3 Beloved 1980s Hard Rock Bands Who Never Made Another Top 40 Song

Hard rock thrived in the 1980s, especially in the United States. In fact, that decade birthed a number of new genres and trends in rock music, and bolstered the careers of major bands that are still rockin’ in the 2020s. Surprisingly, there were also a few bands that only released one Top 40 hit during their careers despite being household names. Let’s look at three famous 1980s hard rock one-hit wonders who only released one Top 40 song!

Videos by American Songwriter

1. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister

Virtually everyone knows the band Twisted Sister. They’re one of the most well-known hard rock and glam metal bands of all time. It’s kind of shocking that “We’re Not Gonna Take It” was the hard rock band’s only Top 40 hit. And it’s still a certified earworm today that is used in film, television, and commercials.

2. “Turn Up The Radio” by Autograph

Younger readers might be surprised to learn that there was once a time when musicians didn’t use product placement advertising in their music videos. Autograph was one of the first bands to do so through their sponsorship with Paper Mate. At the beginning of the music video for “Turn Up The Radio”, the band can be seen signing something with the brand’s erasable pen. The sponsorship scored Autograph a bigger budget, but “Turn Up The Radio” was their only Top 40 hit.

3. “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider

Tom Cochrane led this hard rock band before he hit the charts with “Life Is A Highway”. Red Rider’s only hit song was “Lunatic Fringe”, and it was quite catchy at the time of its release. However, this song technically didn’t chart at all, despite being quite popular in Canada. We think it’s worth a spot on this list, namely because Red Rider never released another radio-heavy hit after it.

Photo via ‘The Best of the Atlantic Years’ Album Cover / Atlantic Records

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