Men at Work

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 2007 (The 2008 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Down Under (1981)
Who Can It Be Now? (1981)

Men at Work @ Wikipedia

Men at Work Videos

Will Men at Work be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


14 comments so far (post your own)

Was it Dezmond who said he was a big fan of Men At Work and Colin Hay - can't remember?
I always thoght of them strictly as lightweight goofball novelty Aussies with the screw eyed lead singer who sang about Vegemite sandwiches.

But I got ahold of the entire 1st album from 1982 - "Business As Usual" - and it's actually got some depth to it, some good stuff - I was impressed!
They chose to market themselves like the Monkees, so they have only themselves to blame I guess, but these guys have an offbeat, slightly new wave rythm to them that is far more interesting than I gave them credit for. "Touching the Untouchables" and "Down By the Sea" are particularly strong.

Not nearly enough muscle to merit being in the Hall, but a surprising litte treasure discovered.

Posted by shawn mc on Saturday, 06.30.07 @ 13:33pm

Yes, it was Dezmond. 'Business As Usual' is one of my favorite albums of all time. Seriously. With maybe one or two mediocre tunes on it, the rest is really solid. Catchy radio hits, solid album tracks, great musicianship all around, and Colin Hay has one of the most recognizeable and distinct voices of the 80's. Their other couple of albums are not nearly as strong as the debut, but they have some great individual songs on them. I think "Overkill" is their single best song, and that is on their second album, 'Cargo'.

Also, Colin Hay has had a solid solo career since Men At Work. He has had only very moderate commercial success, but his material is quite good and he has developed a solid fanbase for his own work.

I agree, they are not RRHOF material because they do not really fit the criteria, but speaking on a personal basis, I much prefer them over many HOF inductees.

Posted by Dezmond on Sunday, 07.1.07 @ 14:40pm

Yea Dez, I saw that Hay has almost twice as many solo albums as Men At Work - do they have a similar sound?
What would you recommend as their second best album after Business? I really, really enjoyed it the second and third listen and I'd like to get another couple of albums.

Posted by shawn mc on Sunday, 07.1.07 @ 16:23pm

Well, there isn't much to choose from. Men At Work only released three studio records, and the third is out of print and kinda hard to find. So, that leaves 'Cargo' as the next one to get. It is not as solid as 'Business...', but I'd say about half of it is really solid, especially if you enjoy 'Business...' They stretch out and try some different things, some of of which work and some of which don't. But 'Cargo' has a lot going for it: "Overkill" is the best song Men At Work ever did, "It's a Mistake" was a catchy hit single, and there are some great deeper cuts like "No Sign of Yesterday", "No Restrictions", "Highwire" and "Blue For You". Good stuff, just don't expect it, overall, to be on the same level as 'Business...'

Hay's solo work is quite different from Men At Work, but still very good. For starters, I would recommend 'Going Somewhere' and/or 'Peaks and Valleys', both are solo acoustic. Hay is a fantastic guitarist, it turns out, and the solo acoustic setting allows his voice to really come through in powerful way. And he writes some engaging tunes. For a full band effort from solo Hay, I'd go with 'Transcendental Highway'.

Posted by Dezmond on Monday, 07.2.07 @ 13:36pm

hey Dez,
just working on my uni music assignment and i came up with the question: What type of rock did Men at work perform?
I know it sounds simple but there is no internet site that gives a clear answer which is very frustrating!
help would be greatly appreciated
thanks alot

Posted by bella on Sunday, 05.10.09 @ 01:19am

They are pretty much catagorized as "New Wave", I think.

Posted by Gitarzan on Sunday, 05.10.09 @ 12:13pm

Men at Work Without Hats
Men Without Hats at Work

Posted by Roy on Monday, 07.19.10 @ 13:26pm

RIP, Greg Ham

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Thursday, 04.19.12 @ 09:41am

R.I.P., Greg Ham.

I've always enjoyed Men at Work, so I'm sorry to see Greg go at a young age.

Posted by Zach on Thursday, 04.19.12 @ 21:38pm

RIP Greg Ham. I'm a huge Men at Work fan, and while I love Colin Hay's work, Men At Work's unique sound was also due to Ham's flute and sax work (and Ron Strykert's underrated guitar work). What a great band. After reading some articles today, I was saddened to read about the lawsuit over the flute riffs in "Down Under" that so devastated Greg Ham. Anyway, I'll give BUSINESS AS USUAL a spin tonight in honor of Greg!

Posted by Dezmond on Friday, 04.20.12 @ 01:11am

Rock & Roll Jeopardy

Category: If They Collaborated

If Men At Work were to do a song with the Bee Gees, it would be called...

What is "Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive Talkin'

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Sunday, 04.22.12 @ 19:22pm

I Saw them twice on SNL (October 23 1982, and October 22,1983) and almost collapsed. They deserved to be at least somewhere. But Unfortunaley they didn't do enough to be in the R&RHOF

Posted by darren on Thursday, 02.21.13 @ 11:41am

Men at Work was categorized as "new wave" only because that's the era in which they came from. However, I think that was not the right lable for the band. I always considered them a "tight rock n roll pub band." They remind me a lot of Dire Straits (pre-MTV). Some critics actually considered them as "The Police wannabes" but I don't think they have anything in common with the Police... although Colin Hay was sort of the front man, on par with Sting.

Actually, my favorite MAW songs are Ron Strykert's contributions: "Crazy" "Settle Down My Boy" and "People Just Like To Play With Words."
And I LOVE Jerry Speiser's extremely fast drumming style ("Underground" "I can See It In Your Eyes" etc.) He was one of a kind drummer!

Posted by Barry on Monday, 08.26.13 @ 10:05am


I said, "Do you speak my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich


She didn't speak much English language
She didn't speak much anyway
She wouldn't make love, but she could make great sandwich
and she poured sweet wine before we played

Posted by Aaron O'Donnell on Sunday, 02.23.14 @ 03:24am

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