I’ve always had a soft spot for the swell Australian band Men At Work. Their sound was influenced by Split Enz and the ska revival that included contemporaries such as Madness and the Beat. Early Men At Work records featured the vocal stylings and quirky lyrics of Colin Hay and the woodwind playing of Greg Ham. No relation to Badfinger’s Pete or the meat. Mmm, ham.
Their first two albums had wildly different cover art. As you may have noticed I like eclectic musicians. Men At Work fit the bill. The cover of their first LP, Business As Usual, was inspired by their road crew inspired band name. That’s a lot of inspiration:
The first LP contained the monster hits, Who Can It Be Now? and Down Under. The best known song on Cargo is Overkill, which is perhaps my favorite Men At Work number. The picture postcard style cover was more traditional than Business At Usual and the back cover was pretty darn swell as well. Land ahoy.
Men At Work’s American success was based on their videos in the early days of MTV. Let’s play the three biggies from Business As Usual and Cargo: