20 of the Greatest 1 Hit Wonders of the 80s

See how many of these you can remember. This is just my opinion, but I’d love to hear yours and any I’ve left off the list!!

1 A-Ha: “Take On Me” (one of my favorite songs of all time. WOW, THAT GUY CAN SING HIGH!!)
2 Tommy Tutone: “867-5309 / Jenny” (I can’t even imagine the royalties Mr. Tutone is still making on this song! BTW, last year, someone sold this phone number on Ebay for A LOT of money.)
3 Soft Cell: “Tainted Love” (What an amazing song. Marilyn Manson did a remake that didn’t hold up quite as well)
4 Toni Basil: “Mickey” (Toni now teaches dancing to up-and-coming teeny-bopper acts. That song still sounds fresh to my ears)
5 Berlin: “Take My Breath Away” (Top Gun anyone?)
6 Bow Wow Wow: “I Want Candy” (Not to be confused with Lil’ Bow Wow)
7 Michael Sembello: “Maniac” (Again, one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES. This song still sounds amazing to my ears)
8 Frankie Goes to Hollywood: “Relax” (Frankie sounds like he really liked Depeche Mode and Duran Duran to me)
9 Dexy’s Midnight Runners: “Come on Eileen” (Midnight Runners? Weird name for a band for sure. Of course…1000 Generations….)
10 Thomas Dolby: “She Blinded Me With Science” (I wonder if he’s related to the Dolbys who came up with Dolby Noise Reduction for cassettes? Remember that?)
11 Devo: “Whip It” (Devo actually had a few other songs, but none reached the cult status of this tune. WAY ahead of their time!)
12 Nena: “99 Luft Balloons” (Luft = Air. In case you were wondering. Yep, I took German in college.)
13 Rick Springfield: “Jessie’s Girl” (originally titled “Gary’s Girl.” No joke. I think he chose wisely to re-title it.)
14 Rockwell: “Somebody’s Watching Me” (TobyMac did a remake of this tune that was super cool. Check it out)
15 Twisted Sister: “We’re Not Gonna Take It” (Lipstick, fishnets, and a crowd singing the chorus is all you need. Hmmm…next album?)
16 Edie Brickell & New Bohemians: “What I Am” (What happened to Edie? She married Paul Simon and they are still together!)
17 Extreme: “More Than Words” (AMAZING song. BUT, all the other songs on that album were pretty bad. So much so that it was the #1 returned album in record stores in the 80s)
18 Harold Faltermeyer: “Axel F” (The theme song from Beverly Hills Cop. Super cool 80s synthesizer song. Also one of the first songs I learned to play on piano)
19 The Buggles: “Video Killed the Radio Star” (no it really didn’t, but it definitely made MTV pretty successful)
20 Bobby McFerrin: “Don’t Worry Be Happy” (though Bobby has done quite well in the jazz arena, this was his only big commercial success. I absolutely LOVE this song)

So, there you have it. My top 20 of the greatest 1 hit wonders of the 80s. In my opinion, the 80s were an awesome time for movies, music, and synthesizer (though admitting, not much of an era for hairstyles). Did I miss anything?

Rocking the 80s,


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tater
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 08:41:32

    Thomas Dolby is a genius. I have every album of his. 8 in total. One of the best keyboard players and is responsible for audio on cell phones. He owns a company in Silicone Valley called Beatnik that created the technology for cell audio and midi. Check out is one-man show called Sole Inhabitant and be amazed at what you can do with keyboards!


  2. ChuckBill
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 12:20:56

    the 80’s was a time in my life when I actually did listen pop radio. What I loved about it was that electronic synth was a new technology and everyone was exploring what was possible with it.

    Oh and a bit of trivia, the tune for We’re Not Gonna Take it came from a re-arranging of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” Dee Snider was raised in a Christian family.


  3. Marcia
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 13:03:03

    Thomas Dolby (born Thomas Robertson) was not related to Dolby Labs. At one point the tried to get him to stop using the name but the courts decided that they had no right to restrict his name usage. It was agreed that the musician wouldn’t release any electronic equipment using the name.


  4. Cindy Davis
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 14:33:49

    Here is a few you might enjoy. Too shy by Kajagoogoo and Wishing well by Terrence Trent Darby. I love 80’s music!


  5. Steven Andy
    Jan 29, 2011 @ 00:33:45

    Yes: Owner of a Lonely Heart
    Mr. Big: To Be With You
    Cutting Crew: Died in you arms
    Howard Jones: Things can only get better


  6. ChuckBill
    Jan 29, 2011 @ 00:53:33

    Oooohhh Howard Jones. Thanks for the reminder, I gotta add him to my Rhapsody list. I started listening to him when I was about 15 because I thought I should listen to something light to balance out my heavy metal listening. Most of my metal friends at that time loved Howard Jones.


  7. Steven Andy
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 11:54:25

    “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love Tonight” by the Outfield!!


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