One Hit Wonders: Billy Vera and the Beaters

At This Moment by Billy Vera and the Beaters

by Robert Mishou

This One Hit Wonder was originally recorded in 1981 (reached #79), but did not receive any attention until 1986 when is was used in the sitcom Family Ties as a love theme for Alex Keaton (Michael J. Fox) and his on screen girlfriend (and future real life wife) Ellen (Tracy Pollan). The exposure that the song received from this popular TV show catapulted it all the way to #1 in January of 1987. The song is has a clear bar band sound with a piano and bass accompanied by an excellent horn section (with a great sax solo). Lyrically, the song is a lament for a fading relationship. The man is agonizing over his love moving on and finding someone else:

What did you think
I would do at this moment
When you’re standing before me
With tears in your eyes
Tryin’ to tell me that you
Found you another
And you just don’t love me no more

He explains to her that he is hurt, but still loves her too much to anything crazy. Yes, he does miss her and wants her back, but he is not going to yell and scream at her or he would never hurt her. His desperation is clear in the last verse (my favorite):

What do you think
I would give at this moment
If you stay I’d subtract twenty years from my life
I’d fall down on my knees
Kiss the ground that you walk on
If I could just hold you again

The song ends with Billy Vera singing his desperate pleas, finally going quiet as the band belts out one final burst. I have never purchased or even listened to an entire Billy Vera and the Beaters album and I most likely never will; but if you only get one hit – one minute in the sun – then this song is a great one to do it with. Every time I hear it I think of Family Ties and bask in ‘80s nostalgia. Of all the One HIt Wonders, I am most glad that this song resurfaced and claimed the honor of being a One Hit Wonder in this decade.


hese five make a total of fifteen One Hit Wonders over the last three weeks – these songs would make quite a mix tape – hey, not a bad idea. I will round out the first mix tape next week with five more great songs that fit into this beloved category of the ‘80s.

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