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Colin Hay

As the singer, guitarist, and main songwriter of Australia's Men at Work, Colin Hay was responsible for penning several of the quirkiest pop hits of the early '80s. Although he and his former band will forever be associated with "the land down under," Hay originally hailed from Scotland, where he was born in the town of Kilwinning on June 29, 1953. Hay relocated to Australia in 1967, by which time he had begun playing guitar and singing. Although the country is probably best known for spawning hard rock bands (AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Radio Birdman, etc.), Hay sought to form a band that was more in line with the burgeoning new wave style, but one that also embraced pop. Shortly after joining up with guitarist Ron Strykert in 1978, Hay's master plan was realized, as Men at Work were formed. Rounding out the band was saxophonist/flutist Greg Ham, bassist John Rees, and drummer Jerry Speiser, who in 1982 issued their debut full-length, Business as Usual. Earning quite a few comparisons to then-reigning chart kings the Police, Men at Work quickly became MTV favorites (during the station's early days). Since he was the group's main singer and songwriter, Hay quickly became the focal point of the band, as such humorous videos for "Who Can It Be Now" and "Down Under" pushed the debut album to the top of the U.S. charts -- making Men at Work an overnight sensation. Perhaps sensing that they should strike again while they were still fresh in people's minds, Men at Work went directly back in the studio to work on another album. Issued in 1983, Cargo was another sizable hit, but did not fare nearly as well as its predecessor -- commercially or artistically.

Taking an extended break, Hay and company did not resurface again until 1985's Two Hearts, an unfocused recording that saw almost half of the band replaced. With the album's disappointing showing, Men at Work split up shortly thereafter. Hay embarked on a solo career, debuting in 1987 with Looking for Jack (the title of which supposedly referred to a brief encounter Hay had with actor Jack Nicholson), which once more failed to match the success of his early work with Men at Work. Hay continued to release solo material with regularity throughout the '90s, including such titles as 1990's Wayfaring Sons, 1992's Peaks & Valleys, 1994's Topanga, and 1998's Transcendental Highway. The same decade, Hay also launched his own record label, Lazy Eye Records, and sporadically acted in cult movies (which he had began doing the previous decade) and TV shows, including parts on such series as JAG, The Larry Sanders Show, and The Mick Molloy Show, among others. Hay continues to release albums and tour to this day. The first few years of the 21st century saw the release of a pair of recordings -- a new studio album in 2001, Going Somewhere, and a collection of re-recorded Men at Work and solo tracks in 2003 (Man at Work). Hay also toured with Ringo Starr in the summer of 2003, as part of the former Beatles drummer's annual All Starr Band. He issued Are You Lookin' at Me? in 2007 and American Sunshine in 2009, both of which were released on the Compass label. Two years later, Hay released his 11th album, Gathering Mercury, which was followed in 2015 by Next Year People. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Gathering Mercury

1. Send Somebody

2. Family Man

3. Invisible

4. Dear Father

5. Gathering Mercury

6. Half A Million Angels

7. Far From Home

8. Where The Sky Is Blue

9. A Simple Song

10. Goodnight Romeo

x

Track List: American Sunshine

1. Oh California

2. Prison Time

3. There's Water Over You

4. I Came Into Your Store

5. No Time

6. Broken Love

7. I Can't Get Up Out Of This Bed

9. Baby Can I See You Tonight

10. Pleased To Almost Meet You

x

Track List: Are You Looking At Me?

1. Are You Lookin' At Me?

2. Lose To Win

3. Here In My Hometown

4. Up In Smoke

5. No One Knows

6. This Time I Got You

7. Lonely Without You

8. What Would Bob Do?

9. Pure Love

10. Me And My Imaginary Friend

11. Land Of The Midnight Sun

x

Track List: Man @ Work

1. Beautiful World (Alternate Mix)

2. Down Under (Acoustic Version)

3. Overkill (Acoustic Version)

4. Storm In My Heart (New Recording)

5. Looking For Jack (New Recording)

6. Don't Be Afraid (Previously Unreleased)

7. It's A Mistake (New Recording)

8. Waiting For My Real Life To Begin (Re-Release)

9. To Have And To Hold (Previously Unreleased)

10. Who Can It Be Now? (Acoustic Version)

11. Be Good Johnny (New Recording)

12. Love Is Innocent (Previously Unreleased)

13. Down Under

x

Track List: Company Of Strangers

1. I Got Woken Up

2. Small Town Big Hell

3. Lucky B**tard

4. Company Of Strangers

5. No Win Situation

6. Dear J

7. Small Price To Be Free

8. How Long Will It Last

9. Lifeline

10. Don't Wait Up

11. Beautiful World

12. And If You Only Knew

13. Company Of Strangers (Acoustic)

x

Track List: Going Somewhere

1. Beautiful World

2. Looking For Jack

3. Going Somewhere

4. Wayfaring Sons

5. Children On Parade

6. My Brilliant Feat

7. Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

8. Don't Wait Up

9. Lifeline

10. Circles Erratica

11. Water Song

12. Maggie

13. I Don't Know Why

x

Track List: Transcendental Highway

1. Transcendental Highway

2. Don't Believe You Anymore

3. My Brilliant Feat

4. Goodbye My Red Rose

5. If I Go

6. I'm Doing Fine

7. Wash It All Away

8. Cactus

9. Death Row Conversation

10. I'll Leave The Light On

11. Freedom Calling

12. I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You

13. I'm Doin' Fine (Demo)

x

Track List: Topanga

1. I Haven't Seen You In A Long Time

2. Into The Cornfields

3. Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

4. Can't Take This Town

5. I Think I Know

6. Against The Tide

7. I Don't Miss You Now

8. She Put The Blame On You

9. Woman's Face

10. Lost Generation

11. Road To Mandalay

12. Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh Baby

13. Spencer The Rover (Bonus Track)

x

Track List: Peaks & Valleys

1. Into The Cornfields

2. She Keeps Me Dreaming

3. Can't Take This Town

4. Walk Amongst His Ruins

5. Hold On To My Hand

6. Keep On Walking

7. Dream On

8. Boy Boy

9. Conversation

10. Melbourne Song

11. Sometimes I Wish

12. Go Ask An Old Man

13. Sea Dogs

x

Track List: Next Year People

1. Trying to Get to You

2. If I Had Been a Better Man

3. Did You Just Take the Long Way Home?

4. I Want you Back

5. Next Year People

6. Lived in Vain

7. Scattered in the Sand

8. To There from Here

9. Mr. Gorgan

10. Waiting in the Rain

Comments

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Today was a blessed and lucky day for me and I hope it was for you. I life I'm more that ready to began.
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Ghost's appear & fade away........ . .
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Colin was never as Productive as he was when he was part of Men at Work. Loved their music with his voice though!
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bstfraser7
Great live performer, if you see him live be prepared for some funny stories in between songs. You get a comedy act and great music for one price! Also, less known for but easily recognized when you see him as a great guitarist. Rock on Colin, always look forward to seeing you live!
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Always great stuff from Colin Hay!
Great songwriter/c o m p o s e r ! !
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aholland71
I prefer his solo stuff to Men at Work. Love him...
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trey.hogan
As a child of the 80's I have long loved the songs of Colin Hay and Men at Work and as his songs have grown in time so have I grown with the realization that his songs mirror not just his life but also my own. I still long for the Men at Work reunion but hope Colin keeps going no matter what . One of the greatest singers in the last 40 years!
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Grateful to have found this great mans work. Just new to it yesterday. Thank you Pandora®
Colin Hay, Thank you for your determinatio n , drive and most importantly for sharing the wonderful sound of song from your life experiences and creativity. ❤️
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I just saw Colin Hay last night on Jimmy Fallon and I cannot wait to check out all of these solo songs! I love his sound and I didn't know he was Scottish!
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Really too bad that people who have not heard Hay's solo work will forever associate him with the sillier side of Men At Work. Even then he was a good writer, although treasures such as Down By The Sea faded away, unappreciate d . I'm not sure if it's the older I get?...Or Colin gets???....B U T . . . s o m e t h i n g really clicks for me, when it comes to his solo work. Great Singer as well!
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Magic :-) singer / songwriter one of the Grestest. Blessed to listen to������
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mickeytheplu m b e r
It great
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I love your independent music so much and you are my favorite live act! I can't wait till you come back to Florida in January!!! ❤️
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He's my vision someone needs to bring Rock back alive.
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archerkm2002
Mr. Hay supports my vision of life...
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Saw him in Boise, ID with the Violent Femmes and Barenaked Ladies. He was amazing and a great start to a great show! Very humble man; my 14 year-old daughter just loved him!
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Flying Song
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info86421
Hey Hay! Almost Today! Your legacy is an amazing one. Love you man. Keep on singing it.
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Can't ya hear the thunder?

Better run, better take cover.

The acoustic stuff is spectacular. I loved it the first time around!
Report as inappropriate
ritchiec53
Colin Hay is awesome. Loved you with Men @ Work and more as a solo. Will be catching you with Violent Femmes this summer at Treasure Island Casino. Hope to meet you and catch up with my cousin Brian of the Femmes.
CR
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listen to the words...begi n your Life!
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I think you've mistaken... Tune into rush Limbaugh!
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M. Rocks... What the hell r u talking about????? Isn't this a music station?????
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This song is overplayed.. . He made other music... Let's hear it ... pandora if you're reading this!!!!!
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joanflora
He's great live--beauti f u l voice, wonderful story teller, stunning guitarist. Don't miss his live show.
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Overkill acoustic is good
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ritchiec53
Loved Men @ Work but like his solo stuff even better. Will catch him this summer at Treasure Island in MN with Violent Femmes and bare naked ladies. June 12th.
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barbleppert6 5
perfect
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MTV ruled in the 80's. Nothing but music videos.
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It would be cool if a TV station played the old MTV station, just the eighties just up to the early 90"s????
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mhagerla
I agree imaadspasha :-)
Report as inappropriate
I love hearing his music. It fills me with so much joy, yet oddly gives me a feeling of sadness; a feeling that I can only relate to remembering a memory and realizing that that time has long since passed and will only exist in your mind. I don't know. That might make sense to someone. But I absolutely adore all of his musical talent.
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Don't ever stop Mr. Hay. It would be a mistake.. =)
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Really enjoy hearing the acoustic and redone material from Mr. Hay. Like re connecting with an old friend... Older grayer... Just like me. Makes me want to grab a pint and reminisce
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mgalexa1
I had lost track of this artist, but heard a cut on Pandora, and thought who is that, love that sound.
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Don't read what's below this post.
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Love the acoustic versions of mr hays' work with men at work. Really good stuff!
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Does anybody know what the song children on parade means
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crofty98
VERY talented...
Report as inappropriate
His music has always brought me comfort. I'm a big fan.
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I'm loving Colin's solo stuff. Talendted dude.
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@cb15724, Imagine that...Music Television actually playing music...
Report as inappropriate
cb15724
I definitely miss men at work. Remember seeing them on mtv, when mtv played videos.
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Personally I love his solo work and how it evolved over time. Love Is Innocent is a fantastic song.
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like the stripped down sound... makes it seem like a lullaby
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Ruined. Good singer. Good guy. But ruined. U need the rest of the band.
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sebarbero68
How about his first solo effort .. "Looking for Jack"???
Report as inappropriate
lloriellie
Just discovered Collin, I can't believe how good this guy is! I love his lyrics, cadence, music, voice. Lots of feeling.
Report as inappropriate
Saw him solo about 6mos. ago very good show
Report as inappropriate
A super original however I swear I heard Bob Segar in a few notes..
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