4 of the Best Rock One-Hit Wonder Bands From the 1980s

The 1980s were one heck of a time for the best rock one-hit wonder bands. It seems like the decade generated a ton of hits that are still listenable today, but few can remember the names of the bands or musicians that released them. At least they got their 15 minutes of fame! Let’s take a look at four examples of the best rock band one-hit wonders from the 1980s.

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1. Kix

These glam metal one-hit wonders from the 1980s rose to fame with their 1988 hit “Don’t Close Your Eyes”. The band started with humble beginnings in Maryland before the song launched them into the spotlight. The single’s album Blow My Fuse resonated with audiences after three previous albums failed to find footing. Their subsequent album Hot Wire didn’t do quite as well commercially. They faded from the spotlight around 1995, and have launched just a few reunion tours since.

2. After The Fire

“Der Kommissar” was technically a cover of a German song by Falco. It wasn’t until After The Fire released the song in English that it found international fame, and the band along with it. The UK-based rock band went on to open for the likes of Van Halen in 1982 and “Der Kommissar” hit no. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, the group struggled with personal drama and they disbanded in 1983.

3. Midnight Oil

“Beds Are Burning” kicked off this Australian rock band’s international career in 1987. They were super popular in their home country, but it wasn’t until Diesel And Dust came out that they got some global attention. “Beds Are Burning” is a politically loaded track that criticized the Australian government, and a lot of people resonated with it. It was their only Top 17 song in the US, and they haven’t reached that level of international fame since. But luckily, they’re still considered legends in Australia.

4. Dexys Midnight Runners

Everyone and their mother knows the song “Come On Eileen”. It just takes one listen for it to get stuck in your head. However, few might remember the band Dexys Midnight Runners, or at the very least their name. This pop-rock outfit from the UK peaked internationally with “Come On Eileen”, and it was their only US hit. They’re still occasionally performing today in their home country, albeit with a very different lineup.

Photo by Gie Knaeps

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