One Hit Wonder: Smokie (1976)

Living Next Door to Alice
Single: Smokie
Album: Midnight Café
Released: August 12, 1976
Genre: Soft rock, pop rock
Songwriters: Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman

Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman wrote "Living Next Door to Alice." The Australian pop band New World released a version in 1972 that reached number 35 on the Australian chart. It later became a worldwide hit for British band Smokie, fronted by Chris Norman. It reached the Top 40 in the US. The band never had that success there again, making them an American one-hit wonder.

Smokie
Smokie hit the British pop charts several times 
during the late '70s with updated psychedelic pop.
Allmusic by John Bush

Smokie was originally spelled Smokey, but Smokey Robinson threatened to file a lawsuit, alleging the band's name would confuse audiences. To avoid legal action, the group changed the spelling to "Smokie." They found success after teaming up with the songwriting team of Chapman and Chinn. 

Chinn/Chapman composed a string of hits in the early 70s for acts like Sweet, Gary Glitter, and Suzi Quatro. Their track for Smokie was "Living Next Door to Alice." The song topped the Australian singles chart, peaked at number 3 in the UK, and reached 25 on the Billboard's Hot 100.


Suzi Quatro

Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman

At the peak of Smokie's success in 1978, front-man Chris Norman teamed up with Suzi Quatro and released a duet single, "Stumblin' In." It's another composition by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. Norman and Quatro were on top of the European charts for some time, and the track reached number 4 on Billboard's Hot 100. This song made Quatro an American one-hit wonder.

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