In my opinion, the era of 1982-1984 is one of the most important time periods in the history of popular music. You can read my opinions in more detail in One-Hit Wonders of 1983. But suffice it to say, it was a year for really, really big records and really, really big breakthroughs.
Let’s talk about the breakthrough acts and one-hit wonders who charted in the Billboard Top 10 in 1983 alone.
“She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby reached #5.
That song was followed by “Der Komisar” by After the Fire, which also reached #5.
Then a band of young London-based Jamaican kids reached #10 with “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth.
And today’s entry, “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo reached #5 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1983 making Kajagoogoo a one-hit wonder.
All these songs were considered new wave.
All these songs featured videos that were played on MTV night and day.
All these songs have been packaged and re-packaged into nostalgic compilations of 1980s hits so many times, I’ve lost count.
All these songs are beloved by children of the 1980s.
And “Too Shy” has to be one of the all-time greatest synthpop and new wave one-hit wonders.
Listen to “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo
(NOTE: Original YouTube Video may not work on mobile devices like an iPad or iPod but WORKS on computers!)
Watch a live version of “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo
Kajagoogoo was Fronted by a waif of a singer named Limahl.
Hold on…I have to stop right there. The dude’s name is Limahl. Not John Limahl. Not Limahl Smith. Just Limahl. He was a one-named artist like Sting and Prince even before Limahl was famous.
Limahl I admire your hubris, even if Limahl is an anagram of your last name, which is Hamill and your first name is Christopher.
It meant nothing but told you everything you needed to know about the band.
Slight. Whimsical. These guys weren’t going to rock you like a hurricane. They were far too shy. But they had big, no, make that HUGE hair that, in the end, always got them the cute girls while the rockers made due with ladies that were more Joan Jett than Madonna (you decide which is better; I’m not one to judge).
Too shy shy…
Kajagoogo didn’t last long as a band. Just long enough to release their debut album, White Feathers, as the original five-piece version of Kajagoogo. Lead singer Limahl left (or was fired depending on whose story you believe) soon after the band became famous and went on to release his own single titled “The Never-Ending Story” for the movie of the same name.
“The Never-Ending Story” reached #17 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1985, placing Limahl in the rare club of two-time one-hit wonders.
Then he disappeared.
Buy “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo
The parallels between the musically slight Kajagoogoo and Haircut 100 are remarkable here. Band releases record. Big hit ensues. Girls (and some boys) love the band. Lead singer leaves for limited solo success. Band breaks up).
Call me sensitive. Call me a sissy. But I will always love “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo as much as “Hells Bells” by AC/DC. They’re both sentimental reminders of my childhood and perfectly perfect pop songs.
Watch a little video history of Kajagoogoo
Filed under: 1980s · Tags: 1983, After the Fire, British one-hit wonder, Der Komisar, Duran Duran, kajagoogoo, Limahl, Musical Youth, new romantic band, New Wave, Nick Rhodes, Pass the Dutchie, She Blinded me with science, synthesizer, Synthpop, Thomas Dolby, too shy, White Feathers