Men at Work are an Australian rock band formed in 1979 and best known for their 1981 hit “Down Under”. Its founding member was Colin Hay on lead vocals and guitar. After playing as an acoustic duo with Ron Strykert during 1978-79, he formed the group with Ron Strykert playing bass guitar, and Jerry Speiser on drums. They were soon joined by Greg Ham on flute, saxophone, and keyboards and John Rees on bass guitar, with Ron then switching to lead guitar. The group was managed by Russell Depeller, a friend of Colin Hay, whom he met at Latrobe University. This line-up achieved national and international success in the early 1980s. In January 1983, they were the first Australian artists to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States Billboard charts: Business as Usual (released on 9 November 1981) and “Down Under” (1981), respectively. With the same works, they achieved the distinction of a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single on the Australian, New Zealand, and United Kingdom charts. Their second album Cargo (2 May 1983) was also No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in New Zealand, No. 3 in the US, and No. 8 in the UK. Their third album Two Hearts (3 April 1985) reached the top 20 in Australia and top 50 in the US.
They won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1983, they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1994, and they have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. In May 2001, “Down Under” was listed at No. 4 on the APRA Top 30 Australian songs and Business as Usual appeared in the book 100 Best Australian Albums (October 2010).
The original band line-up split in two in 1984, with Jerry Speiser and John Rees being asked to leave the group. This left Colin Hay, Greg Ham and Ron Strykert. During the recording of the Two Hearts album, Ron decided to leave. Soon after the release of Two Hearts, Greg left also, leaving Colin Hay as the sole remaining member. Colin Hay and Greg Ham toured the world as Men At Work from 1996, until 2002. On 19 April 2012, Greg Ham was found dead at his home from an apparent heart attack. In 2019, Hay revived the moniker and began touring as Men at Work with a backing band.
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Men at Work were an Australian rock band which formed in 1979. Their founding mainstay was Colin Hay on lead vocals; he formed the group with Jerry Speiser on drums; and Ron Strykert on lead guitar; they were joined by Greg Ham on flute and keyboards; and then John Rees on bass guitar. This line up achieved national and international success in the early 1980s. In January 1983 they were the first Australian artists to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States Billboard charts – Business as Usual (released on 9 November 1981) and “Down Under” (1981) respectively. With the same works they achieved the same distinction of a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single on the Australian, New Zealand and United Kingdom charts. Their second album, Cargo (2 May 1983) was also No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in New Zealand, No. 3 in the US, and No. 8 in the UK. Their third album, Two Hearts (3 April 1985), reached the top 20 in Australia and top 50 in the US.
At the Grammy Awards of 1983 they won the Best New Artist category; while at the ARIA Music Awards of 1994 they were inducted into the related Hall of Fame. Men at Work have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. According to Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, “[i]rrespective of the band’s fairytale rise to prominence, [their] phenomenal success inextricably created worldwide interest in Australia and Australian music … [they] simply opened the floodgates with little more than a clutch of great songs … [and were] Australia’s most famous group” until the late 1980s. The group disbanded in 1986 and reformed in 1996 to disband again by 2002.
In May 2001 “Down Under” was listed at No. 4 on the APRA Top 30 Australian songs and Business as Usual appeared in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums (October 2010). In February 2010 Larrikin Music Publishing won a case against Hay and Strykert, their record label (Sony BMG Music Entertainment) and music publishing company (EMI Songs Australia) arising from the uncredited appropriation of “Kookaburra” for the flute line in “Down Under”. On 19 April 2012 Greg Ham’s body was found at his home “in what police said were unsuspicious circumstances”.
Colin James Hay (born 29 June 1953) is a Scottish Australian musician and actor who made his mark during the 1980s as lead vocalist of the Australian band Men at Work, and later as a solo artist. Regarding his solo career, Hay stated, in 2011: “I feel like it’s been building for the last fifteen or so years that I’ve been touring. It’s slow and steady. It’s been word-of-mouth. People see the show, like it, and tell their friends. It feels very organic.”
Hay’s music has been frequently used by actor and director Zach Braff in his work, subsequently leading to a career rebirth in the mid-2000s. Commenting on his younger fanbase, Hay noted, “Most of them have an idea about Men at Work, but that’s the subplot. They picked up on me since Scrubs, they’re young enough they never heard of Men at Work. But I’ve found if people discover you they discover everything about you.” – Wikipedia
||It’s a Mistake
||Who Can It Be Now?
||Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive
||Be Good Johnny
||Everything I Need
||Oh California (Colin Hay)
||No Time (Colin Hay)
||Beautiful World (Colin Hay)
||Hold Me (Colin Hay)
||Circles Erratica (Colin Hay)
||Hard Luck Story
||Man with Two Hearts
||The Longest Night
||Send Somebody (Colin Hay)
||Waiting For My Real Life To Begin (Colin Hay)