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1:15 p.m. - December 26, 2006
One Song Wonders!
Hey kids, don’t forget that you too can win my Holiday mix just like SIX people have already. Just follow the instructions here. Woot.

Coming soon, reviews and impressions from my advance copies! Stay tuned!


As you know, I have a gazillion (technical term) songs on my iPod. Many came from my CD collection, many have come from YOU graciously sending me stuff, and many have come from the iTunes store.

Sometimes, I’ve made mention of a song on a mix that that is the only song I have for the band. “Sweet Troubled Soul” by Stellastar* seems to be the one that is mentioned the most in this realm, and that’s mainly because at the time I didn’t hear anything else by them that I dug, and my space was limited. The space isn’t the case – I just don’t know if I want to dip my toe back in that water.

The thought of these “one song wonders” swirled around in my head, and what was the definition of those bands where I only have one example of their work in my collection on the computer. So I set out to figure this out. Soon I realized I had to narrow my scope.

• Anything that someone sent ME on a mix had to be excluded.
• Anything on a various artists compilation that I have, much like the various Nuggets collections, would also be excluded.
• Anything that’s really a single or EP at this time would be excluded.
• Anything that it’s just not possible to acquire anything else by the band legally at this time would be excluded.

So, with all of those limitations, I narrowed it down to just 33 “one-song” wonders. Oh, heck, why not list ‘em and talk about some of them, OK?

1. Push It – Salt ‘N’ Pepa. Actually, I think you can get other stuff by them on iTunes, but I just wanted THIS one. I didn’t really like it when it first came out, but you know, your tastes change. Actually, I think the insidious keyboard line got me. Oh, and I like Spinderella. Yum!

2. Everything Zen – Bush. Faux Brit-grunge at it’s most mediocre. I think I bought something else by them but due to space limitations I 86’d it. I really got my fill of them during the 90s, when the “alternative (HAH!)” radio station in Indy played them every 10 minutes, usually next to Candlebox and Elastica. This song has something to it, though, that the others didn’t.

3. Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes – Modest Mouse. I bought an album. I bought the hit. I really, really tried. I just couldn’t get into them. Please, nerds, don’t stone me.

4. Ways To Be Wicked – Lone Justice. I love Maria McKee’s voice and I love the sound of this band. The material wasn’t that strong, though. I almost, almost bought another one after seeing a clip of them on SNL but in the studio, they just seemed a bit sterile. This is a hella-song, though.

5. Birdland – Weather Report. I haven’t done a good job in putting a lot of my jazz on my iPod due to space. Now that I’ve loaded all of my Zappa on there (and will weed it down, no doubt) I’m thinking about dipping into my jazz. I just don’t get into a jazz mood that often, though. And it means less space for Leonard Nimoy.

6. Runaway – Bon Jovi. The only reason this exists on my iPod is because I needed it for my class reunion. And I can actually stand it…a bit. The rest of his stuff is sub-campy, sub-Springsteen, sub-standard.

7. Cherry Bomb – The Runaways. The Runaways were pretty much better in theory than in concept.

8. Woke Up This Morning – Doug Martsch. I love Martsch’s work in Built To Spill, but I couldn’t get into his acoustic bluesman impersonation on his solo album. This one, though is pretty and evocative. It’s also about the only electric cut on the album.

9. Figured You Out – Nickelback. If Nickelback every breaks up, what will strippers dance to? Think of the strippers, people!

10. You’re Beautiful – James Blunt. Um…I really don’t have any excuse for this, now, do I? Should I just turn in my hipster credentials and skulk away, quietly?

11. Things Can Only Get Better – Howard Jones. Another song for the reunion, it’s one that I actually liked. I didn’t find any of his other work that compelling, but I wasn’t a teenage girl in the 80’s. (He did do some nice, pretty songs, but I wasn’t in his target demo, I don’t think.)

12. Microphone Fiend – Eric B. and Rakim. One thing that I am sorely lacking in is classic hip-hop, though sometimes tracking down the records is hard. Some of us Midwesterners were pretty darn isolated from this stuff back in the day.

13. Amie – Pure Prairie League. Oh, they have some other hit singles in their repertoire, yet this is the only one that you need. I mean, you hear it once, you hear it twice, and then you WILL be singing it in the shower and doing the harmonies when you blast it in your car.

14. Sweet Troubled Soul – Stellastar* - See above.

15. I Just Want To Celebrate – Rare Earth. Thanks to its appearance during the series finale of Six Feet Under, I had to go out and grab this one. And I wanted to get other Rare Earth songs, but I remembered that for some reason, they recorded side-long versions of their hit songs, like “Get Ready”, and iTunes won’t sell you an individual song that’s over 10 minutes long.

16. Baby Come To Me – James Ingram. This was another one bought for the reunion. Oh, this is pleasant enough, but I mean, isn’t this about all you need?

17. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott-Heron. I really do need to explore more by Mr. Scott-Heron. I bought this to satisfy my curiosity about this song. It is a very powerful, evocative song with a lyrical bite that many of today’s rappers wish they could achieve.

18. Red Morning Light – Kings Of Leon. They got good reviews, so I bought the record. It was OK, but again, space limitations, a move and other things caused me to purge it. I heard the album at Designerchica’s a little bit ago, and then I went back and checked it out on iTunes. I think I made the right choice, for me.

19. Superstar – The Carpenters. Of all of their songs, I think this may be the only one that won’t give you diabetes. Of course, it’s a Leon Russell tune, and he can actually write gritty songs, not that Karen Carpenter knew anything about grit…or grits, for that matter.

20. You Got Me – VHS or Beta. Ah, yes, sitting in the Hard Rock in Baltimore with three friends – waiting PATIENTLY to be served – and this song came on the video screens. Three out of four diners agreed that it was worthwhile, and we all downloaded it.

21. Good – Better Than Ezra. I really like this, and for some reason I never heard anything else by them that I really dug. Again, though, this was the time of the genesis of my radio blackout, so I definitely may have missed something.

22. Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Beware the overly hyped band. Beware, people!

23. Margarity – Sleepy Brown. I saw this while I was flipping channels to VH-1 Classic, and it seemed a pleasant enough tune. I don’t know if anything else is worthwhile, but it’s got a neat groove.

24. Trigger Happy Jack (Drive by a Go-Go) – Poe. Saw the video. Bought the record. Didn’t like anything else. Sold the record back. Kept this song.

25. Ain’t No Easy Way – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. From what I have read, they underwent a paradigm shift coming into this latest album, but I still didn’t hear anything that grabbed me like this one. A Letterman appearance sold this one to me.

26. 3 Strange Days – School Of Fish. This was all over the radio at the ‘alternative’ rock station in Indy for a while, and I really was intrigued by them. I hoped the rest of the record would be good, but again, it all seemed flat, especially in contrast to this song.

27. Working For The Weekend – Loverboy. C’mon, would I have anything else by them? I really didn’t even want THIS, but, you know, class reunion. They had to be the ugliest band that the girls thought were hot. Was it the red leather and that headband that the lead twerp wore?

28. The Sinister Minister – Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Much like “Birdland”, this is the only thing I’ve picked off of my Bela Fleck albums to put on the iPod. It used to be that once in a while, Liz and I would have dinner listening to stuff like this. Of course, that was pre-kid, when the only music at dinnertime is the cacophony of children.

29. So Into You – Atlanta Rhythm Section. Yeah, they had a couple of other lazy hits in the 70’s (“Imaginary Lover” and “Champagne Jam”) and they basically sounded like this. I don’t think the band worked up a sweat when they recorded it. Shudder To Think released a whacked-out cover of this in the 90’s.

30. Heat Of The Moment – Asia. Yet another one for the reunion, and I was so so so close to get “Only Time Will Tell” as well, but I didn’t. A ‘supergroup’ featuring members from bands that you wished would go away back in the day. (ELP, Yes, UK, and the Buggles, for instance.) Actually, John Wetton was in King Crimson and Roxy Music, so he gets plus points, but Carl Palmer gets minus points for being in ELP, because, well, did you LISTEN to any of their last few albums? The thing is – if Steve Howe rocked in Yes like he did on this song, then we’d really have nothing to complain about from Yes, would we? But would that be any fun? No.

31. Camel Walk – Southern Culture On The Skids. They’re rather much a one-joke band to me. I get it. This however is a classic, and I just need to put this on to get Liz dancing. Oh…excuse me……

32. The Noise Of Carpet – Stereolab. I had THREE Stereolab albums at one point, but they didn’t survive the great purge when we were moving to Crawfordsville. For the most part, it was pretty decent unintrusive background music and I really didn’t need that.

33. Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J. I know, I need more by him. Otherwise he’s going to kick my ass. I can feel it.

So, there you go. These 33 songs are ‘orphans’ in a way, on my iPod. All have their uses (well, somewhat, Loverboy) and there are some that I know I need to get more by the artists.

I hope everyone’s Christmas was wonderful!


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