Ever heard of Soft Cell? How about Pure Prairie League? a-ha? How about the Manfred Mann Earth Band? Certainly you know Right Said Fred and Sir Mix-a-Lot.
No? Well, I sure do.
They were the masterminds behind, respectively, "Tainted Love," "Aime," "Take On Me," "Blinded by the Light," "I'm Too Sexy," and "Baby Got Back."
That's right, I know those artists off the top of my head. Why? I have no freakin' clue. But somehow in my 22 years of existence, so many one-hit-wonders have gotten stuck in my head it's not even funny, many of which hat their 15 minutes before I was even born.
I have to lay a piece of the blame on my step-father, who is an encyclopedia of one-hit-wonders. His knowledge dwarfs mine, but he's had a few more years to file away meaningless bands who wrote meaningless songs, one of which got inordinately popular.
I get some sick pleasure out of sneering at my nearest friend/person-I-kinda-know and asking "Who does this?" when "Breakfast at Tiffany's" comes on. And when they can't answer, I chuckle condescendingly and say "Deep Blue Something," which inevitably leads to the conversation, "Deep Blue what?" "Deep Blue Something." "Yeah, but what's the last word?" "Something." And on and on....
There's no way anyone should know that. But I do. And it makes me feel as superior as a NYU hipster smirking and leaning against the back wall at a Morrissey concert.
It's mean, I know, but somehow slightly gratifying. Try it for yourself. Next time "Somebody's Watching Me," comes on the radio (or on that obnoxious Geico commercial), spin around to your closest buddy and yell "Who does it??" When they inevitably give you a blank stare or guess "Michael Jackson" (who, interestingly, did sing the chorus and back-up vocals), laugh in their face and say with the pride that only comes from being filled to the brim with entirely useless information: "Rockwell."
(I'm going to go ahead and use this time to inform those that don't already know about the real lyric in "Blinded by the Light." He's not saying "Wrapped up like a douche another motor in the night" or any version of that. The actual lyric is: "Revved up like a Duece, another runner in the night," referring to a car. One more fun fact: this song was actually originally written by Bruce Springsteen. See, useless information....)