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4.7 out of 5 stars41
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 13 September 2007
Men At Work seemed to me to be a band out of their time. I first became interested when I heard their US hit, 'Who Can It Be Now?' They sounded as if they'd taken up the mantle of late 1970s music, like The Cars' debut album, their sound dominated by guitars and sax rather than keyboards. As such, they were a refreshing diversion. The better-known hit, 'Down Under' is probably thought of as their signature tune, but 'Who Can It Be Now?' fits that role better. A song about a down-on-his-luck man who daren't answer the door, it reflects the band's personal struggles when they formed and the ironic name they gave themselves.
The album is full of great tunes, carried off in a perky manner. The first half of the album is perfect pop, culminating in the breathless 'Helpless Automaton.' They take more risks on the second half, particularly with the long, slow closing track, hardly putting a foot wrong. It is too pop to have the depth of a truly classic album, but it is one of the best pop albums of the 1980s and, at the price, fantastic value. One to be enjoyed.
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on 20 December 2015
I'd forgotten how good this album is. 'Down under' has been played to death on the radio and television, but it still shines. I can't get 'People just love to play with words' out of my head, there are elements of two tone and ska in there, dance, dance, dance :-) 'Down by the sea' is a really mellow track, and rounds the album off well. The bonus tracks add something, but I prefer the original track listing. Overall an excellent blast from the past.
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on 22 March 2003
I think not. this is a good album. not great, but definitely better than you might think for a band which, in UK terms, only ever wrote one thing.
The style is half way betwen Pink Floyd circa "the wall" and Duran Duran, without the glamour, and with a slight sense of portent. These guys take themselves seriously, there's a lot of irony and disaffection in the lyrics, very much in keeping with the alternative zeitgeist of the '80s, and also in tune with a rather young bunch of guys making music for a mostly hostile clientelle. Anyhow.
The music has poor moments, sometimes being a bit limited in its scope, sometimes repetetive, sometimes simlpy dullo. At other moments however, there is majic to be found. All in all the abum probably is weakest in the middle. The finest moments are the last three tracks. Down by the Sea is a tour de force, probably most recently heard as Dom Jolly's surreal backing for a giant puppy fight in Trigger Happy guise. Here there is a sense of the culture of the band, using dialect and theme to create something slightly epic, in the Australian mould. a brilliant tune, worth the (reasonable) price of the album alone.
So one hit wonders, no, but the complete package, not quite that either.
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on 4 January 2015
Had this album on cassette 30 years ago & remember playing it loads. Getting it again on CD has been great really enjoying it, forgot how good this band were / are.
Quality of the recordings is really good too & item was dispatched quickly.
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on 30 October 2014
Here in Brazil it was great sucess and played all the time in Radio. I used hear it everyday first track to the end.
Great memories in my car trips, beaches, sun and music.
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on 1 November 2012
Funny how this album doesn't sound dated after all this time. It should be in any muso's collection. I wore out the vinyl copy I had years ago so this is a nice find. Like bumping into an old friend. Recommended
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on 29 October 2002
As a first album "Business as Usual" is a very nice piece of work producing 4 top ten hits in Australia, with 2 of those being Number 1! If you enjoyed "Land Down Under" and thought it deserved all the plaudits it received, then I am sure you will love this album. Men at Work deliver catchy tunes coupled with clever lyrics, that will have you hooked!
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on 29 September 2014
I suffered from a 'Men at Work' earworm several times and had to hear this again. Like most people I had binned my player so could no longer play my vinyl version. Sounds fine, still makes me smile and I've realized what a groundbreaking pop-synth band they were.
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on 8 March 2014
Business as Usual certainly does the business ! It's one of those albums I recall paying the pants off on vinyl but haven't heard for a good few years. I had forgotton how great this album is !
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on 19 December 2001
This in my view is the best example of Australian pop music of the 80's. I can almost feel the sun and smell the sea as I listen and escape the British winter blues.
Down Under is the track which MAW will always be remembered for and it is still sounding great 20 years on. Yet the opening track Who can it be now? is a stong opening track with a good balance between bass, drums and vocals. Colin Hay's vocals give MAW a distict sound, rough and rugged as you might expect your Auzie man to be, complete with the leather face of Touching the Untouchables.
I can almost taste the coolXXXX as the long out track Down By the Sea takes me away to remenise even further, and yes you guessed it, I did meet a girl from Sydney as I discovered this album in the early 80's. Sadly the album finishes all too soon and I wake to reality. Who knows, I could have caught a star.
Those songs seemed to have caught so much of human experience that we can identify with. This CD is value for money but if you wanted a more complete CD of MAW's work then there are others on offer.
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