aspose file tools*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes One Hit Wonders Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "One Hit Wonders" Watch "One Hit Wonders" New topic
Author

One Hit Wonders

Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

How does this happen? Leaving aside manufactured "musicians" with no actual talent, the curbs on the road to stardom are littered with also-rans that ran out of gas after one truly promising song.

My ur-example for this is the Spin Doctors (a band from the early 90's, for you young'uns.) How could you have the brilliance to come up with something like Jimmy Olsen's Blues (aka Pocket Full of Kryptonite) and then, just, nothing?

Yeah, I realize that this wasn't even the single off their first album, and they had a couple of Billboard hits -- memorably Two Princes -- but Jimmy really holds up well, IMHO. I'm telling you, this song is brilliant. And can you imagine if they came out with it nowadays, in the comic-book-movie-obsessed 200X's?


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Actually, the manufactured groups/artists typically have many hits. Because they are manufactured by pros who know what sells. Some sexy good looking singer, some sexy sidemen, tunes with hooks, etc. The Monkeys were a classic manufactured band, as were NSync and other boy bands. Brittney Spears was manufactured. And lots of the motown groups were manufactured, the songs were written by professional songwriters in the Brill Building.

I don't know the answer. But there are tons of talented groups of musicians who can't sell records. Probably thousands of groups.

A good movie on the topis is Tom Hank's That thing that you do
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8907
    
    8

I think pop music for the most part is driven by novelty. Once you've heard a song or two by most artists, you've heard them and can chuck them in the circular file.
Not to mention most artists are darn lucky they have a song or two in their catalog that have widespread appeal.
Spin Doctors, man that two princes tune makes me stabby!


"blabbing like a narcissistic fool with a superiority complex" ~ N.A.
[How To Ask Questions On JavaRanch]
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61206
    
  66

What amazes me more are terrible singers who made more than one record. I mean, who gave Leo Sayer a microphone again after they heard him sing the first time?


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
What amazes me more are terrible singers who made more than one record. I mean, who gave Leo Sayer a microphone again after they heard him sing the first time?


Jeebus. "When... I... neeeeeeeeed love... I hold out my haaaaaand... and I tooooouch love..." I was in 7th grade when that song came out; it was in very heavy rotation at the Jr. High School dances of the day, let me tell you that.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61206
    
  66

I mean, seriously, shouldn't laws have been passed that ensured that he'd never inflict such misery on our ears again?
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
What amazes me more are terrible singers who made more than one record.

A better term is "front man" for the group, rather than singer. Singing ability is about 10th on the list of important things. Looks, sex appeal and ability to attract members of some sex are the top three, not in that order.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61206
    
  66

But Leo Sayer???
Mike Simmons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 3014
    
  10
[Pat]: A better term is "front man" for the group, rather than singer. Singing ability is about 10th on the list of important things. Looks, sex appeal and ability to attract members of some sex are the top three, not in that order.

Not sure if the "front man" reference was intentional in your reply to Bear. If not, check it out - it's good. Aside from that though - what' the difference between items 2 and 3? How is sex appeal different from the ability to attract members of some sex?
[ July 25, 2008: Message edited by: Mike Simmons ]
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Originally posted by Mike Simmons:
[b]Not sure if the "front man" reference was intentional in your reply to Bear. If not, check it out - it's good. Aside from that though - what' the difference between items 2 and 3? How is sex appeal different from the ability to attract members of some sex?

Front man reference was unintentional. Its a common term for bands, even if the front man is a girl.

Yeah, my #2 and #3 are about the same. Its like the first three rules of real estate: location, location, location.

To most men, a naked woman is sexy, but a woman can convey a lot of sex appeal even fully dressed.
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968
    
    1

Stop! Collaborate and Listen:

What's amazing is that bands have multiple hits. You think with so many bands and so much competition, it's such an accomplishment to make it to the top of the billboard just once.

Funny thing is that such an accomplishment almost becomes an embarassment. It's like, there's nothing worse than being a one hit wonder. If you made just one great book, or one Oscar award winning movie, you'd be set forever, but having only one hit song makes you a laughing stock. Doesn't seem fair, does it.

-Cameron McKenzie
[ July 28, 2008: Message edited by: Cameron Wallace McKenzie ]
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:


Jeebus. "When... I... neeeeeeeeed love... I hold out my haaaaaand... and I tooooouch love..." I was in 7th grade when that song came out; it was in very heavy rotation at the Jr. High School dances of the day, let me tell you that.
That explains Leo Sayer's popularity. In the 7th grade most boys' voices haven't changed yet.

I always hated that song. I hated "You Make me Feel Like Dancin' (sic)" even worse. Oddly enough, I liked his "The Show Must Go On."
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
...who gave Leo Sayer a microphone again after they heard him sing the first time?

Well, from his label's perspective, Leo was contracted to make a product that could sell big, and he delivered.

On the other hand, he could just as easily have flopped, like so many other "artists" with a vault of cash behind them. Ultimately, there are so many variables in making a hit record, it's like trying to time the stock market.

Unfortunately, there's no accounting for taste. It's strictly a matter of units sold in a chaotic market driven by factors more compelling than talent, artistry, or quality.


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
sscce.org
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

An interesting thing about labels: The decision makers can come and go faster than the artists. A friend of mine was sending demos to Atlantic, and the label was interested enough to ask for more songs emphasizing specific elements. Eventually, they asked him to fly to Los Angeles for a meeting. When he arrived a week later, the person he was supposed to meet with was gone.

A lot of it comes down to what detached executives think the next big thing will be. So if the label is thinking they need something to compete with [insert current sensation here], then last-year's hit-makers who don't fit that criteria fall off the radar -- especially if those artists' advocates have vanished from decision-making meetings. The artist might still be under contract, but their next album budget is cut in half, the scheduling keeps getting pushed off in favor of higher priority acts, and no one gets behind the finished product. Then the artist gets dropped for failing to chart.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Originally posted by marc weber:
The decision makers can come and go faster than the artists..... When he arrived a week later, the person he was supposed to meet with was gone.

They too only live as long as their last hit. Clearly the A&R dude had gone too long without a hit. Its only about money.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Pat Farrell:
... They too only live as long as their last hit...

Exactly. The artists are commodities with values tied to an unpredictable market, and A&R people are essentially day traders dealing in those commodities.
Peter Rooke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 803

Maybe it�s to do with the time constraints (time, quality, cost [pick two!]). I guess a new band has spent as much time as they needed to get their first hit. Problem is that the label to which they have just signed will not wait; they want the bands next release as soon as possible. The next release may not be up to the expected standard�

My favourite one hit wonder band was Tight Fit � you know it �in the Jungle, the quiet Jungle� the Lion Sleeps Tonight���


Regards Pete
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4655
    
    5

Originally posted by Peter Rooke:Problem is that the label

Actually, the real problem is that the concept of a record label is completely obsolete.

They never were all that useful, but have become ever less useful over the past 20 years.

These days, a band needs to establish a local following, playing in bars and local clubs, and be selling a lot of CDs from the stage before any label will look at them.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: One Hit Wonders