Modern One-Hit Wonders (and their Parodies)

I’ve been covering bands for the last few weeks. Kind of like in a concert, when the band gets going, and plays a bunch of songs in a row without stopping. But it’s time to slow back down a bit, get back into a groove of talking about music, as well as bands.

This week, I wanted to talk about one-hit wonders. Usually, figuring out what songs are one-hit wonders requires a good deal of time to pass, so that you can look back and say that, “yep, none of their other songs ever made it big.” However, I think that makes it fun to speculate about which recent songs will end up as one-hit wonders, as the artists fade into the night.

I think that today’s day-and-age has an interesting twist to the one-hit wonder as well: YouTube and the Internet. Now, the songs are potentially big not only just as a song, but as a music video people can watch, share, and interact with. It’s the fact of interaction that I think can point the way to the one-hit wonders: songs where there’s a ton of parodies and other interaction leading to the popularity (or notoriety!) and life of the one song, but not to the artist’s career overall.

I think that in the past, Weird Al Yankovic almost single-handedly had this same effect with some songs – and may still today, with his new album. Time will tell! But let’s look at a few songs that I think are going to go down in history as one-hit wonders, and some of the parodies that lead me to think that way!

Call Me Maybe

Remember this song? Annoyingly catchy and all over the place, and I remember being surprised that it wasn’t an artist I had really heard of before – it seemed like a Katy Perry song or something like that. However, part of why this song was big was because there were so many parodies of it. I tried to avoid this one as best I could, so I don’t have a parody that stood out in my mind or that I remember. Instead, here’s a link to a basic search for parodies of this song:

The top five parodies that came up have roughly 272.5 million views between them. That’s a lot of views. And there are a bunch more parodies! Oh, and the original song has 577.5 million views. Just looking at Carly Rae Jepsen’s VEVO, I see a few other songs with a decent number of views… but nothing to touch this one song. Will history remember her as a one hit wonder? My sources say maybe.

Somebody That I Used to Know

Here’s another song that blew up, was hugely popular, and had a video which people loved to parody: “Somebody that I used to know” by Gotye. This one has 533.7 million views just for this one version.

And it’s a really artistically interesting video, and it’s a vocal duo which is always popular and different, and it’s just this interesting and unique sound… songs that meet those sorts of qualifications often don’t live up to expectations with the rest of an artist’s work. It seems to be the same with Gotye.

There’s one parody of this song I definitely remember, which was really well done both for content, topic, and for copying the art style of the original video. This one is great, if you’re any kind of Star Wars fan!

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Join us for a Feminist Friday Discussion this week at The Lobster Dance

Leah of The Lobster Dance has graciously agreed to host the Feminist Friday discussion this week.

The topic: Gendered Marketing aimed at adults.

I couldn’t be more thrilled that Leah’s offered to host. If you want to know why I’m saying that, check out this piece she wrote at I’ll Make It Myself last month about pointlessly gendered food blogging.

You’re welcome to join us (and to chime in if you’re feeling chatty on Friday).

Leah’s post will be the eighteenth of these discussion threads we’ve posted since we started them in March, and The Lobster Dance will be the seventh blog that’s hosted. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

All previous installments are archived here.

Follow Friday. On the Blog! With flower photos.

Lyn the Lazy, who writes game reviews for Part Time Monster, had a brilliant idea last wildflowersApr28week.  She gave the Monster a Follow Friday on her blog. It’s a beautiful post. You can follow them both on Twitter @the_lyn and @parttimemonster. The way Lyn did it, focusing on one blog, is the way to go. For this first post, though, I need to include a few.

I’ve been following all these blogs almost since day one, and six months later, I’m still keeping up with them and having conversations with them. I can’t kick this feature off with just one, because they all deserve the mention. They’ve all encouraged me and helped me improve my game.

Here are five blogs I’ve been following since last year. I’ve had conversations with the bloggers who run them, interact with them on other social media, and sometimgoldflowerses link to their work. They’re listed in the order I met them. Links to the titles go to their about pages, because that’s a good place to start with a new blog. I’m including links to their Twitter handles in case you’d like to follow.

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