One hit wonders and pop longevity

18 May 2008

The Whitburn Project: One-Hit Wonders and Pop Longevity

Are there more one-hit wonders in the music charts today than there have been in the past? Andy Baio analysed data from 1900 to this year, in search of one-hit wonder trends.

The longest-charting one-hit wonder to hit the #1 spot is Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” from 2006, which stayed on the charts for 32 weeks. The one-hit wonder that stayed at the #1 longest is Anton Karas’ “The Third Man Theme” from 1950, which stayed in the #1 position for 11 weeks. Finally, the longest-charting one-hit wonder to appear anywhere in the Top 100 is Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing” from 1997, which peaked at #16 but stayed in the top 100 for 55 weeks.

I wonder if it’s a little too early to make a call on Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” which was released only two years ago though? He may yet enjoy further chart success in the not too distant future.

Originally published Sunday 18 May 2008.