One Hit Wonders: 1980-1989

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Tags: 
  • 1980

  • "Ashes By Now" - Rodney Crowell (37)
  • "Cars" - Gary Numan (9)
  • "Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime" - The Korgis (18)
  • "I Believe In You" - Don Williams (24)
  • "Only A Lonely Heart Sees" - Felix Cavaliere (36)
  • "Pilot Of The Airwaves" - Charlie Dore (13)
  • "Tired Of Toein' The Line" - Rocky Burnette (8)
  • "Turning Japanese" - The Vapors (36)
  • "Who'll Be The Fool Tonight" - Larsen-Feiten Band (29)
  • 1981

  • "Chariots Of Fire - Titles" - Vangelis (1) (previously charted as part of Jon & Vangelis, with Yes vocalist Jon Anderson)
  • "General Hospi-Tale" - The Afternoon Delights (33)
  • "Seven Year Ache" - Roseanne Cash (22)
  • "Sweet Baby" - Stanley Clarke/George Duke (19)
  • "Sausalito Summernight" - Diesel (25)
  • "Just So Lonely" - Get Wet (39)
  • "Love You Like I Never Loved Before" - John O'Banion (24)
  • "Nicole" - Point Blank (39)
  • "Hooked On Classics" - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (10)
  • "Precious To Me" - Phil Seymour (22)
  • "You Could Take My Heart Away" - Silver Connection (32)
  • "Double Dutch Bus" - Frankie Smith (30)
  • "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through" - Jim Steinman (32)
  • 1982

  • "Genius Of Love" - Tom Tom Club (31)
  • "Holdin' On" - Tane Cain (37)
  • "Hooked On Swing" - Larry Elgart And His Manhattan Swing Orchestra (31)
  • "I Know There's Something Going On" - Frida (13) (member of ABBA)
  • "If I Had My Wish Tonight" - David Lasley (36)
  • "If The Love Fits Wear It" - Leslie Pearl (26)
  • "Love Plus One" - Haircut One Hundred (37)
  • "Mama Used To Say" - Junior (30)
  • "Murphy's Law" - Cheri (39)
  • "Nobody" - Sylvia (15)
  • "Someday, Someway" - Marshall Crenshaw (36)
  • "Take Off" - Bob & Doug McKenzie (16)
  • 1983

  • "99 Luftballoons" - Nena (2)
  • "Baby I Lied" - Deborah Allen (26)
  • "Burning Heart" - Vandenberg (39)
  • "The Curly Shuffle" - Jump 'N The Saddle Band (15)
  • "I Couldn't Say No" - Robert Ellis Orrall with Carlene Carter (32)
  • "Just Got Lucky" - JoBoxers (36)
  • "The Popcorn Song" - Cliffie Stone And His Orchestra (88)
  • "Puttin' On The Ritz" - Taco (4)
  • "The Salt In My Tears" - Martin Briley (36)
  • "Whirly Girl" - Oxo (28)
  • 1984

  • "10-9-8" - Face To Face (38)
  • "Breakin'…There's No Stopping Us" - Ollie & Jerry (9)
  • "Centipede" - Rebbie Jackson (24) (part of the Jackson 5)
  • "A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)" - Romeo Void (35)
  • "Tragedy" - John Hunter (39)
  • "Turn Up The Radio" - Autograph (29)
  • "Whisper To A Scream (Birds Fly)" - Icicle Works (37)
  • "White Horse" - Laid Back (25)
  • 1985

  • "Axel F" - Harold Faltemeyer (3)
  • "Beat's So Lonely" - Charlie Sexton (17)
  • "Cry" - Godley & Creme (16) (members of 10cc)
  • "Miami Vice Theme" - Jan Hammer (1)
  • "Sun City" - Artists United Against Apartheid (38)
  • "We Are The World" - USA For Africa (1)
  • "When Your Heart Is Weak" - Cock Robin (35)
  • "You're A Friend Of Mine" - Clarence Clemons (18)
  • 1986

  • "Baby Love" - Regina (10)
  • "The Captain Of Her Heart" - Double (16)
  • "Digging Your Scene" - The Blow Monkeys (14)
  • "Facts Of Love" - Jeff Lorber (27)
  • "For Tonight" - Nancy Martinez (32)
  • "Friends And Lovers" - Gloria Loring & Carl Anderson (2)
  • "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" - Timbuk 3 (19)
  • "I Do What I Do…(Theme for 9½ Weeks)" - John Taylor (23) (member of Duran Duran)
  • "I Wanna Be A Cowboy" - Boys Don't Cry (12)
  • "Live Is Life" - Opus (32)
  • "One Step Closer To You" - Gavin Christopher (22)
  • "The Rain" - Oran "Juice" Jones (9)
  • "Rumors" - Timex Social Club (8)
  • "Stay The Night" - Benjamin Orr (24) (vocalist & bassist for The Cars)
  • 1987

  • "As We Lay" - Shirley Murdock (23)
  • "Fascinated" - Company B (21)
  • "Heart And Soul" - T'Pau (4)
  • "The Honeythief" - Hipsway (19)
  • "Lies" - Jonathan Butler (27)
  • "Mary's Prayer" - Danny Wilson (23)
  • "Pump Up The Volume" - M/A/R/R/S (13)
  • "Serious" - Donna Allen (21)
  • "She's Like The Wind" - Patrick Swayze (3)
  • "Ship Of Fools (Save Me From Tomorrow)" - World Party (27)
  • "Soul City" - Partland Brothers (27)
  • 1988

  • "Da'Butt" - E.U. (35)
  • "Don't Worry Be Happy" - Bobby McFerrin (1)
  • "I Remember Holding You" - Boys Club (8)
  • "Love Changes (Everything)" - Climie Fisher (23)
  • "My Girl Josephine" - Suave' (20)
  • "Ritual" - Dan Reed Network (38)
  • "Thanks For My Child" - Cheryl Pepsii Riley (32)
  • "Under The Milky Way" - The Church (24)
  • "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" - Judson Spence (32)
  • "You Don't Know" - Scarlett & Black (20)
  • 1989

  • "Cuddly Toy (Feel For Me)" - Roachford (25)
  • "Don't Close Your Eyes" - Kix (11)
  • "Downtown" - One 2 Many (37)
  • "Heaven Help Me" - Deon Estus (5)
Author Comments: 

There are probably as many definitions of "one hit wonder" as there are one hit wonders, and here's one more. For this list I'm selecting artists that had just one song in the top 40 of Billboard's Hot 100 Singles charts, and no other entries anywhere in the top 100. This will account for some of the more popular one-hit wonders being omitted (Tommy Tutone had a top 40 single prior to the phone # song, for example).

On a few occasions some artists had technically a single hit, but were part of a previous group that did have several charting singles. I've done my best to mark those.

Finally, if anybody spots any mistakes, please do let me know.