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White Town – Women in Technology (1997)

January 27, 2018

One Hit 8

One-Hit Wonder Group Event hosted by Danica @ Living a Beautiful Life

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I’m somewhat reluctant to label artists as a “one-hit wonder.”

The main reason for my reluctance?

A trio of artists (A-ha, Soft Cell, Dexys Midnight Runners), groups that I once considered to be deserving of that label, all have quality albums on the 1001 list.

Heck, Dexys are right where they belong on the 1001 list, not once, not twice, but thrice!

So what about White Town?

The artist name may be unfamiliar at first glance but I imagine the terrific tune below might be a little more recognizable:

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Rather than being a group, it turns out that White Town is more of a one-person wonder, an ongoing solo project by Jyoti Prakash Mishra.

And while it is true that none of the other tracks on Women in Technology reached the commercial heights of Your Woman, it’s far from disposable.Women_in_technology

At different times, especially on the tracks that feature guest vocalist Ann Pearson, I get anywhere from a late 80s Everything But The Girl vibe (Thursday at the Blue Note) to a late 90s Dido feel (Wanted).

Elsewhere on the album, White Town also released arguably the second best track from 1997 about music for a specific visual purpose (albeit a relatively niche category, Theme for an Early Evening American Sitcom would be the silver medal to Radiohead’s Exit Music (for a Film)‘s gold).

Overall, perhaps Women in Technology is better described as a one-hit/several-good-tracks/nothing-overtly-filler wonder?

In any event, White Town/Jyoti Prakash Mishra said it best.

When asked, how do you feel about being a one-hit wonder?

“Better than being a no-hit wonder!”

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Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to Danica for hosting this group event!

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21 Comments
  1. You’re right — I recognized the song as soon as I clicked the video. Interesting point about one-hit wonders. I’ve found instances where I like a one-hit wonder, but like other releases on the same album even more.

    • For sure – for me, this was a case of the hit was still the strongest, but that was more due to the strength of that song than any weakness of the others!

  2. Share your ambivalence about the term, Geoff. And Jyoti sure got it right with that last line!
    It is also heavily influenced by your choice of geography. That is, a band might have had on modest hit in, say, the US but a goodly handful in another territory.
    Anyway, here’s to more women in technology!

    • I’ll cheers to that any day!
      And absolutely – I think geography plays a large role in one-hit wonder labels.
      I remember thinking David Gray was a one-hit wonder (as only Babylon had been a big hit in Canada) but it turns out, he still has the biggest selling album in the history of Ireland!
      So one ought to be careful when using the one-hit wonder term 🙂

  3. I loved this record when it came out. The girl I was with at the time loved it too. It was one of our songs and we played it over and over.

    Understandably I don’t play it as much as I used to but there’s no denying it’s a banger

    • No denying it’s appeal here for sure – I was pleased to learn he’d done some interesting things beyond the one track too!

  4. Jings! I remember this one… I also remember the album cover, though I never explored it.

    I’m also reluctant to use the one hit wonder tag, as just cause I tend not to know much about a particular artist who I suspect tick the OHW box, for all I know they are moderately successful elsewhere and are still going with a solid fan base).

  5. I agree about the one-hit wonder thing. I am the type that listens to an entire album, and often prefer the non-hits. This is a guy/band I have never explored. I’m glad you dig his stuff.

    • Perhaps calling something a one-hit wonder says more about us as the listeners, rather than the artist themselves?

      • I think the term says more about the fickle state of popular music. I often equate popular with bad as far as music goes. Especially in 2017/2018

  6. Man, I remember these people but I hadn’t thought of them at all until your post here. Funny to say it this way, but Your Woman was everywhere, for a while there…

    • A friend of mine brought up Jimmy Ray the other day (I think he was from about the same time period & song with a similar catchiness quotient to White Town’s) – apparently has new material out too!

      • Hahaha Jimmy Ray, straight out of the Where Are They Now files!

      • I looked him up on Wiki, and yup!

        “Ray re-emerged in 2009 as a member of the Airplayers, a song production team.

        In a November 2015 announcement on his official fan page, Ray stated that he is working on material for a comeback record. This was later confirmed in September 2016 on his Record label’s website “La Rocka Records was created in 2016 as a launchpad for UK singer Jimmy Ray’s ‘comeback’ album tentatively titled ‘Live to Fight Another Day,'” A later promotional video posted on the La Rocka Records website and YouTube channel confirms the release date as 13 October 2017.”

      • Good for him – I may have to check it out!

  7. Good call Geoff. I really liked this one and I bought the follow up ‘Undressed’ too, so a 2 hit wonder for me.

  8. Lordy, one of those songs I often forget until being reminded of it. Has anyone commented on how the main hook is a steal from John William’s “Imperial March”?

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