MEN AT WORK: ‘Business as Usual’ (1981, English edition)

FOTO: Discogs, PROMO

The mention of classic albums that, in one way or another, characterized the popular culture of the eighth decade of the twentieth century, and which are (at least roughly) relevant today, one should not overlook the debut of the Australian band Men at Work. Album Business as Usual, released by Columbia. The record was recorded between March and September 1981, and its producer was Peter McIan.

Tracks review

The album opens with ‘Who Can It Be Now?’. An immortal hit with an interesting background. Its author, Colin Hay, lived alongside drug dealers during the album’s creation, whose clients often (accidentally) knocked on his door; the effects on the text are obvious. The record continues with the relaxed and pleasantly listenable ‘I Can See It in Your Eyes’, which reduces the number of its turns. Despite all the praise, its continuation is much better. Because it’s time for ‘Down Under’. Band’s biggest hit ever and the unofficial anthem of Australia and a song, which has caused (nearly three decades after its release) a long court cavalry. Reason for allegedly copying the 1932 children’s song ‘Kookaburra’. According to the internet, the court also partially granted the claimant.

After the politically engaged ‘Underground’, which surprisingly keeps the albums running, it’s time for ‘Helpless Automaton’. For the first “outdated” song. However, song is still light years away from “must-have product of its time” the mark.

Side B opens with the weakest track ‘People Just Love to Play with Words’. But do not worry! It’s time for the ‘Be Good Johnny’. The band’s “interpretation” of a Chuck Berry hit with a similar name, which doesn’t reach its potential. Song misses that something that would put it in the same league as ‘Down Under’ or ‘Who Can It Be Now?’.

Things start to get better with ‘Touching the Untouchables’, with which the album begins its way to the top, reaching it with ‘Down by the Sea’. With a school-like example of a lost masterpiece, that alone is sufficient evidence to prove why the album deserves a place in your collection. The definition of an album closer that makes re-playing of the product seem like the only common sense decision.

Even after almost four decades, record still proves that years (minus few exceptions) cannot reach it. Its famous hits still sounds work fresh and more importantly, the product also contains other tracks that prove that the latter are by far not the only relevant examples to judge the album.

SCORE: 4/5