favorite Pazz & Jop "one-hit wonder" album, 1974-2018

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many critical darlings manage to remain so for a decent length of time, but they're not always so lucky. here are the relatively few top 10 p&j-ranking albums which were released by artists who otherwise never placed one even in the top 40. what's yer favorite?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
The B-52's - The B-52's (#7, 1979) 18
The Breeders - Last Splash (#4, 1993) 14
The Cars - The Cars (#9, 1978) 9
Air - Moon Safari (#8, 1998) 8
Elastica - Elastica (#4, 1995) 6
Donna Summer - Bad Girls (#10, 1979) 5
Blue Öyster Cult - Agents of Fortune (#10, 1976) 5
Go-Go's - Beauty and the Beat (#10, 1981) 5
Modest Mouse - Good News for People Who Love Bad News (#9, 2004) 3
Jill Scott - Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 (#9, 2000) 3
Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (#10, 1995) 3
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (#6, 2006) 2
Shelby Lynne - I Am Shelby Lynne (#5, 2000) 2
Cornershop - When I Was Born for the 7th Time (#3, 1997) 2
Haim - Days Are Gone (#7, 2013) 2
Rick James - Street Songs (#9, 1981) 2
Soul II Soul - Club Classics Vol. One (a.k.a. Keep on Movin') (#9, 1989) 2
Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose (#3, 2004) 1
Tina Turner - Private Dancer (#5, 1984) 1
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (#2, 2009) 1
Amy Rigby - Diary of a Mod Housewife (#8, 1996) 1
Basehead - Play With Toys (#10, 1992) 1
Garland Jeffreys - Ghost Writer (#9, 1977) 1
Sleigh Bells - Treats (#9, 2010) 0
Santogold - Santogold (#7, 2008) 0
Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters (#6, 1995) 0
Michelle Shocked - Short Sharp Shocked (#5, 1988) 0
Chris Whitley - Living With the Law (#9, 1991) 0
Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard (#9, 1974) 0


dyl, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 06:46 (two weeks ago) Permalink

(i didn't include the initial 1971 poll b/c of the gap between it and 1974's. i also excluded albums by artists who have not yet released another full-length project since their top 10 placing (e.g. sza, lucy dacus, wild flag, etc.) or who passed away prior to their later releases being issued (marvin gaye and amy winehouse). i also excluded some groups' albums if individual members of the groups managed to place albums at other times, or if the person who fronted the group later fronted a different group that placed albums. basically this list might not be 100% accurate but hopefully i didn't f it up that much lol)

dyl, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 06:55 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Van Lear Rose was such a random critical droolfest.

Mr. Snrub, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 07:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

ah yes, one-hit-wonders 'Oasis'

kinder, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 08:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Moon Safari, assuming it fits the bill.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 11:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I don't know about albums, but my favourite songs from those are "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," "Keep on Movin'," Basehead's "Ode to My Favorite Beer," Elastica's "Stutter," Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha," Amy Rigby's "Time for Me to Come Down," and Air's "Ce matin là."

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 12:23 (two weeks ago) Permalink

def soul ii soul

lowercase (eric), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 12:43 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Voted for Agents of Fortune, an album I've been listening to for 20 years.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 13:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

More like 23, I guess

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 13:44 (two weeks ago) Permalink

ah yes, one-hit-wonders 'Oasis'

― kinder, Tuesday, March 5, 2019 2:57 AM (six hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

def true in the us, that is also ime most people’s impression, they had one song crack the top 40, now people sing it at weddings

budo jeru, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

agree tho that the term is odd for this grouping of artists

budo jeru, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:47 (two weeks ago) Permalink

nah, I remember being sick of hearing at least 4 Oasis songs

We were never Breeting Borting (President Keyes), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 15:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Some good ones on offer but B-52s without hesitation.

Gary Ornmigh, Heywood's son (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

nah, I remember being sick of hearing at least 4 Oasis songs

Acc. to Wikipedia, the rest were Alternative hits in the US but only "Wonderwall" made the top 40. Acc to the same page, they had 14 top 40 hits in Canada, most of which I've never heard of, weirdly.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

agree tho that the term is odd for this grouping of artists

― budo jeru, Tuesday, March 5, 2019 4:47 PM (eighteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


The specific reading here of "top 10 p&j-ranking albums which were released by artists who otherwise never placed one even in the top 40" is clear enough, I'd say (even without the quotes around the term).

B-52's without hesitation here too.

dorsalstop, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:09 (two weeks ago) Permalink

But yeah, obv, "one-hit wonder" is being used here in the specific context of the P&J albums poll.

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:10 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Modest Mouse in too late, Arctic Monkeys in too early.

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

b52's

nxd, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Acc. to Wikipedia, the rest were Alternative hits in the US but only "Wonderwall" made the top 40. Acc to the same page, they had 14 top 40 hits in Canada, most of which I've never heard of, weirdly.

90s charts are bizarre to me-- Champagne Supernova was constantly played on MTV

We were never Breeting Borting (President Keyes), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Wow, Cars debut vs Breeders is impossible for me

I have never heard of: Garland Jeffreys, Amy Rigby, Jill Scott

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:23 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Who is Jill Scott?

We were never Breeting Borting (President Keyes), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the breeders just in front of elastica and the b-52's for me.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

90s charts are bizarre to me-- Champagne Supernova was constantly played on MTV

― We were never Breeting Borting (President Keyes), Tuesday, March 5, 2019 10:20 AM (nineteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

MTV totally throws off my concept of what I think of as huge hits from the '80s and '90s. There were a bunch of megapopular videos from the early days of the network that barely made a dent on Billboard.

Gary Ornmigh, Heywood's son (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

BOC

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:55 (two weeks ago) Permalink

BÖC? I didn't see any Boards of Canada on that list.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 16:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Modest Mouse. I love that record.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 17:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

90s charts are bizarre to me-- Champagne Supernova was constantly played on MTV

― We were never Breeting Borting (President Keyes), Tuesday, March 5, 2019 10:20 AM (nineteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

MTV totally throws off my concept of what I think of as huge hits from the '80s and '90s. There were a bunch of megapopular videos from the early days of the network that barely made a dent on Billboard.

― Gary Ornmigh, Heywood's son (Old Lunch), Tuesday, March 5, 2019 11:42 AM (eighteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Labels, which had never liked singles, finally saw their chance to kill them in the '90s, hence the ridiculous bump in CD sales.

Let's have sensible centrist armageddon (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 17:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

"Don't Speak" and "Torn," to pick two examples, would've been #1 for weeks had they been released on cassingle or CD single.

Let's have sensible centrist armageddon (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 17:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink

bad girls vs. last splash

not a choice i really want to make

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 17:07 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Would be equally interesting to vote for the worst of these.

Voted Phoenix.

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 17:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

bad girls vs. last splash

not a choice i really want to make

― jolene club remix (BradNelson), Tuesday, March 5, 2019 10:07 AM (thirteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

oh, and beauty and the beat too, christ

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 17:21 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Some good ones on offer but B-52s without hesitation.
― Gary Ornmigh, Heywood's son (Old Lunch),

it really isn't even close.

it's like, "yeah, some really great albums. . . and one album that changed the universe."

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 17:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

hmmm. even with the explanation i am now regretting the phrasing in the thread title, sorry y'all. but yeah, this has zero to do with billboard/mainstream success and obv many of these acts have had long, fruitful careers long after rockcritland stopped caring so much about them.

dyl, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 18:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink

however since i am a pedant abt billboard-related chart info i will point out that "champagne supernova" crossed over to the mainstream top 40 format's top 10 and reached number 20 on the hot 100 airplay chart (it wasn't commercially available and thus couldn't appear on the main chart), which imo is a pretty significant mainstream success

dyl, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 18:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

it's like, "yeah, some really great albums. . . and one album that changed the universe."

^^^ this.

pee-tape pay per view special (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 19:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Go-Gos, but, wanna throw in a shout-out to that Basehead album

ebro the letter (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 19:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

that dc basehead album is not very good, i think. especially compared to the crit echo it caused.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 19:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the chris whitley one on the other hand, had something about it. very unfortunate that he died so young.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 19:59 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Like Whiney, I think Beauty and the Beat deserves a vote, in my case for "Can't Stop the World" and Our Lips Are Sealed" alone.

Let's have sensible centrist armageddon (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 5 March 2019 20:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the chris whitley one on the other hand, had something about it. very unfortunate that he died so young.

― Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Tuesday, March 5, 2019 1:59 PM (seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

otm

budo jeru, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 20:07 (two weeks ago) Permalink

also dyl i don’t think the premise of the poll is confusing, i guess i just thought it was interesting that some of the entries did seem to be one-hit wonders in the usual sense while others are obv not but i’m not going to derail the thread going on about oasis or w/e

voting for the cars probably but a few of these are new to me and a few others i’d lke to revisit

budo jeru, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 20:12 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Tons of good stuff on the list. Voted for The Cars. A bit surprised Candy-O wasn’t even top 40 for P&J.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 00:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink

liked Basehead, Amy Rigby, Cornershop, Modest Mouse

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 01:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Liam probably extinguished cigarettes on half the Morning Glory voters after that poll

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 01:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Modest Mouse
Air
Elastica

nicky lo-fi, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 01:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

The Cars is a solid album that I still listen to fairly often, so that.

o. nate, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 01:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink

moon safari is still great

don't listen to much else of these anymore besides haim which seems too recent to assume it'll be a one hit

ciderpress, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 02:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Private Dancer is a fantastic record, loaded with terrific commissioned tunes written and played on spec, immensely influential in the ensuing decade.

Let's have sensible centrist armageddon (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 02:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

was thinking The Cars and The B-52's foreshadowed so much of new wave music. amazing to think those albums were made in the 70s

Dan S, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 02:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

cornershop 4 life

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 02:55 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I really like the idea for this poll

Dan S, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 02:56 (two weeks ago) Permalink

FORTY FIVE

Let's have sensible centrist armageddon (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 02:56 (two weeks ago) Permalink

haha, loved Brimful of Asha

Dan S, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 03:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Cars, B52s, Basehead, Air, Elastica ... I even like the Rigby.

Chris Whitley died way too young, but he did release close to a dozen more records.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 03:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

my initial thought was to go with Air because by circumstance I bonded with that album more than I did the others on this list

thought at the time that like Maxinquaye and Millions Now Living Will Never Die before it, it was a new thing

Dan S, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 04:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Billboard data is the worst way to determine a one-hit-wonder.

The best way is "do people know more than one song"

billstevejim, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 04:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Elastica is probably my favorite of these.

billstevejim, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 04:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

(Thanks for clarification re airplay chart vs singles charts in the 90s, dyl and Alfred.)

All along there is the sound of feedback (Sund4r), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 04:24 (two weeks ago) Permalink

BOC, Go-Go's, Breeders, Elastica

omar little, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 04:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Eric Clapton, Blue Oyster Cult, Garland Jeffreys seem like a completely different era from the rest of these

Dan S, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 04:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I must be living in a parallel universe from the one that was drastically changed by the B-52s' first album.

Considered voting for Air but eventually plumped for the mighty Rick James.

does it look like i'm here (jon123), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 10:43 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I'm most surprised that Air and Phoenix are on that list, given the very positive critical reception that 10,000 Hz Legend, The Virgin Suicides, Talkie Walkie, United, Alphabetical and It's Never Been Like That got. These did not even make the P&J top 40?

Siegbran, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 10:45 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Basehead v the B-52s is a tough struggle for me

See me in mi heels an' tinge (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 10:47 (two weeks ago) Permalink

(same with Modest Mouse, so Good News made #9 but none of their other records registered at all? that looks so...random - most on this list is either a debut, 'canonical' or best selling album)

Siegbran, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 11:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Elastica I liked a lot at the time, but a recent re-listen wasn't a happy experience (four good songs and an overall awful sound). Also recently re-listened to Cornershop, which conversely was much better than I remembered. I'm almost tempted to listen to the Foo Fighters and Oasis ones again (must also be around 20 years since I last did) to see where they fall on that axis.

dorsalstop, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 12:39 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I must be living in a parallel universe from the one that was drastically changed by the B-52s' first album.

How sad.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 13:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

10000 HZ was a critical flop from what I remember

Modest Mouse made it because they had a hit single from that album I imagine

We were never Breeting Borting (President Keyes), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 13:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I'm most surprised that Air and Phoenix are on that list, given the very positive critical reception that 10,000 Hz Legend, The Virgin Suicides, Talkie Walkie, United, Alphabetical and It's Never Been Like That got. These did not even make the P&J top 40?

just checked again and it would seem not

dyl, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 14:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Quick aside: that thing I mentioned yesterday where the impact of MTV sometimes totally throws my sense of an '80s/'90s hit single out of whack? I just remembered one of the more gobsmacking examples: Van Halen's megahit 'Hot for Teacher', which streaked like a rocket all the way to...#56 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Gary Ornmigh, Heywood's son (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 6 March 2019 14:12 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Tough choice between the Go-Go's, the Breeders and Air.

Gavin, Leeds, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 14:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 11 March 2019 00:01 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm most surprised that Air and Phoenix are on that list, given the very positive critical reception that 10,000 Hz Legend, The Virgin Suicides, Talkie Walkie, United, Alphabetical and It's Never Been Like That got. These did not even make the P&J top 40?

Air and Phoenix had kind of opposite trajectories. Moon Safari made a big splash but official follow-up 10,000 Hz Legend was considered a disappointing misstep, as I recall, and the reception to the rest of Air's output has generally been "oh sure, seems pleasant enough." Meanwhile, Phoenix's first few albums were well-liked within certain circles, but I think some rockist-oriented critics were confused by them -- if they paid attention to them at all. The band didn't really break through to a wide audience until Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

jaymc, Monday, 11 March 2019 00:25 (one week ago) Permalink

The Cars!!!!!!!

⅋ (crüt), Monday, 11 March 2019 01:02 (one week ago) Permalink

^^^

Neus Anneus (voodoo chili), Monday, 11 March 2019 04:03 (one week ago) Permalink

I went with Arctic Monkeys. I still play that record and, if my sixteen year old son made geeky album lists, it might very well top his as he literally wore out my CD and I had to buy another one. Which says something about it, I think.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 11 March 2019 07:23 (one week ago) Permalink

Voted for Rick James over Oasis and Elastica. Arctic Monkeys made far better albums after their debut.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 11 March 2019 19:42 (one week ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:01 (one week ago) Permalink


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