Tag Archives: Men At Work

Daily Trivia – 4/23/12

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


Last Question: What big-screen whodunit was promoted with the line: “It’s not just a game anymore”?

Answer: Clue

Clue, the 1985 comedy mystery, starred an all-star cast including Tim Curry (Wadsworth the butler), Eileen Brennan (Mrs. Peacock), Martin Mull (Colonel Mustard), Lesley Ann Warren (Miss Scarlet), Christopher Lloyd (Professor Plum), Michael McKean (Mr. Green), and Madeline Kahn (Mrs. White). The unique feature about this movie was that there were three possible endings, with different theaters receiving each ending. If you saw the movie in the theater, you didn’t know what the other possible endings were. When the movie was released on home video, all three endings were included.

Remember That Song? – 6/30/11

Can you name the artist, song and complete the lyrics:

He’s got greasy hair, greasy smile
He says, “Lord this must be my destination.”
‘Cause they told me when I was younger
___ _____ _____ __ _________


Yesterday’s: “Down Under” by Men At Work (It was lead singer, Colin Hays’ birthday yesterday:

Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six-foot-four and full of muscles
I said, “Do you speak-a my language?”
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

Hits of 1983 – Horrible and Great

On March 13, 2009, Stuck in the 80s released their Horrible Hits of 1982 Podcast (Episode 159). Here is their list:

10. Mickey – Toni Basil
9. She Works Hard for the Money – Donna Summer
8. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle
7. Mr. Roboto – Styx
6. Tell Her About It – Billy Joel
5. Never Gonna Let You Go – Sergio Mendes
4. Making Love Out of Nothing At All – Air Supply
3. What About Me – Moving Pictures
2. Puttin’ On the Ritz – Taco
1. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

You can see the top 100 hits from Billboard that year.

Here is my top 5 (or worst 5) of Horrible songs from that year:

5. Let’s Dance – David Bowie

Even though I love ’80s Music, I definitely prefer David Bowie’s ’70s music. No, David Bowie, I don’t want to dance! I’d much rather be Major Tom a “Space Oddity“! “Let’s Dance” is bad enough as it is. What makes it worse is that it is an “earworm” song. In other words, it gets stuck in your head. As I write this, I have not heard the song in years. But, just mentioning the title gave me earwormage (is that a even a word?) big time!
Well, that’s why I start with the ‘Horrible’ list, and end with the ‘Great’ list.

4. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Eurythmics

Yes, this was the Eurythmics breakthrough hit, but I’m not a big Eurythmics fan. This song just drones on and on. Instead of ‘Sweet Dreams’, this song was more like a recurring nightmare when it came out. It was always on the radio and on MTV.
I do like the Eurythmics “Missionary Man” a lot. But, I just can’t take this song or “Here Comes the Rain Again“.

3. True – Spandau Ballet

Ah, Ah-Ah-ah. AAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! I can’t stomach this song. It is too boring, and it high on some kind of wuss factor. I’ll have to admit that it was funny seeing Steve Buscemi singing this song at the end of The Wedding Singer:

Unfortunately, since the song was included in the movie, it was also included on the movie’s soundtrack. Why didn’t they leave this song off, and put on “Do You Believe In Love”?

2. Every Breath You Take – Police

I like The Police a lot. But, this song is one of my least favorites, and one of the most overrated songs of all time. I remember listening to the American Top 40 countdown of the top songs of the whole year, and this was number 1!! Really?!? “Synchronicity II” was my favorite song on the Synchronicity album by far – even though I don’t understand the lyrics too much.

1. The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

Two of the greatest music artists of all time took the biggest dump on the biggest album of all time! Uggh, this song makes me want to rip my ears off and rip all the skin off my face! The doggon song bites the big one! Especially when they start yapping in the song. This song should be taken off of all copies of Thriller, and be replaced by “Say, Say, Say”.

Here is my top songs from that year:
Runners up:
10. You and I – Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle: These legends made a song that was perfect for a wedding
9. Little Red Corvette – Prince: Probably my favorite Prince song. Not as overplayed as “1999”
8. Truly – Lionel Richie – My favorite Lionel Richie ballad
7. Africa – Toto: Great song by Toto. I love the music, and the lead singer Bobby Kimball has an incredible voice.
6. Mr. Roboto – Styx: A lot of people make fun of Styx because of this song, and how it made them more theatrical. But, there’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with music. There have been worse concept albums than Kilroy Was Here.

And Jeffster did a great cover of this in the TV show Chuck:

5. Photograph – Def Leppard

A great song by one of my favorite bands. Although Def Leppard had a couple of good albums before Pyromania (On Through the Night and High and Dry), “Photograph” became their first hit, and helped spur on the success of Pyromania. The video showed a lot of photos of Marilyn Monroe, so people incorrectly thought the song was about her. This is still a great song. Def Leppard has stood the test of time for over 30 years now.

4. Solitaire – Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” and “How Am I Suppose to Live Without You” were overplayed. But I think this song was way better than both of them. It rocks, and Branigan had a great voice. It sounds like she put a lot of passion into this song. This song also launched songwriter Diane Warren’s career.

3. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

This song got a lot of people into Duran Duran. The exposure on MTV didn’t hurt either. I liked it when it came out because the video reminded me of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But, even without the video, the song itself is really good.

2. Down Under – Men At Work

This song was a breakthrough for Men At Work, and basically introduced the U.S. to Australia and vegemite sandwiches. This is a fun song, and Colin Haye has a great unique voice. The band had a great string of hits. Will they get back together already?!

1. Separate Ways – Journey

Silly video aside, this song rocks. As soon as you hear Jonathan Cain’s keyboard, you know what song is playing. It has a lot of energy and gets you pumped. After Journey had a very long hiatus, they went on tour with a new lead singer – Steve Augeri. Of course I went, and this was the song they came out playing first. What a way to come back! While I need to turn some songs off as soon as I hear them, I have to listen to this one all the way through when it comes on.

Here is the Live version with Steve Augeri:

Music Video of the Week – 8/18/10

This week’s selection is Men At Work’s classic, “Down Under”:


“Down Under” appeared on Men At Work’s debut album Business as Usual. The album and song made Men At Work the only Australian artists to have a simultaneous #1 album and #1 single in the United States. The group won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Personally, I think this video is a lot of fun, and I couldn’t get enough of it when it came out. When I think of videos from MTV, this is always one of the first that pop into mind. The first Return to the ’80s article was about “Down Under” hitting number 1. That article includes a poll about your favorite Men At Work song. Here is the poll again, and you can continue to vote on it:

Men at Work Reunion Tour Facebook group page

If you are a Men At Work fan, check out this Men at Work Reunion Tour page on Facebook, or search for Men at Work Reunion Tour on Facebook. Here is a description from the site:

This is for Men at Work fans young and old to get together and ask that the original quintet of Colin Hay, Greg Ham, Jerry Speiser, John Rees and Ron Strykert regroup and tour the world once again!

So check out this group page, and feel free to join the group, and share your thoughts, pictures, and ideas on this page.

Men at Work must pay royalties for copied riff in ‘Down Under’

In February, a judge has ruled that the flute riff in Men at Work’s Australian anthem “Down Under” plagiarized a popular nursery rhyme, called “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, which was written in 1932. It was written by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition.

Sinclair died in 1988. In 1990, an Australian publishing group called Larrikin Publishing bought the copyright to the song. “Down Under” was composed and performed by Men at Work founding member Colin Hay in 1978. Greg Ham added the flute riff after he joined the band in mid-1979.

The band has to pay 5 percent of the song’s royalties, which was a lot less than the 60 percent that Larrikin Publishing was looking for.

According to court documents, Ham added the riff to the song to inject some “Australian flavor.” He admitted he had heard the song while growing up in the country in the late 1950s and was “pretty sure” that Kookaburra was in his school’s song book.

Judge Jacobsen found that Ham deliberately included the bars from Kookaburra into the flute line, but accepted that Colin Hay didn’t realize it was from the nursery rhyme until early in the last decade.

On Tuesday, Jacobson ordered Men at Work’s recording company, EMI Songs Australia, and “Down Under” songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, to pay 5 percent of royalties earned from the song since 2002 and from its future earnings. A statute of limitations restricted Larrikin from seeking royalties earned before 2002.

The court didn’t specify what the 5 percent penalty translates to in dollars.

“I consider the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic,” Jacobson wrote in his judgment.

Mark Bamford, a lawyer for EMI, said the company plans to continue with its appeal of the February ruling.

“The ruling today on quantum is a good result in light of Larrikin’s ‘excessive, overreaching and unrealistic’ claim” for a higher cut of the profits, Bamford said in a statement. “EMI Songs will now focus on its appeal against the broader decision.”

Adam Simpson, Larrikin Music’s lawyer, said the company had no comment on the ruling, due to the pending appeal. Hay and Strykert were not in court for the decision and couldn’t immediately be reached.

“Down Under” and the album it was on, “Business As Usual,” topped the Australian, American and British charts in early 1983. The song remains an unofficial anthem for Australia and was ranked fourth in a 2001 music industry survey of the best Australian songs. Men at Work won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Reference: The Christian Science Monitor

Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’ copies a childrens’ song

A judge has ruled that the flute riff in Men at Work’s Australian anthem “Down Under” plagiarized a popular nursery rhyme, called “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, which was written in 1932. It was written by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition.

Sinclair died in 1988. In 1990, an Australian publishing group called Larrikin Publishing bought the copyright to the song. “Down Under” was composed and performed by Men at Work founding member Colin Hay in 1978. Greg Ham added the flute riff after he joined the band in mid-1979.

According to court documents, Ham added the riff to the song to inject some “Australian flavor.” He admitted he had heard the song while growing up in the country in the late 1950s and was “pretty sure” that Kookaburra was in his school’s song book.

Judge Jacobsen found that Ham deliberately included the bars from Kookaburra into the flute line, but accepted that Colin Hay didn’t realize it was from the nursery rhyme until early in the last decade.

The judge ordered both sides to enter mediation on royalty payments and reappear in court on February 25 to discuss whether Larrikin should receive compensation from Hay and Strykert.

“Down Under” hits #1 this week

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”