Rednex’s Cotton Eye Joe is this week’s One Hit Wonder. As we explain below, some might find the description Novelty Hit a bit unfair but, that is certainly the way it was perceived in the UK. That’s not a bad thing, of course. We love a good novelty hit in the UK. In fact, there is a great British tradition of gravitating to them over the years. Successful examples have included crooning milkmen, singing postmen, polka-dotted aliens, animated frogs and builders.
However, behind the hit was at least a semi-serious attempt to fuse the more traditional elements of Americana with the Eurodance phenomenon of the time. Hailing from Sweden rather than Nashville, the band scored the notable achievement of keeping Celine Dion off the top spot, at least temporarily. As well as being a Number 1 hit and sticking around for 16 weeks in the UK chart, this was also one of those rare songs that was a hit in two different years (albeit because it was released in December!).
Beyond that, success was limited. Whilst their follow up single (the slightly worryingly entitled Old Pop In An Oak) did repeat the same formula (in fact some people couldn’t tell the difference between the two songs at all!) they failed to repeat their popularity and so remain in our memories as another great British tradition, the One Hit Wonder.
As usual, we have included links, below, so you can listen again via YouTube and download via iTunes and Amazon.
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