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The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders Paperback – January, 1998


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Paperback, January, 1998
$66.26 $29.98
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Billboard Books; Rev Sub edition (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823076229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823076222
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,051,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Marty LeGere on September 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
With Wayne Jancik's "The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders," it was interesting to revisit some of the artists who had only one hit on the Top 40 chart of the Billboard Hot 100 ... and then never returned again. It's even more interesting when you find superstar album acts such as Jimi Hendrix and Grateful Dead are among this elite club since they never were big as singles artists.
Unfortunately, while reminiscing about these songs I grew up with, it was frustrating to find glaring errors that made it to print. Some prime examples: The 1985 top 20 single for 17-year-old Charlie Sexton was "Beat's So Lonely," not "Been So Lonely" as the book states. Also, the Canadian one-hit wonder Kon Kan who briefly charted in 1989 in the U.S. with "I Beg Your Pardon" got their name by flip-flopping the term Can Con which is short for Canadian Content. Jancik referred to it as Canadian "Continent." Plus he never attempts to explain what the term means (Section 3 of Canada's Broadcasting Act mandates that AM and FM radio stations play a minimum of 35 percent Canadian artists to help develop native acts). And the artist who rapped "Just a Friend" in 1990 was Biz Markie, not Biz Marke.
These were just the few that I caught skimming through the hundreds of one-hit acts. Did an intern at Billboard edit Jancik's book? How did Billboard allow their name on this before it went to press? Anyway, you get the idea. One-Hit Wonders is fast and fun reading, but it could stand more accuracy.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By NervieCat on March 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
I really like this book. I keep it handy, along with my Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock 'n' Roll and Ephraim Katz's Encyclopedia of Film. But this is not an impersonal listing of trivia--it's a collection of stories. Personally, I consult it for content--clues to who did what in past years of pop music. I note that some online reviews of this book pick on inaccuracies and poor copy-editing. True, that might be disappointing if you're preoccupied with music trivia. And as for typos: Welcome to the world of low-cost publishing, with no review time or copy editing. Annoying? Maybe. But does it detract from the value of this entertaining work? Not at all, in my opinion. My favorite way to peruse Jancik's devoted book is to pick a year from my past, and read the sequence of hits by artists who never again made it to the top. Sometimes, just seeing the titles from, say, 1966 and 1967 will take me back to a time in my (distant!) youth and my love of music you'll never hear broadcast on oldies stations. Jancik's enthusiasm is obvious and pleasing, and his hard-won interviews are fascinating. For those buffs who merely seek more facts to memorize, well, this book was not written for you. But if you like to remember the music because of your personal associations and pleasure, you'll enjoy and value this work. If I have any criticism, it's that sometimes the title and artist are not enough to prod my memory into producing the melody and lyrics. I wish for just a few quotes or something that would help me hum along... But perhaps there are copyrights and permissions laws that prevent such details. In any event, I like this book, and eagerly recommend it to others like myself who want to remember, to play the music in our heads, and to find out what led to the songs and whatever became of the artists who produced them. My thanks to Jancik for his devotion and creativity.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
While Jancik's treatment of "one-hit wonder" artists is admirable, his technique as a writer is questionable. Open up a copy of the book and you will see several typographical errors on almost every page. Names are misspelled, verb tenses are mixed, and the text itself looks as if it were the author's rough draft. Perhaps Jancik is not the one responsible for the errors, as a publisher may have made the gaffes independent of Jancik; still, one expects more from a book published by Billboard, the music trade magazine.
Readers will be distracted by the often embarrassing mistakes that made their way into the book. Consistent verb tense is especially poor: Bob Lind, the artist who had a hit with "Elusive Butterfly," recalls his friend Jack Nitzsche: "(We) hit it off--both of us like to drink and do drugs--so he was with me from the start." It is plausible to assume that Lind's comments were all past tense, and the mistake was a result of poor editing.
At best, Jancik's information is well-researched, providing several hours of enjoyment for anyone with an ear for pop music and obscure songs, but a book this important should have had a much better run-through by an editor before it hit the shelves. Because his knowledge of and affinity for popular music is apparent, let's hope that Jancik keeps working at it and does not become a one-book wonder.
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