Monday, July 07, 2008

Best Kept Secret

Some bands will never be able to step out from the shadow of their one big hit single. The charts are littered with artists that never make it past their one big hit; artists that break into the top 40 or sometimes even the top 10 with their debut single and then fall into oblivion never to be heard from again.

What causes a one hit wonder anyways? There are hundreds upon hundreds of them over the years. It is simply a fluke? Were the artists other songs just really really bad? The truth is that most one hit wonders aren't really meant for anything more than that. Often times they're tracks that are recorded as a novelty or to cash in on a fad. Remember the Baha Men?

Uk super group 'Steps' were originally put together to record 5'6'7'8 and cash in on a line dancing fad that had swept the Uk. They're one of the few examples of a one hit wonder gone wrong! They went on to score tones of hit singles.

Sometimes you'll have an act be labeled a one hit wonder in only one country while the band enjoys success in other countries. A prime example of this would be 'Take That' who are considered a one hit wonder in North America for their hit single 'Back For Good' but enjoy superstar status in the Uk and across Europe.

One performer I recently re-discovered would fall into 'One Hit Wonder' status and that's Jennifer Paige. Best known for her debut single - Crush in 1998. She had a great voice, sweet look and a catchy radio-friendly track. The song was a top 5 hit in almost every country it was released and hit number 1 in a handful of those.

Despite the huge initial success the next two singles failed misterably and she faded into the shadows. What most people in North America don't realise is that in 2001 Jennifer released a second album and a new single (A cover of the Australian Popstars - Bardot hit - These Days.)

But unfortunately the record label didn't bother to promote the album and I doubt many people in North America even know that she was still around in 2001. Her second album did receive some airplay in Europe, but not enough to save her record deal and she was dropped in 2002.

Now it's 2008 and it's been 10 years since her debut single. Jennifer is now working with an independent record label and is still releasing music on her own terms this time. If you're interested in her newest single you can hear it here. Her new album 'Best Kept Secret' has already been released in a handful of countries.

One of my favorite Jennifer Paige tracks comes from her little known second album. It's upbeat and sunny.

What are your favorite One Hit Wonders?