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February 20, 2010

The True One-Hit Wonders of the 80s (Part 8)

Friends, Romans, Countrymen...lend me your ears.  Um, I mean eyes.  It's time for the final installment in my "True One-Hit Wonders of the 80s" series of posts.  You may remember VH-1's show called the Top 100 One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, where so many of the songs came from artists who had more than one hit on the Billboard Top 40 list.  Thus, VH-1 are dweebs who don't know what they're talking about.  And they look funny.  And they smell.  And.... ("Get on with it!" - The Peanut Gallery)

Anyway, Matt from agreed with me (and when I say "agreed," I mean came up with the idea long before I had an inkling the VH-1 list even existed) and did a little research of his own, coming up with the real one-hit wonders of the 80s. Many thanks to Matt for posting his list, as it's been a godsend to me.  He even showed up finally and complimented me on what I was doing!  That was cool.

As most of you know, the Olympics are going on here in Vancouver right now.  (What, you didn't know?  Have you been living under a rock?  Or on an expedition to deepest, darkest Africa to find Dr. Livingstone?  I'll send you down the bobsled track on your belly for that one!)  Olympic fever has overcome the city, making it stranger than usual (and it is pretty strange).  Since we have some hockey games to go to, that's also why this is being posted on Saturday instead of Sunday.  Freakin' Olympics, messing up everything.

Anyway, on to #1 in this, the final list!  *sniff*

1) Sylvia: "Nobody" (#15, 1982)

Wow, first one off the block and I remember it! Sylvia was a country singer who crossed over to the Billboard chart with this song of infidelity. It's kind of a silly song, when you really listen to the words. I remember liking it when it came out, but listening to it now, I have to say that she doesn't have the greatest singing voice. (Hey, I was 12! I wasn't that discriminating at the time). It has one of those cliched plays on words ("Your nobody called today"). Still, it's not a truly horrible song.

It's just not that good.

Heard it Before? Would have said "no" before actually hearing it. Now, yes!!!
Heard it Before Total Index: 1-1 (one out of one)

2) Ta Mara & the Seen: "Everybody Dance" (#24, 1985)

Ah yes, another band to thank Prince for their "success". The music sounds like Prince, too, though I have no idea if he was actually involved in getting them started or not. (What? Me do research? Pshaw!) Ok, you twisted my arm. They weren't involved with Prince, but they are a product of the Minneapolis music scene that produced Prince, Sheila E, and so many other sound-a-likes.

The song definitely has a catchy beat, much like most Prince's songs. I could see myself dancing to this out on the dance floor in a club or something. However, listening to it in the comfort of my living room? Ehh. Not too bad, though.

Heard it Before? Not that I can remember, though I'm sure I did.
Heard it Before Total Index: 1-2

3) John Taylor: "I Do What I Do..." (#23, 1986)

From the film, 9 1/2 Weeks, this song by Duran Duran member Taylor sounds pretty much just like them. It's not the most interesting video, with the crowd just intently watching the movie and Taylor singing in the background (I'm waiting for one of them to turn around and tell him to shut his mouth). And the lip-syncing is *really* bad too. Oh no...Taylor's found the woman in the audience he's going to hit on!

I was never much of a Duran Duran fan (yes, I know, sacrilege!) So this song didn't really do that much for me. And the video is really silly too (though at least I was able to find one!) However, it's got a little bit of great sax (not going to *that* well again) at the end, which almost redeems it.


Heard it Before? I think so, but I can't really place it. Haven't seen the movie.
Heard it Before Total Index: 1-3

4) Timex Social Club: "Rumors" (#8, 1986)

Wow, I haven't heard this song for ages! But I remember liking it a lot back in the day and it's still a lot of fun. Yeah, like writing your Congressman is going to get *anything* done. The video, as usual, is silly, but this time it's fun too. You can tell the guy doesn't take things too seriously, despite the seriousness of the subject (hopefully you've never been the subject of a vicious rumor).

For some reason, it didn't sound quite like I remembered it, though. Not sure why that is, but it's quite clearly the original video, so I guess I'm just imagining things.

I'm prone to do that, you know.

Heard it Before? Can I get a "Hell, yeah"?
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-4

5) Vandenburg: "Burning Heart" (#39, 1983)

Yay, another hair band nobody's ever heard of! And they don't even have a crowd to give them positive reinforcement. Still, they've got some cool guitar work. This songs like a lot of the 80s rock ballads that were so successful, so it has a little familiarity too. That being said, it's not really a bad song. It just kind of blends in with all the others like it, not really standing out.

Kinda like me at a Dungeons & Dragons convention.

Heard it Before? Vague memories that don't trip the Memory-O-Matic.
Heard it Before Total Index: 2-5

6) Vangelis: "Chariots of Fire" (#1, 1982)

From the movie, Chariots of Fire, you would have to have been hiding in a cave (or not listening to any popular music) to have escaped this song. It was huge. This isn't when I became a Vangelis fan (that was a while after that), but this is one of his signature tunes in the popular consciousness. Vangelis is one of the huge stars in the electronica music genre (though maybe not as much now, I don't know).

Thus, I have nothing to say to mock this song. However, I am sure many of my readers (Hi, Steve!) won't like it. But that's ok.

They have no taste. :P

Heard it Before? Does Lindsay Lohan like women?
Heard it Before Total Index: 3-6

7) Don Williams: "I Believe in You" (#24, 1980)

Another country star that just crossed over the one time, this song is truly memorable to anybody who was listening to music at the time (unless you were, like, a Dead-Head or something). This song is essential for any self-esteem courses to make sure your kids feel good about themselves. Of course, they may hear it, say "why are you making me listen to this crap?" and start making trouble in school. Stupid kids, thinking they know better than their elders.

Actually, I'm typing this as I listen to the song, and I have to say I'm starting to get the sugar sickies...a little of this one goes a long way.

Heard it Before? Yep!
Heard it Before Total Index: 4-7

8) World Party: "Ship of Fools" (#27, 1987)

I had forgotten this song! Wow, this is so cool! I love this song, though the video hammers home the point of the song a little too much for my taste (ohhh, my aching head). Still, it's an awesome video too, very well done and imaginative. This song got me dancing in my seat, and the lead singer is clearly having fun performing. This is just a fun song to listen to, and a great way to end this long list.

Heard it Before? Wouldn't have said yes to the name, but hearing it? Yes!
Heard it Before Total Index: 5-8

So there you have it. Seventy-one true one-hit wonders of the 80s in countdown form. I'm glad that this final part had some songs I knew, because I was starting to get depressed. As I said in the first post, I left off the songs that were duplicated in the VH-1 list, so it doesn't cover *all* of the songs. However, you can see those songs on my VH-1 countdown, so there was no need to duplicate them here.

This one was fun to do too, even more so because I often didn't know what I was going to get. More often than not, the song was pretty crappy, making me wonder how the song ever hit in the first place (but confirming that there's a reason they were one-hit wonders to begin with). I love doing this 80s nostalgia, but is it really nostalgia when you don't remember it in the first place?

I think Aristotle had something to say about that. Or maybe DesCartes. Why am I getting this image of an old, bearded man in white robes jamming with his iPod right now? Probably because I'm over-tired. Or on drugs.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the list! I'm percolating some ideas for further lists, though I'm not 100% sure that they will start next week. But keep an eye out. They may be coming.

"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. Oh yeah... I remember "Nobody", "I Believe in You", "Rumors", and "Chariots of Fire"... I like "I Believe In You".

  2. Oh, I like "I Believe in You" too...maybe it's just my mood this morning. I'm allergic to sap today. :)

  3. Reading this made me smile and it seems as this is the last installment, I am going to have to go back and read the other 7. But, when I have these songs in my head (as I now do "Rumors"), I will know exactly who to blame! LoL

  4. Hi Bernadine

    Make sure you read the 10 posts about the VH-1 list too! I like to think those got pretty funny too.

    And I take no responsibility for inserting songs into your head. You're not taking me down for that. :P

    I'm hoping to have something along these same lines for next week, or at least in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned. I find they allow me to express even more the humorous side of my nature.

  5. Three out of 8 isn't bad I guess. I couldn't believe the 1st song I knew & loved. Number 6 I knew too. Of course I knew & liked Don Williams song. I thought I had albums of his so was surprised it was a one hitter. I've wondered what happened to him though. Hope you come up with something new & exciting now. I'm sure you will.

  6. LOL You knew #6? I expressly tailored my words so that you wouldn't be insulted if you didn't know it. So I'm glad you did. :)

    And again, he was only a one-hitter on the *Pop* charts. He had quite a few on the Country charts, I assume.


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