One Hit Wonders: 30 That Didn’t Make The List


We began our countdown of the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s last night. Of course, when we make our mega list for one of our Greatest episodes, we start with more than 100 titles. And there are lots of people who love the songs that don’t make it to the final cut. This time around some great music was pushed below the 100 mark. From Marshall Crenshaw to the Dream Academy to Al B. Sure, we thought we stack ‘em in a playlist and let it roll. Young MC, too, as you can tell from the above clip of “Bust A Move.” Watch ‘em all and weigh in on what you think about the fact that they weren’t included in the final tally.


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  1. Steve Krafcisin says:

    Why is Chris DEBURGH MAKE ONE HIT WONDERS OF 1980′S- WHAT ABOUT “Dont Pay the Ferryman” didnt it hit top 40 status? Lady in red and Dont pay the ferryman= 2 hits
    just wondering- great show

  2. Carter McFee says:

    Why was Robbie Nevil on the list? He not only hit with “C’est La Vie” but also “Dominoes” and “Wots It To Ya?,” the latter going top 10.

  3. Trey says:

    Falco “Rock Me Amadaeus” Timex Social Club “Rumours” Pseudo Echo “Funkytown” did not make the list?

  4. Bill Kody says:

    Falco did have two hits…Vienna Calling

  5. Dr. P says:

    Where is Spandau Ballet — did I miss something?

  6. karen says:

    What is the criteria for this list? How does one get on the list? because many a person on this list had more than one hit in the US.

    Flock of Seagulls- wishing (if I had a photograph), telecommunication and more

    Devo- Freedom of Choice, Satisfaction, That’s Good etc

    Annimotion- I engineer

    big Country- Look away, and in the 90′s The One I Love

    dead or Alive- Brand New Lover


    XTC- mayor of Simpleton, ballad of peter Pumkinhead, generals and majors, plans for nigel, etc…..

    boomtown Rats- UP ALL NIGHT

    Midnight oil- The Power and the Passion, Dead Heart, and BLUE SKY MINES (the entire album) 90′s

    Spandau Ballet- Gold, Chant No. 1

    Love and Rockets- Ball of Confusion, No New Tale To Tell, Sun and Moon, etc.

    Twisted Sister- We’re not gonna take it, I wanna Rock and the price (PLAYED OVER AND OVER on MTV in the 80′s)

    I can go on if you want me too….

    Off my soapbox… sorry

  7. Aaron says:

    What aabout Was-Not-Was, “Walk the Dinosaur”. Perhaps I am remembering it as an 80′s hit! Also, can we start a petition for 90′s hit????

  8. detum says:

    I really expected to see twilight zone by a little band called golden earring. Their other hit radar love was in 73.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I understand the concept of “one hit wonders”, according to US popular culture, in Europe and other parts of America (taking in consideration America is also formed by Mexico, Canada, Central America and South America and these last two are not part of the US), such as A-Ha, huge in Europe, Swing Out Sister, huge in Europe and Asia, Frankie Goes To Hollywood massive in Europe single after single, there were incredible, awesome songs that didn’t make the list: how can you not include “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora, “Lessons in love” by Level 42, “True” by Spandau Ballet, “Jeopardy” by Greg Kihn Band, “Centerfold” by The J. Geils Band, “BROKEN WINGS” BY Mr. Mister!!!
    God! I will always believe threi better taste and culture outside popular votes and specially outside US.

  10. JStarr says:


    I’ll give you Greg Kihn and Spandau Ballet (“Gold” is a debatable hit), but seriously. Level 42? “Something About You” was a bigger hit than “Lessons In Love,” even though both are great songs. Mr. Mister? How about “Kyrie”? And the immortal “Love Stinks” by J. Geils. None of those bands should be near a one-hit wonders’ list.

  11. Tangerinez77 says:

    Why didn’t 1991′s Dangerous album -Michael Jackson make it with Hits like Black or White…Jam and Dangerous..?

  12. mo reese says:

    How did they not Include “One Night in Bangkok” By Murray Head? It’s Only the greatest One hit wonder song of the 80′s!

  13. Bill Davis says:

    You have the most wretched site – links that don’t work and links that lead you to sites that are no longer available. Get a true web-master or take the site down.

  14. Matt Klipper says:

    I don’t think “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “What I Am” are the only hits from Twisted Sister and Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, respectively. Twisted Sister had other hits, too, like “I Wanna Rock”, “You Can’t Stop Rock & Roll”, “Under the Blade” et al, while Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians had “The Wheel”, “Circle” and a few other songs of Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars in addition to “What I Am”.

  15. Lansky says:

    Wow…It’s amazing that Timex Social Club “Rumors” never makes it to these VH-1 shows. I love this song and have it on my ipod for years.

  16. Kim says:

    I caught a glimps of the show the other day and was told that Peter Centera was only known for his “Glory Of Love” for the Karate kid, but I found that there is another tune of his that was pretty popular as well,called “You’re a hard habit to Break” and was it funny when I heard it cause I new every word!But I also know that there has to be even more from himm that were hits!!!

  17. tim says:

    the proclaimers “i’m gonna be (500 miles)” “round n’ round” bonnie tyler “total eclipse of the heart” tiffany “i think we’re alone now”

  18. Jon Q. Higgins says:

    Even though they bent the rules a little on some bands, and perhaps forgot a treasure here or there, the beauty of the list is that it does faithfully represent the contributions of those acts that filled in the cracks between Michael Jackson, Madonna, Duran Duran, and The Police – the ‘passeighties’, or the ‘clicheighties’, if you will. It is because of Young MC, Bananarama, Siouxsie and the Banshees, ABC, The Fixx, UB40, and the one that made the list, that the 80s had the weird, wonderful mix of pop and ‘sturm und drang’ that continues to fascinate newcomers and warm our memories today.