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She Blinded Me with Science – Thomas Dolby

She Blinded Me with Science – Thomas Dolby

“She Blinded Me with Science” by Thomas Dolby is one of the greatest synthpop one-hit wonders of all time. I’ll proudly place it in the same leagues as “Cars” by Gary Numan from 1979. Or “Pop Muzik” by M from 1979. Or “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles from 1979. Or “Whip It” by Devo from 1980. Or “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell from 1982. Or “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo from 1983. Or “Relax” by Frankie Goes to … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

Too Shy – Kajagoogoo

Too Shy – Kajagoogoo

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 … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

Whole Wide World – A’me Lorain

Whole Wide World – A’me Lorain

This song is so bad it’s good. Here’s the formula for its success. Take one-part Paula Abdul phrasing (think about “Straight Up” as you listen to “Whole Wide World”). Insert New Jack Swing and synthpop sounds (the kind of sound heard on “Friends” by Jody Watley and Eric B. and Rakim). Add a dash of a Debbie Gibson girl-next-door vibe (think about “Out of the Blue” or “Only in My Dreams”). Then add a heaping stack of pre-Britney … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Pop

Perfect Way – Scritti Politti

Perfect Way – Scritti Politti

Cupid & Psyche 85 is one of the most exceptional records produced in the 1980s. That’s one big claim, I realize. But the production on that LP is amazingly deep, soulful and funky. If you appreciate great production values and relentless hooks in a synthpop package, spin this record. “Perfect Way” is the big American hit. A song so bouncy and joyous, it reached #11 on the Billboard Top 40 in 1985 transforming Scritti Politti into … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Pop

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer

Another instrumental one-hit wonder coming your way today. This one from 1985 takes you back to one of the most influential TV series of all time. I’m not kidding when I write this. Miami Vice was a big deal visually, musically and stylistically. Its influence is still felt today. While we could rhapsodize about the cars Crockett and Tubbs drove (a black 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4 for Crockett and a 1964 Cadillac Coupe de … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Pop

Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer

Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer

In the world of instrumental one-hit wonders, few songs have as much staying power as “Axel F” by Harold Faltermeyer. This thing is seriously a monster hit, first appearing in the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop and starring Eddie Murphy at the height of his fame. Axel F is Axel Foley, Murphy’s streetwise cop character who drives Judge Reinhold nuts as they solve crimes and commit hijinks. If you haven’t seen Beverly Hills Cop, stop … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Pop