One-Hit-Wonders of 80s British Music


The 80s was the golden age of British music that saw the most hits produced of the decade. There were many one-hit-wonders in the UK in the 1980s that you would probably remember if you are from that time or a fan. Many songs got popular at that time, and many people still listen to them. 

These songs got so popular that they got stuck in people’s heads to the point that they didn’t even need to turn on their radio to listen to these top hits. These songs were like a drug that made it harder for the fans to stop consuming them. 

The phrase one-hit-wonder describes the artists mostly known for having at least one song in the top 10 Billboard Chart. Some of these songs were highly popular, and it was almost impossible to think that these artists would release another hit song based on their current record.

Top British Hits of the 1980s 

  • Together We are Beautiful


Together we are Beautiful is a popular 1980s song by Fern Kinney. It was written by Ken Leray and produced by Carson Whitsett, Wolf Stephenson, and Tommy Couch. Ken Leray originally recorded it in 1977, while the 1979 version of the song was recorded by Steve Allan that reached the 67th spot in the UK Singles Chart.

  • There’s No One Quite Like Grandma

There’s No One Quite Like Grandma was a single by Sir Winifred’s School Choir, released in November 1980. This song was known as the number-one single for Christmas in both UK and Ireland. Gorden Lorenz wrote it. This song also downgraded the last single by John Lennon “(Just Like) Starting Over” to number two. 

  • Mickey

Toni Basil - Mickey

Mickey is a song recorded by a famous singer and choreographer, Toni Basil, on her debut album “Word of Mouth.” Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn wrote it. A British musical group known as Racet recorded this song for their debut album Smash and Grab. Toni Basil changed Kitty’s name to Mickey to make a song related to men, preferably women.

  • All Night Long


All Night Long is written by a British rock band known as Rainbow. Roger Glover produced it. This song was released as a single in 1980 from the fourth album of the band Down to Earth. It became their second most popular hit in the UK, ranking at number five in the UK Singles Chart. Graham Bonnet sang it for the band. 

  • Turning Japanese


Turning Japanese is a 1980s song by a British power pop band known as The Vapors. This song is from their 1980 album “New Clear Days.” It is all about the extreme worries and clichés of the youth and turning into unexpected things. This song became very popular and became one of the international hits for which the band is best known.

  • Hands Off… She’s Mine


This song is a second single by a British band known as “The Beat,” released on 14 February 1980 as the first single debut album, “I Just Can’t Stop.” The band’s first release on a new record label they created is known as “Go Feet.” This song turned out to be very successful and ranked at number nine in the UK Singles Chart.

  • Turn it On Again


Turn it On Again is a song by a British band called Genesis. It is a single from their album “Duke.” It was released on 8 March 1980 in the UK. The song’s lyrics were written by several songwriters, including Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, and Phil Collins. This song became the band’s second top ten hits and reached the 8th spot in the UK Singles Chart.

  • Shaddap You Face


Shaddap You Face is a novelty song that was written and recorded by Joe Dolce. This song is about a rebellious Italian boy. It was released late in 1980 under Mike Brady’s record label “Full Moon Records” and was sold quickly. It reached the number one spot on 21 February 1981. 

  • I’ve Never Been to Me


I’ve Never Been to Me was written and composed by artists Ron Miller and Kenneth Hirsch. This song got popular with the help of Charlene’s recording. It was initially released in 1977 and was barely registered on the Billboard Top 100. It was re-released again in 1982 and became one of the UK’s significant hits and ranked first in the UK Singles Chart.

  • Pump Up the Volume


Pump up the Volume is a song by a British band known as MARRS. It was released on 3 August 1987 and was a long-lasting hit in many countries. It is one of the significant milestones in British acid music’s development. The song’s title comes from the lyrics of the song “I Know You Got Soul,” which was also one of Eric B. & Rakim’s single hits. 

  • First time


This song was recorded by a female artist Robin Beck for her second album, “Trouble or Nothin.” Robin Beck’s first hit song was released in 1988, and it was initially recorded to use as Coca-Cola Commercial in 1987. The sentimental ballad was released in the UK in October 1988, and it quickly reached the first spot in UK Singles Chart and stayed there for 14 weeks.

  • “Doctorin’ the Tardis”


Doctorin’ the Tardis is a 1988 novelty pop single by a British electronic band known as “The Timelords.” This song is a mix of “Doctor Who theme music” and Gary Glitter’s “Rock n Roll (Part Two).” It was a huge commercial success. It ranked at number one in the UK Singles and New Zealand Singles Charts.

80s British Music – The Golden Era of Music

It was a lot easier to rank on the top spot in the singles chart back then because they didn’t have an advanced criterion like the one present in the music industry today. At that time, some famous artists also made transitions to give music a try and made a hit song of that era.

The fact that these became a part of 80s culture is difficult to understand. However, the music industry is now much smarter, very picky, and cruel today. Sometimes the labels only manage to get a single hit from the artists. 

Nowadays, if a music artist wants to reach the top spot, he/she has to work a lot harder as there is a lot of competition. Back then, it was easy for a music artist to get the top spot in the UK Singles Chart. Due to more improvements and advancements in the music industry, the criteria have been upgraded, and hence artists need to work a lot harder and be more creative to earn the top spot.

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