Written and performed by Dean Friedman
Being a one-hit wonder is no disgrace. It takes a lot of talent to get a recording contract and both talent and luck to have a hit. Dean Friedman only had one song that made it on the US charts,* but it was a delight.
“Ariel” is a song about meeting a girl and becoming lovers, but it’s filled with charm and clever lyrics.
Part of its charm was that it was set in Paramus, NJ, where Friedman grew up, and there are many references to it and to the NYC area. Indeed, there are several lines in the song that only someone from the area would understand.** Plus there is some clever wordplay, like in the line “I said ‘Hi,’ she said, ‘Yeah, I guess I am.’" Or “I was messing around with the vertical hold.”***
The song got a lot of FM airplay, and reached 26 on the charts. One issue was that the record company was new and hadn’t pressed enough copies to meet the demand.****
Freidman was not able to duplicate that success, but continued to record and perform and also wrote some music for TV.
*Though he continued to record and is still performing today.
**For instance, there’s a line about the “Friends of BAI,” a reference to WBAI, a listener supported station in the area.
***A control on TVs of the era, unneeded now. But in the context of the song, it also meant he was holding her.
****See what I said about luck.