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One Hit Wonders of 1982

Looking back, it’s obvious that 1982 was a transition year as pop music tastes swung wildly from new wave fun (“Tainted Love” by Soft Cell and “Love Plus One” by Haircut 100) to novelty hits (“Take Off” by Bob and Doug McKenzie featuring Geddy Lee of Rush and “Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner and Garcia”).

Two classical songs (“Chariots of Fire Theme” and “Hooked on Classics”) and one big-band song (“Hooked on Swing”) also reached the top 40.

“Hooked on Swing” is essentially warmed-over big-band music with a disco beat. It is truly awful.

Indeed, it was a strange time to listen to the radio.

The biggest song of the year was “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor from Rocky III.

Ultra-sensitive ballads were still in the mix. Sneaker hit #34 with their enduring Toto meets Electric Light Orchestra-sounding “More Than Just the Two of Us.” Charlene delivered the ridiculously sentimental “I’ve Never Been to Me” that features the spoken-word section with the following lyrics:

Hey, you know what paradise is?
It’s a lie
a fantasy we created about people and places
as we like them to be
but you know what truth is?
it’s that little baby you’re holding
and it’s that man you fought with this morning
the same one you are gonna make love to tonight
that’s truth that’s love

Toni Basil released the cheerleader anthem/singalong “Mickey.” And mega-selling rock band Rush notched their only appearance in the top 40 with “New World Man” from Signals.

1982 is also the year that Ozzy Osbourne bites the head off a bat during a performance, launching one of the great rock legends of all time. Sadly, a few months later Ozzy’s wunderkind guitarist, Randy Rhodes, is killed when his airplane buzzes Ozzy’s tour bus, then crashes into a house and bursts into flames killing everyone on board. And yet another rock legend is born.

Oh yeah, and a little album named Thriller by a guy from Indiana named Michael Jackson was released in November of 1982. It’s only the biggest album of all time with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide.

But what I really care about are the one-hit wonders of 1982. It was a good year for one-hit wonders with 34 bands hitting the Billboard Top 40 for their first and only time. In the mix are two number one songs: “Mickey” by Toni Basil and “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis.

So, without further ado, here is a list of one-hit wonders from 1982.

Click to see more lists of 1980s One-Hit Wonders

Hear the One-Hit Wonders of 1982

List of 1982 One-Hit Wonders

Song Artist Top Position Buy
More Than Just the Two of Us Sneaker 34
Hooked on Classics Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 10
All Our Tomorrows Eddie Schwartz 28
Call Me Skyy 26
Don’t Let Him Know Prism 39
Pac-Man Fever Buckner & Garcia 9
Take Off Bob and Doug McKenzie 16
Key Largo Bertie Higgins 8
Nobody Said It Was Easy (Lookin’ For the Lights) Le Roux 18
Mama Used to Say Junior 30
Genius of Love Tom Tom Club 31
Goin’ Down Greg Guidry 17
If I Had My Wish Tonight David Lasley 36
Chariots of Fire Theme Vangelis 1
I’ve Never Been to Me Charlene 3
Fantasy Aldo Nova 23
Murphy’s Law Cheri 39
Stone Cold Rainbow 40
Forget Me Nots Patrice Rushen 23
Let It Whip Dazz Band 5
Tainted Love Soft Cell 8
Hooked on Swing Larry Elgart and His Manhattan Swing Orchestra 31
Nice Girls Eye to Eye 37
Personally Karla Bonoff 19
Love Plus One Haircut 100 37
If the Love Fits Wear It Leslie Pearl 28
And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going Jennifer Holliday 22
Someday, Someway Marshall Crenshaw 36
Valley Girl Frank Zappa 32
Holdin’ On Tane Cain 37
New World Man Rush 21
Nobody Sylvia 15
I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World) Donald Fagen 26
Mickey Toni Basil 1

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I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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