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January 9, 2010

The true one-hit wonders of the 80s (Part 2)

It's time for yet another "one-hit wonders of the 80s" post, as I continue to go through the reaction to VH-1's list of the top 100.  You can find Part 1 here.

I really enjoy doing these, hearing songs that I haven't heard in a long time (or, sometimes, I have no memory of hearing).  And it makes me feel good when I see somebody on my Statcounter find one of these posts and go through all of them.  Even better when I see the exit links of the Youtube videos (though now that I'm embedding them, I won't see that any more).

Does the fact that I'm still doing these mean I'm a traffic whore?  Is the Pope Jewish?

Wait, I think that's wrong.

Anyway, here's Part 2!  As always links to the other posts will be at the bottom.

1) Climie Fisher: "Love Changes (Everything)" (#23, 1988)

Sadly, the video is no longer able to be embedded (and Youtube removed the one I did have embedded), so you'll have to go there to see it.

Simon Climie has some echoes of a younger Rod Stewart, doesn't he? Not exactly sure what it is, but that's what he reminds me of when I first hear him. He just doesn't have that rasp that makes it sound like Stewart's going to lose his voice at any minute. Climie's really grooving that muscle shirt, isn't he? And given the setting of this video, I guess they're just a bunch of well-dressed, train-hopping, dancing hobos, right?

This is a rather innocuous song, kind of pleasant but nothing to write home about. The lyrics are rather banal, but not offensively bad or anything. Both Climie and Rob Fisher seem to be enjoying themselves in the video, so that's a plus. It's always good to enjoy your work. Especially when you have a scantily-clad woman dancing next to you.

I've always said that type of thing really enhances the work environment.

2) Cock Robin: "When Your Heart is Weak" (#35, 1985)

I have absolutely no memory of this song, which probably isn't surprising if it only hit #35. It's an interesting video, with a nice, Southwest locale. If you blink near the beginning of the video, you may miss the fact that the woman in the video, Anna LaCozio, is actually a member of the band itself, something that becomes obvious really late. This is actually kind of a catchy song, though again the lyrics are kind of strange. "When your heart is weak, I'm going to pick the lock on it." Maybe she'd be better to install Brinks Security system on it, to make sure he doesn't get in?

Oh yeah, I guess it's Broadview now. Whatever.

Anyway, I have to say that, having never really heard of the song before, I actually kind of like it. Some bad dancing and bad emoting from lead singer Peter Kingsbury doesn't bring it down too much.

And I could look at LaCozio all day, which kind of makes up for the rest.

3) Company B: "Fascinated" (#21, 1987)

Ahhhhhhh!!!!! Big 80s hair! I don't care of those are wigs, they're still kind of frightening. I can see why this song was popular in the clubs, though outside of that environment, it does nothing for me. I'm sure I danced to it in college at some point, though that memory is fleeting and may have just been the Doritos I had last night and then went to bed on. Don't do that if you want to avoid bad flashbacks.

I wonder if those were 80s Doritos.

Anyway, Wikipedia says that "Fascinated" is considered a "dance-music classic", and I can't disagree with that. Since "dance-music" has never appealed to me when I'm not actually, you know, *dancing*, I'm obviously not the target audience.

Oh, and sorry for the Spanish subtitles. That was the only original version I could find, as opposed to remixes and dance club mixes. Like it needed any HELP succeeding in a dance club???

4) Marshall Crenshaw: "Someday, Someway" (#36, 1982)

(No actual video for this, but at least you can hear the song)

Wow, this really gets you hopping, doesn't it! You geriatrics out there may not want to listen to this song, as you might break a hip as you try and groove. This applies especially to my now 40-year-old classmates (who I can laugh at for the next 9 months before *I* turn 40). As people start living longer, 40 may not actually be "middle-age" anymore, but boy does it feel like it sometimes!

Oh, you want my opinion of the song? It's never been one of my favourites, but it's always good for some toe-tapping, with some of that southern guitar like the Georgia Satellites have and a great beat. And it's got a universal theme packed into the fun song, too!

Men will never understand women.

5) Rodney Crowell: "Ashes by Now" (#37, 1980)

For the life of me, I cannot find a video (or even audio!) version of this song actually sung by Rodney Crowell. Thus, I give you a very popular Youtube acoustic cover and country singer Lee Ann Womack's version of it. Given the beat of the song and the lyrics, I can certainly see why artists have covered the hell out of this thing. It's definitely worth taking a listen to. Since I can't give you Rodney (they've got him singing bunches and bunches of everything else, but not his only mainstream hit?), take a listen to these two and tell me which one you like better.

Meanwhile, I'll go have a word with Youtube about this. And the World Wide Web. Think I'll get anywhere?

6) Danny Wilson: "Mary's Prayer" (#23, 1987)

(I was going to link to the actual video, but it didn't allow can find the video itself here)

I remember this song, and I don't remember really caring about it that much. But watching it now. Wow! It actually is a great pop song. Ok, the video is typical 80s weirdness, though I like the fact that it shows us that there is an accordion and a bass in this song (you instrument players probably already knew that, but I can't tell). But it's not just the video. I really like the song too! It's catchy, got a great beat, some interesting lyrics, and the singer can sing!

I think I just had a religious epiphany!

No,'s just gas. Sorry.

7)Diesel: "Sausalito Summernight" (#25, 1981)

Apologies to all of you women who don't really want to watch cavorting models, but this is the only version of this song I could find with half-way decent sound.

If you *really* don't want to see that, you can watch this one, but the sound is nowhere near as good:

Anyway, I have heard this song, though not much. It really doesn't leave a huge impression on me, though it is kind of fun. Though you can tell it's from 1981. $80 for repairs? From a blown gasket? Nowadays you might as well replace the whole car. I have nothing to complain about in this song, though.

Which really makes me sad. Because I *like* complaining.

8) Charlie Dore: "Pilot of the Airwaves" (#13, 1980)

Ok, why is Elton John slumming as Charlie's keyboard person? She is cute, isn't she? And an interesting voice, too. Those thin microphones are quite weird-looking, actually.

However, the song is quite good. One commenter on the above Youtube video mentioned how he first heard this song on Armed Forces Network Taiwan, back when DVDs didn't exist, VCRs really didn't either, and this song really shouts out to those for whom radio DJs were the only voices of civilization somebody might hear. In this day and age where you really can't get away from civilization at all (and if you do, then you certainly wouldn't have a radio with you anyway), it doesn't mean much. But it's still quite pleasant.

9) Double: "The Captain of Her Heart" (#16, 1986)

My favourite of this whole bunch, I think. Man, does this song bring back memories. I had Double's cassette tape, and I went up for a week-long yearbook workshop in Iowa City (Evette, you may remember that trip, as I think you were there). It was me and a bunch of women from the yearbook staff, which of course, was quite pleasant but also quite frustrating, as I was horribly self-conscious. My dating life in high school and college was non-existent for this very reason.

Anyway, first night in Iowa City, I'm in my room, lying in bed reading and listening to the tape. It's raining outside, really hard. I stopped reading and just listened, and it really started affecting me. I got sort of melancholy, but it was a pleasant melancholy. Also a melancholy of lost opportunities. So this song always has a special place in my heart, and I won't say anything bad about it.

Ok, the video's kind of cheesy, but that's it.

Ironically, this video (and many other Double songs) is actually posted to lead singer Kurt Maloo's Youtube channel. He's posting these himself! How cool is that?

So there's Part 2 of the "True" one-hit wonders of the 80s. I continue to think that the reason VH-1 ignored these songs is that they couldn't make fun of them. Or maybe they couldn't get the artists to talk? I don't know, but so far, there have been songs that aren't my cup of tea, but only one that I would truly consider bad.

I'm waiting for them to truly get bad. And so far, they aren't. Lots of 80s kitsch in here, but what's wrong with that? (Don't ask the wife that question).

I'll be back with more, after this commercial break.

Ok, a few days' worth of commercial breaks.

"True" One-Hit Wonders of the 80s posts
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Top 100 One-Hit Wonders of the 80s posts


  1. Once again I didn't know one of these songs. Also only knew LuAnne womack. I wrote down my feelings about them but that;s too long to say. So I did it by numbers. I liked 1,2,4.6,7,8,& 9. I guess 7 out of 10 isn't bad. The videos were even better then the first ones you did.

  2. Wow, 7 out of 10? I'm impressed! I'm surprised you liked the Sausalito one, actually. :)

    You could do your own blog entry about what you thought of them if you want. :P

  3. When I saw the title, I got all excited cuz I love listening to 80s music...but I didn't know ANY of the songs lol. Then again, I was just a baby when they all came out. I did enjoy reading your comments about each song though. :)

  4. Hey Anahid!

    These being one-hit wonders, and not *big* one-hit wonders (which is probably why they didn't make VH-1's list), I'm not surprised you never heard them. It's not like they get a lot of play now, unless you listen to an 80s station for quite a long time.

    Heck, *I* haven't heard some of these songs since they came out.

  5. Not sure if all 1 hit wonders, Cock Robin had an 80's hit in the UK with "The Promise" which I absolutely loved; unfortunately the video clip "is not available in your country" so no idea what this song is like, or even if it's the same by a different title

  6. The definition used for the "one-hit wonder" name is the Billboard Top 40. I try to point out if the artist has been famous elsewhere despite only hitting the Top 40 once, but I missed some.

    Thanks for pointing that one out!

  7. Are you ready for the sex girls -- OOPS...wrong 80's song :) But it gets me in the mood to write another response, on a cold rainy night in Tucson...

    1. Love Changes Everything -- I really like this song. I wish the video was working, though :( I have it on a cd somewhere & Tom definitely has it on the iPod. I guess we like our One-Hit wonders.

    2. When Your Heart Is Weak -- definitely remember this song. Another one that I really like. Appears to be shot in the Joshua Tree National Park (or close by). The singer really freaks me out -- it looks like he is in agony from being stung by a scorpion (or blue balls from the female member of the band). I'll just listen to the music and picture a happy place.

    3. Fascinated -- MAJOR seat dancing going on here!! I MUST download this!! I remember totally dancing to this in the cafeteria after a b-ball game at West. Can't get this out of my head!!

    4. Someday, Someway -- another iPod all-star!! LoveLoveLove this song.

    5. Ashes By Now -- nope, never heard it. But this was when Top 40 was EVERYTHING on the radio...R&B, rock, country, pop. Very Urban Cowboy, but it does nothing for me.

    6. Mary's Prayer -- Love it. Pure 80s magic. I remember singing along to this in my car and while I watched MTV. Can't believe someone took the time to make a video shrine for this song.

    7. Sausolito Summernight -- LOVE IT!!! A great song to cruise the Ones, which I never did, since I live out in BFE (aka Buffalo). YIKES...too many thong swimsuits (so that's why you chose this version, perv -- :)

    8. Pilot of the Airwaves -- I hadn't heard this in ages, but I was singing along with the intro right away!! She has a very Juice Newton vibe to her, which I love. I've been listening to this song in the video & it seems like a friend to me.

    9. The Captain of Her Heart -- I even pronounced it correctly when I saw the title - -Doobla!! Love this song (& it's on Tom's iPod). & I can appreciate your story -- I dated some in high school, but the girl I wanted to date only saw me as a "friend". Of course, in hindsight, it wouldn't have worked out (hello, Tom!!). But I digress. This is just a gorgeous song.

    Bring out your dead!! Wait, I mean 80s one-hit wonders!!

  8. David!

    Boo!!! They removed my video, and all of the other ones don't allow embedding. So I had to just provide a link.

    3: LOL! Happy to provide. :)

    7: Did you watch both videos, at least a little bit? You'll see why I chose the thongs. The fact that there *were* so many thongs was just a happy side effect. :P

    8: You're right! I didn't think of Juice Newton until you mentioned her, but Charlie Dore does give off that vibe.

    Ah, yes. The "only want to be friends" thing. I experienced that way too often in high school. And college. And the rest of my single life until almost 12 years ago (Jeez, has it been that long?)

    I will try to get another 80s post done tomorrow, if not tonight (probably not tonight).


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