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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

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.
knouskt5
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life however if you do not post this comment to at least three songs, you'll die in two days. Now you've started reading this don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes. When it's done press F6 your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is scary because it actually works.
When I first heard the albums Business As Usual and Cargo, I became a fan instantly of Men At Work.
moses.estrad a
hell0
What is it with this nearest friday u willl get kissed s**t, I, ve seen at least ten different people say the same thing get something original who gives a s**t about a kiss on friday you'll still havr to jerk off on sunday that's scary.
Defiantly should not be on my station but I have to admit I kinds like them....
Don't read this cuz it pretty scary. On the nearest Friday u will get kissed by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. If u can't post this by the next 2 days u will die. Post this in 5 songs then press f6. Ur lovers name will appear in big letters spooky
My favorite band is Men At Work. I have always enjoyed their music. They do a good job capturing the times that they came about. I COME FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER!
Band should have been called " men looking for work" this was way overblown come on.
Don't read this cuz it pretty scary. On the nearest Friday u will get kissed by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. If u can't post this by the next 2 days u will die. Post this in 5 songs then press f6. Ur lovers name will appear in big letters spooky
love this song amd my name is yoshi from b.k.
This is MAW's most polished song. IMHO.
jasondemp
Best band ever
The extended version is nowhere as good as the original.
Can't you hear can't you hear the thunder, you better run you better take covaaaaaaaaa a a
love there songs!
BEST SONG OF THE 80s HANDS DOWN!!!!! My absolute favorite!!!! ! ! ! !
Overkill...a p p r o p r i a t e name...
Pandora, thx for playing ANOTHER Men At Work song!
Wonder how many pairs of glasses he owns??..Way coolio :)

What's with all the stupid Don't read this... comments all over it? Are we all adults here?
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