Theme Ride Thursday: One-Hit Wonders (Part 2) with a New Profile

It’s always a great time for a great profile with great music. By their very definition, one-hit wonders are just that…great music that people love. As we explained in our first iteration of One-Hit Wonders, the only thing about these popular songs is that the artist was never able to re-create the success with any other song and therefore, is (usually) only known for that one hit. 

Fern created a profile for that first post, but she and her riders are big fans of 1HWs (that’s my new designation for them!) so we wanted to share her second 1HW profile called Unforgettable Beats: A Tribute to One-Hit Wonders. Members can find the profile and Spotify playlist below. It will take you on a musical joyride, relishing those chart-topping gems that left an indelible mark. This ride isn’t just about burning calories; it’s a celebration of the short-lived yet timeless tunes that once dominated the airwaves. Let the energy of one-hit wonders fuel your ride and transport you to musical moments that still resonate today.

Here are a few more songs from our 1HW bucket playlist, which currently has almost 180 tracks for you to use in your profiles. (I’ve posted that bucket playlist below so you don’t have to search for it in our past 1HW post!)

Life is a Highway, Tom Cochrane, 4:26, 103 bpm
In 1991, Cochrane released “Life is a Highway,” which proved to be a hit in Canada and, within a few months, had climbed to the No. 6 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Although he never saw the same success in America again, he remains a household name in Canada and even has a stretch of highway near his hometown named after him.

This song is great as a warm-up, a working flat at a higher cadence, or even a longer recovery that you can ramp back up to moderate after 2–3 minutes of riding easy.

I Melt With You, Modern English, 4:12, 156 bpm

“I Melt With You” wasn’t a massive hit originally, but it’s nearly impossible to find someone who can’t at least hum along to the catchy tune. This is because of its high usage in pop culture; it’s appeared in movies such as Valley Girl and 50 First Dates as well as in many commercials

Use this song as a consistent fast climb. It also works well for intervals as the chorus lends itself to a hard push at 0:35–1:00 (25s), 1:25–1:50 (25s), 2:28–2:52 (25s), and 3:17–4:00 (43s).

And hey, who knows…play this song in your class and you might end up like Jennifer and have a rider tell you it was their wedding song! (Or “Testify” by NEEDTOBREATHE…which, incidentally, is NOT a one-hit wonder.)

What’s Up, 4 Non Blondes, 4:56, 134 bpm

Part of this song’s charm is how genuinely fun it is to sing. That chorus will get any crowd screaming from the top of their lungs, what’s going on?! Something also unique about this song, it doesn’t even feature the words “what’s up” anywhere in the lyrics. It would have made more sense to name the song “What’s Going On,” but the artists didn’t want to cause any confusion with the iconic Marvin Gaye song. We featured this track as a Wednesday Timeless Classic a few years ago.

This track is featured in one of the more popular profiles on ICA, Jennifer’s Rolling Hills and Switchbacks, a ride she presented for years at Spinning® conferences and workshops. Describe two switchbacks in this song; start on a steep climb, then stand on increased resistance on the chorus at 1:26–1:55 (29s), and 3:20–4:15 (55s). Then at the end, everyone sings, “25 years and my life is still trying to get up that GREAT BIG HILL of hope…”


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