No Pressure, Psy. One-Hit Wonders’ Followup Misses (Videos)
No pressure, Psy. As his new ‘Gentleman’ hits rotation, a look at notable second singles that struck out.
Psy: Gangnam Style
This pony-dancing extravaganza from the South Korean megastar is the most-watched video in YouTube history. Nuff said.
In the words of Daily Beast entertainment writer Kevin Fallon, it sounds “a little bit like “Safety Dance” by Men in Hats, kind of like an LMFAO club track, exactly like ‘Gangnam Style,’ and a lot like noise.”
Los Del Rio: Macarena
In 1994, you couldn’t Rollerblade half a block without seeing someone performing the low-impact dance routine to the über catchy “Macarena.”
Los Del Rio: Macarena Christmas
This might be the worst stocking-stuffer ever: a cheesy mashup of the original “Macarena” with famous Yuletide jingles like “Joy to the World,” “Jingle Bells,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Vanilla Ice: Ice Ice Baby
If you’d never heard Queen’s “Under Pressure,” then this 1990 jam by Vanilla Ice sounded like a fresh, original dance/rap track.
Vanilla Ice: Satisfaction
How do you follow up a Queen sample? With a Rolling Stones one, of course. Unfortunately, though, the listener satisfaction wasn’t quite there.
Carl Douglas: Kung-Fu Fighting
Talk about leaving a mark. Carl Douglas may have single-handedly (pun intended) popularized disco with his 1974 hit. Hyah!
Carl Douglas: Dance the Kung-Fu
They say nothing succeeds like success, right? Not in this case, as Douglas came up dry with this second kung-fu themed joint.
The Weather Girls: It’s Raining Men
The soulful girl group made precipitation sexy with their 1982 gospel-esque forecast. Amen.
The Weather Girls: No One Can Love You More Than Me
You can put your umbrellas away, ladies. This track is no ray of sunshine, and it’s not a hunky hurricane either.
Or as most people probably know it, “I get knocked down.” This 1997 song introduced many ’90s preteens to the various types of alcohol.
After the release of this song, the band didn’t exactly “get up again.” Maybe the world wouldn’t have forgotten Chumbawumba if they didn’t call this song “Amnesia.”
Biz Markie: Just a Friend
This 1989 hip-hop cautionary tale of infidelity, heartbreak, and pre-Auto-Tune singing made it to No. 9 on the U.S. charts.
Biz Markie: What Goes Around Comes Around
Even a shameless nod to his previous hit couldn’t save Biz’s followup single from being stuck in the Friend Zone.
Daniel Powter: Bad Day
The condescending memorial song of crushed “American Idol” dreams was played on the radio more than anything by Taylor Hicks.
Daniel Powter: Free Loop
Bad day? More like bad career. Although his first song was played on loop for months, the subliminal messaging in ‘Free Loop’ fell on deaf ears.
Toni Basil: Mickey
How can anyone listen to this song without clapping or stomping along to the beat? It’s no wonder that this song skyrocketed to the top of the charts in 1982. The cheerleader outfits may have helped, too.
Toni Basil: Nobody
This song’s unintentionally meta title perfectly summarizes how people failed to pay attention to Basil’s followup single, which was only released in the U.K. and never even reached the top 50.
Lou Bega: Mambo No. 5
We’re not sure what happened to Mambos No. 1-4, but Angela, Pamela, Monica, Erica, Rita, Tina, Mary, Sandra, and Jessica must’ve asked Lou Bega to do some explaining after this 1999 song debuted.
Lou Bega: I Got a Girl
Nope, not Mambo No. 6, sadly. But this song sounds exactly the same as No. 5, and if we didn’t quite get the picture, Bega had to reinforce the idea that he dates many girls at once and that he can count.
Men Without Hats: The Safety Dance
No metaphors for safe sex here. Canadian New Wavers Men Without Hats’ 1983 hit was written after vocalist Ivan Doroschuk was kicked out of a club for reckless dancing.
Men Without Hats: Pop Goes the World
Four years after “Safety Dance,” Men Without Hats returned with the grating ‘Pop Goes the World.’ It got to No. 20 in the U.S. charts but POP went their careers afterward.
Eiffel 65: Blue (Da Ba Dee)
The hugely popular blue-alien pop song invaded our minds and Walkmans in 1999.
Eiffel 65: Move Your Body
Your favorite computerized alien backup dancers return in this digitized dance track. Maybe “Move Your Body” had too many actual words to be successful.
Sir Mix-A-Lot: Baby Got Back
Beyoncé’s “Bootylicious” pales in comparison to this iconic 1992 ode to butts.
Sir Mix-A-Lot: Ride (Remix)
When the only available online version of your second single is a remix, you know you’ve slipped.
Aqua: Barbie Girl
In one of the weirder singles released in 1997, Aqua sing the praises of plastic life, taking on the perspectives of Barbie and Ken—and provoked a lawsuit from Mattel for copyright infringement and defamation.
Aqua: Doctor Jones
This song, which sounds almost exactly like ‘Barbie Girl’ with slightly altered lyrics, was dead on arrival.
Haddaway: What Is Love?
Anyone who’s seen A Night at the Roxbury can’t help but bob their heads sideways to the beat of this 1993 single.
The Eurodance singer’s followup single from the same album sounds strangely reminiscent to his previous hit—just as dancey and repetitive as before, but without the Will Ferrell cachet.
Mims: This Is Why I’m Hot
Featuring samples from Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, this song invaded the ears of clubgoers across America in 2007.
Mims: Like This
Just in case we forgot all the things that made him hot a few months before, he opened his next single with samples from his old one. Sorry, Mims. You’re ice cold with this one.
a-ha: Take On Me
With one of the catchiest synth riffs of all time, not to mention an innovative half-animated, half-live action music video, this song topped music charts around the world and spawned countless covers since its debut in 1985.
a-ha: The Sun Always Shines on TV
Disguised as a sappy love ballad, the Norwegian trio’s followup quickly evolved into an upbeat pop song that never quite caught on in the U.S.
Bobby McFerrin: Don’t Worry Be Happy
One-man a capella band Bobby McFerrin topped the charts in 1988 and won three Grammys for what is possibly the most optimistic pop song of all time.
Bobby McFerrin: ’Round Midnight
Unfortunately, he couldn’t maintain all that good will with a cover of Thelonious Monk’s jazz classic.