1 hit wonders?

Here’s a Facebook ad for an upcoming show at the musical theatre beyond the Boerewors Gordyn.

Fullscreen capture 2016-07-26 103452 AM.bmp

Let me help you out with the (not so) small print:

Get ready to party to the ultimate 1 Hit Wonders!

Sounds good.

Enjoy songs like Do You Love Me, Play That Funky Music, Kung Fu Fighting, You Spin Me Round, Take On Me, 99 Red Balloons & more

u wot m8?

Remember those songs? Of course you do. The Contours, Wild Cherry, Carl Douglas, Dead or Alive. They gave us such memories, and then they disappeared without trace. Likewise Nena and her red balloons (if you ignore her MASSIVE success in Germany) (which they clearly have).

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich?
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von neunundneunzig Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont.


But “Take On Me”? No. Just no. That wasn’t a “1 Hit Wonder’.

And I’m not even annoyed because I’m an a-ha fan. I’m annoyed because it’s plainly incorrect. How can a song which wasn’t even their biggest hit be a “1 Hit Wonder”?

Let’s compare: Carl Douglas hit the top of the charts with Kung Fu Fighting back in 1974. He was NEVER heard of EVER. AGAIN. He disappeared as fast as lightning. In fact, the way he vanished was actually a little bit frightening.

But I digress. Often.

Now, I’ve nothing against Carl. His name will live on in the Hall of Fame through cheesy discos and pub quizzes forever more. And fair play to him. But…

Let’s have a look at a-ha: Take On Me was a number 2 hit for them in October 1985.
Just two months later, they released The Sun Always Shines On TV.
It went to number 1, clearly making it a bigger hit than Take On Me.
But whether it was bigger or not is actually beside the point. It was also a hit. A second hit.
This ridiculous success immediately ruined a-ha’s “1 Hit Wonder” status, a status which had only lasted for about 60 days. The further 7 Top 10 hits which they then went on to have over the next 30-odd years also kind of cemented their reputation as clearly not being 1 Hit Wonders. For me, at least. And everyone else with any sort of rudimentary intelligence.

And yet they’ve been dumped in with Wild Cherry and The Contours.


Look, I’ve been to a show there before and it was slick, professional and fun. I’m sure that this one will be as well. But underlying the whole production is the sickening inaccuracy I have described above. If you’re going along, I suggest that you try to overlook the invalid and plainly false information on which the entire show is based.

Because any other approach would surely ruin your experience.

4 thoughts on “1 hit wonders?

  1. Thank you for your comment. We value your opinion and we assure you of our best intentions at all times. As explained on our Facebook advert, I guess it is a matter of opinion. Although A-ha created many songs, “Take On Me” was the only song of theirs that made it to Billboard No.1.

    Please take a look at the following links supporting A-ha “Take on Me” being a 1 Hit Wonder:
    Wikipedia – A-ha is in the top 10 1 Hit Wonders: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-hit_wonder

    Cracked – An article where A-ha is listed as a 1 Hit Wonder: http://www.cracked.com/…/5-one-hit-wonders-who-deserve…/

    Rolling Stone – Their best 1 Hit Wonder is A-ha: http://www.rollingstone.com/…/1-a-ha-take-on-me-0573531

    Thank you for your enthusiasm and we do hope you enjoyed the show.

    Kind Regards,
    Clare (Barnyard’s Social Media Manager)

  2. Clare > Thanks for getting in touch. Also thanks for the links. I am on my way to leave angry comments on their websites right now. Do you perhaps have the email address for the editor of Rolling Stone magazine, please?

  3. Using that logic (only one number 1 hit on Billboard charts, even though other songs charted), there are many bands that have been missed in the list. For example: The Eurythmics, Coldplay or Simple Minds, definite one hit wonder if ever there were.

    How about bands that don’t even get a number one? Are they no hit wonders? You could have a whole show with the music of REM, New Order, The Cure, and many more.

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