Category Archives: 1986

One Hit Wonders: Eddie Murphy

Party All the Time by Eddie Murphy

by Robert Mishou

For the each of the first two weeks of this One Hit Wonder series I have one actor who turned singer and I can see no reason to deviate from this, so here is this week’s actor. Growing up – and even today – I LOVE EDDIE MURPHY! Way back when my best friends and I were allowed to watch his stand up Delirious and quickly moved through 48 Hours and all of his other films, I have diligently studied his work. Oh, ok, you got me – no studying, just laughing my butt off. Yes, it was very strange for him to record a music album – and Rick James’ presence may be even stranger, but this catchy song absolutely deserves a place in the all time great One Hit Wonder of the ‘80s. The song reached #2 on the AT 40 and finished at #7 for the entire year of 1986. This song, written by Rick James, was kept out of the top spot on the charts by Lionel Richie’s “Say You Say Me” – so close, but a worthy song denied the peak spot. Lyrically, this song is the ultimate in simplicity. A guy is ga-ga over a girl and is trying to give things that she likes:

Girl, I can’t understand it why you want to hurt me
After all the things I’ve done for you.
I buy you champagne and roses and diamonds on your finger –
Diamonds on your finger –
Still you hang out all night
What am I to do?

The source of his frustration lies in the catchy-as-hell chorus, “My girl wants to party all the time.” She does not seem to be taking his efforts seriously. By song’s end, it does not seem that the situation will come to a satisfying conclusion for him, “You never come home at night because you’re out romancing / I wish you bring some of your love home to me.” The song is light, but I love it! Murphy’s ‘80s musical career did not last long, although he will release another album So Happy, in 1989 but he would have no more hit singles.

One Hit Wonders: The Georgia Satellites

Keep Your Hands to Yourself by The Georgia Satellites

by Robert Mishou

I definitely have a liking for Southern rock. Thirty-Eight Special is one of my favorite bands as well as one of the best concerts I have ever been to. The Georgia Satellites have more of country sound in vocalist Dan Baird, but the music rocks. This song, released in 1986, reached #2 on the AT 40 and is instantly recognizable, remaining one of the more popular One Hit Wonders to come out of the ‘80s. No complex lyrics here- just a guy who wants a girl, but she is insisting on marriage first. Excellent guitar work accompanies somewhat tongue-in-cheek lyrics like:

B-B-B-baby baby baby why you want treat me this way
You know I’m still your lover boy I still feel the same way
That’s when she told me a story, ’bout free milk and a cow
And said no hug-ee no kiss-ee until I get a wedding vow
My honey my baby, don’t put my love upon no shelf
She said don’t hand me no lines and keep your hands to yourself

I think this is one of the more ‘fun’ songs from the ‘80s. It sure seemed like the Georgia Satellites had what it took to be band that would be around for a while, but it was not meant to be. Dan Baird would later hit the charts with the equally fun song “I Love you Period”, and while the band is still performing, they have undergone major lineup changes with guitarist Rick Richards being the only original member remaining.

There you have five more classic One Hit Wonders from the decade with the best all time One Hit Wonders. There will be five more coming at you next week.

One Hit Wonders: Oran “Juice” Jones

The Rain by Oran “Juice” Jones

by Robert Mishou

In 1986 my best friends (LeRoyce and Marvin) and I fell in love with this song and played it constantly for an entire month. It is not the best song or even our favorite from that decade (that honor probably belongs to Prince’s “Purple Rain”), but we did love this song and the somewhat humorous telling of a story that ends with poetic justice. “The Rain” reached #9 and gave the impression that Jones would be on the charts for a long time, but, like everyone else featured in this series, it was not meant to be – if you gotta have only one hit, though, this is a great one. The story is a simple one: rich boy meets girl – they fall in love – girl fools around – boy drops girl, you know, that old chestnut. The listener is not surprised at the outcome because the song begins with the man finding out about the illicit affair. The song opens with the chorus, “I saw you and him walking rain / You were holding hands and I will never be the same.” So, decision time. He makes the easy and spiteful decision to drop her – but not without a few choice words. This part of the song was our favorite. As I look back on it now, it is a bit silly, but we waited for it every time and just cracked up at this spoken section of the song. After he lets her know he saw her with another man he says:

[I was] So upset with you I don’t know what to do
My first impulse was to run up on you
And do a Rambo
Whip out the jammy and flat-blast both of you
But I ain’t wanna mess up this thirty-seven hundred dollar lynx coat
So instead, I chilled
Instead, he decided to take all of his wealth away from her and leave her with nothing. Then comes our favorite part:
You gotta get on outta here with that
Alley-cat-coat wearin’
Crumb cake I saw you with
Cause you dismissed
That’s right, silly rabbit
Tricks are made for kids, don’t you know that?
You without me: like cornflake without the milk
It’s my world–you just a squirrel, tryin’ to get a nut
Now get on outta here – you’re dismissed

Yes, it does seem silly now, but we loved it then.

Hold up, hold up, hold up! DON’T YOU ALL BE CLOSING OUT THIS WINDOW JUST YET!! You just listened to the Juice’s side of the story. This is Miss Thang over here, and now you’re gonna listen to my side of the story! Watchu smiling at, Robert!? So, Oran “Juice” Jones cracks you up? Well, let me tell you somethin’. Juice ain’t nothin’ but a punky, whiny excuse of a man. Woooow! He had one hit! Well so did I. He sang about “The Rain”, which I’m assuming is a metaphor for his tears. Well, I brought the “Thunder & Lightning”.
Check out these lyrics I dropped on him:

You finished now, baby?
Are you finished reading me?
‘Cause I’m gettin’ ready to read, write and erase you

It’s about time you saw me and him walking in the rain
As a matter of fact
That seemed to be the first thing you noticed about me in months
You better sit down, baby
And get out the umbrella
‘Cause there’s gonna be a storm tonight

First things first
Don’t be fronting like you gonna pull no Rambo on me
Because no attitudeless, Jheri curl gigolo jerk
Is gonna put his hands on me

Too get the full affect, why don’t you just take a listen yourself:

Hi Everybody, Paul here. Wow, that Miss Thang came out of nowhere. They don’t make response songs like that anymore. I can’t believe it’s been 30 years since these songs were released!

So, whose side are you on in this battle, Oran “Juice” Jones or Miss Thang? I haven’t done a poll on here in a while.

One Hit Wonders: Don Johnson

Today, Robert wraps up this week of one-hit wonders. If you missed the previous songs, they were:

Sly Fox
Midnight Oil
Nik Kershaw
Jack Wagner

Now, here is the final song of the week…

Heartbeat by Don Johnson

Let’s keep the actor turned singer theme going today. Don Johnson is a much more famous actor than yesterday’s Jack Wagner and in 1986 he parlayed his acting success in Miami Vice into an album and hit single. “Heartbeat” reached #5 on the AT 40 and the album included videos for each song that worked together as a long play video that told one complete story. Don Johnson is not a fool and he asked trained musicians to work with him on the album; the song “Heartbeat” features the guitar being played by Dweezil Zappa. This song (and the others on the album) fit into the rock genre. It is not complex and the vocals are just adequate (not Steve Perry here), but it is catchy and difficult to ignore. Lyrically it is less complex – a guy looking to fall in love. He is getting close:

Looking at me, it’s easy to see
You think you know just how I feel
But you do me wrong, it won’t take me long
For my restless heart to heal

I will be completely transparent here – I love this song and album. I am a sucker for guitars and bass, as well as a sappy ballad and this album has all of that. I still listen to it frequently and enjoy it every time. Unfortunately, the video for “Heartbeat” which feature Don Johnson playing a reporter covering a war, it not available. The videos to the other songs on Heartbeat are, so check those out.

I hope these songs have rekindled an interest in an artist you have not listened to in a while. So, go back into the record or cassette collection, pull one of these albums (or singles) out, listen and enjoy. Come back next week for five more One Hit Wonder classics.

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Nancy Martinez

“For Tonight” by Nancy Martinez

Canadian Nancy Martinez was popular in her home country, but she only had one top 40 hit in the U.S. – “For Tonight”. Martinez (who is fluent in both English and French) recorded “For Tonight” for the Canadian Sizzle label. Atlantic Records picked up the song in the U.S., and also released the album that the song was from – Not Just The Girl Next Door. “For Tonight” went to number two for two weeks on the dance charts, and peaked at #32 on December 27, 1986.

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Timbuk3

“The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” by Timbuk3

Timbuk3 was formed in 1984 in Madison, Wisconsin by the husband and wife team of Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals, drum programming) and Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals). In 1986 they released their first album, Greetings from Timbuk 3, which included their only single to chart, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”.

While the title of the song sounds positive, Pat revealed on VH1’s “100 Greatest
One-hit Wonders of the ’80s” that this was a misinterpretation. The bright future was referring to impending nuclear holocaust. It doesn’t matter though, as the song was a big hit for Timbuk3, peaking at #19 on December 27, 1986 in the U.S., and they were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987.

After the successful debut, Timbuk3 gradually faded away. They did go on to record five more albums, but nowhere near as successful as their debut. They would break up in 1995.

Let’s Return to the ’80s where “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”:

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – David and David

“Welcome to the Boomtown” by David and David

David & David was a duo of studio musicians David Baerwald and David Ricketts. Their debut single, “Welcome to the Boomtown” (from their debut album, Boomtown), was a hit, peaking at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 29, 1986. David & David disbanded shortly after Boomtown and Baerwald and Ricketts continued to work with other musicians. They both collaborated with Sheryl Crow on her debut LP, Tuesday Night Music Club.

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Oran “Juice” Jones

“The Rain” by Oran “Juice” Jones

Oran “Juice” Jones hit it big with his crossover single, “The Rain”, off of his debut album Juice. The song reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart for two weeks, making it the first #1 R&B hit issued by the then newly created Def Jam record label. It peaked at #9 on the mainstream charts on November 15, 1986.

Unfortunately, Oran could not follow-up on the song’s success, and retired after his third album flopped. He took care of his terminally ill mother, and raised a family. Jones contributes to a number of hip hop blogs, including Houston’s and Global Grind.

“The Rain” is ranked #63 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the ’80s. During the show, Jones was asked about his one-hit wonder status. His reply was: “He came, he saw, he conquered, he moved on. You dig?” Let’s Return to the ’80s when Oran “Juice” Jones came, saw and conquered, with his hit “The Rain”:

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson

“Friends and Lovers” by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson

“Friends and Lovers” was recorded by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson in 1985, but wasn’t released on a record label until 1986. Gloria Loring was married to Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) from 1970 until 1983. Beginning in 1980, she played Liz Chandler on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. Her character was a lounge singer, so she performed several songs on the show. One of the songs was “Friends and Lovers”, which became the theme music for one of the popular supercouples on the show in the mid ’80s, Shane Donovan (The Nanny‘s Charles Shaughnessy) and Kimberly Brady (Patsy Pease). Carl Anderson, best known for playing Judas Iscariot in both the stage and movie versions of Jesus Christ Superstar, appeared on Days of our Lives and performed the duet with Loring.

When the song was finally released, it was a smash hit, peaking at #2 on September 27, 1986. It was kept out of the top spot by “Stuck with You” by Huey Lewis and the News, and it remained in the Top 40 for 14 weeks. “Friends and Lovers” would be the only Top 40 hit for either performer. Loring would leave Days of our Lives the same year the single appeared on the music charts. Anderson died on February 23, 2004 after a long battle with leukemia.

“Friends and Lovers” may have been Gloria Loring’s only Top 40 hit, but many of us are very familiar with another song she performed – the theme from The Facts of Life, which she co-wrote with her then-husband, Alan Thicke. They are also the parents of Robin Thicke, who is a popular musician these days. But forget about him. Let’s Return to the ’80s, and slow dance to “Friends and Lovers”:

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Double

“The Captain of Her Heart” by Double

Double was a duo from Switzerland, consisting of Felix Haug (drums and keyboards) and Kurt Maloo (guitar and vocals). Their hit song, “The Captain of Her Heart”, came from their first full length album, 1985’s Blue. The song was an international hit, reaching all the way to #8 on the U.K. The song peaked at #16 on the U.S. charts on September 13, 1986. They followed up with the 1987 album Dou3le. It was not as successful as their previous album, and they broke up shortly after.

Kurt Maloo pursued a solo career, in the course of which he has released four albums Single (1990), Soul and Echo (1995), Loopy Avenue (2006) and Summer Of Better Times (2009). Felix Haug died following a heart attack on May 1, 2004.

Now, let’s Return to the ’80s, and take another listen to Double’s “The Captain of Her Heart”: