I Was Going to Write a Political Piece Today But Then Was Struck By Ennui, So Here’s a Relatively Obscure Men At Work Song Instead

One of their more underrated songs, really, although I suppose at this point in time, all their songs aside from “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now” are underrated and relatively obscure. Time catches up with us all. Enjoy anyway.

— JS

33 Comments on “I Was Going to Write a Political Piece Today But Then Was Struck By Ennui, So Here’s a Relatively Obscure Men At Work Song Instead”

  1. I was turned on to Colin Hay’s solo stuff a few years ago. Turns out he’s quite a masterful songwriter and storyteller, if ya didn’t know. :)

  2. Hey, that was nice! And “Who Can It Be Now” was even better. I’d never heard of it, which to me means it’s also relatively obscure (and since it’s good, that makes it cruelly underrated.)

    On the other hand, it’s hard to see the jar of Marmite in my cupboard and not think of “Down Under” (even though Vegemite and Marmite aren’t identical members of the salty brown sludge phylum.)

  3. Without looking it up, I can think of one more Men at Work song that got radio play in the U.S.: “It’s a Mistake” (sung from the aftermath of a nuclear war, no less).

  4. Not to be that guy, but The Gashlycrumb Tinies is Edward Gorey.
    Though Charles Addams was also a fine, disturbing artist as well.

  5. Men At Work. In the early Eighties they were opening for Fleetwood Mac on tour, and by the time they got to the US they had a hit on its way to #1. Quite a bonus for concert goers!

  6. I have to lol Bill Stewart. “Who can it be now” in the 80’s was on massive airplay; one of those songs you get sick of because it’s on the radio (every station it felt like) so you hear it all the time. So for me, it’s super overdone…

    That said, it does have some strange resonance as we’re all forced to isolate in our homes…

  7. Not that obscure to me, but then I grew up in Melbourne, and my Mum worked with Colin Hay’s Mum…

  8. By impeccable timing I was just listening to their albums a few days ago and was reminded once again just how good they were as albums. Their hit singles and time took that away. As an Aussie nothing can take away the importance of Down Under.

    Although the arsehole who bought the copyright to Kookaburra Sits In the Old Gum tree and then sued the band deserves a special place of punishment for trying

  9. Still and always my favorite Men at Work song from t he same album….It’s A Mistake.

    Although to talk about underrated and relatively obscure Aussie band songs….Midnight Oil…Power and the passion

  10. Here’s a bit of information for any vinyl audiophiles in this group. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs just released a newly mastered version of the album “Business As Usual,” which probably sounds fantastic.

  11. See, I KNEW there was a reason I like you, other than your writing, blog, outlook on life, all around great guy-ness. Men at Work was my first concert ever and I LOVE this song so much. I still have the words in my memory

  12. “Overkill” is another massively underrated song. It was also a hit for Hay/Men at Work, but it doesn’t seem to get the love that “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now” get.

  13. Overkill and it’s a mistake are two all-time favorites. I am not a rock and roll fan, so YMMV.

    John, at this point, any analysis is bringing a brain to a gland fight. All these journalists and learned opiners mean well, but it’s hopeless. We are in religious territory now, with T**** plying CIA deep-state conspiracies. Once your opponent plays the CIA card, fold.

    Enjoy your 2021!

  14. This is one of my favorite Men at Work songs, along with “I Can See it in Your Eyes” and “People Just Love to Play with Words.” “Down Under” and “Looking for Jack” (Hay solo) are also pretty good.

  15. Overkill will always be my favorite by Men at Work. There is also a great cover of it by the band Lazlo Band, with a cameo by Hay. Check it out.

  16. I’ll check this out as soon as I’m not at work, but I never fail to take the opportunity to mention that “Overkill” is the greatest radio-friendly song of the ’80’s, so good it’s practically uncanny

  17. Joining the crowd in support of “Overkill,” which almost convinced me to watch Scrubs from its use during the opening of the second season.