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One-Hit Wonders
The one-hit wonder has a long and storied history in popular music, exhorting listeners to dance, to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, to ponder mortality, to get a job, to bask in the sunshine, or just to get up and dance again. Catchy, memorable, irritating, or simply ubiquitous, one-hit wonders capture something of the mood of a time. This collection provides a series of short, sharp chapters focusing on one-hit wonders from the 1950s to the present day, with a view toward understanding both the mechanics of success and the socio-musical contexts within which such songs became hits. Some artists included here might have aspired to success but only managed one hit, while others enjoyed lengthy, if unremarkable, careers after their initial chart success. Put together, these chapters provide not only a capsule history of popular music tastes, but also ruminations on the changing nature of the music industry and the mechanics of fame.

One-Hit Wonders

  • Sarah Hill

    A chronicle of changing popular music styles and tastes as exemplified by "one-hit wonders" - focusing on the mainstream, on common musical currency, and on the often maligned.
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  • Book Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic
    Publication Date: 24-02-2022
    Format: 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
    296 pages
  • About the Editor

    Sarah Hill is Associate Professor of Popular Music and Tutorial Fellow at St Peter's College, University of Oxford, UK. She is Co-ordinating Editor of the journal Popular Music and Chair of the UK/Ireland branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. She is the author of 'Blerwytirhwng?' The Place of Welsh Pop Music (2007), Peter Gabriel, from Genesis to Growing Up (2010), and San Francisco and the Long 60s (Bloomsbury 2017).

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