Tag Archives: Men At Work

Throw Back Thursday: “Down Under” hits #1 this week

If you are on social media these days, you may be all too familiar with Throw Back Thursday, or #TBT if you will. Sometimes I get annoyed, but other times I enjoy seeing people’s old pictures.

I figured #TBT would be appropriate for me today. Yesterday was my 6 year Blogiversary. But, that first article was just a simple introduction. It was 6 years ago today that I published my first full-fledged article. Men-At-Work was an iconic ’80s band. So, I couldn’t go wrong featuring them in my first article.
I left the article unedited, other than adding a picture. I am also embedding the video. I must not have known about embedding videos back then. Since I had, ummmm, 0 people following my blog back then, chances are you haven’t seen this yet. Oh, and don’t forget to vote on the poll! I forgot about that. I should do more polls on this site.

Enjoy!


Men at Work’s “Down Under” hit number 1 on January 15, 1983 which came from their debut album Business as Usual.

“Down Under” was Men at Work’s biggest hit. It is the first song that comes to mind when you mention the group. The song is also synonymous with Men at Work’s native Australia. If it was not for this song, how many of us would have heard of Vegemite sandwiches?

The band had a great run in the early 80’s. Sure, they are most known for “Down Under”, but “Who Can It Be Now?” was also a big hit. “Be Good Johnny” was also a fun song, and now I have an ear-worm!

“be good be good, be good be good, be good be good…”

Three other songs I love are “Overkill“, “It’s a Mistake“, and “Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive

Top 40 Songs This Week – May 28, 1983: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we continue the countdown! If you missed the previous articles, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, this has been an incredible week of music – especially the previous 10 songs. And now we have reached the top 10, which has some more classic music I think you’ll enjoy. So, let’s Return to the week ending May 28, 1983, and find out what were the biggest hits that week.

10. “Straight From the Heart” by Bryan Adams

This is a great way to start the Top 10! Bryan Adams’ big breakthrough single is still one of my favorites by him.

9. “My Love” by Lionel Richie

This awesome ballad was the third single released off Richie’s self-titled debut solo album. Kenny Rogers also provided backing vocals on this track.

8. “Time (Clock Of the Heart)” by Culture Club

Next up is another song from a debut album of an ’80s powerhouse. This song was the second single released from Culture Club’s Kissing to Be Clever album (after “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me“). This song is one of my favorite Culture Club songs.

7. “Solitaire” by Laura Branigan

Easily my favorite Branigan tune! I love all her music, but this is #1 for me. What an incredible talent she was. I was so upset when she died on August 26, 2004. This song was the lead single from the Branigan 2 album. This debuted on the charts the same week her breakthrough hit, “Gloria“, dropped off the charts.

6. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

And the hits keep on rolling! This single off of Prince’s 1999 album was his first to break the top 10. This is one of my favorite Prince songs.

5. “She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby

Once again, we have another classic ’80s tune. This was Thomas Dolby’s only top 40 hit in the U.S. It peaked right here at #5. One more thing before we move on to the next song. Science!

4. “Overkill” by Men At Work

Men At Work were extremely hot in the early ’80s. This was in the heart of their big run. The second single from their second album, Cargo, would peak at #3.

3. “Beat It” by Michael Jackson

I think everybody here may have possibly heard of this song, maybe. We all know that Eddie Van Halen famously plays the guitar solo here. But, you may not know this fun fact: there were a few members of Toto who played on this song – Steve Lukather (guitar, bass guitar), Steve Porcaro (synthesizer), and Jeff Porcaro (drums).


Now it’s the part of the countdown where we see what was topping the other charts this week:

Topping the Country charts was the legendary Merle Haggard with “You Take Me For Granted”

The #1 Rock song was “She’s a Beauty” by The Tubes

The best R&B song was “Save the Overtime (For Me)” by Gladys Knight and the Pips

The #1 Adult Contemporary song was “My Love” by Lionel Richie

The #1 album was (yep, you guessed it) Thriller

And the #1 Dance song is also our #2 song

2. “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie

This song was my introduction to David Bowie. Bowie has always reinvented himself. This was during his pop period. I liked this song a lot, and there are so many great songs on the Let’s Dance album, that I like even more.

1. “Flashdance…What a Feeling” by Irene Cara

We have now arrived at the #1 song this week. And what a way to end! My big ’80s crush – Irene Cara. This is her signature song, but she has so many other great ones that get overlooked. I love her voice and music. Even though this song gets all the airplay, I still love it.


Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I’m going to try to keep this going next week by Returning to the year that The Empire Strikes Back came out. Then the following week – the week the new Star Wars movie is coming out – we are going to Return to (yes we’re going there) 1977! So, that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Top 40 Songs This Week – June 18, 1983: Songs 10-1

Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s Top 40 Countdown. There have been some flat-out classics so far this week, and today is no different. You can go back and check out songs 40-31 30-21, and 20-11. Well, I think this has been one of the better Top 40 weeks, so let’s Return to the week ending June 18, 1983, and finish the countdown.

10. “Family Man” by Hall & Oates

Well, here’s a blast from the past. Hall & Oates were a staple of the ’80s music scene. But, this song is often overlooked. This song is actually a cover, originally done by Mike Oldfield (with Maggie Reilly on vocals) in 1982. Hall & Oates made it their own, and made it a big hit, topping out at #6 on the charts.

9. “Affair of the Heart” by Rick Springfield

Just like Hall & Oates, Rick Springfield had a great hot streak in the early-to-mid ’80s. This song, Springfield’s first single from his Living in Oz album, would be his fourth top 10 hit, peaking right here at #9. It was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984, but lost to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.

8. “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me” by Naked Eyes

This synthpop song just screams ’80s! But, did you know that this was a cover? It was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the ’60s. The original recorded version was released by Lou Johnson in 1964. Sandie Shaw also released a version of this song that same year, and it was a #1 hit in the U.K., Canada, and South Africa.
The 1964 versions and this ’80s version were each a product of their time. I like all the versions, but of course, I prefer Naked Eyes.

7. “Don’t Let It End” by Styx

This is a nice ballad by one of my favorite bands – Styx. This song is from their divisive album, Kilroy Was Here. This was the beginning of the end of the original run of Styx, but you wouldn’t know it here.

6. “My Love” by Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie immediately proved that he could have a successful career post-Commodores, with his incredible self-titled debut album. This ballad was the third single released from that album, and was his third top 10 hit in a row. Kenny Rogers, who often collaborated with Richie, provided the backing vocals on this song.

5. “Overkill” by Men At Work

Men At Work is just pure ’80s. They were on a hot streak at this time. The combination of Colin Hay’s voice and Greg Ham on sax, gave Men At Work a very unique sound. Everyone knows “Down Under“, but this is one of their better songs as well.

4. “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant

Electric Avenue Single Cover Speaking of unique sounding, this song was a worldwide smash hit. The song’s title refers to Electric Avenue, a market street in the Brixton area of London. You could not escape this song when it was first released, but man was it fun!

3. “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie

All week we have been hearing from artists who had been around for a while, but were introduced to me with the ’80s tunes in the countdown this week. This is another one. I remember first hearing this song on the radio while eating breakfast before school. This song was from the album of the same name, and was part of many of David Bowie’s reinventions. This is a great song from a great album.

2. “Time (Clock Of the Heart)” by Culture Club

Culture Club followed their world-wide smash hit debut, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”, with this song. I like this one better. Culture Club was one of those bands that I didn’t care much for back then, but enjoy much more now.

Before we uncover this week’s #1 song, lets see what was topping some of the other charts this week:

The number one country song this week was – “You Can’t Run From Love” by the gone too soon Eddie Rabbitt

Topping the R&B charts was “Juicy Fruit” by Mtume. I never heard of the song or the band.

Sitting on top of the rock charts was this week’s #14 song, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

The number one adult contemporary song was our #13 song this week – “Never Gonna Let You Go” by Sergio Mendes

For the 17th, and final consecutive week, the #1 album was the legendary Thriller by Micahel Jackson

The #1 dance song brings us to our Hot 100 number one song this week:

1. “Flashdance…What a Feeling” by Irene Cara

What a Feeling! and what a way to end the countdown! A few years earlier, Irene Cara hit it big with the theme song for Fame. Somehow, she outdid herself with this classic from the movie, Flashdance. This song won all kinds of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. This is a well deserved #1 hit.


Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. This has got to be one of the best countdowns we’ve covered so far. 1983 was such an incredible and pivotal year of music. Do you agree? We’ll be back with another countdown in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

Remember That Song: 7/15/14

Can you name the artist and song:

Look at this face
I know the years are showing
Look at this life
I still don’t know where it’s going


Last Song: “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work from Business as Usual (1981)

Great job Jim and Robert (@mishouenglish)!!

All I wish is to be alone
Stay away, don’t you invade my home
Best off if you hang outside
Don’t come in – I’ll only run and hide

Remember That Song – 1/14/14

Can you name the artist and song:

With a kiss you can strip me defenseless
With a touch I completely lose control


Last Song: “Down Under” by Men At Work from Business as Usual (1981)

Great job Robert (@mishouenglish), Cooly!!, Wilhelmina (@williesun) and Frida (@carrjam94)!!

I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast

Remember That Song: 1/22/13

Can you name the artist and song:

Sweet Janis cried
“Lord won’t you buy a Benz for me”
Jimmy was right
Castles made of sand slip to the sea


Last Song: “Overkill” by Men at Work

Great job Jim and Marissa (@MarissaRapier)!!

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perhaps its just imagination

R.I.P. Greg Ham – September 27,1953 – April 19, 2012

Overshadowed by the loss of Dick Clark last week, we lost another ’80s legend – Men At Work’s Greg Ham. Greg was found dead at his home in Melbourne on Thursday. He was 58.

Greg Ham along with Colin Hay were the core of Men At Work. The Australian band played a major part in ushering in the ’80s sound. Before them, music was still in transition. There was a lot of “easy listening” music playing on the airwaves, and disco was beginning its decline.

Then in 1981, Men At Work burst on to the scene with their number 1 hit, “Who Can It Be Now?”, featuring the great saxophone playing by Greg Ham:

They followed that hit with their signature hit, “Down Under”, which really introduced us to our friends in Australia, and to vegimite sandwiches. The song also featured the incredible and distinctive flute playing of Greg Ham.

Those songs, along with “Be Good Johnny”, helped make Business as Usual a classic album.

Men at Work won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist for 1983, beating out some pretty good competition of Asia, Jennifer Holliday, The Human League and Stray Cats.

Men At Work fallowed up with another successful album, Cargo. The album produced three chart singles in the US: “Overkill” [#3], “It’s a Mistake” [#6], and “Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive” [#28].

Greg Ham left the band in 1985 as they were touring in support of that album. But Ham and Hay reunited in 1996 with a different Men At Work lineup behind them. They did some touring, and performed “Down Under” at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, alongside Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee fame. They had been mostly inactive after that. Sadly, we will never see another Men At Work reunion.

Recently, Men At Work made some headlines as they were involved in a copyright controversy when a court found that the flute riff from “Down Under” was unmistakably the same as popular children’s tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree, penned by Toorak teacher Marion Sinclair more than 75 years ago for a Girl Guides competition. That decision left Greg shattered.

He said, “It has destroyed so much of my song”.

“It will be the way the song is remembered and I hate that.

“I’m terribly disappointed that that’s the way I’m going to be remembered – for copying something.”

I, and millions of other people would never remember him for that. He will be remembered as a legendary musician who brought some incredible music into our lives. I will finish with some quotes that friend and bandmate Colin Hay had to say about Greg:

“We played in a band and conquered the world together. I love him very much. He’s a beautiful man.”

“We shared countless, unbelievably memorable times together, from stumbling through Richmond after playing the Cricketers Arms, to helicoptering into New York City, to appear on Saturday Night Live, or flying through dust storms in Arizona, above the Grand Canyon, or getting lost, driving aimlessly through the Gippsland countryside.”
“He had blond hair, rosy cheeks, ridiculously bright eyes, and along with Gyngell, was the funniest person I knew.

“He was sharp, real sharp. We were friends from then on, we liked each other.”

“The saxophone solo on Who Can It Be Now, was the rehearsal take. We kept it, that was the one. He’s here forever,” he said.

“I’m thinking about his family, and hoping they are receiving the love and support they need and deserve.”

I should also add that if you are on Facebook, go ahead and join the group We Love Men At Work!

Daily Trivia – 4/24/12

Question: On Diff’rent Strokes, what was the name of Arnold’s goldfish?


Last Question: What was Men At Work’s first hit single?

Answer: “Who Can It Be Now?”

“Who Can It Be Now?” was released as a single in Australia before the album on which it appeared, Business As Usual, was released. It reached #1 in Australia as well as in the U.S. Business As Usual would go on to spend an unprecedented 15 weeks at #1 on the American album charts from late 1982 to early 1983. It didn’t hurt that following the #1 “Who Can It Be Now?”, would be Men At Work’s signature hit “Down Under”.

Remember That Song – 4/24/12

What Men At Work song warns ‘ghosts appear and fade away.’?


Last Song: “Purple Rain” by Prince

I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time see you laughing

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xarqjm_prince-purple-rain-live_music?search_algo=1