The student-run online newspaper for Starr's Mill High School

Head 2 Head

September 26, 2022

In this week’s ”Head 2 Head,” Editor Katie Johnson and Staff Writer Adaleigh Weber offer their opinion on which is the better one-hit wonder: “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes or “Zombie” by the Cranberries.

This song will get stuck ‘in your head’

“Zombie” by the Cranberries is the better one-hit wonder because it has excellent, catchy vocals and lyrics that will get stuck in your head after a few listens.

That is what happened to me after my dad played the song for me when I was in sixth grade. 

“I think you’ll like this song,” he said. He was right. 

This song skyrocketed up the top charts after its release in 1994. It was the lead single for their second album titled “No Need to Argue.” With its catchy vocals and dark meaning, this song reached no. 1 on the charts in several countries, including Belgium, Denmark, and Germany.

Written by lead singer Dolores O’Riordan, “Zombie” was a reaction to a tragic conflict that had been occurring in Northern Ireland from around the 1960s to the 1990s known as The Troubles. During this time, violence spilled out over Ireland, England, and other parts of Europe. O’Riordan witnessed some of this violence firsthand, as she was born and raised in Ireland. 

During The Troubles, thousands of people died, and significantly more were injured. The specific event that captured O’Riordan’s heart and inspired her to write the song was when 12-year-old Tim Parry and 3-year-old Jonathan Ball passed away as a result of a bombing that occurred in England. She wrote the lyrics while she was on tour in 1993, and it was quickly produced and successfully launched worldwide in 1994.

The Cranberries started as an Irish band originally known as The Cranberry Saw Us. They specialized in alternative rock, but their songs also incorporated aspects of indie rock, folk rock, and post-punk. Members include guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, drummer Fergal Lawler, and O’Riordan. Their most popular songs were “Dreams,” “Linger,” “Zombie,” “Salvation,” and “When You’re Gone.” 

“Zombie” has been highly praised by music critics, as it is one of the best alternative rock songs ever created, and uses a musical way to express the dark times of The Troubles. 

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The one-hit wonder that knows ‘what’s up’

“What’s Up?,” by 4 Non Blondes, is the best one-hit wonder you can ever listen to due to its amazing guitar intro and the vocals of lead singer Linda Perry.

This one-hit wonder was released to the public in 1992 as the second single off the band’s only studio albumBigger, Faster, More!” 

The Song “What’s Up?” has no real clear meaning but it usually affiliated with sexism and homophobia in America. It has been used as an anthem for the queer community. 

The lyrics do not have a true meaning. It is the way the song makes certain people feel that provides a stronger sentiment related to being appreciative of and inquisitive in life.

“What’s Up?” was on the U.S. Hot  100 list, peaking at no. 14. The song hit no. 1 in 11 European countries.

The song has a memorable beat with the guitar strumming then adding on with a constant drum beat.

The all-female band features Linda Perry as the lead vocalist, bassist Christa Hillhouse, guitarist Shaunna Hall, and drummer Wanda Day. Dawn Richardson later replaced Day, and Rodger Rocha took the place of Hall. Perry left the band in 1994 and the others soon followed. 

4 Non Blondes was an American alternative rock band from San Francisco. They were active from 1989 to 1994.T heir only album, “Bigger, Faster, More!,” spent 59 weeks on the Billboard 200 and they sold 1.5 million copies between 1992 and 1994.

They hit the charts with the release of “What’s Up?” in 1993. The song went on to receive a gold and platinum certification, immortalizing this song forever in the music industry.

The song with its memorable beat and chorus inspires introspection in listeners, making it one of the best one-hit wonders.

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