The Best 90’s One-Hit Wonder

The Best 90’s One-Hit Wonder

THE DRAW

QUARTERFINALS

Mmmbop vs. Jump

To find the best of the worst, you have to identify what makes you immediately travel back in time to when that song debuted and see if you shudder or not. That seems to be the case with Hanson. Kris Kross still makes you wanna jump. Mmmbop is through to the semi’s.

Tubthumping vs. Ice Ice Baby

I wish I could call this a draw. They’re both so weirdly unique, and they disappeared so quickly after they released these songs, but then Vanilla Ice returned with a metal band and a low-level reality status. Tubthumping was huge but it still can’t match the strange popularity of Vanilla Ice. He’s into the next round.

Jump Around vs. Barbie Girl

House of Pain doesn’t feel like they were a one-hit wonder, but I assure you they were. Aqua had a few other hits that did okay, but when you hear Aqua you hear Barbie Girl, and that’s enough to move them into the semi-finals.

Baby Got Back vs. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

The Proclaimers have a hit song that’s undeniably recognizable and unique, but a crowd wouldn’t react nearly the same as it would when this song comes on. It’s an anaconda sized hit. Baby Got Back is into the semi’s.

SEMIFINALS

Mmmbop vs. Ice Ice Baby

The trouble with Ice Ice Baby is that it can quite easily be mistaken for Queen and David Bowie, until Vanilla chimes in about his DJ revolving records. There’s not a chance you could confuse MMMBop with another song. They’re into the finals.

Barbie Girl vs. Baby Got Back

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back is a legendary song, and has been sampled and referenced countless times in music, television and movies, but this is where the popularity works against him. The song is so big that its still relevant, and has evolved to such enormous heights that its barely a one hit wonder anymore, and not that synonymous with the 90s. The song is his brand now. Aqua doesn’t have that problem, as Barbie Girl could only have happened in this decade. Into the finals they go.

FINALS

MMMBop vs. Barbie Girl

MMMBop

Released in April 1997, MMMBop reached #1 in the US as well as at least a dozen other countries. It was nominated for two Grammy’s at the 40th Annual Awards and was ranked #20 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs Of The 90’s, as well as #98 on 100 Greatest Songs Of The Past 25 Years.

Barbie Girl

Released in May 1997 (coincidentally), Barbie Girl reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
It did not rank on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs Of The 90’s, but it did make such lists for Worst Single, 20 Most Annoying Songs, Top 50 Guilty Pleasures, and Top 50 Worst Songs Ever.
Those are the sort of chart topping statistics we’re after.

Hanson - MMMBop

Both of these songs scream the 90s and are equally catchy and annoying. The fact that they were released so close to one another is a testament to how tolerant we were to music back then.
While every song on this list is undeniably unique, MMMBop stands out above the rest, both for its arrival out of nowhere and its strange and unmistakable sound played by three brothers. 
Every song in this tournament will make it onto a 90’s playlist somewhere, but MMMBop is almost always at the top of 90’s hit-lists, whether they’re good or bad, which makes it even more impressive that they never had a follow up song to this.
Even as a one-hit wonder, they hold their own with 90s pop powerhouses like the Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and Britney Spears.

The best of the worst, and your champion – MMMBop.

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