Can You Name These '80s and '90s One Hit Wonders from a Photo?

ENTERTAINMENT

Jacqueline Samaroo

7 Min Quiz

Image: Blue Gorilla Records/RCA/Atlantic Records

About This Quiz

Whoomp! Here it is - a great way to prove you know all about the music of the '80s and '90s!

The '80s and '90s were chock full of great music. From soulful melodies to psychedelic beats and pumping dance music, it seems these two decades offered it all. In the span of those 20 years, many one-hit wonders came and went, but they left us with iconic and timeless songs we'll be reminiscing with for decades to come.

A few of the songs were themes for TV series or movies, like that inspirational instrumental that still gets played at most sporting events. Know which one we mean? We're sure you do, so come prove it!

Creative, dramatic, quirky or funny - music videos helped several of these songs achieve the phenomenal level of success that they enjoyed. Once MTV put the music video for some of these songs in heavy rotation, it was a safe bet they would end up on everyone's lips. Remember the little "Bee Girl" in search of friends or the rappers with their clothes on backward? We hope you do because they're in the quiz, so "jump" right in!

The very best one hit wonders of the '80s and '90s were international mega-hits, but it will take a true music enthusiast to remember them all. Do you think you can? Are you up to the challenge? Come have the time of your life - take the quiz now!

Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Los Del Rio’s Macarena seemed to personify what the 1990s dance music was all about. The infectious song peaked at number one on numerous charts around the world while the corresponding dance moves got everyone moving - some much better than others. Although, we doubt anyone can beat Al Gore’s version at the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

In 1965, Gloria Jones released the original and very different sounding version of "Tainted Love." The song performed poorly, however, until English techno-pop duo Soft Cell did a cover of it in 1981 (released in the U.S. in 1982). Their version took the record for the longest consecutive stay on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, at a total of 43 weeks.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

When it comes to "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred, the truth is you either hate it or love it – which explains why the song got voted onto lists of both worst and best songs ever. The song’s lovers outnumbered the haters, however, as it managed to get certified Gold in the U.K., Canada and Austria, and Platinum in both the U.S. and Australia.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Few people know that Toni Basil’s 1982 smash hit “Mickey” was originally titled “Kitty” and released in 1979 by the British pop group Racey. Several other artists have covered the song since then including "Weird Al" Yankovic whose parody of it, titled “Ricky,” pays homage to the "I Love Lucy" comedy series.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

When German rock group Nena released their anti-war protest song, 99 Luftballons, in 1984, they also decided to release a somewhat altered English version titled "99 Red Balloons." It turned out to be a smart idea since both songs topped the charts in several countries and managed to get certified either Gold or Platinum.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Jamaican reggae artist Ini Kamoze began his singing career in the early 1980s as a dancehall artist. His big international break didn’t come along until 1994, however, when he released "Here Comes the Hotstepper" which topped numerous charts with its catchy “na, na, na, na, na,….” chorus.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Known more blatantly as “I Like Big Butts,” Sir Mix-a-lot’s "Baby Got Back" caused quite a stir upon its release in 1992. Its overtly sexual lyrics and racy music video got it banned on MTV (for a short while), but that didn’t stop it from topping the charts, winning a Grammy and being voted into the number 17 spot on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop (2008).

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Listeners in the U.S. and Canada certainly loved Englishman Thomas Dolby’s "She Blinded Me with Science" when it was released in 1982. Listeners in the U.K. were not so taken with the song, however, as it only managed to reach number 49 on the UK Singles Chart.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

A-ha, a techno-pop group made up of three guys from Norway, found major mainstream success with their 1984 single "Take on Me." It wasn’t easy, however, as the group had to go through two versions, three releases and an awesome music video before the song gained attention. That music video, by the way, was nominated for 8 MTV Video Music Awards in 1986, winning 6 of them.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Three Grammy nominations and the number spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart attest to the power of Joan Osborne’s rendition of "One of Us." This song about faith and our view of God was written by Eric Bazilian, one of the founding members of the rock band The Hooters.

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Which one hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Those who fell in love with Barely Breathing may be surprised to hear it was added to Duncan Sheik’s debut album as a throwaway track. We’re pretty sure the resulting Grammy nomination and 55 weeks on the Billboard charts took Duncan Sheik’s breath away – wow!

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Hip-hop group House of Pain released Jump Around in 1992, and that’s exactly what the song had fans doing on the dance floor as it raced to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has since remained a staple for dancehall DJs.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Lipps, Inc and lead singer Cynthia Johnson took the world by storm with the 1980 release of their single "Funkytown." The song shot to number one in 28 countries, a feat that remained unmatched until Madonna’s "Hung Up," which topped the charts in 41 countries.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

English pop band Dexys Midnight Runners achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic when their 1982 hit song "Come On Eileen" reached number one in the U.K. and the U.S. Sadly, contrary to popular belief, there was no real “Eileen.”

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Robert Van Winkle, better known as Vanilla Ice, smashed stereotypes and broke into all-new territory with his 1990 hit "Ice Ice Baby." The song has gone down in history as the first hip-hop single to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

New wave rock band Devo got all the elements just right with their 1980 song "Whip It." Devo has been in existence since 1973 and "Whip It" marks the only time the group was able to reach inside the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 list when it peaked at number 14. The single was also certified Gold in both the U.S. and Canada.

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Which-one hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin had every reason to smile with the performance of his single "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" in 1988. The song was a mega-hit around the globe and earned the distinction of being the very first a cappella song to take the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

English dance-pop group "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" created (very controversial) waves with their debut single "Relax." The song’s overtly sexual lyrics got it banned by the BBC, but that didn’t stop it from topping charts in England for five straight weeks. The song also did quite well in the U.S. where it made the Billboard top 10.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Ecuadorian-American rapper Gerardo took his tight jeans and firm abs to number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his 1990 single Rico Suave. Gerardo toured the world with his hit song and performed it live on The Oprah Show in 1991.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

"Closing Time" by Semisonic made it all the way to the top of the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks list. Band member Dan Wilson wrote the song about customers leaving a bar at closing time as he reflected on his impending role as a father.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Greek composer Vangelis won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his soundtrack to the 1981 film "Chariots of Fire." The film’s opening theme also became known as "Chariots of Fire" and managed to reach the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after spending five weeks lower down in the rankings. The song has gone on to become synonymous with the sporting events.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Rolling Stone Magazine ranked "Tubthumping" by British alternative rock band Chumbawamba as number 12 on its list of 20 Most Annoying Songs. The song resonated with listeners, however, and took the top spot on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40, Adult Top 40 and Alternative Songs lists. Many fans refer to Tubthumping by its first line “I Get Knocked Down.”

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Bad Boys by Jamaican reggae band Inner Circle rose to prominence after it was selected as the opening theme to the Fox TV series "Cops." The song was later used in the films "Bad Boys" (1995) and "Bad Boys II" (2003), which starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

English new wave band Bow Wow Wow is just one of several artists to cover "I Want Candy" (originally released by the Strangeloves in 1965). While Bow Wow Wow’s version didn’t make it into very many top 20s, it performed well enough, long enough to earn the group status as a one-hit wonder.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

English punk rock band Splodgenessabounds managed to take "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please" all the way to number 7 on the UK Singles Chart. They achieved that feat despite the fact (or perhaps very much because of it) that the song’s long title is pretty much all that gets said throughout the song.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

German mambo musician Lou Bega scored it big with his 1999 cover of Mambo No.5, which was originally done by Cuban musician Dámaso Pérez Prado. Lou Bega’s version didn’t just make the charts – it went straight to the top in most countries, including France where it spent a remarkable 20 weeks in the number one spot.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

"Obsession" wasn’t an Animotion original; the song had been released a year earlier as a duet by other artists. Animotion’s 1984 version, however, fared much better thanks in part to a creative video which got quite a bit of airtime on MTV. The song made it into the top 10 in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Germany.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

VH1 Network might not have thought much of Billy Ray Cyrus’s "Achy Breaky Heart," but that didn’t stop the song from breaking onto the charts in quite a few countries. In fact, while VH1 ranked it at number 2 on its list of the 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever, "Achy Breaky Heart" made it to number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs list.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

The futuristic sounds of A Flock of Seagulls, an English new wave and techno-pop band were very well received in the early 1980s. The band even won a Grammy for one of the tracks on their debut album. Surprisingly, it wasn’t for "I Ran (So Far Away)," which is considered their biggest hit, reaching all the way to number one in Australia and number 3 on Billboard’s Top Tracks chart.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

By the time Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia decided to make "Torn" her debut single, four different artists had already done it. Her 1997 rendition, however, was by far the most popular, making it number one in the U.S., Canada, and several European countries while receiving Double Platinum certification in the UK.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Power pop band Tommy Tutone released 867-5309/Jenny in 1981 and decades later the song is still causing a stir. In various area codes, the number gets repeatedly (prank) called by people asking for Jenny. This had led to several businesses rushing to claim the number to cash in on its popularity.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

English new wave band Modern English gave us an enduring classic when they released "I Melt with You" in 1982. Various artists have since covered the song, and versions of "I Melt with You" have been routinely featured in ad campaigns and on movie soundtracks.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Heavy metal band Twisted Sister had a loyal following among rock music fans, but they managed to achieve mainstream recognition with the help of their 1984 song "We’re Not Gonna Take It." The song, boosted by its comedic music video, made it to number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

With Gold certifications in the UK and France, plus Platinum in Canada, Pass the Dutchie is by far the biggest hit for English Jamaican reggae band Musical Youth. The song peaked at number one in several countries and made it to number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Childhood friends Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith busted on to the scene with an awesome song and a different (backward) fashion style. "Jump," released in 1992, was their debut single and the biggest hit of their career. It took first or second place on most international charts and was certified double Platinum in the U.S.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

A true one-hit wonder, Tag Team made it to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B Singles with their 1993 single "Whoomp! (There It Is)." Their next best performing song, "Here It Is, Bam!" (1994) only managed to make it to number 75 on the Hot R&B Singles chart.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

"No Rain" by American rock band Blind Melon fared very well on the American music charts and made it all the way to number one in Canada. It gave the band their one-hit wonder status and propelled young actress Heather DeLoach into the spotlight for her performance as the “Bee Girl” in the song’s music video.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes each had successful careers – he is half of the famous Righteous Brothers, and she has hit duets with other singers such as "Up Where We Belong" (1982) with Joe Crocker. As a duo, however, they often get listed as a one-hit wonder thanks to the phenomenal success of "(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life," which was the theme song for the 1987 box office hit "Dirty Dancing."

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

Trinidadian-German Haddaway scored it pretty big with the pumping beat of his hit 1993 hit song "What Is Love." The song was ranked as number one in 13 countries and finished the year in most country’s top 10. Forever the quintessential dance song, "What Is Love" was certified Gold or Platinum in several countries, including Triple Gold in Germany.

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Which one-hit wonder is shown in this photo?

"Groove Is in the Heart" took the number 4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list and propelled Deee-Lite to international fame. It was the lead single from the group’s 1990 debut album, and although Deee-Lite enjoyed moderate success before disbanding in 1996, none of their other songs managed to perform as well as "Groove Is in the Heart."

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