The 80s were a blast! So many amazing songs that made us dance, sing and feel alive. Some artists who created these songs became legends, while others faded away after their one big hit.
These are the One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, and they deserve our respect and admiration for bringing us joy and nostalgia with their music.
What is a One-Hit Wonder
A one-hit wonder is a term used to describe a musical artist or a song that achieves excellent popularity and success for a short period of time but fails to replicate or sustain it.
One-hit wonders are often associated with novelty songs, catchy hooks, or viral phenomena that capture the public’s attention but do not reflect the artist’s true talent or potential.
About our playlist of 80s one-hit wonders
If you love the music of the 80s, you will enjoy our playlist of 80s one-hit wonders.
These are songs that were only popular for a short time but left a lasting impression on listeners. Some of these songs are catchy, some are quirky and some are just plain fun.
Let us highlight some of them for you.
“Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners
Let’s start with Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners.
This song is about a young man who is in love with a girl named Eileen and wants to take their relationship to the next level.
He tries to persuade her to forget about the past and the social norms that hold them back and to embrace their passion.
He also reminisces about their childhood and how they used to dance together.
The song is a catchy and upbeat tune that mixes pop, soul, and folk influences and features a prominent violin solo.
Music Charts performance “Come On Eileen”
The British band released the song in 1982. It became a huge hit, reaching number one in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and several other countries.
The song is considered one of the most iconic songs of the 1980s and has been covered by many artists.
“Respect Yourself” by Bruce Willis
You won’t believe who’s next on our playlist! It’s the one and only Bruce Willis!
That’s right, the action star also had a musical career in the 80s, and his catchy song “Respect Yourself” was a big hit back then.
You’ll love this funky tune that shows off Bruce’s vocal skills and charisma. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Bruce Willis sing his heart out!
Music Charts performance “Respect Yourself”
So Bruce Willis is not only an acclaimed actor but also a singer.
He released his debut album, The Return of Bruno, in 1987. One of the album’s singles was Respect Yourself, a cover of a soul song by The Staple Singers.
The song reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number seven on the UK Singles Chart.
In addition to the successes on the music charts, there was also the nomination for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Respect Yourself was one of Bruce Willis’ most successful songs as a singer.
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
Don’t worry. Be happy. We’ll highlight one more for you.
It’s none other than Bobby Mc Ferrin with the song…. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. A real earworm. We guarantee you’ll be humming or whistling the song a few more times during the day!
This song is about finding joy in any situation, no matter how bad it seems. It reminds us that worrying solves nothing and that happiness is a choice we can make. Bobby Mc Ferrin wrote and sang this song in 1988 and it became a hit worldwide.
It is also one of the few songs without instruments, just Bobby’s voice and the sounds he makes with his body. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this catchy and uplifting song. Don’t worry, be happy!
Music Charts performance “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin is a catchy and upbeat tune that became a hit in 1988. It was the first a cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it held for two weeks.
McFerrins’ song reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and number one in Canada. It was inspired by the expression “Don’t worry, be happy” that was used by Indian mystic Meher Baba.
The song features only McFerrin’s voice and other sounds made by him, such as whistling and humming. The song won three Grammy Awards in 1989, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Although there are many more songs worth highlighting, we’ll leave it at this so you can start enjoying the playlist! So what are you waiting for?
List of 80s One-Hit Wonders
|Year||Title - Artist|
|1980||Tired of Toein' the Line - Rocky Burnette|
|1980||Funkytown - Lipps Inc.|
|1980||Set Me Free - Utopia|
|1980||Take Your Time - S.O.S. Band|
|1980||Steal Away - Robbie Dupree|
|1980||Into the Night - Benny Mardones|
|1980||Ashes by Now - Rodney Crowell|
|1980||Whip It - Devo|
|1980||Turning Japanese - The Vapors|
|1980||Somebody's Knockin' - Terri Gibbs|
|1981||Just the Two of Us - Grover Washington, Jr.|
|1981||867-5309/Jenny - Tommy Tutone|
|1981||Tainted Love - Soft Cell|
|1981||Key Largo - Bertie Higgins|
|1981||Harden My Heart - Quarterflash|
|1981||Pac-Man Fever - Buckner and Garcia|
|1981||Lunatic Fringe - Red Rider|
|1981||Is It You - Lee Ritenour|
|1981||Genius of Love - Tom Tom Club|
|1981||Just So Lonely - Get Wet|
|1981||General Hospi-Tale - The Afternoon Delights|
|1981||Theme from The Greatest American Hero - Joey Scarbury|
|1981||You Could Take My Heart Away - Silver Condor|
|1981||Mickey - Toni Basil|
|1981||Double Dutch Bus - Frankie Smith|
|1981||Der Kommissar - After the Fire|
|1981||Genius Rap - Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde|
|1981||Sausalito Summernight - Diesel|
|1982||Don't Let Him Know - Prism|
|1982||Someday, Someway - Marshall Crenshaw|
|1982||Take Off - Bob and Doug McKenzie|
|1982||She Blinded Me with Science - Thomas Dolby|
|1982||Forget Me Nots - Patrice Rushen|
|1982||Let It Whip - Dazz Band|
|1982||I Melt with You - Modern English|
|1982||Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners|
|1982||I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow|
|1982||Personally - Karla Bonoff|
|1982||Love Plus One - Haircut One Hundred|
|1982||The Safety Dance - Men Without Hats|
|1982||Pass The Dutchie - Musical Youth|
|1982||What Do All The People Know - The Monroes|
|1982||I Ran - A Flock of Seagulls|
|1982||Nobody Said It Was Easy - LeRoux|
|1982||I Know What Boys Like - The Waitresses|
|1982||Hooked on Swing - Larry Elgart and His Manhattan Swing Orchestra|
|1982||Johnny Are You Queer? - Josie Cotton|
|1982||Holdin' On - Tane Cain|
|1982||It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls|
|1982||Fantasy - Aldo Nova|
|1982||Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant|
|1983||Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo|
|1983||Rappin' Rodney - Rodney Dangerfield|
|1983||Far From Over - Frank Stallone|
|1983||True - Spandau Ballet|
|1983||AEIOU Sometimes Y - Ebn Ozn|
|1983||Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood|
|1983||Maniac - Michael Sembello|
|1983||I Eat Cannibals - Toto Coelo|
|1983||(Feels Like) Heaven - Fiction Factory|
|1983||I Know There's Something Going On - Frida|
|1983||The Politics of Dancing - Re-Flex|
|1983||The Salt in My Tears - Martin Briley|
|1983||Major Tom - Peter Schilling|
|1983||Puttin' On the Ritz - Taco|
|1983||Let the Music Play - Shannon|
|1983||In a Big Country - Big Country|
|1983||Too Shy - Kajagoogoo|
|1983||Break My Stride - Matthew Wilder|
|1983||99 Luftballons - Nena|
|1984||One Night in Bangkok - Murray Head|
|1984||The Curly Shuffle - Jump 'n the Saddle Band|
|1984||Missing You - John Waite|
|1984||Birds Fly - The Icicle Works|
|1984||The Warrior - Scandal|
|1984||A Girl in Trouble - Romeo Void|
|1984||Wouldn't It Be Good - Nik Kershaw|
|1984||Somebody's Watching Me - Rockwell|
|1984||Take on Me - A-ha|
|1984||White Horse - Laid Back|
|1984||Almost Paradise - Mike Reno|
|1984||Obsession - Animotion|
|1984||Tenderness - General Public|
|1984||All I Need - Jack Wagner|
|1984||You Spin Me Round - Dead or Alive|
|1984||Easy Lover - Philip Bailey|
|1984||It's My Life - Talk Talk|
|1984||In My House - Mary Jane Girls|
|1984||10-9-8 - Face to Face|
|1984||Turn Up the Radio - Autograph|
|1985||Tarzan Boy - Baltimora|
|1985||Heartline - Robin George|
|1985||Body Rock - Maria Vidal|
|1985||You Look Marvelous - Billy Crystal|
|1985||Oh Yeah - Yello|
|1985||Voices Carry - Til Tuesday|
|1985||Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy|
|1985||Axel F - Harold Faltermeyer|
|1985||Tender Love - Force MDs|
|1985||Perfect Way - Scritti Politti|
|1985||Don't You - Simple Minds|
|1985||Cry - Godley & Creme|
|1985||19 - Paul Hardcastle|
|1985||Life in a Northern Town - The Dream Academy|
|1986||The Super Bowl Shuffle - Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew|
|1986||You're a Friend of Mine - Clarence Clemons|
|1986||We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off - Jermaine Stewart|
|1986||I Wanna Be a Cowboy - Boys Don't Cry|
|1986||Live is Life - Opus|
|1986||Breakout - Swing Out Sister|
|1986||For Tonight - Nancy Martinez|
|1986||Digging Your Scene - The Blow Monkeys|
|1986||Friends and Lovers - Gloria Loring|
|1986||Keep Your Hands to Yourself - The Georgia Satellites|
|1986||Heartbeat - Don Johnson|
|1986||The Lady in Red - Chris de Burgh|
|1986||Tuff Enuff - The Fabulous Thunderbirds|
|1986||Hanging On a Heart Attack - Device|
|1986||C'est La Vie - Robbie Nevil|
|1986||Rumors - Timex Social Club|
|1986||The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades - Timbuk 3|
|1986||Two of Hearts - Stacey Q|
|1986||(I Just) Died in Your Arms - Cutting Crew|
|1986||Funkytown - Pseudo Echo|
|1986||The Rain - Oran "Juice" Jones|
|1986||I Can't Wait - Nu Shooz|
|1986||Ship of Fools - World Party|
|1986||Captain of Her Heart - Double|
|1986||Feel It Again - Honeymoon Suite|
|1986||Dear God - XTC|
|1986||Don't Leave Me This Way - The Communards|
|1987||Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil|
|1987||Respect Yourself - Bruce Willis|
|1987||Heart and Soul - T'Pau|
|1987||Catch Me - Pretty Poison|
|1987||Living in a Box - Living in a Box|
|1987||At This Moment - Billy Vera|
|1987||Boom Boom - Paul Lekakis|
|1987||She's Like the Wind - Patrick Swayze|
|1987||Fascinated - Company B|
|1987||Lean on Me - Club Nouveau|
|1987||I Don't Mind At All - Bourgeois Tagg|
|1988||The Promise - When in Rome|
|1988||Shattered Dreams - Johnny Hates Jazz|
|1988||It Takes Two - Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock|
|1988||What I Am - Edie Brickell & New Bohemians|
|1988||Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley - Will to Power|
|1988||Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin|
|1988||There She Goes - The La's|
|1988||Just Got Paid - Johnny Kemp|
|1988||Ritual - Dan Reed Network|
|1988||Pump Up The Volume - MARRS|
|1988||What's On Your Mind - Information Society|
|1988||Da' Butt - E.U.|
|1988||Rush Hour - Jane Wiedlin|
|1988||Under the Milky Way - The Church|
|1988||Edge of a Broken Heart - Vixen|
|1988||Supersonic - J.J. Fad|
|1988||Tomorrow People - Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers|
|1988||I Beg Your Pardon - Kon Kan|
|1989||I Remember Holding You - Boys Club|
|1989||Talk It Over - Grayson Hugh|
|1989||Buffalo Stance - Neneh Cherry|
|1989||Cuddly Toy - Roachford|
|1989||Angel Eyes - Jeff Healey|
|1989||The Ballad of Jayne - L.A. Guns|
|1989||House of Pain - Faster Pussycat|
|1989||So Alive - Love and Rockets|
|1989||Toy Soldiers - Martika|
|1989||Just a Friend - Biz Markie|
|1989||Rock On - Michael Damian|
|1989||Where Are You Now? - Jimmy Harnen with Synch|
|1989||When I'm with You - Sheriff|
|1989||Black Velvet - Alannah Myles|
Spotify Playlist 80s One-Hit Wonders
80s One-Hit Wonder Music Videos
Final Thoughts – One-Hit Wonder 80s
This concludes our selection of one-hit wonders of the 80s.
These songs captured the spirit and trends of a decade that was full of changes and challenges.
We hope you enjoyed listening to them and reliving some memories. If you haven’t had enough of one-hit wonders yet, we highly recommend the list of One-Hit Wonder of the 1990s!
In conclusion, thank you for tuning in, and stay tuned for more music from the past and present.