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80s one-hit wonders collage

And the ultimate one-hit wonder from the 80s is?

Classifying a song or artist as a one-hit wonder can be a bit tricky. An artist can be known for one song, but they may have written other hits or have had success in another band. Geographical differences in musical taste also complicate matters. Although bands like Frankie Goes to Hollywood or A-ha, for instance, are considered one-hit wonders in the States, they had a number of other songs charting in other countries. And sometimes you just can’t believe that your favourite new artist had only that one great song:

one-hit wonder meme

When it comes to the songs on the polling list below though, there can be little doubt that 90% of South African pop fans who lived through or treasure music from the decade of big hair and catchy (sometimes extremely cheesy) synthesizer sounds know and love only these songs by these artists.

But good luck with choosing how to vote, because this list would make one killer mix tape, sorry CD.

[poll id=”17″]

If you need some time making up your mind, just click play – guaranteed to put a smile on your face:

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  1. Eugene

    2 years ago

    The greatest 1 hit wonder song was definitely “Berlin – Take my breath away” from the Top Gun movie soundtrack.

    • Danie Marais

      2 years ago

      I hear you, Eugene, and in South Africa one could consider them one-hit wonders, but in the States they had three other hits before “Take My Breath Away”: “The Metro”, “Sex (I’m A…)” and “No More Words”. The latter got a lot of airplay in the early days of MTV.

  2. Riaan Burger

    2 years ago

    Scratch Men Without Hats off the list …..

    the band released the album Pop Goes the World in 1987 with Ivan, Stefan and Lenny Pinkas. The album’s title track reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the Canadian Singles Chart, and was #1 in Austria. The song was also featured in the 1987 film Date with an Angel and became the 15th biggest selling single in South Africa for 1988. The touring band added Bruce Murphy on keyboards and guitar, Marika Tjelios on bass, Richard Sampson on drums, and Heidi Garcia on vocals and keyboards.

  3. Danie Marais

    2 years ago

    I stand corrected, Riaan, thanks. I should rather have put “Da Da Da” by Trio on the list then. But it seems the Men Without Hats aren’t going to win this one anyway.

    • Riaan Burger

      2 years ago

      No problem Danie.
      I would not have been up to the task of selecting the Top 20. It brings back so many memories. With Men Without Hats I had to do some serious Googling to find out where it was in the charts. In my mind I thought it went higher than Safety Dance, but I was clearly wrong. I must have just remembered it better.
      DaDaDa – Hahaha
      What about Ride on Time by Blackbox? Or is that wishful thinking that they never produced anything else?
      19 by Paul Hardcastle?
      Anyway, keep up the good work.