Men at Work
Men at Workwas a reggae style rock band from Australia and were very popular in the 1980's. Their album hit number one on the charts, with the singles, , Business As Usual, and Down Under.They won a Grammy Award in 1983 for Best New Artist. The members of the group were, Colin Hay, Ron Strykert, Jerry Speiser (drummer), and Greg Sneddon (keyboard player. Greg wasn’t around long before he was replaced by Greg Ham who played many instruments. After a while the band recruited John Rees as their bass guitar player. The group played on a regular basis at the Cricketers Arms Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, and gained many fans there. In 1980 they released the single, Keypunch Operator, and on the flip side was their early version of, Down Under. In 1981, Columbia Records discovered them and signed them to a recording contract. They released their first single with this label and it was called, Who Can It Be Now, and it reached number 1 on the Australian chart in August, 1981. The single, Down Under and their album, Business As Usual, reached number 1 on the charts and also reached number 1 in New Zealand.
The album was eventually released in the United States but and finally, in November, 1982, the album became number 1 in the U. S.., on the U. S. Album chart and stayed there for 12 weeks. In January, 1983, Men At Work had a hit album and single, both in the United States and in the U. K.. This was never done before by any Australian group. The group continued to perform and record until they took a long break in 1984. The members all went their own way to persue other projects. At the end of this period, Jerry Speiser and John Rees were told that they were no longer needed in the group. Hay, Ham, and Strykert together recorded the third album called, Two Hearts, and the album peaked at number 50 on the chart. One single from the album, Everything I Need, reached the Top 30. All through 1985 the members left one at a time until there were none left at the end of the year.
The original members reunited in 1996 for a tour in South America. From this tour came a live album called, CD Brazil ‘96, released in 1997. Today, Hay still has a solo career, Strykert resides in Montana and still plays music, and Speiser, Ham, and Rees still work in the music business in one project or another. The group released a total of 9 albums and 10 singles during their career together.
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