The One-Hit Wonders – The 80s Part 13.

This is a rather rare case of a song being a “double one-hit wonder”, being the only hit single for two different acts in the 80s, what are the odds? The first success of this song was before my time, as they say on game shows too often, but here’s how I discovered this one. A long time ago I was watching an episode of The Simpsons from 1992 when Homer becomes rather fond of a singer and says “I can’t get your song out of my mind, I haven’t felt this way since “Funky Town””.

Now this wasn’t a song that I was familiar with, but because I was amused by the reference, I thought that I should have a listen out for if it ever comes on the radio. I eventually did hear this, I think the first time was on Virgin’s Johnny Boy And The Wheels Of Steel, which as I have said before introduced me to lots of great songs from the early-80s, and at this moment I now realised what Homer was on about, it’s one of the rare things that he has got right. vlcsnap-00273

“Funky Town” was released by American group Lipps Inc. in May 1980, this had already spent four weeks at Number One in America, it was clear to see why as it was a great piece of disco, and in the UK this reached no. 2. I also found some TV performances of this online that were very entertaining. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, this was also featured on the soundtrack to Shrek 2. vlcsnap-00275

Lipps Inc. went on to have no further hits in the UK, but the one they did have has endured longer than most in the disco genre. And then, seven years later, “Funky Town” returned to the singles chart in July 1987 with a cover version by Australian group Pseudo Echo. And well, once again it was an indication of how quickly genres changed in the 80s, this one giving off a big “guy with a mullet playing a keytar” vibe. vlcsnap-00276

When compared to the original, many feel this does come off as second-best, but it’s still very enjoyable and proof that you can’t go wrong with this one. This version spent seven weeks at Number One in Australia in 1986/1987, made the Top Ten in America, and reached no. 8 in the UK, making “Funky Town” a Top Ten hit for a second time. And curiously, just like Lipps Inc., Pseudo Echo never got near the chart in this country again.

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