I was going to call this “90s One-Hit Wonders That Rock: The Ultimate 12-Inch Poll.” But then I remembered the definition of “ultimate.”


Ultimate: being or happening at the end of a process; final. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that won’t be the case. In fact, the last time I put together a 12-Inch Poll of 90s one-hit wonders, so many of you reached out with songs I’d left off that I had to put together a second 12-Inch Poll. The same thing happened a second time, so of course I made a third 12-Inch Poll.


That was awhile ago. So I think it’s time for a revisit. But first, some ground rules. As I’ve written before, the whole “one-hit wonder” thing is relative. Take Eve 6, for example. “Inside Out” was their big hit, but if you listened to Boston radio in the ’90s, it wasn’t their only hit: a bunch of their songs made it on the air. The same can be said about a band like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.


So for the sake of this Poll, I’m defining all the songs as such. With this disclaimer: …that rock. The ’90s were a fertile time for popular music from the far reaches of the musicdom. Hip-hop, pop, and other genres certainly had their share of one-hitters. But this Poll will focus solely on songs that fall loosely under the “alternative rock” label. My apologies to Natalie Imbruglia and her fans.


90s One-Hit Wonders That Rock: Which One’s Your Favorite?

Will I inevitably miss a few? Of course. Will you let me hear about it? Of course. You can do that on the ROCK 92.9 Facebook or Twitter. Now start scrolling. There’s a LOT of great music to remember. Just remember to vote for your favorite on the poll at the very end.

  • Belly "Feed The Tree"

    Still love you, Tanya. Still love you, Gail. Always and forever.

  • Better Than Ezra "Good"

    Sure, “Desperately Wanting” might be the better song. But this was the bigger hit.

  • Big Wreck "The Oaf"

    My buddy Jon LOVES him some Big Wreck.

  • Blind Melon "No Rain"

    RIP Shannon Hoon. What he would’ve done beyond the 90s I we can only imagine.

  • Tracy Bonham "Mother Mother"

    Boston’s own. This one started at home on WFNX, of course. But it charted nationally.

  • Butthole Surfers "Pepper"

    If you know the history of this band, you know that it’s absolutely wild that they ended up having a mainstream hit.


  • The Cardigans "Lovefool"

    Pretty sure this one ended up in an Austin Powers movie.

  • Cherry Poppin' Daddies "Zoot Suit Riot"

    Remember how HUGE swing music was for a minute in the late ’90s? Pepperidge Farm remembers…

  • Chumbawamba "Tubthumping"

    Superstar DJ Greg Wymer reminded me to add this one, which I at first overlooked. An decade-defining smash.

  • Cornershop "Brimful Of Asha"

    Spin named this their album of the year in 1997. Which is insane.

  • Crash Test Dummies "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm"

    A quirkier ’90s alt-rock hit you’re not likely to find.

  • Crazy Town "Butterfly"

    Thank goodness these guys only had one hit. This one’s brutal.

  • Dinosaur Jr. "Feel The Pain"

    Again, if you were rockin’ Boston radio in the ’90s, you heard plenty of Dino Jr. But this was their “hit.”

  • Dishwalla "Counting Blue Cars"

    This one crossed over FAST.

  • Eels "Novocaine For The Soul"

    This one did NOT sputter out.

  • EMF "Unbelievable"

    It turns out sampling Andrew Dice Clay can turn your song into a hit. Who knew?

  • Eve 6 "Inside Out"

    We love Max here at ROCK 92.9. And he loves Alternative Rock.

  • Failure "Stuck On You"

    I love this song, I love this album, I love this band. They should’ve been huge. And I’m glad they’re still at it.

  • Fastball "The Way"

    I can’t give a logical reason why, but I hated this song when it was out. Still do.

  • The Flys "Got You (Where I Want You)"

    Hardy saw these guys play during their heyday. They opened AND closed with this song.

  • Geggy Tah "Whoever You Are"

    Another staple on the FNX playlist that blew up nationally.

  • Harvey Danger "Flagpole Sitta"

    Still gets played here on ROCK 92.9.

  • Helmet "Unsung"

    Kinda cool that a band this heavy had a hit this big.

  • Hum "Stars"

    “Hey, Adam 12. You made this list, but which song are you voting for?” This one. I’m voting for “Stars” by Hum.

  • Jesus Jones "Right Here Right Now"

    Another gem I overlooked at first.

  • Jimmie's Chicken Shack "Do Right"

    I’d completely forgotten about this song and I look forward to doing it again.

  • K's Choice "Not An Addict"

    Back in the ’90s, bands were rewarded for writing unique songs and sounding different. I miss that.

  • The Lemonheads "Mrs. Robinson"

    Their biggest hit, and it’s a cover. Evan deserved more.

  • Len "Steal My Sunshine"

    Late 90s summer vibes on LOCK.

  • Letters To Cleo "Here And Now"

    I love how many Boston bands made this list. So many great acts made it out of the city and found national success in the ’90s. Also, I love you, Kay. Always and forever.

  • Lisa Loeb "Stay (I Missed You)"

    This is a borderline “alternative rock” hit, but I’ll allow it.

  • Lit "My Own Worst Enemy"

    Another one that was so huge we’re still rockin’ it on ROCK 92.9 on the regular.

  • Local H "Bound For The Floor"

    Their album As Good As Dead had a ton of great singles on it, but this was the standout.

  • Marcy Playground "Sex And Candy"

    The ’90s song that refuses to die.

  • Meat Puppets "Backwater"

    Another band that should’ve been bigger than they were, but I’m glad they at least got some props.

  • The Might Mighty BossToneS "The Impression That I Get"

    A ska-core band from Boston that landed a national hit. The 90s ruled.

  • New Radicals "You Get What You Give"

    President Biden loves this one.

  • The Nixons "Sister"

    I barely remember this song or this band. Must’ve been an AAF thing.

  • Orange 9mm "Failure"

    Like Helmet, a heavy-ass band that snuck onto alt-rock radio. Respect.

  • Our Lady Peace "Superman's Dead"

    Sure, they had a few other hits. But none as big as this one.

  • Poe "Angry Johnny"

    Poe OWNED me in ’95. And she owned the charts for a minute, too.

  • Quicksand "Thorn In My Side"

    OK, I’m stretching things a bit here, but I gotta get some Walter on the list.

  • Reel Big Fish "Sell Out"

    Ska had a moment there in the ’90s, didn’t it?

  • The Refreshments "Banditos"

    Thanks to Dave in Cedar Rapids for the reminder!

  • School Of Fish "3 Strange Days"

    Splitting the difference between grunge and alt-rock. How was this song not a bigger hit?

  • Schtum "Skydiver"

    Big in Boston, big on FNX. Lead singer Christian McNeill is still in the city and still making great music.

  • Semisonic "Closing Time"

    A perfect pop-rock song. And it endures.

  • Seven Mary Three "Cumbersome"

    Grunge, but make it Southern rock.

  • Sneaker Pimps "6 Underground"

    We mixed genres constantly back in the ’90s and we loved it.

  • Soul Coughing "Super Bon Bon"

    This one still slaps 30ish years on.

  • Spacehog "In The Meantime"

    These guys were a trip. Literally.

  • Sponge "Plowed"

    “But “Molly” was a bigger hit!” Was it, though?

  • Squirrel Nut Zippers "Hell"

    Remarkable that a song that sounds like it was written in the 1930s made it onto the radio in the 1990s.

  • Stabbing Westward "Save Yourself"

    Gotta get some industrial in the mix, right?

  • Stroke 9 "Little Black Backpack"

    Was it a novelty song? That’s for you to decide.

  • Toadies "Possum Kingdom"

    I still get requests for this one.

  • Urban Dance Squad "Deeper Shade Of Soul"

    “Mellow…that’s my style…”

  • The Verve "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

    They’re FINALLY getting royalty payments for this one. Thanks, Rolling Stones legal team!

  • The Verve Pipe "The Freshman"

    A late-90s school dance staple.

  • 4 Non Blondes "What's Up?"

    “What’s up?” It’s the end of the list. That’s what’s up.

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