Five fabulous one-hit wonders of the 1980s

When you hear or remember these five great songs, it’s amazing that they were the artists' only single chart hits.
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Some artists have huge hits with a single they release. It gets lots of airplay at the time which helps it do well in the charts. But sometimes surprisingly, the artist just can't get a follow-up record to repeat that feat. 

It can make sense when it’s maybe a novelty record. Or perhaps the band broke up before trying to follow it up. For whatever reason, and there can be many, that artist ends up wearing the one-hit wonder tag. 

Lists of one-hit wonders can get confusing though. I quite often read through lists of them and find records from bands who had loads of hit singles. The key point is usually that they were big in one country but didn't have any follow-up hits in others. Madness, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and David Essex for example often appear in US-focused one-hit wonder lists. Anyone in the UK would be amazed at that tag given the other hits those artists had there. 

Five 1980s one-hit wonder songs

So let's broaden the criteria slightly to be clearer. I’m including records from artists who had one hit in the top 40 of either the US Billboard or UK charts. If they had minor hits with other releases in those charts that never got into the top 40, they still count as a one-hit-wonder. If they had more hits in the top 40 in either of those charts, they aren't a one-hit wonder. Not on my list anyway! 

Here are five terrific songs from the 1980s which count as one-hit wonders on that basis. For each one, you’d expect that such a good record would be followed by another hit. They are definitely worth hearing and memorable too, great records of that time, despite being the artist’s only big single success. 

Fiction Factory - “Feels Like Heaven”

I’m a great fan of bands from Scotland. It’s not just a patriotic thing based on where I was born. Scots bands released some great music over the years, but especially in the 1980s. Fiction Factory was one of those, but with just the one hit - “Feels Like Heaven” which reached the top ten in many European countries back in 1984. 

The band was influenced by OMD amongst others and later toured with that band. This feel-good synth-pop song came from their debut album, Throw The Warped Wheel Out. The album struggled to have any impact, perhaps hampered by the success of the single. The rest of the album had a different sound to their hit song. 

Three of the band left in 1984 citing the usual story of musical differences. A second album followed but it also missed the mark and Fiction Factory disbanded in 1987. Although they have reformed for a couple of festivals since then, no more hits have been seen.