The Waitresses

The Waitresses were a post-punk band from Akron, Ohio,] known for their single “I Know What Boys Like”.. They released two albums, Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful and Bruiseology, and two EPs, I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts and Make the Weather.

The group was led by guitarist-songwriter Chris Butler with lead vocals performed by Patty Donahue.

“I Know What Boys Like” is a song written by guitarist Chris Butler in 1978, while he was still a member of the rock band Tin Huey.

It was recorded by Butler and released as a single in 1980, but beyond some club success, it did not appear on any charts. When he formed the band The Waitresses, with Patty Donahue as lead vocalist, the band recorded the song for its debut album, Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful?, released by Polydor Records in 1981. This version peaked at number 62 the week of May 29, 1982 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“I Know What Boys Like” was released as a single from the album in 1982. VH1 named the song as the 82nd greatest one-hit wonder of all-time in 2002 as well as the 34th greatest one-hit wonder of the 1980s in 2009.

A Flock of Seagulls

A Flock of Seagulls are an English new wave and synth-pop band originally formed in 1980 in Liverpool by Michael “Mike” Score (lead vocals, keyboards), his brother Alister “Ali” James Score (drums), and Francis Lee “Frank” Maudsley (bass), with their most famous line-up consisting of the Score brothers, Maudsley, and lead guitarist Paul Reynolds.

“I Ran (So Far Away)”, also released as “I Ran”, is a song by English new wave band A Flock of Seagulls. It was released in 1982 as their third single and it was the second single from their self-titled debut album. It topped the chart in Australia, and reached numbers seven and nine in New Zealand and the United States respectively, although the single did not enjoy similar success in the band’s home country (United Kingdom), failing to make the top 40.

In an article for Rolling Stone titled, Anglomania: The Second British Invasion, Parke Puterbaugh wrote of the impact of the song’s music video on its US chart success, “Fronted by a singer-synth player with a haircut stranger than anything you’d be likely to encounter in a month of poodle shows, A Flock of Seagulls struck gold on the first try.”

Bow Wow Wow

Bow Wow Wow are an English new wave band, created by manager Malcolm McLaren in 1980. McLaren recruited members of Adam and the Ants to form the band behind 13-year-old Annabella Lwin on vocals. They released their debut EP Your Cassette Pet in 1980. The band’s music was characterized by a danceable new wave sound that drew on a Burundi beat provided by Dave Barbarossa on drums, as well as the suggestive lyrics squealed into the mic by their teenage lead vocalist.

“I Want Candy” is a song written and originally recorded by the Strangeloves in 1965 that reached No. 11 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is a famous example of a song that uses the Bo Diddley beat.

English new wave group Bow Wow Wow released their version as the first and only single from their EP The Last of the Mohicans. For many in America, “I Want Candy” was their first introduction to young lead singer Annabella Lwin and the band. The song barely scraped the Top 50, but became an enduring new wave classic.

To capitalize on the success of the “I Want Candy” music video, RCA compiled an album called I Want Candy for their newfound American audience. The album peaked at No. 123 on the Billboard 200.

The Bow Wow Wow recording appeared on two VH1 countdowns:

No. 86 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s”
No. 8 on VH1’s “100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the ’80s

Modern English

Modern English are a new wave/post-punk band from Colchester, Essex, England formed in 1979 and best known for their song “I Melt with You”. The group disbanded in 1987, only to reform two years later and then disband after another two years (1991). They reunited again in 1995 and have continued in various lineups since that time, with four fifths of the original lineup currently back in the band.

“I Melt with You” is a song by the British new wave band Modern English. The song, produced by Hugh Jones, was the second single from their 1982 album After the Snow. It became the band’s sole hit single, largely in the United States, where it was featured in the film Valley Girl and on MTV. It reached number seven on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart in 1983 and a re-release reached number 76 on its Hot 100 chart in 1990 (after reaching number 78 in 1983). The song has been covered by a variety of groups, including Jason Mraz and Nouvelle Vague, and has been featured in numerous commercials and films.

Wall of Voodoo

Wall of Voodoo was an American new wave group from Los Angeles, California, United States, best known for the 1983 hit “Mexican Radio”. The band had a sound that was a fusion of synthesizer-based new wave music with the spaghetti Western soundtrack style of Ennio Morricone.

“Mexican Radio” is a song by American new wave band Wall of Voodoo. Produced by Richard Mazda, the track was initially released on their 1982 album Call of the West and was released as a single in early 1983. Despite regular airplay on MTV in their native United States, the song had moderate commercial success, peaking at no. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It did better in other parts of the world, peaking at no. 18 in Canada, no. 21 in New Zealand and no. 33 in Australia. It also reached no. 64 in the UK.

After the Fire

After the Fire (or ATF) were a British rock band that transitioned from playing progressive rock to new wave over their initial 12-year career, while having only one hit in the United States (“Der Kommissar”)

“Der Kommissar” is a song first recorded by Falco in Austria in 1981, covered a year later by After the Fire. Originally written by Robert Ponger and Falco, the Falco version reached the top of the charts in many countries.

After the Fire’s version featured English lyrics by the band’s Andy Piercy. The song peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Thomas Dolby

Thomas Morgan Robertson (born 14 October 1958), known by the stage name Thomas Dolby, is an English musician, producer, entrepreneur and teacher. He came to prominence in the 1980s, releasing the hit single “She Blinded Me with Science” (1982). He has also worked in production and as a session musician. In the 1990s he founded a Silicon Valley sound technology company, Beatnik, whose technology was used to create the Nokia tune. He was also the Music Director for the TED Conference. Currently on faculty at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Dolby leads Peabody’s Music for New Media program, which enrolled its first students in the fall of 2018.

“She Blinded Me with Science” is a song by the English musician Thomas Dolby, released in 1982. It was first released as a single in the UK in October 1982 and was subsequently included on the EP Blinded by Science and the second edition of Dolby’s debut album The Golden Age of Wireless.

Although viewed as a success in the United States, peaking at No. 5 in the Billboard Hot 100 and 2 weeks at No. 1 in Canada’s RPM Magazine, the song barely managed to score among the Top 50 in Dolby’s native United Kingdom, peaking at No. 49 in the UK Singles Chart.

Dolby is often considered a one-hit wonder in the United States on the basis of the song’s chart success there. In 2002, US cable television network VH1 named “She Blinded Me with Science” No. 20 on its list of the “100 Greatest One-hit Wonders”. While the song is Dolby’s only Top 40 single on the Billboard Hot 100, he has had other songs that scored on the music charts. In 2006, VH1 placed it at No. 76 on their list of “Greatest Songs of the ’80s”. Then, in 2009, it ranked No. 13 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the 80s.

Tommy Tutone

Tommy Tutone is a power pop band, best known for its 1981 hit “867-5309/Jenny”, which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Tommy Heath and Jim Keller founded the band in 1978, with Heath acting as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, also playing keyboards on occasion; Keller playing lead guitar and supporting vocals. Heath and Keller were the only constant members of Tommy Tutone during the band’s heyday, and the lineup featured a rotating membership of bassists and drummers. Bassist Jon Lyons (original name Jonathan Lyons Terlep), who performed on “867-5309,” replaced original bassist, Terry Nails. However, Lyons was soon replaced by Greg Sutton, later Pete Costello, and more recently Jimmy James. Mona Gnader, the bassist in Sammy Hagar’s Waborita band, played with the band as well. Original drummer Mickey Shine (Clover and drummer on the first Elvis Costello album) was replaced by Victor Carberry for the band’s second album. Carberry was in turn replaced with Jerry Angel. John Cowsill of The Cowsills played percussion (and sang) on “867-5309/Jenny.” From 2001-2010, the band has consisted of Heath, James, Greg Georgeson (guitar), Andy Gauthier (drums). Tommy Heath became a computer analyst and software engineer and moved to Portland, Oregon.

“867-5309/Jenny” is a 1981 song written by Alex Call and Jim Keller and performed by Tommy Tutone that was released on the album Tommy Tutone 2, on the Columbia Records label. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #16 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart in May 1982 (see 1982 in music).

The song caused a fad of people dialing 867-5309 and asking for “Jenny”

Gary Numan

Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), better known as Gary Numan, is an English singer, musician, songwriter, composer, and record producer. He first entered the music industry as the frontman of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, he released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979, topping the UK Albums Chart. His commercial popularity peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the No. 1 single”Cars”, but he maintains a strong cult following.

“Cars” is a song by English musician Gary Numan. His debut single, it was released as the lead single from his debut studio album, The Pleasure Principle (1979), on 21 August 1979. It reached the top of the charts in several countries, and today is considered a new wave staple.

The song was the first release credited solely to Gary Numan after he dropped the band name Tubeway Army, under which name he had released four singles and two LPs, including the number one UK hit “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?”, and its parent album, Replicas. Musically, the new song was somewhat lighter and more pop-oriented than its predecessors, Numan later conceding that he had chart success in mind: “This was the first time I had written a song with the intention of ‘maybe it could be a hit single’; I was writing this before ‘Are “Friends” Electric?’ happened.” He has since described “Cars” as “a pretty average song”.

In the UK charts, it reached number 1 in 1979, and in 1980 hit number 1 in Canada two weeks running on the RPM national singles chart (29 weeks in the top 100). It was his only single to chart there. It rose to number 9 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Though Numan had a string of hits in the UK, “Cars” was his only song in the US Hot 100. It debuted on the American Top 40 on 29 March 1980 and spent a total of 17 weeks in the AT40, peaking at #9.

Anita Ward

Anita Ward (born December 20, 1956) is an American singer and musician. She is best known for her 1979 million selling chart-topper “Ring My Bell”

“Ring My Bell” is a 1979 disco song written by Frederick Knight. The song was originally written for then eleven-year-old Stacy Lattisaw, as a teenybopper song about kids talking on the telephone. When Lattisaw signed with a different label, Anita Ward was asked to sing it instead, and it became her only major hit.

Ward’s single hit number one on the disco charts. “Ring My Bell” went to number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Soul Singles chart. It also reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. It also garnered Ward a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1980 Grammy Awards.