How Well Do You Know the One-Hit Wonders of the '80s?


By: Staff

5 Min Quiz


About This Quiz

Come on Eileen! When we think of the 1980s, it was a great decade in music. With rock and roll, contemporary R&B, and electropop hitting the airwaves, how well do you know the decade's one-hit wonders?

When it comes to the '80s, there's a long list of artists who shot to the top of the charts. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Bon Jovi were some artists who were dominating the music scene. While they would go on to have hit after hit, today's dedicated to those artists who gained recognition from one song only, the famous one-hit wonders! Do you know them?

Songs like "Whip It," "Come On Eileen," and "Take On Me" are popular '80s classics. You might even remember "99 Luftballons" and "Angel Eyes." When it comes to the artists of the decade, you probably remember a-ha, Toni Basil, and Soft Cell. While you might be able to name one hit from these artists, could you name two? Probably not! This is what makes them some of the most popular one-hit wonders of the '80s. 

Although these artists only had one-hit wonders, they still reached stardom. From "Funkytown" to "It's Raining Men," how well do you know the one-hit wonders of the '80s?

Will you be able to follow the tune with this quiz or will the questions drive you crazy until you're a "Maniac?" There's only one way to find out!

Grab your mics!

What band instructed listeners to "whip it good!" in 1980?

Devo soared up the charts with their song "Whip It" from their 1980 debut album "Freedom of Choice."


What band sang the 1982 smash "Come On Eileen"?

In a 2013 ranking of the best one-hit wonders of the '80s, VH1 put "Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners in the top spot.


This song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood sold over a million copies in 1984.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood scored their biggest hit ever with the 1984 No. 1 song "Relax."


Singer Marc Almond was the driving force behind this band, known for the song "Tainted Love."

Almond and Soft Cell hit No. 1 in 17 countries with their 1981 song "Tainted Love."


This song by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard charts in 1988.

Rob Base and E-Z Rock mixed hip-hop and dance house sounds to create the 1988 smash "It Takes Two."


Who sang the 1984 song "She Blinded Me With Science"?

Thomas Dolby never had another major hit after "She Blinded Me With Science" and went on to teach music for film at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.


What was the 1982 song "Electric Avenue" named after?

"Electric Avenue" was inspired by a real street in Britain — the first street in the area to get electric lights. Eddy Grant hit the No. 2 spot on the charts in both the U.K. and U.S. with his version of the tune in 1982.


What band is best known for the song "Our House"?

Thanks to heavy MTV airplay in 1983, Madness scored a top ten hit with "Our House."


Two Oregon bands called Pilot and Seafood Mama joined forces to form this band, which was known for the song "Harden My Heart."

The two bands joined forces to form Quarterflash, which scored a hit with "Harden My Heart" in 1981.


Manager Malcolm McLaren helped get the Sex Pistols together and also helped form this "I Want Candy" band.

Bow Wow Wow hit No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1982 with the cheerful "I Want Candy."


Before they declared "We're Not Gonna Take It," this band was known as Silver Star.

Glam rock group Twisted Sister started off as Silver Star before hitting it big with the song "We're Not Gonna Take It."


What was the most famous song to come off the album "Rhythm of Youth" by the band Men Without Hats?

Men Without Hats scored a massive hit with "The Safety Dance," a song off of their 1981 debut album.


What year did A Flock of Seagulls gain fame for the song "I Ran (So Far Away)"?

A Flock of Seagulls ran away with the top spot on the music charts in the summer of 1982 with "I Ran."


What were singers Martha Wash and Izora Armstead better known as?

Wash and Armstead formed a group known as the Weather Girls. They made it to No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1982 with the song "It's Raining Men."


Where did the band A-ha originate?

The Norwegian A-ha came from Norway to score six trophies at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards thanks to the song "Take On Me."


What year did Kajagoogoo hit No. 5 on the charts with "Too Shy"?

Kajagoogoo won fans with the 1983 hit "Too Shy." Vocalist Chris Hamill later sang the theme song for "The NeverEnding Story."


What Michael Sembello song was featured in the movie "Flashdance"?

Sembello's song "Maniac" was written about a psycho cat killer, but the lyrics were later changed to fit the wild dancing in "Flashdance."


What band hit No. 1 of the Billboard singles chart in 1986 with "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"?

Cutting Crew scored a major hit with "(I Just) Died in Your Arms" off their 1986 debut album "Broadcast."


What band was the first to have its video shown on MTV?

Back when MTV played music videos, the very first one they played was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles.


What song was a big hit for British band the Outfield in 1985?

The Outfield made a career out of the 1985 song "Your Love." The band's other claim to fame is the song "Winning It All," which was featured on the soundtrack for "The Mighty Ducks."


What Gary Numan album features the song "Cars"?

"Cars" from the album "The Pleasure Principle" was a top ten hit for Gary Numan after it was released in 1979.


What stage name did Motown founder Berry Gordy's son use when he released the song "Somebody's Watching Me"?

To distance himself from his famous father, Gordy's son performed under the name Rockwell and had a hit with the 1983 song "Somebody's Watching Me."


What song made Stacey Q a star in 1986?

Teen pop queen Stacey Q won fans over with her 1986 tune "Two of Hearts" and with guest appearances on "The Facts of Life" and "Full House."


Who sang the cheerful ditty "Don't Worry, Be Happy"?

Bobby McFerrin scored his biggest hit with "Don't Worry, Be Happy "off his 1988 album "Simple Pleasures."


What band released the 1983 Top 10 hit "I Melt With You"?

Modern English broke the Top 10 with the 1983 song "I Melt With You," which was later featured in the movie "Valley Girl."


What song brought Matthew Wilder into the spotlight in 1983?

Wilder had his biggest career song in 1983 with "Break My Stride" and went on to produce No Doubt's 1995 platinum "Tragic Kingdom" album.


What year did Dead or Alive spin listeners 'round like a record player?

Dead or Alive topped the charts with "You Spin Me Round" in 1985, while a Kesha and Flo Rida cover of the song hit No. 1 in 2009.


True or false: "99 Luftballons" was a protest song.

The Nena song — later recorded in English as "99 Red Balloons" — was written as a protest against the Cold War.


What band cracked the Top 10 in the U.S. in 1985 with "Obsession"?

Animotion scored a top ten with "Obsession." Just four months later, their follow up "Let Him Go" barely made it into the Top 40.


True or false: Toni Basil's "Mickey" was about Monkee Micky Dolenz.

Though Basil choreographed the 1968 movie "Head" for the band, the song was originally called "Kitty" and had nothing to do with Dolenz.


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on