The ’80s are famous for one-hit-wonders . . . and a new list breaks down the weirdest one from each year in the decade.
1. 1980: “Into the Night”, Benny Mardones . . . There’s something odd about a song which could inspire such emotion, when you consider that it’s about a 34-year-old guy falling for a 16-year-old. My reaction is, ‘LEAVE HER ALONE YOU CREEP!” But the song made it because it’s one of only 10 songs to make the Top 20 in the Billboard Hot 100 twice, once in 1980 and again in 1989.
Hard to believe anyone could watch this video and not feel incredibly creeped out…
2. 1981: “General Hospi-Tale”, The Afternoon Delights . . . It mixed the ‘rap’ of Blondie’s “Rapture” with plot recaps from the soap opera “General Hospital”. It also rhymed ‘Anybody likes to blab’ with ‘Richard Simmons helps fight flab.’
3. 1982: “Hooked on Classics (Parts 1 & 2)”, Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra . . . A mash-up that blitzed through 17 pieces of iconic classical music in five minutes. One of them is “Rhapsody in Blue”, so it’s hard to listen to it now, without thinking of United Airlines.
4. 1983: “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, Taco . . . This one is self-explanatory.
5. 1984: “The Curly Shuffle”, Jump ‘N the Saddle Band . . . A swingy, brassy tribute to The Three Stooges. Somehow, it soared to #15 on the Hot 100.
6. 1985: “19”, Paul Hardcastle . . . Arguably the first techno song to go mainstream, it set audio from a Vietnam War documentary to dance music.
7. 1986: “Tarzan Boy”, Baltimora . . . A tribute to Tarzan that, in a way, was to the ’80s what Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” was to the ’90s.
8. 1987: “Respect Yourself”, Bruce Willis . . . It was a cover of a 1971 Staple Singers song. Bruce’s featured June Pointer and The Pointer Sisters. It came out right when his acting career was taking off. His singing career never did.
9. 1988: “Pump Up the Volume”, M.A.R.R.S. . . . This hit blended house music, hip-hop, and some glorious, synthesized cowbell.
10. 1989: “When I’m with You”, Sheriff. The thing that made this power ballad “weird” is that it was able to make it all the way to the top of the charts WITHOUT a music video, which was basically unheard of in the prime of the MTV era.
Also, the band is Canadian, and it didn’t hit #1 in the U.S. until 1989, which was FOUR YEARS after they broke up.
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