Going down music memory lane, people are fond of remembering one-hit wonders and legends who’ve sustained their careers through decades. Not often do conversations revolve around artists who removed our doubts for a second but end up disappointing for the rest of their releases. Here are 15 artists who managed to have more than one hit but not more than two.
K-Ci and Jojo – All My Life and Tell Me It’s Real
All My Life has to be one of the most iconic songs from the 90s. And while not as stellar, Tell Me It’s Real came in four years later telling us the duo’s success is not make-believe. In 2016, Big Sean and Jhene Aiko featured the two on their collaboration 2 Minute Warning. But just like their succeeding efforts, that failed to catch on for even a second.
Sisqo – Thong Song and Incomplete
Sisqo defied the odds. No one was expecting him to release another hit after Thong Song. He even managed to outperform his debut. Incomplete restored (or started) our faith in his capabilities. But since then, he’s been busy joining reality TV Shows – Big Brother, Gone Country and Wife Swap. He lost the first two and wasn’t really married for the last. The only thing real now is his career being complete.
Coco Lee – Do You Want My Love and Before I Fall in Love
Asians making it big in the music industry, even within Asia, was a rarity back then. That is not to say there is no problem of representation today. Coco Lee was the exception. She got Before I Fall in Love featured in The Runaway Bride soundtrack and performed for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s nomination at The Academy Awards. I wonder how much more success she’d have if there were no music videos, only radio play, and her name sounded Western.
Echosmith – Cool Kids and Bright
I’m sure they wish they could be like the artists who were blessed with longevity. It’s been a long time since Cool Kids came out and things aren’t looking bright for Echosmith. They enter 2017 with one less sibling as the eldest Jamie departs. I didn’t expect that given they’re literally family, not the kind bandmates say just so the press can craft a narrative for the fans.
Lighthouse Family – High and Lost in Space
The duo has experienced success in the UK prior to their album Postcards from Heaven. But it was not until High broke out that they were introduced to the rest of the world. In 2011, they reunited for a tour and mentioned recording songs, although no word yet on any album release. These two tracks are so uplifting I wish it could do the same for their other materials.
LFO – Summer Girls and Girl on TV
There was a time Jennifer Love Hewitt starred in blockbuster movies and music videos and LFO was part of the boy band craze. While they intended to make a comeback in 2009, Rich Cronin, the lead singer of the group, lost his battle to leukemia. His memory will forever be eternalized in the MTV era with Girl on TV and in the songwriting world for making phrases like “Bugaloo shrimp and pogo sticks” or “When you take a sip you buzz like a hornet” happen.
LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem and Sexy and I Know It
Unlike The Chainsmokers who took a 360 degree turn from #SELFIE to Roses, LMFAO continued the brainless fun and worry-less attitude their music was known for. It has worked for Pitbull and Flo Rida, why wouldn’t it for LMFAO? Only time will tell if the hiatus they took will last longer. But for now, they form part of this list.
fun. – We are Young and Some Nights
fun. was a Grammy darling. They won two of the four general field categories during their first year of mainstream success, Best New Artist and Song of the Year respectively. Nate Reuss’s distinct voice drew comparisons to Freddie Mercury and their sales were massive. For reasons beyond comprehension, they took a break right after. Nate Reuss fell in love with the idea of going solo and released Grand Romantic, his debut album. Given the underwhelming reception it generated, I would not be surprised if they begin reuniting soon.
Hole – Celebrity Skin and Malibu
While Courtney Love is most known for her antics and her marriage to Kurt Cobain, she has made a tremendous impact through the band she fronted. Hole was part of the grunge movement and one of the firsts to incorporate feminism in their music. In the late 90s, they were fortunate enough for acclaim and fame to converge. Celebrity Skin was right up their alley but Malibu‘s subdued and understated sound was the surprise.
Phillip Phillips – Home and Gone Gone Gone
Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood remained to be the biggest superstars from American Idol. Phillip Phillips seemed on track to follow suit. Home was used by the US Team for the 2008 Olympics and Gone Gone Gone got boosted by American Idol as its exit single for voted out contestants. No one thought it was his relationship with the show that helped suck out any remaining oxygen from his career.
New Radicals – You Only Get What You Give and Someday We’ll Know
What would people do to become famous and stay in the limelight? Gregg Alexander, lead vocalist of New Radicals, wanted the exact opposite and this spelled the demise for the band. They lasted for exactly two singles. And they don’t get enough credit for Someday We’ll Know that people thought Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman of Switchfoot originally recorded it. Post-New Radicals, Gregg has worked on some music including writing The Game of Love. He and Daniel from New Radicals penned a hit you’ve probably heard of, Lost Stars.
Iggy Azalea – Fancy and Black Widow
Iggy started off with a bang – she shares a record with The Beatles for ranking first and second in the US Hot 100 with her first two entries. She managed this with Fancy and Problem, a track Ariana featured her on. And it’s tragic her collaborations have gone downhill post-Black Widow. Booty and Pretty Girls were minor problems compared to the backlash she experienced for allegedly using a ghostwriter and being guilty of cultural appropriation and indifference towards race issues.
Evanescence – Bring Me to Life and My Immortal
After Fallen, Evanescence hit the top 10 in the UK and the US with Call Me When You’re Sober. And even drunk, I can’t seem to remember what it sounds like. What got overplayed was Bring Me to Life and My Immortal. Both ushered in the revival of female-fronted bands. But it quickly died out.
Far East Movement – Like a G6 and Rocketeer
Like a G6 and Rocketeer could not sound any more different. But I guess the contrast was necessary if they were to be taken seriously as the former song didn’t exactly scream artistic credibility. In 2012, they released Live My Life, a collaboration with Justin Bieber, at a time when his comeback was not yet established. That could not have helped.
Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want to and Take Me Out
Franz Ferdinand broke out in 2004 as the edgy and punk alternative choice for listeners of mainstream music. Both hits exude the confidence and determination we could only wish to possess. Since then, they’ve collaborated with Sparks in 2015 to form the super group FFS, which was welcomed with critical acclaim. But they have yet to reignite the magic that made them a household name in the 2000s.