Men at Work (Australian rock band)

~ Group


Men At Work: formed in 1979 Group members (in early 80s): * Colin Hay (born June 29, 1954) (lead singer/guitar)(additionally has an extensive solo career). * Ron Strykert (guitar/vocals). * John Rees (bass). * Jerry Speiser (drums). * Greg Ham (saxophone, flute, keyboards).

*Best known albums/songs w/ "Men At Work":

-Business as Usual 1982 (Down Under, Who Can It Be Now, Be Good Johnny, Down By The Sea), stayed at #1 on the American charts for 16 weeks.

-Cargo 1983 (Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive, Overkill, It's A Mistake).

*"Men At Work" won the 1982 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

-Brazil 96 (Including only 2 original members Colin Hay & Greg Ham, recorded live in Brazil, May 1996 and originally only available as an import. 2yrs later renamed simply 'Brazil' it was released stateside including the track 'The Longest Night' recorded March 1998).

*Colin Hay's solo career has included great accoustic versions of his songs from the "Men At Work" years as well as numerous newer songs that show the writer's unique ability to convey complexity and depth within seemingly simple observations of life. For those who have not delved deeper into Hay's music than "Men At Work" you're in for a treat by checking out his more recent material.

*Solo songs have included "Beautiful World", "I Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" (the later featured in the film Garden State), and "Into My Life" (huge hit in Brazil). *Solo albums have included "Looking For Jack" (1987), , "Wayfaring Sons" (1990), "Topanga", "Transcendental Highway", "Going Somewhere" (2001).

Annotation last modified on 2005-05-18 04:21 UTC.


Men at Work were an Australian rock band, which formed in 1978. 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, saxophone, and keyboards and finally 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" 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 was found dead at his home of an apparent heart attack.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1981 Business as Usual Men at Work 3 11
1983 Cargo Men at Work 7
1985 Two Hearts Men at Work 2

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1986 '81 - '85 / Business as Usual Men at Work 1
1992 The Works Men at Work 1
1995 Men at Work and Friends Men at Work and Friends 1
1995 Puttin' in Overtime Men at Work 2
1996 Contraband: The Best of Men at Work Men at Work 2
1997 Definitive Collection Men at Work 3
1997 It's a Mistake Men at Work 1
1998 Simply the Best Men at Work 1
2000 Super Hits Men at Work 2
2001 Down Under Men at Work 1
2003 The Essential Men at Work Men at Work 2
2004 The Best Of Men at Work 1
2009 The Very Best of Men at Work Men at Work 1
2013 The 80s: Men At Work Men at Work 1
Hits Men at Work 1
The Best of Men at Work Men at Work 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1997 Brazil '96 Men at Work 2
2010 Live in San Bernandino Men at Work 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1980 Keypunch Operator Men at Work 1
1981 Down Under Men at Work 3 4
1983 Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive Men at Work 1
1985 Everything I Need Men at Work 1

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