Most people, when asked to name a song by Kansas, would gravitate toward one of two songs. And so would I, and probably so would you, since there are two songs from that group which are more well known than the rest of Kansas’s discography combined. With that said, there were multiple top 40 hits, most of which have fallen by the wayside, at least as far as radio is concerned. Case in point: how many of you remember the band’s top 20 single “Play The Game Tonight”?
The late 80s provided a lot of one-hit wonders. I, personally, remember that era quite well because that was when I was most likely to be found sitting with my boom box, waiting to record the latest big hit off the radio. One of those songs I recorded back then was the one charting hit for the British group Roachford.
Pop music in the early 90s, while being very notable for the fracturing of the top 40 format amid grunge, rap, and even a little country, also had, as one of its features, a fair number of Christian artists crossing over. Amy Grant, of course, is the most easily remembered*, but there were others. One of the lesser remembered artists had a big hit in early 1992, but these days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a secular, terrestrial station playing Kathy Troccoli.
The early 1990s had, perhaps, more one-hit wonders than any other era that easily comes to mind. A lot of those one-hit wonders have been forgotten. Very few, though, had completely disappeared from my mind. So, I was rather surprised when I heard the only US hit from British singer Chesney Hawkes. I had heard the song quite a bit when it was on the charts, but, apparently, even I can forget some of these unfairly forgotten songs.
I would imagine that most people who listened to top 40 music in the 1980s could pick out a song that falls into what was called the Minneapolis sound. This was the subgenre of music which basically traces its roots back to Prince, though many other acts had a similar sound. One such group was the mid-80s one-hit wonder Ta Mara and the Seen.
It’s not unheard of for a recording group to be better known for writing songs for others than for their own recordings. In the case of this entry’s group, the Addrisi Brothers, they are probably best remembered today for writing one particular hit for another group. They certainly are not remembered by radio for their 1979 release, “Ghost Dancer”.
If someone mentions yacht rock, undoubtedly one of the first people to come to mind for lovers of that subgenre would be Christopher Cross. I would argue that it was in 1980, when his debut album hit the top 10, that yacht rock hit its peak. And why not? Not everyone had signed on to the waning disco fad, and certainly not everyone was listening to new wave music. Yacht rock filled a void, and Christopher Cross was there to help fill it.
Yet now, almost four decades later, while other music from that time still gets radio airplay, Mr. Cross’s music has seemingly disappeared. When, for example, was the last time you heard his #1 AC hit “Never Be the Same”?
Like many groups in the early 90s, Boy Krazy came and went rather quickly. A girl group in which all the members shared lead vocal duties, Boy Krazy had one big hit. Unfortunately, that big hit didn’t chart until well over a year after its release, and by that time, one of the members of the band was already gone. But such was the story of “That’s What Love Can Do”.
A lot of family groups have hit the charts over the years. You can undoubtedly name several, as a good number of those families hit the charts multiple times. But do you remember the Burke family, who hit the charts as part of two different groups? A lot of people will remember the first group, but how many of you remember The Invisible Man’s Band?
If Madonna was the pop charts’ “It girl” of the mid-80s, then Olivia Newton-John had to have had that role in the late 70s and early 80s.* With the release of Grease, Olivia Newton-John’s fame vaulted into the stratosphere. During that period, her music was found on pretty much every top 40 station and almost every adult contemporary station as well. Some of those hits still get some airplay (particularly the songs from Grease), but others are long forgotten. For example, Ms. Newton-John’s top 20 hit “Deeper Than the Night” hasn’t been heard in terrestrial radio in some time.