The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Two-Hit Wonders: Rob Base

You know what a “one-hit wonder” is, right?  No, I’m not talking about that last batch of Ganja you just scored.  It’s when a musical act has a giant, outrageously popular song that everyone can’t get enough of.  Everyone is singing it, dancing to it, jamming out in the car with the windows down to it.  You start to think, “Wow – these guys may be the next Beatles” and believe that you’re going to be listening to that artist’s music, like, forevs.  Then…


Nothing.  It seems they fell off the face of the earth.

You want examples?  Consider the following –

– Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight”

– Feist’s “1234”

Chuck Mangione’s “Feel So Good”

– James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful”

– Alicia Bridges’ “I Love the Nightlife”

– Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians “What I Am”


All of the above songs were huge hits when they came out.  But I’m sure that none of you can name anything else these artists did that was even half as popular.  Now, I know what some of you are saying – “I bought the whole album and every song on is as good as or better than the one that got popular.”

Sorry, they’re still one-hit wonders.  Artistically they could’ve been solid but, unfortunately, art doesn’t always prevent obscurity. Luckily for you there’s probably a state fair or shopping mall near you that’ll host them.

But what about the ones that had more than one really popular song?  Through determination, hard work, and general gumption (and probably a helluva lot of luck) they manage to get TWO really big songs on the charts.  You don’t hear about them much, which is a shame!   They did something the one-hit wonders couldn’t do, and that deserves some recognition, no?  Obviously, I’m not saying they should get as much kudos as acts like U2, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, or Coldplay.  But they gotta get a little more than a pat on the back, right?

I can’t think of a better way to give two-hit wonders the admiration and respect they deserve than to feature them on … a food and wine blog.

For this first go-around, I have to go with Rob Base.  He, along with DJ E-Z Rock came out with two really popular songs in the late 80s.


The first was the monster hit “It Takes Two”  –


That’s gotta be one of the greatest dance songs ever.  Over the years I’ve seen it used in movies, on TV, in commercials, and even in other songs.  It was so ubiquitous that there was a lot of confusion about who exactly Rob Base was.  Luckily, someone put this flowchart together –

rob base flowchart hypervocalcom


That song was soon followed-up by “Joy and Pain.”  It wasn’t nearly as big as “It Takes Two,” but it was big enough to get two annoying white chicks to make their own video for it –



So turn up the volume on these babies and get your office mates in the conference room on the dance floor.  It’s time to JAM!!

Are you Rob Base?  Do you have any favorite two-hit wonders?



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

19 comments on “Two-Hit Wonders: Rob Base

  1. the drunken cyclist
    September 13, 2013

    There are certainly some “artists” that I wish only had two “hits”.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      September 13, 2013

      I actually had a paragraph written going down that path, but decided to save it for later. I know it grossly unpopular, but one is Adele.

      • rachelocal
        September 13, 2013

        Saying that about Adele is close to sacrilege, especially on a post about Rob Base.

        • thefoodandwinehedonist
          September 13, 2013

          I know, I know… But I’ve never claimed to make any sense.

          I get grief here, on Facebook, and in person about my dislike for her music. I feel the same about Xtina, Mariah, and Whitney. All have tremendous voices and talent. Just really dislike their songs.

        • rachelocal
          September 13, 2013

          You’re not a ballad guy. I get it.

        • thefoodandwinehedonist
          September 13, 2013

          Not true! Ed Sheeran, Poison, Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Neil Diamond, Streisand are all faves… Trust me, many a drunken evenings have been spent w friends dissecting my oddball music tastes. Only conclusion we came up with is we needed more beer

        • rachelocal
          September 13, 2013

          Ah, I KNEW you were going to say something about Poison! I love all the Guns n Roses ballads.

          Beer makes everything better. 🙂

  2. Yinzerella
    September 13, 2013

    Thank you for Rob Base. What a great note on which to start my day.
    I think all day you should just share songs on your FB page.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      September 13, 2013

      Awesome idea. All 8 followes will love it.

      Seriously, think I will. Just dot want to overdo

  3. teacherpatti
    September 13, 2013

    Flock of Seagulls often gets lumped into the “one hit” group but they actually had mild hits with Wishing (Photograph of You) and Space Aged Love Song. I don’t love the band but that has always stuck in my head. Also, Crowded House had “Somethin so Strong” and “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. I always liked them. Same for aha who had “Take On Me” and “The Sun Always Shines on TV”

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      September 13, 2013

      Was thinking Crowded House hit big with World where you live, weather with you, and distant sun. But I may be too much of a fan… U c them at Mich theater a couple yrs ago? Good concert.

  4. teacherpatti
    September 13, 2013

    Likewise, people will say that the Don’t Worry Be Happy guy was a one hit wonder but he actually had a fabulous career in other musical genres.

  5. Duff's Wines
    September 13, 2013

    Saw Feist a year ago. Fabulous artist but true only one hit. What about Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Change The World and Shout it All Out. Can’t think of another by them but never really dug them in real time.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      September 13, 2013

      Head over heels was a big one. Thi k there was one more. I remember reviewing their album in HS paper and slamming it. But over time I came to really appreciate it.

      • Duff's Wines
        September 13, 2013

        That’s right. Maybe T4F was a little more successful in the hit department. I think that nostalgia makes many of those groups and artists that we didn’t like seem more palatable. Like Mateus.

  6. armchairsommelier
    September 13, 2013

    Not really a favorite, but Tone-Lōc: Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina. I was in college. Neither song is that good on its own (and they might actually be the same song), but surprisingly fun after your 4th or 5th wine cooler. Like I said . . . college. Salud!

  7. perfectfridaywine
    September 13, 2013

    I’m hoping that Robin Thicke will be a one hit wonder. The threat that he might not makes me want to puke. p.s. Avicii (from your post about the same) hosted a set on BBC Radio 1 tonight (in the UK) – I’m not sure you can listen, but on the off chance:

  8. ksbeth
    September 14, 2013

    love the flow chart

  9. Pingback: Two-Hit Wonders: KT Tunstall | The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on September 13, 2013 by in Music and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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