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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 eleventh album Gathering Mercury. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Don't read what's below this post.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works!
Love the acoustic versions of mr hays' work with men at work. Really good stuff!
Does anybody know what the song children on parade means
crofty98
VERY talented...
His music has always brought me comfort. I'm a big fan.
I'm loving Colin's solo stuff. Talendted dude.
@cb15724, Imagine that...Music Television actually playing music...
cb15724
I definitely miss men at work. Remember seeing them on mtv, when mtv played videos.
Personally I love his solo work and how it evolved over time. Love Is Innocent is a fantastic song.
like the stripped down sound... makes it seem like a lullaby
Ruined. Good singer. Good guy. But ruined. U need the rest of the band.
sebarbero68
How about his first solo effort .. "Looking for Jack"???
lloriellie
Just discovered Collin, I can't believe how good this guy is! I love his lyrics, cadence, music, voice. Lots of feeling.
Saw him solo about 6mos. ago very good show
A super original however I swear I heard Bob Segar in a few notes..
It's A Mistake
811432216
I like your sound! I always have! You helped make the 80's my favorite decade of music!
suzannenixon
One of the better live shows I have seen. We are fans.
Love his music. How can anyone not?
i love his solo work
Seen him 3 times at small venues. If you get the chance see him it will move you
Pandora is going to make me hate this artist if it doesn't stop playing him every 3rd song -- which is a shame, because Men at Work was my first-ever favorite band.
Going to see him tomorrow night in Indy. Colin always puts on an amazing show!
Cool songs he wrote and sing !!!
I love them all :) !!
Have seen him a couple of times in Minneapolis over the years and he always puts on a GREAT show!! Colin always sounds great....and he is a funny guy and a great story teller....an d keeps the audience laughing in between songs. Can't wait to see him again. Peace!!
Besides being a great song writer, Colin puts on a great concert!!!
Lol to all my Ex s
Colin paints a beautiful picture with his music....
Colin is such a beautiful person , an old soul , I think he must be to put such sweet music out here for us to get lost in,yes?
Reminds me of Sting
rountree99
Love his music on episodes of Scrubs. He even made a cameo on an episode.
bucbuster
What solo recording would you recommend??
dawnalbat
i love this song. i slew the dragon today :)
Is it me but his voice kinda sound reggae in a way. Great song by the way.
I like the non acoustic version better
robertjohnso n 3 4 0
He can sing..write. . . p l a y . . . h e doesn't need to do so much standup....h e ' s funny, but he is a F*&n great. You'll hear 13-14 tunes....his cover tunes are killer....
One of the MOST underrated artists of our time.. If you ever have the chance to see him in concert GO!
atresierras
Brilliant chorus and bridge. Reminds me of my childhood.
I can't help but like his songs. Many of them make me lock on to some aspect of my own life and sometimes even see it in a new way. I may feel happier or sadder, but I am always moved in some direction.
AWSOME song also love It's a Mistake
greenleafgir l 1 1
Absolutely love this song.. such a sweet heartbreaker .
Have seen CH live many times, what a great, entertainig performer. Love his solo recordings as well
True artist.
Colin Hay's Overkill cameo in the Scrubs tv show is priceless!
I am infatuated with Colin.
This Works in Maine.
Hay Colin, I love your Work with the Men!
gonna see him at bonnaroooooo :) so stoked!!!!
love, Love, LOVE colin!
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