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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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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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Being a liberal and/or a socialist IS A MISTAKE! !
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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 :-)
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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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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!
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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...
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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...
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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"???
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lloriellie
Just discovered Collin, I can't believe how good this guy is! I love his lyrics, cadence, music, voice. Lots of feeling.
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Saw him solo about 6mos. ago very good show
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A super original however I swear I heard Bob Segar in a few notes..
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It's A Mistake
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811432216
I like your sound! I always have! You helped make the 80's my favorite decade of music!
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suzannenixon
One of the better live shows I have seen. We are fans.
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Love his music. How can anyone not?
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i love his solo work
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Seen him 3 times at small venues. If you get the chance see him it will move you
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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.
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Going to see him tomorrow night in Indy. Colin always puts on an amazing show!
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Cool songs he wrote and sing !!!
I love them all :) !!
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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!!
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Besides being a great song writer, Colin puts on a great concert!!!
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Lol to all my Ex s
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Colin paints a beautiful picture with his music....
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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?
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Reminds me of Sting
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rountree99
Love his music on episodes of Scrubs. He even made a cameo on an episode.
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bucbuster
What solo recording would you recommend??
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