Friday, 11 September 2015

One-Hit Wonders On The Australian Chart - The 00s part 1

JUMP TO: Part 1 II Part 2 II Part 3

When it comes to charts, I'm a man of my word - and so after some delay, here is my look back at one-hit wonders on the ARIA singles chart during the 2000s. If you've checked out my posts on one-hit wonders from the 1980s and 1990s, the same rules apply. If you haven't, why haven't you?

Lucía, Lola and Pilar Las Ketchup, as we would've called them in Smash Hits where surnames didn't exist

For newcomers, those rules are as follows: in this first part, I'll look at those acts that had one number 1 single and no other top 50 entries. In Part 2, I'll list artists with one top 10 single to their name and no other top 50 entries. And, as usual, in the final post, I'll reveal the list of two-hit wonders, who had two top 10 hits and no further top 50 chart action.

You may notice that's one post less than for the '80s and '90s - and I'll explain why in Part 2. For now, let's take a trip back through the 2000s to remember the seven genuine one-hit wonders and a few chart-toppers who almost made the grade. Not included in this list is AR Rahman, since the number 1 single "Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)" was performed with Pussycat Dolls, who had several hits, and would arguably never have reached the top without their input. OK, let's get on with it...

"Bloke" by Chris Franklin
Year of release: 2000
Weeks at number 1: Two
No other top 100 entries
The first of two response records on our list, this bogan anthem was a rewrite of "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks - herself a one-hit wonder - from the perspective of a stereotypical Aussie bloke. Tapping into the same market that finds Housos amusing, stand-up comedian Chris Franklin wound up with the third highest-selling single by an Australian artist in 2000, behind Madison Avenue and Bardot, whose debut single "Poison" provided the inspiration for Chris's follow-up track, the unsuccessful "Beer Is My Poison".

"Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" by Spiller
Year of release: 2000
Weeks at number 1: Three
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Cry Baby" (number 78 in 2002)
The uncredited vocalist of this crossover club hit might have registered a handful of chart appearances in the 2000s, but Italian DJ Cristiano Spiller wasn't as fortunate as singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor. "Groovejet..." was also a number 1 in the UK, where it triumphed in a greatly hyped chart battle against the Victoria Beckham-featuring "Out Of Your Mind" by Truesteppers. Even though Spiller hails from Italy, there was a decidedly French house feel to the track, which started off as an instrumental and samples 1977 disco record "Love Is You" by Carol Williams

"Because I Got High" by Afroman
Year of release: 2001
Weeks at number 1: Three
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Crazy Rap" (number 99 in 2002)
A song about drugs hitting the chart was nothing new, but few had been as literal - or as popular - as this account of what happened when the rapper born Joseph Foreman smoked a joint or six. One of the earliest examples of the internet being instrumental in a single's success, "Because I Got High" was released independently and made available at Afroman's concerts before being shared via Napster and eventually attracting the notice of high-profile fans like Howard Stern and director Kevin Smith. Despite being snapped up to a major label record deal, Afroman has never been able to repeat the feat - not even with his recent reworking of "Because I Got High" in which he extolled the virtues of legalised marijuana.

"The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)" by Las Ketchup
Year of release: 2002
Weeks at number 1: Three
No other top 100 entries
Six years earlier, "Macarena" had topped the ARIA chart, and six years before that, "Lambada" had hit the top 10, so by 2002, we were due for a Latin-flavoured dance track with lyrics no one understood - the chorus is said to be inspired by "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang - and a routine few perfected (although at Smash Hits, we played our part by printing a frame-by-frame guide to the dance steps). Performed by the Muñoz sisters, "Aserejé" started out as a Spanish tune before being given a "Spanglish" makeover and earning a new title, "The Ketchup Song", for the English-speaking world. The trio's second single, "Kusha Las Payas", was a resounding flop and not even the Los Del Rio tactic of re-recording "Aserejé" as a Christmas record provided the girls with another hit. In 2006, a fourth sister, Rocío, was part of the line-up that represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest.

"Rise Up" by Australian Idol - The Final 12
Year of release: 2003
Weeks at number 1: Three
No other top 100 entries (as a collective)
I was in two minds about including this since many of the finalists from Australian Idol season one ended up making the chart - with four topping it - individually. But that's a bit like not including a one-hit wonder girl group just because its members go on to have successful solo careers. 
So here they are - Guy, Shannon, Cosima, Millsy, Paulini and a bunch of other singers that time has forgotten with "Rise Up", a song originally recorded by Vanessa Amorosi that was no doubt chosen due to the fact that Idol judge Mark Holden co-wrote it
The accompanying album, which featured a solo track by each of the top 12, also did quite well, reaching number 3. However, an attempt to repeat the trick with season two's top 10 failed dismally and their version of "Good Times" stalled at number 53 in early 2005 when they were on tour.
No one's put the actual video of "Rise Up" on YouTube, but there's a link to a rough clip here and audio clip below.

"F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)" by Frankee
Year of release: 2004
Weeks at number 1: Three
No other top 100 entries
While it took three years for Chris Franklin to answer Meredith Brooks, American singer Nicole Aiello - Frankee comes from middle name Francine - hit back at Eamon's "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)" in a matter of weeks. Claiming to be Eamon's ex-girlfriend and insulting his sexual prowess (among other things), Frankee's just-as-obscenity-riddled response track topped the ARIA chart a mere seven weeks after his run at the top ended - but it was soon revealed that the two singers had never been romantically involved and the supposed relationship was nothing more than a marketing ploy. Every bit as average a song as the single it responds to, "F.U.R.B." proves my theory that people will buy anything with a bit of swearing in it.

"Bubbly" by Colbie Caillat
Year of release: 2008
Weeks at number 1: One
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Fallin' For You" (number 63 in 2009)
After all the drugs, swearing and bogans we've recapped so far, this gentle debut single from pop/rock singer Colbie Caillat is like a burst of sunshine. Along with 2008's "Sweet About Me" by Gabriella Cilmi and "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles, "Bubbly" was an alternative to the power-pop of Pink, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga that year - and in the States, it was the first of a number of big radio-friendly singles Colbie has enjoyed in the years since. Not so in Australia. Fun fact: Colbie's dad co-produced one of the biggest albums of all-time, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, and its follow-up, Tusk.   

Almost one-hit wonders
With only seven genuine chart-topping one-hit wonders in the 2000s, it'd be rude not to acknowledge a few more acts that almost qualify for the list above but have one extra pesky, low-charting single to their name. Not surprisingly, there's a couple of reality show contestants in here - including the first solo winner of Popstars and one of the Australian Idol season one Final 12.

Number 1 single: "Teenage Dirtbag" (2000)
Next biggest single: "Leroy" (number 47, 2001)

Scott Cain
Number 1 single: "I'm Moving On" (2002)
Next biggest single: "Crazy People Rock" (number 39, 2002)


Number 1 single: "When The War Is Over / One Night Without You" (2004)
Next biggest single: "Now That You Can't Have Me" (number 42, 2004)

Youth Group
Number 1 single: "Forever Young" (2006)
Next biggest single: "Catching & Killing" (number 44, 2006)

Sandi Thom
Number 1 single: "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)" (2006)
Next biggest single: "What If I'm Right" (number 36, 2006)

Not surprisingly, a few of these one-hit wonders aren't on Spotify. But here's a playlist of the ones that are:

In Part 2, get set for 40 second-string one-hit wonders - exactly half the number of acts to score one top 10 single and no other hits as there were in the 1990s.


  1. Despite having tuned out of new chart music in a big way by 2000, I know most of these.

    Interesting to hear the song 'Groovejet' was based on.

    The grey in Afroman's beard in the newer version is making me feel old. The original doesn't seem like it was *that* long ago!

    I am in dismay that the TV karaoke contests are still going in 2015; they seemed well-past their use-by date to me in 2003. The fact that a video for an Australian #1 single from then is not on youtube says it all, really (assuming it's not because it's blocked by the record company). I don't have it either - in fact, I'm pretty sure I've never heard more than a snippet of the song.

    'Teenage Dirtbag' was a classic, and probably would have been ruined if they'd had a second, proper hit.

  2. A couple of things:

    *Chris Franklin also parodied a Madison Avenue song ("Don't Call Me Baby" became "Don't Steal My Stubby")
    *The video for "Leroy" was filmed during Wheatus's Aussie tour, and featured none other than Shane Jacobsen.

  3. Colbie Caillat definitely has "Home and Away" to thank for her hit. It was featured heavily in the promos for Kate Ritchie's final episodes and went to #1 the same week. Of course, in today's streaming environment, this would have minimal impact (the highest selling single at iTunes isn't even in the Top 50 - it's #3 on the sales chart...unbelievable!). Back then, though, cross promotion could have a huge influence on the singles charts.