Ahhh, the one-hit wonder! They have been around since music has been charted. There was definitely no shortage of them in the ’80s. There are many reasons for them. They could have been a fad. They may not have been able to handle their quick fame. Or, just because they were a one-hit wonder in the U.S. doesn’t mean they didn’t have hits in other countries. For the purpose of this new series, I will go through the One-Hit wonders in the U.S.
We’ll start with the One-Hit Wonders of 1980. First up:
“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang
The Sugarhill Gang started off strong. Their hit, “Rapper’s Delight” was the first ever hip-hop song to become a top-40 hit. The song peaked at #36 on January 12, 1980.
All of the members of the group, Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee, hailed from Englewood, New Jersey. The Sugarhill Gang never again topped the charts, though they had a few minor hits, such as “Apache”, “Eighth Wonder”.
In 1999, they reunited and recorded Jump on It!, a hip hop children’s album. They continue to tour.
“Rapper’s Delight” was brought back to our attention with The Wedding Singer:
Here is a wrap-up of the Horrible and Great hits of the ’80s. I threw all the songs from my previous lists of each year, and picked my least favorite and favorite songs of the decade.
So, this is basically a Greatest Hits compilation of the Hits – Horrible and Great series.
The Horrible Hits came quite easy to me, and fell right into place. My favorites were a little tougher. They are always rotating in and out. Since I love so much ’80s music, it is difficult leaving some songs off the list.
Well, without further adieu:
10. If This Is It – Huey Lewis and The News
Stick with the up-tempo songs, Huey! I loved every song on the Sports album – except for this one. It’s slow, boring, and there’s no feeling in it.
9. Harden My Heart – Quarterflash
This is one of the most overplayed ’80s songs out there. I’ve heard this song more in the past couple of years than I did during the entire ’80s decade! And it’s not even on my iPod! This may not have made the list if it were not so overplayed. This song is a little to slow for me, but not slow enough to be a good ballad. I can’t change the station fast enough when it comes on the radio.
8. Two Hearts – Phil Collins
I love Phil Collins, but this was probably the most overplayed among his overplayed songs.
7. Smooth Operator – Sade
The Stuck in the 80s guys were told to keep this song off their Horrible list. It did sound like they wanted it on there though. So, I will place it on my list yet again. Is this even a song? It is more like slow torture! Slow, slow torture.
6. True – Spandau Ballet
Ah, Ah-Ah-ah, AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! I can’t stomach this song. It is too boring, and it high on some kind of wuss factor. I’ll have to admit that it was funny seeing Steve Buscemi singing this song at the end of The Wedding Singer:
Unfortunately, since the song was included in the movie, it was also included on the movie’s soundtrack. Why didn’t they leave this song off, and put on “Do You Believe In Love”?
5. Stand – R.E.M.
This song is like a whiny “Hokey Pokey”. The only song I liked by R.E.M. was “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”, and then they disappeared.
4. Red Red Wine – UB40
Neil Diamond was a great songwriter. But, this was not one of his better songs, that’s for sure! I don’t know why it was remade, and I don’t understand why this was a hit. This is another song that comes on, and I can’t change the station fast enough.
3. Mandolin Rain – Bruce Hornsby and the Range
Bruce Hornsby has a unique sound on his piano. Unfortunately, every song I’ve heard by him sounds exactly the same. And they are all horrible. I can’t turn this song off fast enough as soon as I hear it.
2. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
Two of the greatest music artists of all time took the biggest dump on the biggest album of all time! Uggh, this song makes me want to rip my ears off and rip all the skin off my face! The “doggon” song bites the big one! Especially when they start yapping in the song. This song should be taken off of all copies of Thriller, and be replaced by “Say, Say, Say”.
1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
How can I be happy when this crap comes on the radio!? Don’t tell me what to do, Bobby McFerrin! I was perfectly happy until this song came on and annoyed the crap out of me. Ooooooo! There’s no instruments. He makes all the sound effects with his mouth! Impressive! If I want that, I don’t have to subject myself to this dreck. I’ll just put on some Police Academy to watch Michael Winslow.
10. Lost In Your Eyes – Debbie Gibson
My favorite Debbie Gibson song. Even people who weren’t into the teen music, at the time, liked this song. It is still great today.
9. Hard Habit to Break – Chicago
I still love this Chicago ballad! This was in the middle of their comeback during the David Foster years. I got sick of “You’re the Inspiration”, but I never got sick of this song. Unfortunately, the band became known more for their ballads. Their rock songs are just as good. But, “Hard Habit to Break” is one of my all time favorite Chicago songs.
8. Down Under – Men At Work
This song was a breakthrough for Men At Work, and basically introduced the U.S. to Australia and vegemite sandwiches. This is a fun song, and Colin Haye has a great unique voice. The band had a great string of hits. Will they get back together already?!
7. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran
This song got a lot of people into Duran Duran. The exposure on MTV didn’t hurt either. I liked it when it came out because the video reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But, even without the video, the song itself is really good.
6. Like a Prayer – Madonna
This was Madonna at the peak of her career. This is my favorite song by her.
5. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
This is a great song without the video. But, much like “At This Moment” is linked with Family Ties, “Here I Go Again” will forever be linked with the video and Tawny Kitaen. How many of us guys wished that we were that car?!? 24 years later I still love this song. It stands the test of time for me.
4. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
A perfect rock anthem. This is a fun song, that really rocks, and is still popular today. With all the great smash hits that Def Leppard has, this is one of the best.
3. The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
A really emotional song that packs quite a punch. Paul Carrack sounds great. The music and message are just awesome.
2. Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds
The ultimate ’80s song from the ultimate ’80s movie. You can’t think of one without the other. It even has staying power as this song is played while the losing American Idols are being booted. This song does get played alot, but somehow I cannot get sick of it.
1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
“Don’t Stop Believin'” is one of my all time favorite songs, even after all these years. Everybody still gets into this song. And a new generation has even found it, as it became extremely popular from the television show Glee. Don’t Stop Believin’ this song will live on forever.
According to the Washington Post, Nick Ashford, of Ashford & Simpson, died yesterday at the age of 70. Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits, died in a New York City hospital, said publicist Liz Rosenberg, who was Ashford’s longtime friend. He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment, she told The Associated Press. They had some of their greatest success at Motown with classics like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand” by Diana Ross.
They also wrote “I’m Every Woman”, which was originally performed by Chaka Khan and later remade by Whitney Houston.
But for us ’80s fans, their most populat hit was “Solid”, which was released in 1984:
The duo was married for 38 years.In recent years, the pair continued to perform. They also were owners of the New York City restaurant Sugar Bar, where many top names and emerging talents would put on showcases.
In 2002, Ashford & Simpson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Ashford is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Whoa! I set the time machine too far back! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Let’s jump back into the ’80s. I’ll pick a song from my first cassette – “Tomorrow” from Unmasked by Kiss was one of my favorites: