One Hit Wonders of the 1980’s

It happens all the time. You turn on the radio or throw your iPod on shuffle and hear a song you love but haven’t heard in a while. After singing from the top of your lungs and embarrassing yourself in public you undoubtably ask yourself one question:

“What happened to (insert band name here)?”

We don’t know why or how it happens, but sometimes an artist strikes gold and can never reclaim that magic again. Sadly, when that happens they get labeled as a “One Hit Wonder,” doomed for the rest of eternity as segment pieces on VH1’s Where Are They Now and Behind The Music.

The 1980’s was filled with one hit wonders. Many of them fill the majority of Top 10 lists and were even some of the best songs of the decade. And if you’re like us, they always put a huge, cheesy smile on your face.

Big Country “In A Big Country”

Frontman Stuart Adamson once said about their one hit wonder status, “If we’re known for nothing more than just that one song, I’d be pretty happy with that.”

Falco “Rock Me Amadeus”

Falco is extremely popular in Germany, Austria, and most of Europe. It’s too bad the only places that make Top Ten lists are in the US and UK.

Nena “99 Luftballons”

Both the English and German versions of “99 Luftballons” tell a story of 99 balloons floating into the air, triggering an apocalyptic overreaction by military forces.

If the song is playing while it happens, it won’t seem like such a bad time.

Lipps, Inc. “Funkytown”

“Funkytown” is often considered to be one of disco’s last stands and a place to go if you need a place to keep you movin’ and keep you groovin’ with some energy.

The Vapors “Turning Japanese”

The Vapors waited to release “Turning Japanese” as their second single because they feared it might relegate them to one hit wonder status.

Good plan.

Soft Cell “Tainted Love”

“Tainted Love” spent a record breaking forty three weeks on the Hot 100. Things cooled down significantly after that.

Toni Basil “Mickey”

Did you know Toni Basil was 38 years old when “Mickey” was released?

Not too shabby, eh?

A-ha “Take On Me”

Coolest… Music… Video… Ever!


Men Without Hats “Safety Dance”

“Safety Dance” has been used in movies and TV shows like Glee, Family Guy, Hot Tub Time Machine, Bio-Dome, Scrubs, The Simpsons, Futurama, Campus and parodied by Weird Al Yankovic.

Dexy’s Midnight Runners “Come On Eileen”

The shop Dexy’s Midnight Runners shot the video in front of is now called Brook Drive Mini Market. You can see it using Google Street View. Seriously… check it out HERE and throw in this address: 151 Brook Drive, Kennington London, SE11 4TG.

Aaaaaaand we’re spent.

The 80’s was loaded with one hit wonders. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re a bit tired from all the dancing.

More One Hit Wonders on!

Latest from >


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From WCBS-FM 101.1

Big Show PodcastScott Shannon Weekly Podcast
Sunday 7am-11amScott Shannon's new show featuring artist interviews, song countdowns, one-hit-wonders and commentary from Scott.

Listen Live