1980s one-hit wonder Wednesdays: John Hunter

One of my best friends and I bonded over music in the 1980s as friends are apt to do. However, Jonathan and I have always been ridiculously simpatico when it comes to what we consider to be great songs, despite his obsession with Patti Smyth.

Kidding aside, we both loved this tune from a guy named John Hunter, which I’ve always misspelled as Jon Hunter until today. He was with a Chicago-area band called The Hounds, and he had a minor, minor, minor solo hit in 1985 with a song called “Tragedy.”

This was a minor hit, but a major song. One of my all-time favorites of the decade.

And it’s a great video, too. Check it out.

It peaked at No. 39 on February 16 and 23 of 1985, and it was gone just like that. I was able to find this Chicago Tribune article about Hunter’s success with the song and his aspirations to become a great writer. In the article, he talks about getting to move out of his parents’ home and buying a nice car.

Perks.

He never sniffed commercial success again, but God bless America, he contributed a wonderful song to the 1980s catalog. Best I can tell from Google, he’s been a music instructor somewhere in Chicago — and best I can tell from YouTube, the band The Hounds has gotten together at least once over the past few years.

1980s one-hit wonder Wednesdays: The Church

Ever since I started this blog dedicated to the greatness of 1980s music a couple of weeks ago, I have intended to delineate some editorial plans for certain days of the week. For example, I think Wednesdays are perfect for one-hit wonders of the decade. Get it? Wonder Wednesdays? It’s alliterative.

And when I refer to one-hit wonders, I’m referring specifically to one-hit wonders of the American pop music charts as tabulated by Billboard magazine. I don’t think I’ll explain that with each blog, but for this era, in America, that was the standard: Billboard.

It also should be said that for every one-hit wonder, from any era, there is likely years and years of struggle, sweat and good old-fashioned hard work that goes into cultivating an audience and creating art. My first one-hit wonder of the 1980s achieved its biggest success in 1988, but they got started in 1980. It’s The Church, an indie band out of Sydney, Australia.

The four-man band got its one and only American chart hit in 1988 with “Under the Milky Way,” a wonderfully haunting song that remains a favorite of mine from the era.

That track peaked at No. 24 in 1988, and the band was never heard from again on the American pop charts. However, they did get some indie play with a tune called “Metropolis” at the end of the 80s into the early 90s. This song was The Church’s biggest chart hit in Australia, peaking at No. 19. Alas, it didn’t even crack the Hot 100 in the States.

In all, The Church had four Top 40 hits Down Under but only one in America. It doesn’t diminish their greatness by any means, especially when you consider that they gave us “Under the Milky Way.” Beautiful song and quintessentially 80s.

About the image: By Source, Fair use, Link