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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eight (One-Hit) Wonders of The Bay Area

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 9:00 AM

One-hit wonders are often maligned in music, but the truth is it's pretty hard and pretty remarkable to achieve success on the pop charts. As we slowly wrap up December's reflections into music history, behold the eight most awesome one-hit wonders that the Bay Area has produced:

8. The Greg Kihn Band

"Jeopardy" was a number-two hit in 1982, a tune so large it attracted the attention of satirist Weird Al Yankovic. Though his "I Lost on Jeopardy" barely cracked the top 100 on the pop charts, it's sadly remembered more readily than Kihn's breezy, feelgood original.

7. Third Eye Blind

With its vengeful, post-breakup blame-game whine, 1997's "Semi-Charmed Life" sailed to number four. The taste for bitterness turned out to be fleeting, for 3EB has never duplicated the feat, even four albums later (including one new record that came out this year).

6. Chris Isaak

Good thing Isaak indulged his topless model fantasies in the video for his 1990 number six hit "Wicked Game." It would be the last time he got so much, um, exposure.

5. The Tubes

Fee Waybill and the gang reached number 10 with "She's a Beauty" in 1981. But even a jaunty, carnival-themed video in heavy rotation was not enough to land the Tubes back at the top.

4. Timex Social Club

Berkeley's Timex Social Club reached number eight in 1986 with "Rumors." That was the last chart appearance for the group, though lead singer Mike Marshall later surfaced as the voice behind Bay Area rap anthem "I Got Five On It" by the Luniz. He has also recently recorded "Drinks Are On Me" with rapper E-40.

3. Faith No More

"Epic" reached number nine in 1989. But you would've thought it had topped the charts, the way MTV continually aired the band's accompanying controversial, fish-out-of-water-and-exploding-piano video.

2. Sylvester

The disco queen is often remembered for "You Make Me Feel Mighty Real," a modern favorite for film soundtracks and television commercials. But that was just a dance hit; Sylvester's highest foray into the pop charts came with 1978's "Dance (Disco Heat)."

1. Grateful Dead

Despite the enduring legacy of the Dead's insatiable fan base, it's easy to forget that the band had only one hit on the charts. 1987's hoary "Touch of Grey" reached number eleven during an era when synth pop and youthful, androgynous looks ruled the roost.

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Tamara Palmer


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