4 of the Best Rock One-Hit Wonders From the 1990s

Ah, the 90s! A lot of top-notch music came out during this decade, and a lot of rock bands released their no. 1 hits before the turn of the century. However, a lot of these bands only got to see one of their songs chart in the 1990s, and they have not seen that level of popularity since. Let’s take a gander at a few of the best rock one-hit wonders from the 1990s!

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1. “Counting Blue Cars” by Dishwalla

This hit track from alternative rock band Dishwalla charted really well when it was released in 1996. It made it to no. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and even no. 1 on the Alternative Airplay chart. They continued to tour and release music into the 2010s, and they just released the single “Alive” in 2022.

2. “No Rain” by Blind Melon

What was it with 90s rock bands and vibrant depictions of sunflowers in their music videos? Anyway, “No Rain” was a hit in 1993 for the alt-rock outfit Blind Melon. It made it to no. 1 on several Billboard charts, and it’s widely considered to be one of the best rock one-hit wonders from the 1990s. Unfortunately, singer Shannon Hoon passed away in 1995 and the band drifted away into obscurity. However, they did release a studio album in 2008 titled For My Friends.

3. “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes

We really can’t have a list of the best rock one-hit wonders from the 1990s without mentioning this hit from 4 Non Blondes. This 1993 hit blew up when it was first released. It was particularly popular in Europe where it charted at no. 1. Unfortunately for 4 Non Blondes, the single’s album Bigger, Better, Faster, More! was their only hit album. It was also their only album, period.

4. “Possum Kingdom” by Toadies

“Possum Kingdom” was rock band Toadies’ only major Top 40 hit. It’s a killer song with an interesting background involving local Texas folklore. Unfortunately, the band disbanded in 2001 but has since gotten back together for reunion tours.

Along with “Possum Kingdom,” Rubberneck, produced by Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf, introduced the world to the Toadies’ obscure world with alt-rockers “Mister Love,” the swampy “I Come from the Water” and blustering “Backslider.” Long after Rubberneck put the Toadies on the map, the band released six more albums, including No Deliverance, including single “Song I Hate,” which peaked on the top 40 of the Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart, and on through The Lower Side of Uptown in 2017.

Toadies released the EP Damn You All to Hell in 2022, which featured four previously unreleased tracks and a cover of David Bowie’s Low track, “Sound and Vision.” That year, the band also went on tour to commemorate the overdue 25th anniversary of Rubberneck and continues to tour to this day. In 2023, Toadies revealed that they were working on an eight album with late producer Steve Albini.

“I never thought I would be lucky enough to do this for more than a couple of tours,” Toadies frontman Vaden Todd Lewis told American Songwriter in 2021. “So it’s just a cool thing whenever I’m able to do my job.”

Photo by Bob Berg

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