Tuesday questions, Wild Flower edition

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Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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115 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy
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    The correct answer is Skee-Lo.Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq
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    He was never exactly Top 40 popular but I always felt that British folk rocker Richard Thompson should have been more popular in a just world.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    This is such a charming song that you’d expect them to have had many more. Never happened.

    Report

  4. Avatar Sam
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    The thing about one-hit wonders is that the hit is usually at such odds worth the rest of what they’re doing. You’re listening and thinking, “This is great!” and then hear the album and realize, “Oh, that was everything they had, like literally, all of it.” So I’m not sure there is an answer for me, if only because if they’d had more hits, they would have been a different band/singer/whatever.

    That said, if I had to pick, maybe Fired Mob? “Sick of Bein Lonely” is an incredible track, hinting at such a unique worldview, but the album want great and they disappeared forever. Still, describing something attractive as “more gooder than a plate of neckbones neckbones, tendorized and yummy…” might be one of my favorite lyrics ever written.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Sam
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      I’m having trouble coming up with an answer for a slightly different reason. Growing up an Anglophile means I liked many UK bands that may have only had one hit here – but whether that hit was their “best” or not, I don’t have a clear sense of them as “one-hit-wonders”, since A.) I probably tracked down the rest of their output and B.) They were often quite successful hit-wise on the other side of the pond.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Glyph
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        Do you have a penchant for tweed?Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Glyph
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        I’ll allow answers that only had one US hit but were more successful back in their home countries.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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        Have you ever listened to rock music – ON TWEED?Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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        Well, then that makes it easy. I wrote a whole post on how sad it is that Americans pretty much only know the Furs for “Pretty in Pink” (and not even the superior original version!), they were a lot more than that.

        And the Bunnymen were never gonna be big here with that ridiculous name, but “Lips like Sugar” off the s/t, while pretty good, can’t touch any of their first three or four records, which improbably meld Joy Division and psychedelia to great effect.

        “Kiss Them for Me”, by the Banshees? Decent tune, terrible album, but they were a fierce band for a long time prior to that.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Glyph
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        I love “Kiss Them for Me.” Looooooooooove. It used to be my “getting dressed before going out” song.

        But I came upon it well after Souxsie & the Banshees were in vogue, and I was pretty out of touch with most popular music until high school, so I have no perception of their success. I never thought of them as a one-hit wonder, since I’ve heard so many of their songs on the radio and had their “greatest hits” album back in the day.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Glyph
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        @glyph

        I have and it was quite quaint.

        To me “Kiss them for Me” was the stage where Siouxsie Sioux decided that she was in her 30s and was going to “buy in” by performing a song that was very much of the time period. The song came out in 1991 according to Wikipedia and my first thought upon hearing it (which I only did recently) was “this song is from the early 1990s.” It is very different than Christine, the Strawberry Girl.

        The Furs had some other hits in the US like Love My Way.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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        Yeah, that’s why I was having trouble. I think to most Americans they would be one-hit (AFAIK, the songs I listed were the only ones that hit the mainstream pop charts/radio stations), but to me…

        Did Dream Academy ever do anything aside from “Life in a Northern Town”? I might have liked another one of those….Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Glyph
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        @russell-saunders

        I take it you have problems showing up places in a timely manner.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Glyph
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        @glyph

        According to Wiki, they were around from 1983-1991 and released three albums. Their second album reached 181 on the US charts and did not chart in the UK.
        The third album charted nowhere.

        I like that song a lot too. It reminds me of taking the train from New York to Boston. Every time I have done this, it has always been overcast and gray.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Glyph
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        @saul-degraw It took me an appalling amount of time to figure out what the hell you meant. Because my brain is apparently not functioning properly today.

        And in reality, I have exactly the opposite problem. I am always right on time for social occasions because I’m super paranoid about missing anything fun, despite the fact that never in the history of human parties has the most fun at one occurred right at the very beginning. But still, I have to work to arrive even slightly late, and have shown up at soirees while the host was still doing things like cubing cheese.Report

  5. Avatar Patrick
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    Can we pick somebody that was never even a one-hit wonder?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick
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      I think this sort of goes against the spirit of the question. There are tons of super talented people who just never made it. That happens. I understand this question to be, “Who did you immensely enjoy — who made it!!! — but somehow didn’t stick?” That is something else entirely.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy
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        Yeah, that’s more where I’m going with the Question. (But this is a Tuesday Question we’re talking about here, so it’s not like pestilence will descend on the nation if you violate the rules.) I’m mainly interested in people who managed to make a mark, but didn’t last as popular performers.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Kazzy
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        The Doc promised there would be no pestilence descending on the nation and I am holding him to it!Report

  6. Avatar Saul DeGraw
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    I think think of more bands that I wish stayed around for longer than I can for one-hit wonders that fizzled.

    I wish the Ailers Set had a better career than they did but they were probably not fitting well into the zeitgeist of the time. They would be more popular now. I saw them open up for Belle and Sebastian in 2002:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YerOi4W4zsw

    The best answer to your question is probably Velocity Girl.Report

  7. Avatar Dan Miller
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    Harvey Danger had two albums after their hit (plus the lead singer released a solo album that was also very good), but I’d still love to have more material from them. Fantastic songwriting.Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird
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    Shakespeare’s Sister’s “Stay With Me” was one of those beautiful, ethereal songs that struck me as something that would totally turn into something *HUGE*.

    http://youtu.be/Tosky-ZNbRw

    Sigh.Report

  9. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist
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    Slade

    They were big in the UK, but only had one real hit in the US, but I still love it, makes me want to get up & dance.Report

  10. Avatar Jonathan McLeod
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    My original thought was Nada Surf. They had a hit back in the 90s, “Popular”, which was good in an angsty, grunge-era, high school kinda way:

    I saw them many years later and they were touring off their album “Let Go” which was immensely better, immensely different, and deserved far more attention and success:

    Then I remembered that they covered “If You Leave” for The O.C.:

    So I don’t know if that qualifies as a hit and disqualifies them.Report

  11. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    I’m going to pick a band that I’ve only ever heard the One-Hit-Wonder from: Chumbawumba.

    That song is so awesome it deserves a followup hit — even it it’s terrible — just on the credit earned by Tubthumping. How many songs can you think of that, when you hear it in your kitchen, you can’t NOT dance and sounds like it was sung by Peter Capaldi? Exactly.

    Now that I think about it, they should be allowed two terrible hit records for that song.Report

  12. Avatar dhex
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    watching my peers become obsessed with nostalgia for their mid teens is, if nothing else, a sobering reminder of incoming death.Report

  13. Avatar Pinky
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    Split Enz. “I Got You” was the definitive New Wave song. It was “Stairway to Heaven” times “Freebird” among New Wavers. Now, the New Wave movement had a lot of different threads, a lot of genres mixed together (sometimes in the same song), so maybe I’m wrong to say that there was one pinnacle song, but that’s how I remember it. The band had more success outside the US, and a couple other hits. The weird thing to me is that not only were they a one-hit wonder in the US, but the magnitude of their hit has faded over time. Somewhere along the way, “I’ll Melt with You” supplanted “I Got You”.Report

  14. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    WTF is going on with the threads in this post?Report

  15. Avatar Jonathan McLeod
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    @glyph reminds us that Canada, is indeed, a whole ‘nother place, so here are some more goodies:

    The Inbreds:

    Sunfish:

    Sandbox (featuring Anne Murray’s nephew on vocals and “Bubbles” from “Trailer Park Boys” on guitar):

    Report

  16. Avatar Burt Likko
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    Maybe I’m in my own private Idaho on this one, but I always liked T’Pau and never understood why they (she) never caught on here other than that one song. The title track from that album was fantastic:

    Alsotoo, there was another British group that I thought showed tremendous promise. Really, all they needed was a little seasoning on the road to polish up their act:

    Those guys could have been great.Report

  17. Avatar Anne
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    Ssss Aaaaaa Ffffff Eeeee Tttttt Yyyyyy

    http://youtu.be/6pOq4hyoX9gReport

  18. Avatar Brandon Berg
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    Scott McKenzie. The “San Francisco” guy. He had a spectacular voice, and several songs that were as good or better, but all anyone remembers him for is that damn hippie anthem.

    Which, to be fair, was actually a pretty good song apart from the lyric.Report

  19. Avatar Jaybird
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    A question for Chris:

    Would Mike Jones count?
    http://youtu.be/WYTBsN-KeNEReport

  20. Avatar Patrick
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    Okay…

    First, a tangent… bands with two hits… where the wrong hit is the more popular hit:

    Falco is better known for “Rock Me Amadeus” than for “Der Kommissar”, which is the superior song.
    A Flock of Seagulls is better known for “I Ran” than for “Space Age Love Song”, which is the superior song.

    Second, candidates on topic:

    Thomas Dolby, who really only had “She Blinded Me With Science” as a hit.
    Blues Traveler, who really only had “Run Around” as a hit.
    Luscious Jackson, who really only had “Naked Eye” as a hit.
    Nena, who really only had “99 Luftballoons” as a hit.Report

  21. Avatar Chris
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    Oh, I just heard Real Life’s “Send Me an Angel.” I’m not sure they need to be resurrected, but that song brought back memories.Report

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