But in my absence, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:
BEST ONE-HIT WONDER OF ALL TIME!!!!
You know -- a chart smash that is just utterly wonderful, but for whatever reason the person or persons behind it could never quite manage another one with a comparable level of commercial success.
[Totally arbitrary rule: The competition is based on artist rankings on the American charts only. A couple of the people whose songs I've chosen had multiple hits in the UK, but not here.]
Okay, that said -- here's my hastily tossed together Top Ten.
10. Shocking Blue -- Venus (1970)
Longtime readers know of my fondness for these guys, and yes, they had scads of other songs equally as good. Of course, the fact that few of them ever got released in this country due to the collapse of their record company was obviously problematic. If you're curious, you might order this definitive greatest hits collection.
9. Brenda Holloway -- Every Little Bit Hurts (1964)
The most gorgeous soul ballad of the 60s and one of the most perfect female vocal performances ever. Perhaps it's not so amazing that she couldn't follow it up.
8. The Outsiders -- Time Won't Let Me (1966)
The Greaseball Motown Pastiche to end them all. Interestingly, Sonny Geraci, the guy who sang it, was later in a one-hit wonder band of the 70s -- Climax, of "Precious and Few" infamy.
7. Count Five -- Psychotic Reaction (1966)
The greatest Yardbirds
6. The Jaynetts -- Sally Go Round the Roses (1963)
The most mysterious of girl group hits. What does it mean? What did Sally do? What the hell are the roses? For that matter, who exactly wrote and recorded the damn song? At last, we have some of the answers! And yes -- apparently the drummer really was Buddy Miles.
5. Tommy Tutone -- 867-5309(Jenny) (1982)
Pretty much the definitive skinny-tie band song, n'est-ce pas?
4. Des'ree -- You Gotta Be (1994)
I thought she was a goddess back in the day, frankly, and hearing the song again after more than a decade hasn't changed my mind. Why didn't this woman have Beyonce's career?
3. Desmond Dekker -- Israelites (1968)
This was basically the first exposure to Jamaican music that us kids in the Top 40 audience ever had, and it's hard to overstate just how otherworldly and unique it sounded at the time. Still does, actually. Maybe that's why Dekker never had another American hit -- this one felt too much like a novelty record.
2. The Knickerbockers -- Lies (1966)
Greatest Beatles knock-off ever. The guitar sound alone is worth the price of admission.
And the absolute best, and certainly most profound, one-hit wonder of all time is -----
1. Joan Osborne -- One of Us (1995)
I can't help it -- everything about this record kills me. The guitars, the groove, the longing in Osborne's voice, and just the whole conceit -- God as a stranger on the bus, trying to find his way home -- strike me as ineffably touching. Osborne has had, and continues to have, an estimable career but I don't see how she's ever going to have another moment like this one.
Alrighty, now -- and your choices would be?