Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One-Hit Wonders, Part Three


Yesterday we left off with Lipps, Inc.'s 1980 hit "Funkytown." There were no pure one-hit wonders in 1981, not even Stars on 45, so our story resumes in the spring of 1982:

Vangelis, "Chariots of Fire," went to Number One in May 1982 Vangelis worked with Yes for several weeks in 1974 after Rick Wakeman left, but eventually decided not to join the band.

Toni Basil, "Mickey," December 1982 Basil, who started out as a choreographer on 'Shindig,' was pushing 40 when this song came out.

Dexy's Midnight Runners, "Come On Eileen," April 1983 Wikipedia lists 21 people who are former members of this band.

USA for Africa, "We Are the World," April 1985 Several members of this group did indeed have other Top Forty hits.

Jan Hammer, "Miami Vice Theme," November 1985 More recently, Hammer did the score for the TV movie 'The Babysitter's Seduction.'

Gregory Abbott, "Shake You Down," January 1987 This to me is the most surprising entry on the list, maybe because there were eight other mid-80s R&B crooners who sounded exactly like Gregory Abbott. He was once married to Freda "Band of Gold" Payne, who is 11 years older than him.

Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry Be Happy," September 1988 This ascended to the top spot on the day I got married.

Sheriff, "When I'm With You," February 1989 It was recorded in 1982, and the band broke up in 1985, but for some reason a DJ started playing it in 1988.

R*S*F (Right Said Fred), "I'm Too Sexy," February 1992 Whitburn calls them R*S*F, but heaven only knows why.

Sir Mix-a-Lot, "Baby Got Back," July 1992 Sir Mix-A-Lot went on to work with the Presidents of the United States of America, but they never released any of the material they recorded.

The Heights, "How Do You Talk to an Angel," November 1992 I bet the suits at MTV figured if they could only give this wimped-out Monkees a big hit song, the show would be a long-lived sensation.

Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle, "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)," March 1993 I wasn't sure how to score this one, since Peabo had other hits, but Regina never did.

Ini Kamoze, "Here Comes the Hotstepper," December 1994 How this found its way into a Robert Altman movie, I'll never understand.

And that's it, through the end of 2000. I end the list at 2000 for both practical reasons and because it's still too early to know if any acts from this decade will be shut out from future hits. Nobody really wants James Blunt to have another hit, but hey, it could happen; even Daniel Powter managed to slither his way back into the Top Forty.

4 comments:

Innocent Bystander said...

Didn't Vagelis have a hit with the singer of Yes, Friends of Mr Cairo?

Tom Nawrocki said...

That got a little airplay, but it wasn't a Top Forty hit.

Innocent Bystander said...

Ah, okay. Where I grew up (Toronto), it received such massive airplay that I assumed it was a big hit... Actually, just looked it up and it was a big hit in Toronto -- it was #6 on 1050 Chum's Top 100 of 81. Reference: http://www3.sympatico.ca/craig.smith/chum81.htm

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