Men At Work

Men at Work were an Australian rock band formed in 1979 and best known for their 1981 hit “Down Under”.

Backing Tracks

DOWN UNDER - MEN AT WORK (SK)
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Down Under

OVERKILL - MEN AT WORK (SK)
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Overkill

WHO CAN IT BE NOW - MEN AT WORK (SK)
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Who Can It Be Now

Please Put My Tracks On CD
Please Put My Tracks On CD
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Their founding mainstay was Colin Hay on lead vocals; he formed the group with Jerry Speiser on drums and Ron Strykert on lead guitar. They were joined by Greg Ham on flute, saxophone, and keyboards and John Rees on bass guitar. This line-up achieved national and international success in the early 1980s. In January 1983, they were the first Australian artists to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States Billboard charts: Business as Usual (released on 9 November 1981) and “Down Under” (1981), respectively. With the same works, they achieved the distinction of a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single on the Australian, New Zealand, and United Kingdom charts. Their second album Cargo (2 May 1983) was also No. 1 in Australia, No. 2 in New Zealand, No. 3 in the US, and No. 8 in the UK. Their third album Two Hearts (3 April 1985) reached the top 20 in Australia and top 50 in the US.

They won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1983, they were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1994, and they have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. In May 2001, “Down Under” was listed at No. 4 on the APRA Top 30 Australian songs and Business as Usual appeared in the book 100 Best Australian Albums (October 2010).

In February 2010, Larrikin Records won a case against Hay and Strykert, their record label (Sony BMG Music Entertainment), and their music publishing company (EMI Songs Australia) arising from the uncredited appropriation of “Kookaburra” for the flute line in “Down Under”. The group disbanded in 1986 and reformed in 1996 to disband again by 2002. On 19 April 2012, Greg Ham was found dead at his home from an apparent heart attack.

 

Traveling in a fried-out combie
On a hippie trail, head full of zombie
I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast
And she said
Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover
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
And he said
I come from a land down under
Where beer does flow and men chunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover, yeah
Lyin’ in a den in Bombay
With a slack jaw, and not much to say
I said to the man, “are you trying to tempt me
Because I come from the land of plenty?”
And he said
Do you come from a land down under? (oh yeah yeah)
Where women glow and men plunder?
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover
Living in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover
Living in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover
Living in a land down underWhere women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
You better run, you better take cover
Living in a land down under
Where women glow and men plunder
Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
Songwriters: Colin James Hay / Ronald Graham Strykert
Down Under lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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