States as a video single) by the comedy heavy metal act was mercifully their only chart foray.

More on "Three Little Pigs" here.



"No Rain" by Blind Melon

Entered the Australian chart: November 14, 1993

Peak: number 8

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Tones Of Home" (number 83 in 1994)

Another song with a memorable music video, "No Rain" and its tap-dancing Bee Girl charmed the world, but not enough for Blind Melon to manage another hit. Heather DeLoach, who starred in the clip, is now 31.

More on "No Rain" here.



"Asshole" by Denis Leary

Entered the Australian chart: January 23, 1994

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

1994 got off to a foul-mouthed start with this single from comedian Denis Leary which, of course, became a massive hit thanks to its profanity-laden lyrics and controversial music video. The song came from his stand-up album No Cure For Cancer.

More on "Asshole" here.



"Loser" by Beck

Entered the Australian chart: March 20, 1994

Peak: number 8

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Where It's At" (number 71 in 1996)

The insults were flying thick and fast in 1994, even if Beck was referring to himself and his rapping ability with "Loser", which is, somewhat surprisingly, the prolific alt-rock star's only top 50 hit in Australia. He's had much more success on the albums chart, with five top 20 appearances.

More on "Loser" here.



"I Believe" by Marcella Detroit

Entered the Australian chart: April 17, 1994

Peak: number 10

No other top 100 entries

She'd featured on a handful of hits as one-half of Shakespear's Sister, but when it came time for Marcella Detroit to put her piercing voice to use on a solo career (a side-project which became permanent when Siobhan Fahey effectively sacked her from Shakespear's Sister), she never bettered this lead single from the Jewel album.

More on "I Believe" here.



"Doop" by Doop

Entered the Australian chart: April 24, 1994

Peak: number 5

No other top 100 entries

Earlier, they appeared under the guise of Hocus Pocus with number 1 hit "Here's Johnny" and with this Charleston-influenced dance track, Dutch duo Ferry Ridderhof and Peter Garnefski reached the same position in the UK as well as registering an ARIA top 5 hit. Had the two tracks been released under the same name, they'd be a two-hit wonder, but since they weren't, I guess that makes them a one-hit wonder twice over.

More on "Doop" here.



"I Like To Move It" by Reel 2 Real featuring The Mad Stuntman

Entered the Australian chart: May 15, 1994

Peak: number 6

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Jazz It Up" (number 69 in 1996)

Reel 2 Real was essentially DJ/producer Erick Morillo, while ragga toaster The Mad Stuntman was the alias of Trinidad and Tobago-born Mark Quashie, who together did notch up a few other hits in the UK. These days, "I Like To Move It" is loved by a new generation following its use in the Madagascar films.

More on "I Like To Move It" here.



"Baby, I Love Your Way" by Big Mountain

Entered the Australian chart: June 12, 1994

Peak: number 4

No other top 100 entries

Taken from the soundtrack to one of 1994's most buzz-worthy films, Reality Bites, this cover version gave the Peter Frampton track a reggae spin only a few short years after Will To Power's mash-up remake. It was also included on Unity, one of Big Mountain's 10 studio albums, none of which yielded anything anywhere near as successful.

More on "Baby, I Love Your Way" here.



"The Winner Is..." by Southend with Nik Fish

Entered the Australian chart: June 19, 1994

Peak: number 9

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "The Winner Is... 2000" (number 69 in 2000)

The Sydney-based dance act crossed over from the club scene with this patriotic single, which wove snatches of the 1993 announcement of the host city for the 2000 Olympics and the coverage by local radio station 2UE into a furious techno track. It's a shame it's all they're known for since their non-gimmicky songs were quite good, too.

More on "The Winner Is..." here.



"Swamp Thing" by The Grid

Entered the Australian chart: August 14, 1994

Peak: number 3

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Rollercoaster" (number 59 in 1994)

Doop, Reel 2 Real and now this... there really were some infuriating dance songs in 1994  with this banjo-led track inspiring imitators like "Everybody Gonfi-Gon" by 2 Cowboys. The Grid was comprised of Richard Norris and David Bell, who, as a member of Soft Cell, was a one-hit wonder in the '80s in Australia.

More on "Swamp Thing" here.



"Here Comes The Hotstepper" by Ini Kamoze

Entered the Australian chart: December 4, 1994

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

He'd been making music since the early '80s but it wasn't until this sample-heavy song featured in the Robert Altman film Prêt-à-Porter that the reggae artist born Cecil Campbell crossed over to the mainstream. Expectations were high for Ini especially from Elektra Records, who snapped him up for a multi-album deal but no further chart action ensued.

More on "Here Comes The Hotstepper" here.



"Hot Hot Hot (remix)" by Arrow

Entered the Australian chart: December 11, 1994

Peak: number 9

No other top 100 entries

More music from the Caribbean, and a song that first came out around the same time Ini Kamoze began his career. "Hot Hot Hot" is the best known single by the artist born Alphonsus Cassell, but until this remix, the most famous version was by comic character Buster Poindexter.

More on "Hot Hot Hot" here.



"Short Dick Man" by 20 Fingers featuring Gillette

Entered the Australian chart: December 11, 1994

Peak: number 4

20 Fingers no other top 100 entries / Gillette no other top 50 entries

Gillette next biggest single: "Mr Personality" (number 80 in 1995)

Proof yet again that a song can be complete rubbish, but if it's controversial enough and/or packed with swear words, it's guaranteed to be a hit. This rap hit which turned the tables on all the genre's anti-female tracks was edited for radio play to become "Short Short Man".

More on "Short Dick Man" here.



"A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins

Entered the Australian chart: January 8, 1995

Peak: number 6

No other top 100 entries

In the UK, his former group, Orange Juice, was a one-hit wonder in the '80s with "Rip It Up", but in Australia it was this solo hit for Scottish singer Edwyn Collins which gave him the 1HW tag. There are two music videos for the song one's linked to in the song title above and the other is below.

More on "A Girl Like You" here.



"Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Nicki French

Entered the Australian chart: January 22, 1995

Peak: number 2

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "For All We Know" (number 89 in 1995)

The original had been a six-week chart-topper for Bonnie Tyler in 1983, and this remake became a hit for Nicki French on the third attempt. Her first version flopped, then it was reworked by producers Stock and Aitken into a high-energy romp. When that didn't work in the UK, they remixed it again, giving it a "Flashdance"-style slow-to-fast tempo change. That third version took off in the UK, while in Australia, we preferred the second mix.

More on "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" here.



"Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex

Entered the Australian chart: February 5, 1995

Peak: number 8

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Old Pop In An Oak" (number 70 in 1995)

Brace yourselves: things are about to get incredibly tacky, with some of the worst dance tracks to ever enter the ARIA top 10 and all in a matter of months back in 1995. This update of the American country standard came out of Sweden and was a hit all across Europe, spending lengthy runs at number 1 in some countries something Australia thankfully wasn't subjected to.

More on "Cotton Eye Joe" here.



"Right Type Of Mood" by Herbie

Entered the Australian chart: July 9, 1995

Peak: number 10

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Gotta Be You" (as 3T featuring Herbie, number 61 in 1997)

He might have gone on to write and produce some quite fine pop moments for Backstreet Boys, Five and Robyn, but this debut single by Herbie Crichlow was the musical equivalent of being shouted at for three-and-a-bit minutes.

More on "RIght Type Of Mood" here.



"Alice, Who The F*** Is Alice" by The Steppers

Entered the Australian chart: July 16, 1995

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

Better than being sworn at repeatedly, though. Once again cursing on record resulted in a hit for this track, which is a cover version four-times removed. Originally recorded by New World in 1975, "Living Next Door To Alice" was a bigger hit for Smokie the following year. Two decades later, the "who the fuck is Alice?" refrain was added by Dutch group Gompie and it's this version that The Steppers turned into a holiday resort dance floor hit. Smokie even got back in on the act, recruiting comedian Roy "Chubby" Brown for a re-recorded version of their original hit which meant the song existed in three different versions in 1995.

More on "Alice..." here.



"Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)" by Scatman John

Entered the Australian chart: July 23, 1995

Peak: number 8

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Scatman's World" (number 84 in 1995)

Although he was American, John Larkin's chart success came after he moved to Germany (where else?) and fused scat singing, which he'd been doing since he was a teenager, with a dance beat. The Scatman enjoyed a second hit in Europe with the follow-up, but Australia thankfully left it at this abomination.

More on "Scatman..." here.



"Excalibur" by F.C.B.

Entered the Australian chart: August 13, 1995

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

The well-known piece of music which formed the basis of this techno track was Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", but the song was instead named after the 1981 King Arthur film, which also featured the composition. Interestingly, Orff's estate had sued Belgian act Apotheosis over a 1991 techno version of "O Fortuna" claiming copyright infringement and succeeded in having that record removed from sale.

More on "Excalibur" here.



"Apple Eyes" by Swoop

Entered the Australian chart: November 12, 1995

Peak: number 9

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Neighbourhood Freak" (number 62 in 1994)

In between Swoop and DiG (Directions In Groove), Australia discovered its funky side in the '90s and the two bands even shared a common member in bassist Alex Hewetson. Swoop was more successful on the singles chart, with this surprise top 10 hit.



"Tell Me" by Groove Theory

Entered the Australian chart: December 3, 1995

Peak: number 6

No other top 100 entries

A one-hit wonder if the US as well as here in Australia, R&B duo Groove Theory consisted of singer Amel Larrieux and producer Bryce Wilson. After a break of more than a decade the two reformed in 2010 but no new music seems to have emerged yet.



"Miss Sarajevo" by Passengers

Entered the Australian chart: December 10, 1995

Peak: number 7

No other top 100 entries

A collaboration between U2 and producer Brian Eno, the Passengers project spawned a one-off album, Original Soundtracks 1, which contained this lead single featuring tenor Luciano Pavarotti on guest vocals. The song was inspired by the documentary of the same name (which Bono produced) about a beauty pageant in the war-ravaged city. We'll be hearing another U2 side-project shortly...



"Breakfast At Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something

Entered the Australian chart: January 14, 1996

Peak: number 3

No other top 100 entries

The Texas band obviously knew they were onto a winner with this tune about a couple on the verge of splitting up who recall that they both "kinda liked" the Audrey Hepburn film. The track was included it on their debut independently released album, 11th Song, before being re-recording for their major label debut, Home.



"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo

Entered the Australian chart: February 25, 1996

Peak: number 3

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Animal Army" (number 59 in 1996)

And now, yet another song that featured in an ad for Levi's jeans that topped the UK chart and almost did the same here. "Spaceman" was the possibly the biggest beneficiary of the commercial exposure, going on to sell over a million copies in the UK alone.



"Sexual Healing" by Max-A-Million

Entered the Australian chart: March 10, 1996

Peak: number 5

No other top 100 entries

Produced by the team behind 20 Fingers, this American trio (comprised of the oddly named A'Lisa B, Duran Estevez and Tommye) took a Marvin Gaye classic and turned it into this reggae-infused travesty. The short-lived act also ruined The S.O.S. Band's "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" before calling it a day.



"X-Files Theme" by Triple X

Entered the Australian chart: April 21, 1996

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

Even in Australia, cult sci-fi series The X-Files was a couple of years into its nine-season run when all of a sudden the spooky theme music by Mark Snow and this dance version invaded the chart. The Triple X spin on the tune was much more successful locally, but overseas, it lost out to a rival dance version by DJ Dado.



"Nobody Knows" by The Tony Rich Project

Entered the Australian chart: April 28, 1996

Peak: number 2

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Like A Woman" (number 71 in 1996)

After composing songs for the likes of Boyz II Men, Johnny Gill, TLC and Toni Braxton as in-house writer at LaFace, the artist born Antonio Jeffries got to release his own music and saw this debut single hit number 2 in the US and locally. Although Tony has continued to make albums, nothing has come close to matching the performance of this Grammy-nominated smash.



"Theme From Mission: Impossible" by Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen

Entered the Australian chart: June 16, 1996

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

The second of our U2 spin-off projects, the band's bassist and drummer collaborated on this revamped version of the iconic theme tune to TV's Mission: Impossible for the big-screen remake starring Tom Cruise. It's the only chart hit under either of their names, and so here it is as a one-hit wonder.



"Mother Mother" by Tracy Bonham

Entered the Australian chart: July 14, 1996

Peak: number 5

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "The One" (number 87 in 1996)

In a post-Jagged Little Pill world, angsty female artists were all the rage and rage is the operative word when it comes to this shout-fest from the American singer, who also happens to be a classically trained violinist.



"Macarena" by Los Del Mar

Entered the Australian chart: July 28, 1996

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

Thanks to the fact that it took ages for Los Del Rio's "Macarena" to take off (due to the Bayside Boys remix) in the English-speaking world, there'd been time for this cover by Spanish duo Los Del Mar to be released (in 1995) and also fail to ignite. As Los Del Rio's version gathered steam, the Los Del Mar single caught on in Australia and actually hit our top 100 first. In the end, Los Del Mar would play second fiddle and end up as a one-hit wonder. As for why Los Del Rio aren't on this list? All will be revealed...



"I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis

Entered the Australian chart: September 1, 1996

Peak: number 2

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "At The Beginning" (with Richard Marx, number 64 in 1998)

Calming things down significantly was this sappy debut single by Welsh singer Donna Lewis  who actually cracked the Billboard chart before anyone back home in the UK took notice.



"Don't Stop Movin'" by Livin' Joy

Entered the Australian chart: September 8, 1996

Peak: number 6

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Follow The Rules" (number 73 in 1997)

They managed five top 20 hits in the UK in the mid-'90s, but Australia only had ears for this second single by the Italian dance act. The group was comprised of half of Alex Party (the Visnadi brothers) and Tameka Starr, who took over from original vocalist Janice Robinson.



"Break My Stride" by Unique II

Entered the Australian chart: December 1, 1996

Peak: number 2

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Do What You Please" (number 55 in 1997)

More Eurodance now from the Austrian outfit whose first single had been another cover "Iko Iko" but who found much more success with this remake of the 1983 hit by Matthew Wilder. Matthew was himself a one-hit wonder in Australia, thanks to his number 6 placing with "Break My Stride".



"Pony" by Ginuwine

Entered the Australian chart: December 22, 1996

Peak: number 3

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Tell Me Do U Wanna" (number 100 in 1997)

Elgin Lumpkin just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? But that's the real name of the R&B act behind this sexually charged pole dance anthem. "Pony" was also one of the earliest hits produced by the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Timbaland.



"Your Woman" by White Town

Entered the Australian chart: March 30, 1997

Peak: number 2

No other top 100 entries

Sung by a man but generally assumed to be from the perspective of a woman, "Your Woman" was the breakthrough hit for Jyoti Mishra, who'd recorded under the White Town moniker since the early '90s and continues to do so, despite never landing another chart hit.



"Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind

Entered the Australian chart: June 15, 1997

Peak: number 8

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Never Let You Go" (number 63 in 2000)

With grunge on the way out, rock bands like Third Eye Blind, Semisonic and Fastball became the new sound of America. Another things the groups all had in common? Their time of scoring hit records was incredibly short.



"Bitch" by Meredith Brooks

Entered the Australian chart: July 13, 1997

Peak: number 2

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "What Would Happen" (number 89 in 1997)

Earlier, we saw "Asshole" and "Loser", and now "Bitch" completes our triumvirate of one-word insult songs by one-hit wonders. The feisty debut single came from yet another female singer who was no doubt snapped up by a record label (in this case, Capitol Records) in search of their own Alanis Morissette but Meredith's career ran aground after this hit. The song did, however, give rise to a one-hit wonder of the '00s in Australia: Chris Franklin's "Bloke".



"When Doves Cry" by Quindon Tarver

Entered the Australian chart: July 13, 1997

Peak: number 3

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "It's You That's On My Mind" (number 64 in 1997)

The soundtrack from which it was taken spawned a number of hits and two volumes but this vocally astonishing Prince cover from Romeo + Juliet was the only chart appearance by young Quindon Tarver, who featured as a choirboy in the Baz Luhrmann film.



"How Do I Live" by Trisha Yearwood

Entered the Australian chart: August 3, 1997

Peak: number 3

No other top 100 entries

Speaking of soundtracks, this Diane Warren composition was written for the Nicolas Cage film Con Air and originally recorded by then-14-year-old LeAnn Rimes before studio execs insisted upon a more mature vocalist. Enter: fellow country performer Trisha Yearwood, who had a dozen Billboard country chart top 10 hits under her belt. When both versions were released simultaneously, LeAnn triumphed in the US and UK, while Australia opted for Trisha's take on the ballad.



"Coco Jamboo" by Mr President

Entered the Australian chart: August 24, 1997

Peak: number 7

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Jojo Action" (number 78 in 1998)

Here we go again get set for a double shot of tragic dance tracks, starting with this pan pipe-featuring Eurodance horror. Sounding like Ace Of Base on a bad day, the German trio enjoyed a number of subsequent hits back home and even released a Christmas version of this track.



"You Sexy Thing" by T-Shirt

Entered the Australian chart: October 19, 1997

Peak: number 6

No other top 100 entries

Like the theme to The X-Files and "Alice, Who The F*** Is Alice?", a number of rival versions of Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing" sprang up in 1997 following the original's use in The Full Monty. Once again, Australia opted for the dark horse and championed this lazy version by British duo T-Shirt (half of whom was future Xenomania songwriting genius Miranda Cooper), who stayed at number 6 on the ARIA chart for six straight weeks. Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown even popped up in the clip.



"Sex And Candy" by Marcy Playground

Entered the Australian chart: April 6, 1998

Peak: number 8

No other top 100 entries

As grunge made way for post-grunge, bands like American rock trio Marcy Playground served up a more radio-ready version of the early-'90s genre typified by the band's 1997 hit single "Sex And Candy" (which hit Australia several months later).



"Sway" by Bic Runga

Entered the Australian chart: July 27, 1998

Peak: number 10

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Get Some Sleep" (number 92 in 2002)

She may not have enjoyed Lorde-like success, but Kiwi singer/songwriter did gain some exposure Stateside when this sweet Australian and NZ top 10 single was featured on the American Pie soundtrack a couple of years later.



"Music Sounds Better With You" by Stardust

Entered the Australian chart: August 23, 1998

Peak: number 4

No other top 100 entries

When he wasn't busy launching French house onto an unsuspecting public as half of Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter was collaborating with countrymen Alan Braxe and vocalist Benjamin Diamond on this Chaka Khan-sampling masterpiece. Who knows what might have happened had Stardust released any further singles...



"I Don't Like It" by Pauline Pantsdown

Entered the Australian chart: September 6, 1998

Peak: number 10

No other top 100 entries

If any political figure was just asking to be made fun of it's Pauline Hanson, the Queensland MP and fish-and-chip shop owner whose maiden speech caused a right old stir in late 1996. This comedy single by drag performer Simon Hunt, which sampled snippets of Hanson's voice, was actually his second release as Pauline Pantsdown and despite the politican's protests, it shot into the top 10 around the same time as 1998's federal election.



"If You Could Read My Mind" by Stars On 54

Entered the Australian chart: October 11, 1998

Peak: number 3

No other top 100 entries

This one-off collaboration by club singers Ultra Naté (biggest hit: "Free", number 31), Amber (biggest hit: "This Is Your Night", number 11) and Jocelyn Enriquez (no solo top 100 appearances) for the soundtrack to disco-era biopic 54 was a dance floor-ready remake of the 1970 tune by Gordon Lightfoot.



"Say It Once" by Ultra

Entered the Australian chart: February 8, 1999

Peak: number 4

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Say You Do" (number 58 in 1999)

Don't call them a boy band! After all, British four-piece Ultra played their own instruments and wrote their own songs, including this single, which performed significant better locally than it did back at home (where it got no further than number 16).



"She's So High" by Tal Bachman

Entered the Australian chart: June 14, 1999

Peak: number 8

No other top 100 entries

With a first name that's short for Talmage, Canadian singer Tal Bachman came from rock royalty his dad, Randy, was lead singer for band Bachman-Turner Overdrive. "She's So High" would go on to be covered by the one and only World Idol champion, Norway's Kurt Nilsen.



"2 Times" by Ann Lee

Entered the Australian chart: July 12, 1999

Peak: number 4

No other top 100 entries

Italian-based/British-born singer Annerley Gordon had co-written Eurodance smashes like Corona's "Rhythm Of The Night", and "Another Day" and "Think Of You" by Whigfield before briefly stepping into the spotlight with this debut single.



"Sweet Like Chocolate" by Shanks & Bigfoot

Entered the Australian chart: July 12, 1999

Peak: number 6

No other top 50 entries

Next biggest single: "Sing-A-Long" (number 84 in 2000)

One of the biggest hits from the burgeoning UK garage scene, this track by duo Steven Meade and Danny Langsman featured vocals by Sharon Woolf, who'd also contributed to "Straight From The Heart", a song released under another of the pair's aliases: Doolally.



They aren't all on Spotify, but those '90s one-hit wonders that are online can be found on this playlist:


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