Sunday, January 05, 2014

Music Sunday: The "One-Hit Wonders of the 80s" Edition, Part II

Last week, I had to leave a lot of songs that I like out of my review of one-hit wonders of the 1980s. But this is another Music Sunday, and I couldn't see any reason not to do Part II of that post today, rather than some other Sunday.

In 1981, Soft Cell recorded "Tainted Love", a cover of a song recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965. The song didn't chart for her then, or when she re-recorded it in 1976. However, when Soft Cell released the song it eventually (after looking like it wasn't going to go much of anywhere) topped out at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1982, also going to number 4 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play list and to number 12 on the trade magazine's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart:

It also took a long time for "Come on Eileen", by Dexy's Midnight Runners to chart in the US. It was released in June 1982 bud did not reach number 1 on the Hot 100 until April of 1983. It also hit number 6 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and it made it as far as number 31 on the Got Adult Contemporary chart. Additionally, on VH-1's list of One-Hit Wonders of the 80s, "Come on Eileen" took the number one spot:

Big Country's "In a Big Country" was released in mid-1983 and by December it had peaked at number 17 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. This was actually one of my favorite songs at the time it came out:

"99 Luftballons", by the German band Nena became the highest-charting German song ever on US charts. In it's German version - there is also an English version - the anti-nuclear protest song peaked at number 2 on the Hot 100 in 1984:

Oddly enough, the English version did not chart in the US, although it went to number 1 in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. The lyrics in the English version are not an exact translation of the German lyrics:

Another one-hit wonder in the 80s was Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax". It's frankly sexual lyrics (although the band denied that for a while) got the single, released in late 1993, banned from the BBC for most of 1984 although other UK outlets were playing it. The ban didn't hurt sales of the single there, where it became the seventh-best selling single in UK charts history. In the United States, "Relax" peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100:

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