Why is Men at Work’s Business as Usual on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Who can it be now? Why, it’s the band from down under, of course.
What does Men at Work’s Business as Usual mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Growing up, I always naturally associated two at-the-time huge songs: Men at Work’s “Down Under,” and Men Without at Hats’ “Safety Dance,” and I think I vaguely assumed that both bands were from Australia. Of course, it turns out that Men Without Hats hail from Canada whereas Men at Work do their thing… well, you know, if you know the song. Which holds up great, too, as it turns out.
There are many amazing and hilarious things about the “Down Under” music video, but I’ll just point out the guy playing a flute while sitting on a tree branch, with a stuffed animal koala strung up next to his head because… Australia?
Here’s the “Safety Dance” music video, which is gloriously strange and fantastic in its own right.
But back to Business… As Usual, as it were. “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?” were both smash hits and put the band on the map, so to speak, in the U.S. Here’s the saxophone-driven latter, the riff of which will absolutely get stuck in your head. The percussive guitar and Colin Hay’s vocals give this a chill Australian version of The Police vibe.
What’s a little surprising about Business As Usual is how well the rest of the album holds up. I’m a huge fan of “Helpless Automaton,” for example, which has a little bit of a Devo vibe and leans into the band’s new wave leanings.
And “Catch A Star” is a fun Aussie-style pop song.
Some stats & info about Men at Work – Business as Usual
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Pop Music, New Wave, Australian Bands
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Business as Usual released? 1981
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #810 out of 1,000
Men at Work’s Business as Usual on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.