80s One-Hit Wonders That Deserve More Recognition
The 80s was a decade of pop culture phenomenon, and with music being no exception. There were countless hit songs during this decade, but not every artist who had a hit song enjoyed long-term success. This article celebrates some of the 80s one-hit wonders who deserve more recognition and appreciation.
Climie Fisher – “Love Changes (Everything)”
Climie Fisher was a UK-based pop duo consisting of Simon Climie and Rob Fisher, who achieved international success with their hit single “Love Changes (Everything)” in 1987. However, despite the song’s catchy melody and memorable chorus, the duo failed to achieve further chart success. The song has been covered by several artists, including Michael Ball and Vanessa Williams, and it remains a popular karaoke choice to this day.
Kajagoogoo – “Too Shy”
Kajagoogoo was a British band that gained international fame with their hit single “Too Shy” in 1983. The band’s quirky new wave sound, combined with Limahl’s distinctive vocals, made them stand out from other bands of the era. Despite the success of “Too Shy,” the band struggled to replicate its success and eventually disbanded in 1985. Limahl continued to record as a solo artist, but “Too Shy” remains his most well-known song.
Timbuk3 – “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”
Timbuk3 was a folk-rock band from Austin, Texas, who gained popularity in 1986 with their hit single “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.” The song’s infectious melody and satirical lyrics made it a favorite among college students and radio listeners. While the band released several more albums, none of their subsequent singles achieved the success of “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.”
Tom Tom Club – “Genius of Love”
The Tom Tom Club was formed by former Talking Heads members Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. Their 1981 hit single “Genius of Love” is a classic example of early hip-hop and new wave fusion. The song has been sampled by numerous artists, including Mariah Carey, Massive Attack, and Grandmaster Flash. Despite the influence of “Genius of Love” on modern music, the Tom Tom Club remains a somewhat underrated band of the 80s.
Rockwell – “Somebody’s Watching Me”
Rockwell, whose real name is Kennedy William Gordy, is the son of legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy. In 1984, he scored a hit with the paranoid-themed “Somebody’s Watching Me,” which featured guest vocals from Michael Jackson. The song’s creepy lyrics and catchy chorus made it a staple of 80s pop culture. Despite the success of “Somebody’s Watching Me,” Rockwell’s subsequent releases failed to garner the same attention.
Men Without Hats – “The Safety Dance”
Men Without Hats were a Canadian synth-pop band who scored a hit single in 1983 with “The Safety Dance.” The song’s infectious melody and quirky lyrics made it an instant classic, and it was featured in several movies and TV shows. Despite the success of “The Safety Dance,” the band struggled to replicate its success with subsequent releases and eventually disbanded in 1991. However, the song remains a beloved 80s classic.
DeBarge – “Rhythm of the Night”
DeBarge was a family band from Michigan who scored a hit with their 1985 single “Rhythm of the Night.” The song, which featured lead vocals from El DeBarge, was produced by legendary producer Quincy Jones and was featured in the movie “The Last Dragon.” Despite some success with subsequent releases, DeBarge never achieved the same level of success they enjoyed with “Rhythm of the Night.”
The 80s was a decade of music that produced many hits and unforgettable artists, but not every one who had a hit single saw long-term success. The one-hit wonders listed in this article are just a few examples of talented artists who deserve more recognition and appreciation for their contributions to pop culture. As we look back on the music of the 80s, we should remember these artists and their hit songs, which continue to be beloved by fans of all generations.