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Men At Work

Men at Work were one of the more surprising success stories of the new wave era, rocketing out of Australia in 1982 to become the most successful artist of the year. With its Police-styled rhythms, catchy guitar hooks, wailing saxophones, and off-kilter sense of humor, the band's debut album, Business as Usual, became an international blockbuster, breaking the American record for the most weeks a debut spent at the top of the charts. Their funny, irreverent videos became MTV favorites, helping send "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under" to number one. Men at Work's momentum sustained them through their second album, 1983's Cargo, before the bottom fell out of the band's popularity. After releasing Two Hearts in 1985, Men at Work broke up, becoming one of the better-remembered phenomena of new wave.

Colin Hay (lead vocals, guitar), a native of Scotland who moved to Australia at the age of 14, formed Men at Work as an acoustic duo with Ron Strykert (guitar, vocals) in Melbourne in 1979. Within a few months, the duo had expanded to a full group with the addition of John Rees (bass), Greg Ham (saxophone, flute, keyboards), and Jerry Speiser (drums). Over the next two years, the band became regulars at the Cricketer's Arms Hotel bar and on Australia's pub circuit, eventually becoming the highest-paid unsigned band in the country. By 1981, they had landed a contract with Australian Columbia, which released "Who Can It Be Now?" by the end of the year. The single became a huge hit, as did their debut album, Business as Usual, upon its spring 1982 release. Featuring contributions by Hay, Strykert, and Ham, Business as Usual spent ten weeks at the top of the Australian charts, beating a record held by Split Enz's True Colours. The album was released in America in the summer, and within a few weeks "Who Can It Be Now?" began its climb to the top of the U.S. charts. In November, Business as Usual hit the top of the charts, where it would stay for 15 weeks. "Down Under" became the group's second American number one early in 1983, and it became the band's first British hit single; the song reached number one in both countries simultaneously. In February, the band was named the Best New Artist of 1982 at the Grammys.

Men at Work's second album, Cargo, had been recorded during the summer of 1982, but its release was delayed because of the remarkable success of the debut. Largely written by Hay, Cargo reached number three in the U.S. and generated the Top Ten singles "Overkill" and "It's a Mistake." Following an extensive tour, during which the group co-headlined the U.S. Festival with the Clash and the Stray Cats, Men at Work took an extended break in 1984, which caused Speiser and Rees to leave the band. They were replaced by session musicians for the group's third album, 1985's Two Hearts. Though the record went gold in the U.S., it was a considerable commercial disappointment, failing to generate one Top 40 single. Following the release of Two Hearts, the band broke up. Out of the remaining members, Hay was the only one to pursue a solo career, but neither of his two American solo albums -- Looking for Jack (1987) and Wayfaring Sons (1990) -- were successes. Hay continued to release albums in Australia during the '90s; he also began an acting career. He and Ham re-formed Men at Work in 1996, recording the live hits collection Brazil on tour in South America that year; the album (including a newly recorded bonus studio track) was released in the United States two years later. In subsequent years, Hay and Ham along with guest musicians resurrected the Men at Work name for occasional live appearances. On April 19, 2012, Ham was found dead in his home in Melbourne's Carlton North suburb; he was 58 years old. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Comments

johnmargie6
Realy, you gotta love there music, it just gets under your skin, or better take cover.
One cool band...love their music...Land down under...simp l y great
moving in the down under land where the sound follows the averiganel time dreaming of the times long gone whispering the winds dance to passions conccusion intranced forever to the changeing seasons orra
One of my all time favs. Great music.
stevenpineda 2 7
Good musica
BOSSSSSS!
vasso350
This song reminds me of my childhood in the 80's and how simple life was before Adulthood. I love listening to this and reminding me of my families camping trips and beach fun as a kid. I'm proud to be Australian.
It's a mistake. Pure beauty.
Don't read this because it's actually spam you will waste what could be the most precious moments of your life. However if you don't post this comment someone you never met will get a cold in 7 days. Now that you've started reading you will keep reading if you don't stop. Put this on at least 7 songs in the next 777 minutes when done press f7 and you know nothing will happen. This is scary but people actually believe it including no one in your immediate family I hope.
johovas witness knockn at my door go a way don't come round here no more
/Inever get tired of listening to these guys
Great song, but Overkill is much better, Lazlo Bane does a great cover
jasonswcary
Land Down Under... wow what a soothing and rhythmic joy to listen too. And they use real instruments!
WHO CAN IT BE NOW?
nicko252008
I have been looking for a good copy of CARGO on vinyl for a very long time, Long live Men at work. I love Colin Hay's solo album Man at work. LOL :)
wilsonfireli l y
Don't read this because it acually works. You will be kissed on the nearest friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post it this you will die in two days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and you lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it work
Kiss your left hand
Say your crushes name
Say a school day
Close your left hand
Open it and look at it
Post this on 15 other songs and your crush will ask you out on that day
Saw Colin Hay a few years back with Ringo's All Star Band. Was really impressed and pleasantly surprised with his guitar playing..
Heard the other day this was 1# import song US for the 80s
you like men at work, you should check out my band Gay Dinosaurs
fultzsam
Ok, I know it's not halloween, by I accidentally hit my halloween station and this song came on. :/ idk
Given the fact it was a financial failure, and almost completely devoid of creativity, I shouldn't be surprised Two Hearts isn't available on here, and barely even mentioned in the bio, but I'd still like to be able to listen to it...
cold chisel
I love the 80's.......W i l d mix of music...exce p t for rap....I hate that.....PUL L YOUR PANTS UP! I admit I thought rap was a fad to die soon......da n g , I listen to classic musiic...... . A band and a singer. Sing and play musical instruments. . . . e x c e p t milli vanilli...
When I bought this album, I pretended to be sick and stayed home from school listening to it all day. Awesome!
I come from da land down undaaa
chrisgranell i
Phenomenal
good music
I can't escape these annoying people and their Don't read this... crap on every website in the world. Just how weird do you have to be to post these will come true posts? if these people are older than 12, I have only one image that soothes me. it's from the classic film Fargo and the word (or words) I am thinking of.......Woo d - C h i p p e r !
Funny, so many of the early MTV bands are almost laughable today,until your 9th shot of jagermeister , at a HS reunion.. Men At Work are almost the opposite. When they came on the scene their music seemed trendy, mindless and silly. Anything but timeless! Who would have thunk it??...Not me! Today their unique blend of reggae & Alt. rock sounds better than ever,success f u l l y surviving the test of time..Just goes to show why basic rock and roll instruments, blow away those cheesy 80's synthesizers .
More carnitas and italian horror flicks
What can I say? I am your leader so I should say something at least! A great group from the great decade of musical revolution, rennovation, innovation and massintroduc t i o n . Hey moe! Look at the grouse! Porcupine! Now I have to get back to my vegamite sandwich and mtv. Follow me and I will lead you to freedom and fajitas! And possibly carnitas and
WHO CAN IT BE NOW
he just smiled and gave me a bite of sandwich
AHhhahhhahah h a h a h a h a h h a h a h h a h a h a ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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 yu do not post this , you will die in 2 days .Now you,ve started reading this don,t stop .This is so scary.Postth i s on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes.When done , press f6 and your lovers name will come up on the screen.This is so scary,becaus e it works .f6
Love you
One of the best bands I ever saw in concert.,..w a y back when. lol
Oh too that flesh would melt flesh... Hamlet quote of the day
mayeskey
zap
Yes I do
I come from the great down under
Good Song
Men at work rules!!!
Don't read this because it actually works------- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - GO KILL YOURSELF!
Cool Song!
Men at Work were just plain fun to listen to. Still are.
shankbone9
Kiss your hand then say your crushes name then post this on 2 videos then look at your hand
Great name for a band and memorable music.
cmcsasssass
Don't read this because it actually happens . You will be kissed by your love by the nearest Friday. Tomorrow
will be the best day of your life. Now that you started reading this don't stop. Post this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. If you don't post this you will die in the next 2 days. When your done press f6 then your lovers name will be on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually real.
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