Guest Author - Lizz Shepherd
In 1982, Men at Work broke into the American market with their number one album Business as Usual. Anyone alive during this time can recall Down Under and Who Can it Be Now?, both of which reached number one. The album was one of the biggest-selling records of the decade, with more than 10 million albums sold. Their second album, Cargo, gave us the hit Overkill. With both of their albums hitting the number one spot on the American and Australian charts, as well as a successful world tour completed, Men at Work looked poised to take over the 80's as the band to beat.
Unfortunately, Men at Work began to fall apart soon after. After their triumphant 1983 world tour, the band began infighting. This finally resulted in two members of the band being fired and replaced with studio musicians. This arrangement produced Two Hearts, the third album from Men at Work. This one, however, did not attain the popularity of the previous two. And, while it was being recorded, another member of the group quit. With just two original members left, Greg Ham and Colin Hay, the band was largely finished. The remaining group toured in the wake of their newest album's release, and returned in 1985 to go their separate ways.
Colin Hay, however, has never left the music scene. He has continued over the years to produce thoughtful, emotional music that is reminiscent of Overkill and his other early-80s hits. The Colin Hay Band was formed in 1988 with three other musicians, and featured a stripped-down, acoustic sound. The band released albums in 1990 and 1992 and 1994. But, Men at Work fans still wanted their old band back, and Hay was happy to oblige.
Hay organized a reunion of the group, consisting of himself, Ham and a few hired musicians. The reunion was brief, however, and Hay soon went back to his solo career. He has since released several albums through his own label, Lazy Eye Records.
Recently, Colin Hay has attracted a new generation's attention with his occasional guest stints on the TV show Scrubs. Several of his solo works have been use on the show, as well as the old hit Overkill. Hay himself sang an acoustic version of the song on the show. The many Men at Work compilation albums released over the past few years have also kept the Men at Work name alive, and highlighted the songwriting talents of one of the best songwriters of the 80s.
Business as Usual, the break-away hit of 1982, brought the Australian band to the forefront of music.
All of their biggest hits are available through the Definitive Collection.
For many, the show Scrubs and the accompanying Scrubs Soundtrack was their first exposure to Colin Hay's skills as a songwriter.