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99 Red Balloons And 100 Other All-Time Great One-Hit Wonders Paperback – November 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806525169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806525167
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,801,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I just got this book, and couldn't put it down!
Kevin Marshal
A better title, although covering a wider, different range of songs, is The Billboard Book of Number One Hits.
Andy Lester
I also liked the style of writing, which I found crisp and witty.
Jennifer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy R. Sullivan on January 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Snappy writing, interesting tidbits and trivia, strong backed up opinions, and a lot of darn good choices in song rankings make up Brent Mann's fabulous book. I hadn't heard of this book until this month (Jan. 2011), so obviously I missed its release by some eight years. Never fear music fans, you can still find it here on Amazon or find it at a bookstore like I did.

Mann hits it on all cylinders, not going down the tired old track of blasting one-hit wonders, but instead lauding them. This is a book about the best 1-hitters, not the worst. The old cliche is to trumpet out "Disco Duck" or "You Light Up My Life", shred them, and then mock all artists who just achieved one hit. While Mann rightfully does blast those two tunes, the book is an admiration of other artists and their great songs, not a rip-fest on the 1-hit wonder genre.

In a refreshing take, Mann praises and chooses many of his songs from the 1980's and early 90's eras, two misunderstood and disrespected times in pop music. They receive their just due here with six of the top 10 one-hit songs chosen by Mann being from those time periods. The No. 1 tune is a bit of a surprise, and you'll have to buy it to find out. I'll give you the first tune in the book, rated at No. 101, the fabulous "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves, and just like that power pop, fast-moving tune, the reader is on their way. I had a problem with only one of the 101 being chosen, the nauseating novelty song, "The Curly Shuffle.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn on January 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Essentially, if you have been listening to Top 40 radio at any point since the days of Rock Around The Clock, you know (and love) at least one of the songs referenced in this book.
The book is eminently readable. Each of the 101 One-Hit Wonders is given its own chapter, and you learn the history of the song/artist, with an exploration into what happened with the artist to send them into One-Hit Wonder Land.
Good Job, Brent! we await the sequel!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Marshal on November 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
I just got this book, and couldn't put it down! Mr Mann has put together some of the most fascinating stories about these bands. I'd heard and loved most of these songs, so it was a sheer joy to read about. Normally you only hear about the very famous groups... not the near-famous ones! I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves music.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rusty on August 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Did you know that "Seasons in the Sun" was recorded by The Kingston Trio long before Terry Jacks ever got his hands on this tune? If you remember your radio cranking out classic one-hit wonders like Katrina & the Waves ("Walking on Sunshine"), The Standells ("Dirty Water"), Marc Cohn ("Walking in Memphis"), and Ace ("How Long"), you won't be able to put this book down. Brent Mann writes beautifully and his research is impeccable. Anyone who grew up listening to Top 40 music will enjoy 99 Red Balloons -- highly recommended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "activistgirl" on November 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
What a pleasant surprise!! Author Brent Mann combines wit and humor with a seemingly endless collection of factoids about those favorite one-hit wonders we all grew up with.
"99" now holds a special place in my heart for featuring "Brandy" -- one of the best all time one-hit wonders!!
The best thing about "99" is the great conversations it spurs among friends: Is aha really a one-hit wonder? What was the deal with that Devo video? What ever happened to Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians? And of course, who really is the #1 one-hit wonder?
Best shared among friends, "99" is a great conversation piece. Thanks Brent for bringing us back to some classic musical touchstones!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
What I most enjoyed and appreciated about this book was that it focused on lots of seldom-written-about one-hit wonders such as Benny Mardones, Karla Bonoff, Steve Forbert, and The Sanford-Townsend Band. I thought Brent Mann did a really nice job giving many talented, under-appreciated artists their due.

I also liked the style of writing, which I found crisp and witty. A few other reviewers have compared Brent Mann to the travel writer Bill Bryson, and I think that's an apt comparison as they both write well-researched, fact-filled books seasoned with good-natured humor.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harper21 on November 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
What a fun book this is! It's really interesting to know who the people behind these hits were, and where they are now.
The author's commentary is informative and funny, and he had the uncanny ability to pick out the songs that were the soundtrack of my youth. No matter where I open this book up, .the memories come flooding back to me of where I was and what I was doing when the song came out.
Highly recommended!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Antonin on February 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Wow, what a great idea this was. My friends and I laughed, reminisced and even cried a bit. We loved this book. We read it out load and just had so much fun. Singing some of the tunes. I really think this is such a fun book! I highly recomemnd it.
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