15 Best One Hit Wonders Of The 80s

The 80s was a decade filled with memorable one hit wonders, with artists achieving massive success with just one song.

From “Take On Me” by A-ha to “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell, the 80s produced some of the catchiest and most iconic songs of all time.

Other notable one hit wonders of the era include “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners, “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, and “Whip It” by Devo.

These songs continue to be popular today and are often played at parties and events as classic throwback hits.

15 Top Hits of The 80s

1. “C’mon Eileen“ by Dexy’s Midnight Runners

“C’mon Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners was a smash hit in the 80s music scene and remains one of the most iconic songs of that era.

It is considered to be one of the quintessential 80’s one hit wonders album songs, as it catapulted the band to fame but they were never able to replicate its success with subsequent releases.

The song’s infectious beat and catchy chorus made it an instant classic among 80s music hits.

Its fusion of Celtic folk influences and new wave elements gave it a unique sound that set it apart from other songs on the charts at that time.


Even today, “C’mon Eileen” remains a popular choice for retro-themed parties or events.

Despite being labeled as an 80’s one hit wonder, “C’mon Eileen” has left an indelible mark on pop culture and continues to be celebrated decades later.

It serves as a reminder of how powerful music can be in shaping our memories and experiences, especially during such a vibrant decade for music like the 1980s.

2. “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles

The iconic song “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles is a prime example of the 80s one hit wonders.

Released in 1979, it quickly became a chart-topping hit and remains an essential part of any 80 songs hits playlist to this day.

The song’s catchy melody and lyrics perfectly capture the essence of the era, as music videos began to take over from traditional radio broadcasts.

While many one-hit wonders of the 80s were forgotten after their brief moment in the spotlight, “Video Killed the Radio Star” has endured as a classic example of 80’s music.


Its inclusion on numerous compilation albums and movie soundtracks has ensured that new generations continue to discover its infectious energy.

Whether you’re reliving your youth or discovering it for the first time, this track is sure to get you dancing.

Despite being just one among many one-hit wonders of the 80s, “Video Killed the Radio Star” holds a special place in musical history.

It was not only The Buggles’ biggest success but also marked an important turning point in popular culture.

As technology continued to advance throughout that decade, music videos became increasingly influential – forever changing how we experience music today.

3. “Mickey” by Toni Basil

The 80s were known for producing several one-hit wonders, and Toni Basil’s “Mickey” was no exception.

Released in 1982, the song became an instant hit and spent seven weeks on top of the charts.

It was a catchy tune that people couldn’t get enough of, and it quickly became one of the most recognizable songs of the decade.

What made “Mickey” stand out from other top hits of the 80s was its music video. The video featured cheerleaders dancing to the beat while wearing colorful outfits, which perfectly captured the fun and vibrant spirit of 1980s music.


The video’s popularity helped propel “Mickey” to even greater heights, making it a staple at parties and events throughout the decade.

While Toni Basil never achieved another hit quite like “Mickey,” her contribution to 80’s music videos cannot be denied.

Her infectious energy and unique style left an indelible mark on pop culture during that time period.

Even today, nearly four decades later, “Mickey” remains a beloved classic that continues to inspire new generations with its upbeat tempo and memorable lyrics.

4. “Take On Me” by A-ha

“Take On Me” by A-ha is one of the most iconic songs from the 80s. It’s a classic that has stood the test of time and continues to be played on radio stations all over the world.

The song was released in 1985 and quickly became a hit, reaching number one on charts around the globe.

A-ha was one of many popular 80’s music artists who produced some of the greatest hits of that era. They were known for their unique sound, which blended pop, rock, and new wave elements together seamlessly.


“Take On Me” perfectly captures this style with its catchy melody, upbeat tempo, and memorable chorus.

The success of “Take On Me” helped make it part of an elite group known as the 80 greatest hits.

This list includes some of the most popular songs from that decade and features other great artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and more.

With its infectious beat and unforgettable hook line “Take on me”, it’s no wonder why this song has become such an enduring favorite among fans of 80s music greatest hits everywhere.

5. “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats

The catchy tune “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats has earned its place in the list of 80s greatest hits.

The song’s infectious rhythm and upbeat melody have made it a popular choice for dance parties even to this day. This Canadian band’s hit single is one of the best one-hit wonders that emerged from the 80s music scene.

With its unique blend of new wave, punk rock, and folk influences, “The Safety Dance” stands out among other 80s music hits.


Its lyrics about individuality and freedom resonated with many listeners during that time period. The song became an instant classic due to its memorable chorus and catchy synth riff.

Men Without Hats may not have produced any other significant chart-toppers after “The Safety Dance,” but their contribution to pop culture cannot be denied.

Their signature tune remains a timeless favorite among fans of 80s music hits worldwide, proving that sometimes all it takes is one great song to make a lasting impact on the industry.

6. “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone

Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” is a classic 80s pop hit that remains popular to this day. The song was released in 1981 and quickly became one of the greatest hits of the 80s.

It tells the story of a man who finds a phone number written on a bathroom wall and decides to call it, hoping to reach Jenny.

The song’s catchy melody and upbeat tempo made it an instant success. Tommy Tutone became one of the most recognizable 80s pop stars thanks to “867-5309/Jenny.”


The song’s popularity even led to some real-life Jennys receiving unwanted calls from fans trying to recreate the experience.

Despite its simple premise, “867-5309/Jenny” has endured as one of the defining songs of the decade.

Its infectious chorus and memorable guitar riff have cemented its place in music history, ensuring that Tommy Tutone will always be remembered as one of the great 80s pop stars.

7. “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell

Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” is a timeless classic that has stood the test of time. Released in 1981, it quickly became one of the most popular songs of the decade and remains an iconic track to this day.

The song is based on Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love,” which was released in 1964, but Soft Cell’s version took on a life of its own.

One reason for the song’s enduring popularity is its catchy melody and memorable lyrics. The chorus, with its repetition of “I’ve got to run away,” is instantly recognizable and easy to sing along to.

In fact, it was ranked as one of the top 80s best music videos by VH1 due to its infectious beat and unique style.


“Tainted Love” also stands out because it was accompanied by a visually stunning music video that perfectly captured the spirit of the times.

It featured lead singer Marc Almond performing against a backdrop of flashing lights and neon colors while surrounded by dancers dressed in leather jackets and fishnet stockings.

This video helped solidify Soft Cell’s place as one of the leading brands in the new wave movement.

Overall, Soft Cell’s rendition of “Tainted Love” remains one of the defining songs from an era known for producing some truly great music.

Its legacy lives on through countless covers, remixes, and appearances in movies and TV shows – proof that good music never goes out of style!

8. “I Ran (So Far Away)” by A Flock of Seagulls

A Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran (So Far Away)” is undoubtedly one of the best 80’s music videos.

The video features a futuristic theme with an alien spacecraft and neon lights, which was quite innovative for its time.

The band members’ hairstyles were also iconic, with lead singer Mike Score sporting a gravity-defying haircut that became synonymous with the era.

The song itself has a catchy synth-pop beat and lyrics about running away from danger, making it relatable to many listeners.


It quickly became a hit in the UK and US charts, cementing A Flock of Seagulls as one of the most popular bands of the decade.

Overall, “I Ran (So Far Away)” remains a classic 80’s video that still holds up today. Its unique style and memorable visuals make it stand out among other best music videos of the 80s.

9. “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

The 80s was a decade of great pop music, and the best music videos of the 80’s were just as iconic. Among these memorable visuals is “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

This song was not only one of the band’s biggest hits but also one of the best 80s music videos.

The video for “Relax” featured provocative imagery that caused quite a stir upon its release.

It showed suggestive scenes that pushed censorship boundaries and sparked controversy among viewers.


Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the video became an instant classic and contributed to making “Relax” one of the most recognizable songs from that era.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” remains an emblematic example of how pop music in the 80s shaped popular culture at large.

The band used their platform to push social norms and challenge conventional ideas about sexuality, ultimately paving the way for future artists who would do likewise through their own work.

As such, it continues to be remembered as one of the best music videos the 80s had ever seen – a testament to both its artistic merit and cultural impact.

10. “I Melt With You” by Modern English

One of the best music videos from the 80s is undoubtedly “I Melt With You” by Modern English.

The song itself was a hit in the UK and US, but it was the accompanying video that really captured audiences’ attention.

Shot in black and white, it features the band members performing on a rooftop while various scenes of young love play out around them.

“I Melt With You” perfectly encapsulates what was popular in the 80s – upbeat pop songs with catchy hooks and romantic lyrics.


But what sets this track apart from other top 10 songs from the 80s is its slower tempo and more introspective tone.

It’s a love song that feels both nostalgic and timeless, which is perhaps why it still resonates with listeners today.

In many ways, “I Melt With You” represents everything we loved about 80’s slow songs – heartfelt lyrics, soaring melodies, and an earnestness that never felt cheesy or contrived.

It remains one of Modern English’s most beloved tracks, as well as a testament to just how powerful music can be when it speaks directly to our hearts.

11. “Whip It” by Devo

Devo’s “Whip It” was one of the top 10 songs of the 80s, loved for its catchy beat and quirky lyrics.

The song became an instant pop hit in the early ’80s and remains a classic to this day. Its success is a testament to how music shaped life in the 80s.

The ’80s were known for their upbeat pop hits, but there was also a place for slow 80s songs that captured emotions with poignant melodies.

“Whip It” stood out from other pop hits of the 80s because it had both elements – an infectious rhythm and thought-provoking lyrics that spoke to listeners on different levels.


Devo’s unique sound and style made them stand out among other bands of their time. Their use of electronic instruments and unconventional fashion choices set them apart from traditional rock bands.

“Whip It” showcased Devo’s creativity while still appealing to mainstream audiences. The song proved that taking risks could pay off in unexpected ways, making it a standout track amongst many memorable songs from this era.

12. “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin

“Take My Breath Away” by Berlin is a classic 80’s house music track that has stood the test of time.

The song was originally written for the movie Top Gun and went on to become a massive hit, earning an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1987.

Despite being considered a one-hit wonder, Berlin’s contribution to the best 80s music videos cannot be denied.

The song features powerful vocals from lead singer Terri Nunn and haunting melodies that perfectly capture the film’s romantic themes.

Its iconic opening guitar riff sets the tone for what is arguably one of the most memorable ballads of all time. “Take My Breath Away” continues to evoke feelings of nostalgia among those who grew up during this era.


Berlin may have been labeled as a one-hit wonder due to their lack of commercial success after “Take My Breath Away”, but their legacy lives on through this timeless classic.

The song remains an important part of pop culture history and has been covered by various artists over the years.

With its captivating lyrics and unforgettable melody, it’s no surprise why “Take My Breath Away” continues to hold relevance today without needing any other hits under Berlin’s name.

13. “Angel Eyes” by The Jeff Healy Band

“Angel Eyes” by The Jeff Healy Band is a classic hit from the 80s that has stood the test of time.

This song, along with many other popular songs from the 1980s, continues to be played on radio stations and at events today.

It’s no wonder that hits from the 80s are still enjoyed by so many people.

This song was released in 1989 and quickly became a fan favorite. The Jeff Healy Band had been around for a few years before this hit single put them on the map.


While they may not have made it onto every one-hit wonders list, “Angel Eyes” remains their most recognizable tune.

The lyrics of this song tell a story of love and heartbreak, something that resonates with listeners even today.

With its catchy melody and memorable guitar riffs, “Angel Eyes” is sure to remain an iconic song well into the future.

14. “St. Elmo’s Fire” by John Parr

“St. Elmo’s Fire” by John Parr is a classic love song of the 1980s that has stood the test of time.

It was released in 1985 and quickly climbed up the charts, becoming one of the best hits of the 80s.

The song’s catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics have earned it a place on many playlists over the years.

Despite its popularity, “St. Elmo’s Fire” by John Parr remains an example of a one-hit wonder – an artist who only had one major hit before fading into obscurity.


Nevertheless, it continues to be included in many compilations such as the 80 song list which features some of the most iconic songs from that era.

This timeless track holds a special place among love songs of the 1980s with its soaring chorus and romantic lyrics that speak to listeners across generations.

Its enduring appeal can be attributed to its ability to capture universal emotions through simple yet powerful words and music.

15. “99 Red Balloons” by Nena

“99 Red Balloons” by Nena was a hit song in the 80s pop music scene. It reached number one on the charts in 1983 and became an instant classic.

The song tells a story of how something as innocent as balloons can lead to misunderstandings and even war.

Nena, a German singer, gained international fame with this single hit.

The song’s catchy melody combined with its powerful lyrics made it stand out among other slow songs of the era. It is considered one of the best one-hit wonders of all time.


The success of “99 Red Balloons” paved the way for more 80s pop hits that tackled serious issues such as politics and social problems.

Its impact on popular culture cannot be denied, making it an important part of music history that still resonates with audiences today.

Faq’s 80s One Hit Wonders

Q1. Who is Nena?

Ans: Nena is a German singer and songwriter who rose to international fame in the 1980s with her hit song “99 Red Balloons”.

Q2. What is The Meaning Behind “99 Red Balloons”?

Ans: The song is about the danger of escalating tensions and the potential for war. The lyrics describe how a group of red balloons floating in the sky is mistaken for a military threat, leading to a chain reaction of events that ultimately results in a war.

Q3. When Was “99 Red Balloons” Released?

Ans: “99 Red Balloons” was released in 1983.

Q4. Was “99 Red Balloons” a Global Hit?

Ans: Yes, “99 Red Balloons” was a huge international hit, reaching number one in several countries including the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Q5. Has “99 Red Balloons” Been Covered by Other Artists?

Ans: Yes, the song has been covered by numerous artists in various languages, including English, Spanish, and French.

Q6. What Other Songs Were Popular in The 1980s?

Ans: Other popular songs from the 1980s include “C’mon Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, “Mickey” by Toni Basil, “Take On Me” by A-ha.

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