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January 24, 2010

The True One-Hit Wonders of the 80s (Part 4)

Welcome once again to another installment in the (seemingly endless) one-hit wonders of the 80s series of posts. Really, one would think I'd run out of these soon. But you'd be wrooooooong.

There was a little confusion in Part 3, because some people haven't read the other posts (yes, there are a few Philistines still out there, but I'm working on getting rid of them). To be considered a "one-hit wonder" for this list, the artist must have had only one song hit the Billboard Top 40. It doesn't matter if they have 100 songs on the R&B charts, or the Country charts, the British charts, or the Pan Flute chart (a chart dominated by Zamfir, of course!)

It's only the Pop Top 40 that counts.

These are the *true* one-hit wonders, as extensively researched by (as opposed to my extensive research of doing a Google search and finding his site). These aren't the VH-1 one-hit wonders that actually had 15 or something like that (I'm surprised Madonna didn't make their list, for "Like a Virgin").  These are true-blooded one-hit wonders, songs that are so obscure that nobody (except my good friend David) remembers them!

So, if I can get the thought of Lucy Lawless nude scenes from the new Spartacus television series on Starz out of my head for a moment, I'll go ahead and start the list.

Um, give me a moment, please?

1) JoBoxers: "Just Got Lucky" (#38, 1983)

This gets off to an auspicious start. Is that supposed to be *music* at the beginning? Or just random hitting of a xylophone? And the song just can't continue that high level of quality from the beginning, either. Annoying voice, annoying music, and annoying video. Guess what? That makes an annoying song (be honest, you saw that coming, right?) Oh well, at least the dog seems to be having fun. More fun than I am, anyway.

Other than the "Just got lu-cky" chorus, this song brings back no memories for me whatsoever.

And I think that makes me happy.

2) Jump in the Saddle: "The Curly Shuffle" (#15, 1984)

Now *this* brings back memories. The Stooges are truly ageless. Even if you haven't actually seen any of their movies, you know what you're getting when you hear their names. This ode to the lovable Stooge is just a lot of fun. I find the song occasionally going through my mind at different times, just out of the blue (I don't think I've actually heard it for years). And there is no truth to the rumour that it starts going through my head after dealing with certain faculty members.


The video has some wonderful Stooges bits, making it a joy to watch as well. Philistines who don't like it, well, that's your loss.

Yes, that is my word for the day.

3) Junior: "Mama Used to Say" (#30, 1982)

This is a truly interesting song. And when I say "interesting," I mean that I've never heard it before. I think Junior should fire his interior decorator, though, as his house looks *really* fake. It just can't be good feng shui. And who's going to pay for all of those windows that they're breaking in the middle of that song?

The music's actually really good, getting your foot tapping almost unconsciously. Unfortunately, the singing is making me want to put my fingers in my ears, which kind of cancels the music part out of it. Ok, it's not that bad, but it's a mildly irritating song.

Kind of like a gnat flying around your face when your hands are full.

4) Kix: "Don't Close Your Eyes" (#11, 1989)

Finally! A song from my college years so that I'll actually remember it. And yay, it's a hair band. I think Kix just got mixed in with all of the other hair bands, like Whitesnake and Def Leppard, and just got lost. This song was huge (#11 is pretty good for a first song), but they're just not that memorable. And once Nelson came onto the scene in 1990, there was no hope for Kix.

I do remember this song getting played to death on MTV in '89, though. Watching MTV was something I did a lot of in my freshman year of college.

No, that has nothing to do with me not qualifying for graduate school. Why do you ask?

Sure, the lyrics are quite poignant, and they actually made a video that reflects the song, so even those of you who can't understand the words can understand what's going on. If you can actually make it through the song without turning it off. You can mute it, you know.

5) The Korgis: "Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" (#18, 1980)

Ah yes, the simple days at the beginning of MTV, when making a music video was basically just showing everybody playing in a white room (or in concert). The music in this song is kind of haunting, actually, and the soft vocals definitely adds to the effect. I could do without the weird camera angles in the video though. I'm getting seasick!

Everybody looks so serious! C'mon, lighten up! Throw a beach ball around! Frolic on the beach! Y'know, I'm getting depressed here. But they're right; everybody's gotta learn sometimes.

Seriously, though, while I have super-vague memories of this song (kind of like the vague memories you have of that dream where Tom Arnold and Heidi Klum get together, rub chocolate all over you, and then....what do you mean you don't have those dreams? Um....never mind).

Anyway, nice song, but I don't remember much about it.


6)Laid Back: "White Horse" (#26, 1984)

Oh God, this video's already giving me a headache. And a stomach-ache! Ah, at last. Normality. No! Now we're back to weirdness. Seriously, Mr. Music Video Director. Stop with the weird camera effects! Ugh, this is an annoying song too. Typical 80s synth pop, repetitive lyrics with weird vocal effects (to go with the weird video effects!) And 80s hair too! We've got the grand slam of 80s music badness right there.

And those of you who know: Is this song saying you should avoid heroin and take cocaine instead? I have to admit I'm not up on my drug terminology, at least since the last time I OD'd and started proclaiming publicly my love for Paris Hilton's acting ability (she rocked in House of Wax). Of course, this was back in the 80s, so I wouldn't have been familiar with it anyway.

That would explain the repetitive nature of the song, though. And maybe the camera angles represent the vision of an addict as it goes haywire?

Wow, this might be deeper than I thought.

7) Larsen Feiten Band: "Who'll Be the Fool Tonight" (#29, 1980)

(the only other video was a Solid Gold one, where the sound wasn't that good)

Wow, another song I don't have any memory of. Is anybody else noticing that most of these songs are from 1985 or before?

This song is actually kind of cool, in a pop music kind of way. It's got some great music, especially the horns section. In fact, I'm rather enjoying it at the moment. It gets your toe tapping a bit and it doesn't make your ears bleed.

Now *that's* an endorsement!

8) David Lasley: "If I Had My Wish Tonight" (#36, 1982)

Wow. Is it my imagination, or is the music going at 33 speed while the singing is going at 45? I realize that reference dates me considerably (Peanut Gallery: "You mean the fact that you're talking about 80s songs doesn't?"). It just seems odd and kind of jarring.

Another song that I can't remember for the life of me. I'm glad there aren't any tests on these. It's also yet another annoying song, though that could be the music. I wonder if it's the upload that caused this? I don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if it was intentional, though.

Moving on...

9) Jeff Lorber: "Facts of Love" (#27, 1987)

With Karyn White doing the vocals.

Another typical 80s song, both musically and vocally. However, White can sing pretty well. At least she's quite attractive. And if that's Lorber that she's talking with in portions of the video, it's probably best that he be in the background. But he's got the hair, at least! Why does he make me think that he's the Kenny G of the pop music set?

At least I have some memory of this song, though considering it came out in 1987, I should have more than I do. It's not too bad of a song, though. For an 80s pop song, anyway.

Yes, I know that's not saying much.

So there you go! I've gotten through the next nine hits. And I know maybe a couple of them. This is actually kind of embarrassing. I feel like my mom right now.

I'm sure David will be along to tell me that all of these songs were prominently played on Power 98.9 and thus I should know them all.

That being said, given the quality of this batch, the fact that I don't remember them is kind of a blessing.

Hopefully that won't be the case with the next few postings, but those will have to come a little bit later. I'm starting to get distracted again.

Ah, Lucy....come over here....

"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. Hey I liked #1, I'm gonna share it on FB lol. Never heard it until now..heck I wasn't even born yet when it came out. I tell you Dave, I am determined to know at least one of these songs in your lists someday lol. I think I was starting to make myself think I actually knew a couple of them, but I didn't. Guess they're called one-hit-wonders for a reason hehe.

  2. You're going to share #1? Um, are you feeling all right? no fever? You're not feeling delusional are you?

    Why would you do that to your friends? :P

  3. Okay how long can this comment be. Needless to say I knew none of the songs or artists. I must admit my feet moved to all of them but that doesn't mean I liked all of them. My feet move to any music. That being said The only song I really liked was the one with the 3 Stooges. That's really funny because I never liked them. The song was good & I even liked the video. WOW that's some admitance. I just don't like most video's. They make no sense to me. (Showing my age again). I do enjoy your comments on all the songs. Keep them coming.

  4. I will until I run out of songs...

    Everybody likes the Stooges. Even those who don't like the Stooges.

    Wow, that's, like, so Zen.

  5. I'm feeling just fine! I didn't share the original music video...I found this really cute one with Bambi & Thumper... you need to see it, maybe it'll change your mind about the song lol.

  6. Thanks again dave several of these brought back vivid memories...I appreciate all the work you've done on this & sharing it with all of us.



  7. You're welcome, Bill! Glad you're enjoying them.

  8. Wow...that's all I can Some of these were real stinkeroos!! As for a nude Lucy Lawless, I'll just let you have your jello wrestling fantasies of her :) & don't forget the extra chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

    Now for my 2 cents:

    1. Just Got Lucky -- how can you not like this song? I LUV it...a little bit of Madness, a touch of Dexy's Midnight Runners and pure 80s happiness. I have this on a cd. I just love their rolled up pants, street urchins who can sing -- those crazy Brits.

    2. Curly Shuffle -- Hell to the Yeah!! Number 1 numerous times on Dr. Demento (which was on 97X, not Power 98.9). This was a fave in the Buffington household, where we were allowed to use frying pans on each other (just kidding). Who's the wise guy?? Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

    3. Mama Used To Say -- My mama used to say "Take off my wedding dress, young man", but I digress. Um, believe it or not, I've never heard this song & I don't want to again. As for Junior, is that a mushroom growing on your head? Yikes!!

    4. Don't Close Your Eyes -- Yep, definatly remember that song on MTV. Yep, song along with it on 98.9. Yep, love my hair bands, but don't think I would go to their reunion show. Poison, yes; Kix, no. Winger -- you bet:)

    5. Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime -- that video is definatly not from 1980; maybe 1990. I have a vague memory of this song, maybe the Yaz version (it's been covered through the years by a lot of people. Beck did a version of it for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which was used in episode 12 of Dollhouse) (thanks, Wikipedia). Not a bad song.

    6. White Horse -- OMG. I uised to dance to this song at Chantilly Lace in Rock Island. This would always come on around midnight, when the beer had been flowing and the inhibitions were low on the dancefloor. I always that the lead singer was black...oops. Time to get back on the horse. As for the drug reference, I think you are thinking of the song White Lines. Who knows.
    Man that was some great sh*t...oops, TMI :)

    7 & 8. Never heard either of these songs -- wow. These must have been played on KRVR, The River. These are some stinky easy listening songs, which my sister would have enjoyed (since her favorite song was Reunited by Peaches & Herb). Me, I think I need an infusion of Debbie Gibson, Dead Or Alive, or the Crue.

    9. Facts of Love -- You take the good, you take the , you take them both and then you have the Fact of Life. Sorry, Mrs. Garret. Wrong song. I do remember this song, by why does the Kenny G look-a-like get the credit? I do like Karyn White -- she has that wholesome 80s look -- just a couple years until she sluts it up for the video Romantic.

    Ok, Tom has just started playing some Rick Astley on his computer, so I have to go chair dance!!

    Peace Out!!

  9. Don't interrupt my Lucy Lawless fantasy. :P

    2) yep, was a big Dr. Demento listener during the 80s. Wasn't "Wet Dream" a classic?

    3) Finally, we agree that something is bad! We have much agreement on good stuff, but you usually like what I think sucks, so it's nice to finally have one where we're both right. :P

    4) Did you go see Winger when they were at the Fair? I actually didn't go to that show, but was at the Fair when they were performing, so heard some of it.

    It was ok. :P

    5) The video's from 1990? I thought they had more video creativity by that point.

    6) Somebody on the Youtube entry that I embedded made the drug references. That's why I wasn't sure.

    7) Are you telling me you missed an episode of Solid Gold? David, I'm surprised at you. :P

    And I could use a Deborah Gibson (don't forget, it's not Debbie anymore :P) infusion too.

    9) Did you forget a word in there intentionally? :P

    I may have to go look for that video you mention, though. LOL

    I'll try to get another one done this week, though it may be the weekend again (these take a while, especially listening to all of the songs!)

  10. Dave,

    Take your time. I usually get to look at these things on the weekends, especially with American Idol on twice a week now.

    I did forget to write "bad" in my Facts of Life ditty...that's what I get for never taking a typing class (& still having to look at the keys when I type).

    I wish you would have put up the Solid Gold clip, especially if the dancers were dancing. My fave was the african american woman with the long braids...LOVED her!!

    As for Winger, yep, saw them at the Fair. It was fun, but I think I was too young to drink, so it could have been better :)

    Ah, yes, Wet Dream. Love that song. I have it on my Dr. Demento 30th anniversary cds. I really love "Shaving Cream"...and the birth of Weird Al thanks to the good Dr.

    So,what's the going value for Olympic tix? Are you going to head out of town during it?


  11. David Lasley has been one of James Taylor's backup singers for years.

    Junior looks and sounds like he wants to be Michael Jackson.


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