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Breaking Away – Balance

Breaking Away – Balance

Here is a long-forgotten one-hit wonder from 1980. It’s “Breaking Away” by Balance and if there’s one thing you’ll remember about this song, it’s the phrase “I’m breaking away. Hooooo.” That’s because the chorus consists entirely of that single phrase: “I’m breaking away. Hoo-ooo.” Twenty-three times if my ear doesn’t deceive me in a song that is only 3-minutes and 14-seconds long. But “Breaking Away” has so many trademark 1980s sounds, it sounds like it was made … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Pop

Tired of Toein’ the Line – Rocky Burnette

Tired of Toein’ the Line – Rocky Burnette

For a brief time in the late 1970s and early 1980s, rockabilly was cool in the United States. The brilliant “Cruel to be Kind” by Nic Lowe hit #12 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1979, making Lowe a one-hit wonder. The Stray Cats had a buncha hits in 1983 that ultimately led to fame and fortune for guitarist and lead singer Brian Setzer who became a one-hit wonder himself when “Jump, Jive and Wail” reached … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Rock

One in a Million You – Larry Graham

One in a Million You – Larry Graham

Ready for an obscure and forgotten one-hit wonder that reached the Billboard Top 10 in 1980? I give you “One in a Million You” by Larry Graham. Remember it? Dig deep. Search your inner soul. If you’re drawing a blank, you’re not alone. I don’t know that any soft rock station in America plays “One in a Million You” anymore. But in 1980, Larry Graham was enjoying success as a smooth-singing solo artist. In my mind, he deserved it … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Pop

Ah! Leah! – Donnie Iris

Ah! Leah! – Donnie Iris

“Ah Leah” has to be one of the greatest examples of nerd rock from the 1980s. It’s like Bill Nye the Science Guy was miraculously merged with one-part Buddy Holly and two-parts Elvis Costello to create the persona of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers. Watch the video for proof. But if you just listened to the song, you might get hooked and peg this band as a Loverboy-like ’80s rock band with big guitars and harmonies. Remarkably, Donnie … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Rock

Take Your Time (Do It Right) – The SOS Band

Take Your Time (Do It Right) – The SOS Band

Is “Take Your Time (Do It Right)” by The SOS Band the last great disco one-hit wonder? I would argue it’s a natural bridge between late 1970s disco and early 1980s funk/r&b hits. The funky and distinctive analog synthesizer sounds of early ’80s funk in the mix peg it as a funk tune in the tradition of bands like The Gap Band and Cameo. But the guitar work, background vocals and orchestral bells peg this song … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime – The Korgis

Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime – The Korgis

Want lushly orchestrated ballads? Then you need The Korgis, a band of Brits who hit the Billboard Top 40 in 1980 thanks to their one and only American hit, “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime.” Released on the band’s second album, Dumb Waiters, “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime” reached #5 in the United Kingdom and #18 on the Billboard Top 40. Remarkably, it hit #1 in France and Spain, #3 in Germany and Netherlands and #18 in … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s