One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Timbuk3

“The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” by Timbuk3

Timbuk3 was formed in 1984 in Madison, Wisconsin by the husband and wife team of Pat MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars, harmonica, vocals, drum programming) and Barbara K. MacDonald (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm programming, vocals). In 1986 they released their first album, Greetings from Timbuk 3, which included their only single to chart, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”.

While the title of the song sounds positive, Pat revealed on VH1’s “100 Greatest
One-hit Wonders of the ’80s” that this was a misinterpretation. The bright future was referring to impending nuclear holocaust. It doesn’t matter though, as the song was a big hit for Timbuk3, peaking at #19 on December 27, 1986 in the U.S., and they were nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1987.

After the successful debut, Timbuk3 gradually faded away. They did go on to record five more albums, but nowhere near as successful as their debut. They would break up in 1995.

Let’s Return to the ’80s where “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”:


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