Every once in a while, whether at a party or in the car while listening to the radio, you will be taken on a journey through time when that song from the 90s comes on. You know, that track by that band that you can't really remember because they never made anything else. Exactly, that one.
Of course, the 90s were a time of many one-hit wonders, with oh so many bands falling into obscurity after their fifteen minutes of fame were up. But that doesn't mean you still don't love their song, you (nor anyone else) just didn't care for anything that they came out with afterwards.
So to celebrate the decade many of us grew up in and first formed out musical tastes, here are 30 one-hit wonders of the 1990s you'll want to listen to for all the feels (including feeling old).
Lou Bega: "Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)"
The lyrics of Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5" has been burned into my memory since the age of 8, entirely unaware to my brain. Honestly, you probably unconsciously know all the words too. Just give the video a view and watch your mouth instinctively mouth all the lyrics.
Lit: "My Own Worst Enemy"
Where do you get a bowling ball with a giant spider in it? That's the question left in my mind after re-watching "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit. And interestingly enough, their band name has officially became popular slang, not that anyone would say Lit is all that lit nowadays.
Blessid Union of Souls: "Hey Leonardo (She likes me for me)"
Not to be racist, but was anyone super surprised to learn the lead singer of Blessid Union of Souls is a black guy? I mean, come on, his voice sounds like every other white sorta-punk lead singer of the 90s. Not that you would ever see him live, because Blessid Union of Souls had one tour, max.
Divinyls: "I Touch Myself"
Used in many a movie soundtrack any time a character needs to get creepily sexual, "I Touch Myself" remains one of the most explicitly-dirty-while-sounding-innocent songs ever, and is a blessing to the world because of it. Maybe it's a good idea Divinyls only had one hit, because who knows where she would have went after this track.
Donna Lewis: "I Love You Always Forever"
When I was growing up, I always thought the only song anyone remembers from Donna Lewis was somehow tied to Robert Munsch's children's bool Love You Forever. Apparently it isn't, but it should be, because the track ties in perfectly to the story, especially since they basically share the same name.
Right Said Fred: "I'm Too Sexy"
Okay, so to be super shallow for a second, but does anyone else think that Right Said Fred really isn't all that sexy? I mean, maybe by early 90s standards, but even childhood, proto-gay me was like "dude, you wish you were too sexy for your shirt. That's a nice shirt." But hey, to each their own.
Smash Mouth: "All Star"
In all fairness, Smash Mouth had a couple of pretty big tracks, and apparently still touring today (how the lead singer hasn't died from a heart attack yet is beyond me) but most folks remember them for their first hit "All Star." Featured in one of the most underrated superhero movies of all time, Mystery Men, I think I still remember all the lyrics today.
Sir Mix a Lot: "Baby Got Back"
Brought back into the public spotlight thanks to the esteemed Nicki Minaj (and her award winning booty), Sir Mix a Lot's "Baby Got Back" was never truly forgotten. Because, ever since the song's release, anytime a girl (or guy) walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face, you can't help but get sprung.
The Verve: "Bitter Sweet Symphony"
Yeah, this isn't an Oasis track as far too many people seem to believe, "Bitter Sweet Symphony" is just the only song to ever become big by The Verve, at least on this side of the pond. While the song is pretty solid, I would not recommend taking the video as an example of how to walk around the streets of Montreal, because you will get hurt.
Aqua: "Barbie Girl"
Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua's first album, Aquarium, actually had a few mega-hits, but "Barbie Girl" remains the most remembered. Catchy, neon, and insane in the best way, "Barbie Girl" is a testament to the absurdity of the 90s pop scene.
Jimmy Ray: "Are You Jimmy Ray?"
To answer Jimmy Ray's question said throughout this 90s hit: no one wants to know about that. Sorry, Jim. I do, however, want to know where one finds jump-roping Norse valkyries, not to mention Jimmy Ray's giant belt buckle, which must be imbued with magical properties if its so damn gigantic and shiny.
Choclair: "Let's Ride"
Before Drake, Choclair was one of Toronto's very own rap-stars. Of course, Choclair wouldn't maintain his popularity, but he did have his moment in the sun thanks to "Let's Ride" and his time in the Circle. The video is also so Canadian, because when else do you see rappers driving through the suburban green of the GTA?
Bloodhound Gang: "The Bad Touch"
If you were of age to get any in the late 90s, you no doubt did the dirty to Bloodhound Gang's "The Bad Touch," and probably stopped mid-way through to stop the track because you felt super ridiculous.
Len: "Steal My Sunshine"
A huge summer hit, Len's "Steal My Sunshine" dominated Canadian airwaves in 1999, and since the band is actually from Canada and our nation's broadcasters need to play a certain amount of Canadian-made content, that fact must have helped.
Deep Blue Something: "Breakfast At Tiffany's"
Honestly, the name of this band perfectly suits their one-hit-wonder status. I mean, "Deep Blue Something" just sounds like you can't even remember the last bit of their band name anyway. But at least they had their one hit, with "Breakfast At Tiffany's" being pretty huge in many English-speaking nations.
Eiffel 65: "Blue Da Ba Dee"
So much controversy swirled around the actual lyrics of Eiffel 65's annoyingly catchy "I'm Blue." Everyone assumed the song went "if I was green I would die," forgetting that the song title quite literally spells out that the lyric is actually "da ba dee da ba die." Sure, it makes no sense, but that's just how the song goes.
Blind Melon: "No Rain"
I got some serious Little Miss Sunshine flashbacks after finally watching the video for Blind Melon's "No Rain," after only hearing the song every now and then for the past twenty years. And I'm kind of sad I did, because the video truly showcases how damn baggy all forms of men's clothing were back in the day.
The Prodigy: "Firestarter"
I'm actually a huge fan of The Prodigy, so I was super surprised to have people in the office list "Firestarter" as a one-hit-wonder of the 90s. But when I think about it, aside from maybe "Smack My Bitch Up," The Prodigy didn't really have any radio-dominating tracks in North America after "Firestarter" was released. It's a shame, because The Prodigy makes for the best gym music ever.
House Of Pain: "Jump Around"
Still played at oh-so-many 90s hip-hop throwback, "Jump Around" is incredibly fun to hear, and it's kind of a shame House of Pain never really released anything else of note. Or maybe it's a blessing in disguise, because the 90s really didn't need any more overly ridiculous hip-hop tracks.
OMC: How Bizarre
Straight outta New Zealand, OMC was apparently a pretty big deal in the land of the Kiwis, but everywhere else, the band will forever be known for their only foreign hit "How Bizarre."
Jennifer Paige: "Crush"
Back in the winter of 1998, after a wimpy-but-wet snow storm, some radio station did a clever cover of Jennifer Paige's "Crush," replacing the titular word with "slush." I have never been able to hear the song any other way since. Be thankful your brain wasn't as damaged as a child.
Culture Beat: "Mr. Vain"
Were pirate-circus-renaissance parties a thing in the early 90s? That's definitely what the video for "Mr. Vain" makes it look like. And if yes, could we get a resurgence of the theme, because the flow on those shirts and dresses is unreal.
Vengaboys: We like to Party! (The Vengabus)
Otherwise known as the song that creepy old man from the Six Flags commercials dances to, the Vengaboys' "We like to Party! (The Vengabus)" is one of the party-dance tracks of the late 90s. Heard in clubs all over the continent, the Vengaboys did maintain some popularity with "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!" but this track remains their main addition to music history.
S Club 7: "S Club Party"
When S Club 7 released their most popular song (out of like, four that ever made airwaves), the world was asked one of the most pressing conundrums of the era: is there any other party like an S Club party? Obviously the answer is no, because no other party has people slow-motion jumping up in the air with glitter pouring out of the fingers, which is probably for the best. Those sparkler-fingers are probably a fire hazard.
Natalie Imbruglia: "Torn"
Featured in way too many rom-coms since its release, "Torn" is one of those songs you know half of the words to but couldn't name the artist. Well, Natalie Imbruglia is the singer in question, and you can go ahead and forget who she is all over again now because she never had another song, that we know of/care about.
Eagle-Eye Cherry: Save Tonight
Honestly, if given the ultimatum "save tonight, because tomorrow I'll be gone," I would immediately react with a "dude, if that's how you want to play it, then see you never." I'm sure Eagle-Eye Cherry was trying to be way more romantic about it in their only hit, "Save Tonight," but the oddly depressing video (where he becomes a butcher and a homeless person) certainly doesn't drive the romance home, either.
Marcy Playground: "Sex And Candy"
If you think about it, the scent of sex and candy would be incredibly digusting. Like, sickly-sweet with a tinge of pubes and body odour. Not the best thing to think about, but Marcy Playground made it sound great in their one-hit-wonder "Sex and Candy." To be honesty, eating candy while having sex sounds like the best thing ever.
Rammstein: "Du Hast"
Translated to "You Have," Rammstein's "Du Hast" was one of the most popular heavy-metal tracks of the 90s, even though no one knew what the words really were. Featured on a slew of movie soundtracks, including The Matrix and How High, I can still here the heavy beats of "Du Hast" ringing in my ears.
God, if there was a song to characterize the awfulness of the 90s, from the fashion to the annoying catchiness of pop music, it would be Hanson's "MMMBop." Seriously, my hatred for this song is real even though it initiates waves of nostalgia, so it's a good thing Hanson didn't really drum up any more popular tracks afterwards.
Montell Jordan: "This Is How We Do It"
I wish my Friday nights were a lit as Montell Jordan's, but alas, I don't think I'll ever be cool enough to do it like he did back in the day. In all likelihood, you probably feel the same, but at least we can all live vicariously through the video for "This Is How We Do It" and imagine any house party we would go to are half as jumpin'.