4 of the Best Pop One-Hit Wonders From the 1980s

The 1980s were a great time for one-hit wonders. It’s unclear what it was about this decade of music that delivered so many hits, but not quite as many enduring careers or additional chart-topping songs. Regardless, here are four of the best pop one-hit wonders from the 1980s!

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1. “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors

This new wave/pop hit by the Vapors came out in 1980. It got quite a bit of attention and even peaked at no. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was a catchy, addicting song that is a great example of new wave pop music during that era. However, the song’s album New Clear Days was The Vapors’ only chart-topper in the US. Their 1981 album Magnets didn’t even chart in the Top 100. They broke up that year and returned in 2016 for a few reunion runs.

2. “Pass The Dutchie” by Musical Youth

This reggae-pop classic was a real banger, and Musical Youth as a band was refreshing to hear in 1982. The UK-based band hit the charts with the song, which reached no. 1 in a number of different countries and no. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, the group’s subsequent album Different Style! barely charted, and the band broke up in 1985. They’ve gotten back together a few times in the years since.

3. “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Taco

Most people know this tune, whether or not you were around to hear it back in 1982. Taco modernized the decades-old song at that point, and it was a certified hit. The synth-pop track made it to no. 4 on the Hot 100, but it was unfortunately the only internationally successful single from the singer. His last album was released in 1987.

4. “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo

Kajagoogoo’s debut track is by far one of the pop one-hit wonders of the 1980s. This new wave/pop group really blew up after the release of their first single ever, “Too Shy”, in 1983. It reached no. 5 on the Hot 100. Kajagoogoo released a few albums after their debut throughout the 1980s, but none of them charted nearly as well as the “Too Shy” album White Feathers.

Photo via YouTube

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