Sunday, 9 February 2014

One-Hit Wonders On The Australian Charts - The 80s part 2

JUMP TO: Part 1 II Part 2 II Part 3 II Part 4


In Part 1, I started my look back at genuine one-hit wonders on the Australian charts with a summary of those artists who scored a number 1 single but had no further top 50 entries - the ultimate in one-hit wonder-dom (the A-listers, if you like).

Obviously, you don't need to have a number 1 record to have a hit. So, in this post, I'm going to look back at those performers who hit the Australian top 10 (without reaching the top spot) with one song and then were never heard from again on the top 50 (or, in some cases, the top 100).

And what a memorable hit it was for Haysi Fantayzee

Since writing that first post, I've realised that people have different ideas of what constitutes a one-hit wonder (although I don't really know why). To clarify: this isn't a list of people who are mostly remembered for one massive single but had some other top 20 hits you'd recall if reminded of them.

The rules are simple: one top 10 hit and no other top 50 appearances. Let's kick off with the B-list one-hit wonders from 1980 to 1984.


"Space Invaders" by Player (1)
Entered the Australian chart: February 4, 1980
Peak position: number 3
No other top 100 entries
Hot on the heels of Mi-Sex's "Computer Games" came this similarly themed (but inferior) track by Australians Russell Dunlop and Bruce Brown, who'd go on to produce for Machinations.




"Day Trip To Bangor (Didn't We Have A Lovely Time)" by Fiddler's Dram
Entered the Australian chart: February 25, 1980
Peak position: number 8
No other top 100 entries
Well, it's not my definition of a lovely time, that's for sure. The British folk group broke through to the mainstream both here and in the UK with this dirge. Bangor's in North Wales.





"There Ain't No Age For Rock 'N' Roll" by The Veterans
Entered the Australian chart: May 12, 1980
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries 
What the hell was going on in early 1980? This song by duo Gus Roan and Marc Malyster oom-pah-pahed all the way from their homeland of Belgium to Australia.





"Love At First Night" by Kim Hart
Entered the Australian chart: May 26, 1980
Peak position: number 6
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "You're The One" (number 89 in 1980)
This is more like it. Along with Australia's Christie Allen, flash-in-the-pan New Zealand singer Kim Hart blended pop and disco to great effect. Bit of a mistake to follow this up with a ballad in hindsight.





"I Only Want To Be With You" by The Tourists
Entered the Australian chart: June 6, 1980
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
Two of the band members (Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox) would go on to much greater success, but for this five-piece British group, a New Wave-ish version of the Dusty Springfield classic was as good as it got.




"Echo Beach" by Martha & The Muffins
Entered the Australian chart: July 7, 1980
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
Featuring not one, but two Marthas in the line-up, the Canadian group had fans reaching for their atlases - but the Echo Beach in the song wasn't a real place. These days it is, with Toronto's Echo Beach concert venue named after the track.




"Que Sera Mi Vida" by Gibson Brothers
Entered the Australian chart: December 29, 1980
Peak position: number 9
No other top 100 entries
No one told these French siblings that disco was dead - or that the outfits they wore in this clip were hideous. The song itself (which translates to "what would be of my life") is fantastic - and would pop up 18 years later sampled in Smash 'n' Grab's "Drive Me Crazy".




"Fade To Grey" by Visage
Entered the Australian chart: April 6, 1981
Peak position: number 6
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "The Damned Don't Cry" (number 94 in 1982)
Featuring Steve Strange on vocals and future Ultravox member/Band Aid co-writer Midge Ure in its line-up, Visage were everything the New Romantic scene was about: synths, make-up and artistic pretensions. Genius.




"They Won't Let My Girlfriend Talk To Me" by Jimmy & The Boys
Entered the Australian chart: April 27, 1981
Peak position: number 8
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" (number 57 in 1979)
Australia's very own Rocky Horror Show - frontman Ignatius Jones (later of Pardon Me Boys) and drag queen sidekick Joylene Thornbird Hairmouth owe their biggest hit to Tim Finn, who wrote this '50s-sounding tune.




"Precious To Me" by Phil Seymour
Entered the Australian chart: May 25, 1981
Peak position: number 6
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Let Her Dance" (number 69 in 1981)
One of those songs that sounds instantly familiar, although I'm not certain I've ever heard it before (I was only six at the time). Phil was half of The Dwight Twilley Band but struck out solo with this debut single. He passed away in 1993, age 41.





"Only For Sheep" by The Bureau
Entered the Australian chart: June 22, 1981
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
Featuring several former members of Dexy's Midnight Runners (including a pre-Style Council Mick Talbot), The Bureau achieved here what they couldn't in the UK (a chart hit) but only lasted the one album.






"I Won't Let You Down" by Ph.D
Entered the Australian chart: August 10, 1981
Peak position: number 5
No other top 100 entries
In Part 1, I mentioned that chart-topper Jim Diamond would pop up again with his former group... and here he is. Jim was the D in Ph.D with band-mates Simon Phillips and Tony Hymas providing the other letters.




"Hooked On Classics" by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Entered the Australian chart: September 28, 1981
Peak position: number 9
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Hooked On Australia" (number 87 in 1984)
Medleys were massive in the early '80s (and the late '80s, but we'll get to Jive Bunny in the Two-Hit Wonders list) and some bright spark came up with the idea of Stars On 45-ing the works of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Beethoven, to name a few. Three albums hit the top 20, but this was the only hit single spawned by the project.




"Screaming Jets" by Johnny Warman
Entered the Australian chart: October 5, 1981
Peak position: number 9
No other top 100 entries
Johnny had some big-name friends helping him out, with Peter Gabriel providing background vocals on this track, which was released on Elton John's Rocket Records. Nice to see some more high-tech computers in the clip, too.




"Homosapien" by Pete Shelley
Entered the Australian chart: January 18, 1982
Peak position: number 4
No other top 100 entries
The former singer for punk legends Buzzcocks (who landed zero hits in Australia), Pete launched his solo career with this synth-based track, which was banned in the BBC for its gay sex references. Unlike the situation a few years later with Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax", the ban didn't turn "Homosapien" into a hit in the UK and Pete had to be satisfied with this Down Under attention (ooh-er!).




"Harden My Heart" by Quarterflash
Entered the Australian chart: February 8, 1982
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
They landed three top 20 hits at home in the States, but this debut single was the band's only success in Australia. The song had previously been released in 1980 by Seafood Mama (who morphed into Quarterflash).




"Believe It Or Not" by Joey Scarbury
Entered the Australian chart: February 15, 1982
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
This theme to superhero sitcom The Greatest American Hero was co-written by Mike Post, who hit the Australian top 50 in his own right later in 1982 with "The Theme From Hill Street Blues".




"Body And Soul" by Jo Kennedy
Entered the Australian chart: March 22, 1982
Peak position: number 5
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Monkey In Me" (number 76 in 1982)
Another soundtrack hit, this time from Australian film Starstruck and another top 10 single written by Tim Finn - performed in this case by the star of the movie, Jo Kennedy.




"Key Largo" by Bertie Higgins
Entered the Australian chart: April 12, 1982
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
The beard, the shirt, the silky smooth vocals... it can only be the seductive stylings of Florida resident Mr Bertie Higgins. The adult contemporary classic name-checks Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall, the stars of the 1948 film of the same name.




"Love Plus One" by Haircut 100
Entered the Australian chart: May 10, 1982
Peak position: number 10
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Fantastic Day" (number 85 in 1982)
The second of four top 10 hits for the group in the UK, "Love Plus One" was the only Australian hit for Haircut 100. The band ditched lead singer Nick Heyward at the end of the year before self-destructing in 1984.




"Radio" by The Members
Entered the Australian chart: June 28, 1982
Peak position: number 5
No other top 100 entries
Punk was more or less a thing of the past, but this lot, who'd seen some UK chart action in 1979, came out of nowhere to hit the Australian top 5. Better late than never - and it may well have been never were it not for this hit since the band split the following year.




"Words" by Missing Persons
Entered the Australian chart: August 9, 1982
Peak position: number 10
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Destination Unknown" (number 89 in 1983)
Like Berlin, just without the soundtrack megahit to their name, Missing Persons were a female-fronted new wave band from America. In the line-up were husband and wife Terry and Dale Bozzio, and future Duran Duran member Warren Cuccurullo.




"Da Da Da (I Don't Love You, You Don't Love Me, Aha Aha Aha)" by Trio
Entered the Australian chart: August 23, 1982
Peak position: number 4
No other top 100 entries
I always used to confuse this song with The Police's "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" which had been released the previous year. Like the Nena track that featured in Part 1, this came in an English version as well as the original German version, while Toss got in on the act with a remake for the French market.




"I Know There's Something Going On" by Frida
Entered the Australian chart: September 20, 1982
Peak position: number 5
No other top 100 entries
It seems odd calling Frida a one-hit wonder - you might have heard of her previous group, ABBA - but she did only have one hit single as a solo artist so here she is. "I Know..." was produced by Phil Collins, who also brought his drums along for the day.




"I Could Be So Good For You" by Dennis Waterman
Re-entered the Australian chart: October 25, 1982
Peak position: number 9
No other top 100 entries
This theme from TV series Minder charted in the lower reaches of the top 100 for a handful of weeks in December 1980, but really took off in late '82/early '83 when the show would've return to Australian screens with new season three episodes. It's sung, of course, by the star of the long-running series.




"Zoom" by Fat Larry's Band
Entered the Australian chart: December 13, 1982
Peak position: number 10
No other top 100 entries
If you're thinking, "The singer doesn't look that fat to me", that's because he's not Larry. Fronted by vocalist Darryl Grant, the band gets its name from drummer/singer Larry James. "Zoom" was a big Australian and UK hit for the group, who never hit the Billboard Hot 100 in their decade-plus career.




"Living On The Ceiling" by Blancmange
Entered the Australian chart: February 14, 1983
Peak position: number 5
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Waves" (number 99 in 1983)
Fun fact: new wave duo Blancmange had to change the lyrics of this, their biggest single, from "up the bloody tree" to "up the cuckoo tree" at the insistence of the BBC (yep, them again). Talk about prudish.




"Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo
Entered the Australian chart: March 21, 1983
Peak position: number 6
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Ooh To Be Ah" (number 68 in 1983)
With a debut single this big, the only way was down - even in the UK, where the band with the silly name registered a couple more top 10 hits. Incidentally, original lead singer Limahl doesn't feature on this list since he managed to land two singles within the Australian top 50 as a solo artist.




"Always Something There To Remind Me" by Naked Eyes
Entered the Australian chart: April 4, 1983
Peak position: number 7
No other top 100 entries
Another UK pop group with more international hits than Australian ones - but if any song was going to be a success it was this classic Bacharach and David composition, also a top 50 hit in Australia for Sandie Shaw and R.B. Greaves.




"Save Your Love" by Renee & Renato
Entered the Australian chart: April 4, 1983
Peak position: number 3
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Just One More Kiss" (number 55 in 1983)
Hilary & Renato just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? But, Hilary Lester is the real name of Renée, who, together with Italian-born Renato Pagliari, took out the UK Christmas number 1 for 1982 and scored one of the top 10 highest-selling singles of 1983 in Australia.




"Shiny Shiny" by Haysi Fantayzee
Entered the Australian chart: July 4, 1983
Peak position: number 3
No other top 100 entries
In the UK, debut single "John Wayne Is Big Leggy" charted higher, but Australians knew better than that, sending this quirky track into the top 3. Haysi Fantayzee was comprised of Kate Garner, who's now a multimedia artist, and Jeremy Healy, who went on to be involved in E-Zee Possee and have a successful career as a DJ.




"I.O.U." by Freeez
Entered the Australian chart: August 15, 1983
Peak position: number 3
No other top 100 entries
Given this song's use in breakdance film Beat Street, and the fact "I.O.U." was written and produced by in-demand US remixer Arthur Baker, you'd be forgiven for thinking Freez were American. They were actually from London.




"The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats
Entered the Australian chart: August 29, 1983
Peak position: number 5
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Pop Goes The World" (number 66 in 1988)
These guys, meanwhile, weren't from Sherwood Forrest - as the medieval-themed video clip would suggest - but were Canadian. Despite the cold weather in their hometown of Montreal, the Doroschuk brothers who formed the basis for the band "never wore any hats", according to their website.




"Puttin' On The Ritz" by Taco
Entered the Australian chart: August 29, 1983
Peak position: number 5
No other top 100 entries
Originally featured in the film of the same name in 1930 (after being written by Irving Berlin the previous year), "Puttin' On The Ritz" received a synthpop makeover in 1983 by Dutch singer/actor Taco.




"When You Were Sweet Sixteen" by The Fureys
Entered the Australian chart: October 4, 1983
Peak position: number 9
No other top 100 entries
Here's another golden oldie given an update - this time it's a song that dates back as far as 1898 and the remake was by Irish sibling folk group The Fureys, a version of which continues to perform today.




"Cum On Feel The Noize" by Quiet Riot
Entered the Australian chart: December 12, 1983
Peak position: number 9
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (number 59 in 1984)
The two biggest singles by this American metal band had originally been recorded by Slade - but only one remake was a hit. "Cum On Feel The Noize" is one of two songs I bizarrely associate with roller rinks (the other is Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills"), since I think that was the only place I ever heard it.




"Break My Stride" by Matthew Wilder
Entered the Australian chart: January 23, 1984
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
This video is worth watching for the horrible fashion alone. This song by the future No Doubt producer was an even bigger chart hit 12 years later for another one-hit wonder, Austrian dance act Unique II.




"To Be Or Not To Be (The Hitler Rap)" by Mel Brooks
Entered the Australian chart: April 23, 1984
Peak position: number 3
No other top 100 entries
Speaking of Austria... this novelty hit from the actor/filmmaker behind Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs (to name a few of his movies) was taken from comedy To Be Or Not To Be, which was set during World War II - thus the Hitler parody.




"Oh Sherrie" by Steve Perry
Entered the Australian chart: July 2, 1984
Peak position: number 5
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Foolish Heart" (number 52 in 1985)
Australia never really got into Journey ("Don't Stop Believin' peaked at number 100 here), but when it came time for vocalist Steve Perry to put out a solo album, we were on board with that. The song was named after Steve's girlfriend, Sherrie Swafford, who appeared in the clip but has since shunned the spotlight.




"Missing You" by John Waite
Entered the Australian chart: August 27, 1984
Peak position: number 5
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "These Times Are Hard For Lovers" (number 59 in 1987)
Five more one-hit wonders to go - including this pop hit by the English singer who released solo records between stints in groups The Babys (who hit number 1 in Australia in 1978 with "Isn't It Time") and Bad English (who peaked at number 4 with "When I See You Smile" in 1990).




"You Think You're A Man" by Divine
Entered the Australian chart: September 17, 1984
Peak position: number 8
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Walk Like A Man" (number 75 in 1985)
The song that put producers Stock Aitken Waterman on the map and took gender benders in the charts to a whole new level, "You Think You're A Man" was the biggest hit for the singer/actor born Harris Milstead.




"The Warrior" by Scandal featuring Patty Smyth
Entered the Australian chart: October 8, 1984
Peak position: number 6
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Hands Tied" (number 83 in 1985)
Not to be confused with late-'70s Australian band Scandal, Scandal featuring Patty Smyth (not to be confused with Patti Smith) only managed this one hit as a group. But, here's a conundrum - Patty did manage another Australian hit in the '90s with her Don Henley duet, "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough". I'm keeping "The Warrior" on this list since, if I'm including Frida and Lindsey Buckingham as separate entities to ABBA and Fleetwood Mac, then Scandal featuring Patty Smyth the group is a different act from Patty Smyth the solo artist. If you don't like it, tough - which leads us to...




"I'm Tuff" by George Smilovici
Entered the Australian chart: November 5, 1984
Peak position: number 10
No other top 100 entries
Sorry, that was lame. As is this comedy record in which every gag starts with the words "I'm tuff" followed by the audience rejoinder "How tuff?".




"The Sea Of Love" by Honeydrippers
Entered the Australian chart: December 3, 1984
Peak position: number 5
No other top 100 entries
A supergroup of sorts comprising Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers and David Letterman's offsider, Paul Shaffer. "Sea Of Love" was originally a hit in Australia and the US for its co-writer Phil Phillips, and in the UK for Marty (father of Kim) Wilde.




Well, at least we finished this batch on a good note. In Part 3 - yep, you guessed it, one-hit wonders from 1985 to 1989.



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