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Best Dutch One-Hit Wonder Songs

I love the Dutch for four big reasons:

  • Ridiculously long words: Kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamheden (means “preparation activities for a children’s carnival procession”)
  • Dutch Boy paints: We used them to choose the colors on this website
  • Wooden shoes: Nothing builds bunions quite like traditional wooden shoes
  • Dutch one-hit wonders

Today, I’m celebrating the “Best Dutch One-Hit Wonder Songs.” It’s a list you could also title, not surprisingly, the “Only Dutch One-Hit Wonder Songs.”

I wish it could be a Top 6 list and I could add Golden Earring to the mix. They are probably the most famous Netherland band. Alas, they are a two-hit wonder and charted on the Billboard Top 40 with “Radar Love” and “Twilight Zone.”

And Stars on 45 was a Dutch novelty band who charted two songs in the early 1980s: “Stars on 45” that reached #1 and “Stars on Stevie” that reached #28 in 1982 and featured only Stevie Wonder songs.

Who knew bands from the Netherlands were so prolific? I could also throw “Lily Was Here” by Dave Stewart and Dutch sax player Candy Dulfer into the mix. But it’s not one of my favorites so it didn’t make the cut.

So without further fanfare, let’s celebrate the Best Dutch one-hit wonders ever.

#5. Puttin’ on the Ritz – Taco

An 80s cover version of the Fred Astaire gave Dutch singer Taco his one and only hit. I have a love/hate relationship with this song. Sure, it’s fun in small doses. But I rarely want to hear it more than once or twice a decade. But I must be wrong because VH1 named it one of the Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 1980s. Click to hear it for yourself.

#4. Venus – Shocking Blue

“I’m your Venus / I’m your fire / At your desire.” Pretty unmistakable chorus and I’m absolutely confident that Venus is now playing in your head. The big question is if you’re humming the version by Bananarama or the original by Shocking Blue. My nod for best version goes to Dutch band Shocking Blue. It’s the original. It’s groovy. It holds up as well today as it did in 1970 when it hit #1 on the Billboard Top 40. Click to hear it for yourself.

#3. Deeper Shade of Soul – Urban Dance Squad

This one screams out one-hit wonder. I haven’t heard “Deeper Shade of Soul” in a club or the radio or in a passing car for at least 15 years. That’s a shame because “Deeper Shade of Soul” is one of my favorite funky hip-hop soulful mashups from the early 1990s. Urban Dance Squad did themselves proud on this one. Click to hear it for yourself.

#2. Sausalito Summernight – Diesel

I love “Sausalito Summernight” for the breezy sound that makes you think of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the summer of 1981. At least that’s what this song sounds like. This has all the earmarks of early 1980s pop songs. Slightly dirty guitar licks. Two-part harmonies. Big soaring chorus. Diesel is all-Dutch. But they sound all-American. Click to hear it for yourself.


#1. Hocus Pocus – Focus

“Hocus Pocus” is probably the greatest song ever written and performed. Seriously. Who in their right mind ever thought acid rock and yodeling would go together so well? It’s like chocolate and peanut butter. Ebony and ivory. Chocolate and bacon (well, actually anything with bacon). Bush and Cheney (er, well, maybe not). “Hocus Pocus” is so good, so transformative, it may change your life. Even if it doesn’t, it just feels right. Click to hear it for yourself.

Written by

I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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6 Responses to "Best Dutch One-Hit Wonder Songs"

  1. Walker says:

    No “Stars on 45” reference? Went to # 1 on US charts.

  2. Michael Waterman says:

    Good point, Walker. The original “Stars on 45” medley was huge and hit #1. But Stars on 45 isn’t a one-hit wonder because “Stars on Stevie” that was a medley of Stevie Wonder songs and was released in 1982 reached #28 on the Billboard Top 40. However, I doubt most listeners would remember it today.

    Here is a YouTube clip of “Stars on Stevie”:

    That makes Stars on 45 a two-hit wonder so they don’t quite fit on the “Best Dutch One-Hit Wonder Songs” list. They’re like Golden Earring with two hits to their name.

    Thanks for your recommendation. Keep reading and commenting. Who knew the Dutch were so prolific on the American charts?

  3. Walker says:

    I stand corrected. Didn’t even remember “Stars on Stevie” until I saw the Youtube clip.
    Looking at the Dutch list again and realizing songs # 1 and 2 are not familiar to me.

  4. hm insulators says:

    According to “The Billboard Book of Top Pop Singles,” Stars on 45 had four songs chart in the Hot 100, so why that fourth song (the Stevie Wonder tribute) is called “Stars on 45 III” is beyond me. And the artist’s name on the record was simply Stars On.

    While we’re on the subject of Dutch bands, I just HAVE to tip my hat to the best band ever to come from the Netherlands, although nobody here in the US ever knew about them, mainly because they never had any records released in this country. This was a Dutch heavy metal band called Picture, who released several albums in the 1980s.

  5. Michael Waterman says:

    Great factoids about Stars On.

    I’ve never heard of Picture. I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for the tip.

  6. hm insulators says:

    If you can find it, the best album Picture ever did was their third one called “Diamond Dreamer”, aka. “Night Hunter.” (I’ve seen both–different titles and covers, same songs.) The follow-up “Eternal Dark” was also a good one, but their second one “Heavy Metal Ears” isn’t that great. Haven’t heard their debut album, but according to fellow heavy metal fan and author Martin Popoff, at least one of their late 1980s albums (which I also haven’t run across) have none other than Bert Heerink (the former lead singer for Vandenberg–remember those guys?) on lead vocals! What a strange connection to One-Hit Wonders!

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