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February 14, 2010

The True One-Hit Wonders of the 80s (Part 7)

It's Sunday morning, and that means it's time for another "One-Hit Wonders of the 80s" post!  This is a special Valentine's addition to the list, with lots of love emanating from this post.

Ah, who am I kidding.  It's going to be more snarky comments about really bad 80s music, but this time, I'll do it with love.  Because that's the kind of guy I am.  I am full of love, full to bursting.  And I have to tell you, I love mocking 80s music.  It makes for a valuable love-release.  Isn't it ironic that many of the extremely crappy 80s songs are also love songs?  That makes it perfect for this Valentine's edition of the show. 

Of course, I don't know if this installment will have many (if any) love songs, since I haven't listened to the videos yet.  (Preparation?  That's a Greek word, isn't it?)  I find these posts work better if I go into them blind.  Sure, I'll correct something egregious that I've written if it turns out not to be true (unless it's funnier that way), but I write these promos before actually doing the artists and songs themselves.

What's that?  What do I mean "doing" the artists? Ummmm....

But anyway...

As always, my disclaimer. None of this is my work. Well, ok, the writing is, but not the song research.  I got these songs from Matt on, who went to the trouble of looking up the Billboard Top 40 hits in a nice book format.  Doesn't that sound incredibly boring?  That's the kind of dedication that speaks to why he's probably more successful than I am.

But I think I'm cuter.

On to #1!

1) Scarlet & Black: "You Don't Know" (#20, 1988)

Wow, an Annie Lennox look-a-like! What a way to start. But the guy has gorgeous hair. He must have taken some of hers. That guy certainly looks intense at times, doesn't he? She really needs to lighten him up. And why is that helicopter after them? And how did they elude it for at least 12 hours (from day to night)? None of these questions will be answered on the next episode of Soap...

However, I am quite happy to say that I actually remember this song! And it's not actually that bad either. I remember singing along to it in college (ah, 1988...whatever happened to you? Oh, that's right, you morphed into 1989). I haven't heard it in eons, but I did enjoy listening to it this time. It's a pleasant way to start this set of songs.

Heard it Before? Yay! We have total memory!
Heard it Before Total Index: 1-1 (one out of one)

2)Charlie Sexton: "Beat's So Lonely" (#17, 1986)

Ah, yes. Back when smoking was cool (though still a filthy habit). It's a bit more effective if you don't bite the words off as soon as you say them, Charlie. And the grimacing is a nice touch too. I'm getting a distinct Billy Idol vibe from this song and watching the video. I think it's the clenched teeth.

This song brings back very vague memories, though not enough to trip the Memory-o-Meter with anything solid. It's another decent song with some good guitar work. I don't really care for Sexton's voice too much, but it's not bad. I did keep expecting him to get a crewcut and start really sneering, but he decided not to, I guess. Too derivative?

Heard it Before? Vague, it's so vague it might as well be Dreamland
Heard it Before Total Index: 1-2

3) Phil Seymour: "Precious to Me" (#22, 1981)

I like the trenchcoat, but I think David Spade would be more convincing in a Film Noir role than this guy. I'm really getting a Davy Jones vibe from this guy, too (yes, this is the day for "vibes", I guess). And I have to say: what the hell was that ending? C'mon, all the guy is doing is stalking a beautiful woman. Why should he be rewarded with something like that? Yikes!

Thankfully, the song's pretty short. Seymour knows how to say what he has to say and then get off the stage. I love the music, but his voice was starting to grate on my ears and the lyrics were kind of silly too (though aren't they all?). Still, not a bad song, and at least I remember it! Though it took me a moment.

Heard it Before? Yes! And No....then yes!
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-3

4) Silver Condor: "You Could Take My Heart Away" (#32, 1981)

(This is the only video I can find)

Ahhhh! My ears are starting to bleed!

Ok, it's not that bad, but man is it not good. Overly trite, annoying lyrics, even the music isn't that good (though admittedly, that could be the audio quality). This song could be used as a torture device in some spy movie.

"Do you expect me to talk?"
"No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to listen to this song and have your head explode."

Thankfully, this song brings back no memories whatsoever. Though maybe I scrubbed them with brain bleach.

Heard it Before? None whatsoever (thank the gods)
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-4

5) Frankie Smith: "Double Dutch Bus" (#30, 1981)

Hey, it's the black B-52s! And just as silly too. While the song itself doesn't bring back any memories, it does make me think of those school skating parties at...damn, what was that skating rink called? Kimberly Pines? (this is a test to see if any of my high school buddies reads this, so Mom, don't answer this question). Anyway, I'm fighting the urge to go grab a set of roller skates and take off.

This song is beyond such basic terms as "good" or "bad" (not to mention "this sucks"). Instead, I'll just say that it was probably perfect for its time, and that time is definitely not now.

Heard it Before? None whatsoever
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-5

6) Judson Spence: "Yeah Yeah Yeah" (#32, 1988)

This actually isn't a bad song. The music is uplifting, the lyrics are kind of fun and Spence's voice is actually pretty good. It's the perfect tonic if you're down in the dumps. Yet I still have no memory of it, and it came out in 1988? I must have been too busy *ahem* studying to listen to it. Or maybe it never made it on MTV? That would explain it too.

If it wasn't on MTV in 1988, it was dead to me.

Heard it Before? None whatsoever
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-6

7) Jim Steinman: "Rock & Roll Dreams Come Through" (#32, 1981)

That kid may have pulled an Excalibur guitar from the stone, but it sure didn't pass on any rhythm to him. Yikes! And then he transfers his bad dancing to the love interest! And now it looks like she's auditioning for a strip club.

Jim Steinman does Meat Loaf, and it's kind of a fun song. It's kind of epic and pretentious like Meat Loaf can be too. The music overpowers Steinman, though, and it's not as good as it could be. One of the commenters on this video says that a song like this really needs Meat Loaf's over the top staging and theatrics.

Good thing Meat Loaf agreed, as he covered the song in the 90s:

Oh my god, is that Angelina Jolie! I didn't realize she ever did videos.

Now that is epic. It gave me chills down the spine. Nobody does Meat Loaf like Meat Loaf, and I'm sorry to say he blows Steinman out of the water. Watch the two back to back and you'll see what I mean.

Heard it Before? Any memory is clouded over by Meat Loaf's version, but I don't think I heard Steinman before.
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-7

8) Suave: "My Girl" (#20, 1988)

Ummm....did this song really need this kind of update? I don't think so. This is like making a Hip-Hop version of "Looks Like We Made It" (though watching Manilow react to that would be hilarious). I really don't have much more to say about this song. So why don't you leave me a comment with your own ideas for weird covers like the one I just suggested? A Country version of "Welcome to the Jungle" sung by Carrie Underwood? Now that would be fun!

Heard it Before? The song itself? Who hasn't? This version? Thankfully, no.
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-8

9)Patrick Swayze: "She's Like the Wind" (#3, 1988)

How this one didn't make the VH-1 list of one-hit wonders, I'll never know. How can they leave off Patrick Swayze? Surprisingly, Swayze doesn't embarrass himself with this song, unlike so many of the other actors who record hit songs. It's not up there with a lot of songs, but it's not atrocious either. Incidentally, was this song part of Dirty Dancing or did they just use images from the movie because it's a Swayze song?

Whatever the case, it's a fitting song to end this installment on.

Heard it Before? Does a bear read a newspaper in the woods while taking a dump?
Heard it Before Total Index: 3-9

So there you have it. Another installment is in the books and the money is pouring in because of that (Sara, will you balance that book for me?). Actually, wouldn't it be cool if I could make a living doing this? "What do you do for a living?" "I list and mock 80s songs. What do you do?"

The chicks would be all over me.

So, I remember 3 out of the 9 songs. Got off to a great start and then went totally downhill. Though I got to pull out Meat Loaf memories so it's not a total loss!

I'll be back next week for the final installment.

Maybe these will win me the gold medal in the "Bad Jokes" competition? Surely I deserve some hometown consideration?

"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. I remember "You Could Take My Heart Away". It was popular when I was in 4th grade... and really has that early 80s sound a la "Joannie Loves Chachi". I was actually kind of obsessed with hearing that song for years until I finally found it on the internet.

    I'm kind of an 80s music geek, too!

  2. You found it on the Internet? Do you have a link for a better video? :)

    Make sure you check out the other 80s music posts if you're that much of a geek. It would be interesting to see if we have any overlapping tastes. :)

  3. It was just the song, not the video. In fact, I think I might have actually downloaded it from the original Napster back in the day.

  4. Well dear you can probably guess what was the only song I loved.Maybe I won't tell you. See if you can guess. As for the others they wasted their money recording them. All they would have to do is listen to them & say YIKES THIS AWFUL' The videos make no sense. A few have a good beat but watching the video while listening to it ruins it. Do you get the idea I don't like videos?Let me know which was my favorite. You said next week is your last one. I hope you find something else because you are my Sunday morning entertainment.

  5. The Monty Python clip? Meat Loaf? :P

    Nah, I'm sure it's the Patrick Swayze one.


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