During the 20th century (you remember 1901-2000), virtually all one-hit wonders became hits because the songs were played on the radio. Hit radio stations pounded popular songs into listener’s minds and their ears into submission. The formula was simple: Radio play = sales and sales = more records for the artists.
That all started to change in the late 1990s and is dramatically different in the 21st century when video games, TV commercials and even cell phone ringtones turn obscure songs by even more obscure artists into one-hit wonders.
Today’s entry is a perfect example.
“Start the Commotion” by The Wiseguys was originally released in 1999 and reached #47 on the British charts. The hip-hop duo, The Wiseguys, also dabbled in electronica and figured their chart run was finished.
Enter Mitsubishi Motors.
In a brilliant move, the car company chose “Start the Commotion” to promote the 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse. They cast mostly beautiful women who dance and move to the song as the Eclipse motors down the road. Suddenly the Eclipse looks like the greatest party on wheels.
Watch the 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse TV Ad
Mitsubishi sold cars. The Wiseguys saw “Start the Commotion” from their 1999 album The Antidote reach #31 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001. That turned the guys into 2000s one-hit wonders. “Start the Commotion” remains one of the greatest, funky little songs ever used in a TV commercial.
“Start the Commotion” is also a compelling example of how an instrumental one-hit wonder sounds in the 21st century. From the 1950s through the early 1990s, instrumental songs often hit the Billboard Top 40. That’s no longer the case as songs like “Start the Commotion” demonstrate. While largely an instrumental one-hit wonder, the song is based on vocal and musical samples. There are so few words, and the words that are used are completely repetitive and only sung (actually performed) once and then looped, we’re considering “Start the Commotion” an instrumental one-hit wonder. It’s just about the only instrumental one-hit wonder from the 2000s.
Listen to “Start the Commmotion” by The Wiseguys
Filed under: 2000s, Hip Hop · Tags: 2001, British band, British one-hit wonder, electronica, Hip Hop, hip hop one hit wonder, hip hop one hit wonders, Instrumental, instrumental one hit wonder, TV commercial