Men at Work: Under-appreciated Super-band?

         Originally, this article was supposed to be entitled “Top 5 Songs about Butts: An Ode to Ass.” Fortunately for anyone who reads this website, that article fell through when I spent the afternoon reading about 80’s New Wave instead of researching posterior references in pop music.  For those of you who long to read about gluteus maximus related music, you can expect to see that article in next year’s Christmas special.  For the rest of you, please enjoy the following article.

         Anyone and everyone reading this article should fall into one of three categories;  those of you have heard of Men at Work, those of you who haven’t heard of Men at Work and Australians.  Those of you who haven’t heard of Men at work also fall into three categories; people who were over 35 in 1982, people who were born after 1982 and Inuits.  Unfortunately, many of our readers might fall into one of these deprived categories or have simply forgotten Men at Work because of the incredible amounts of cocaine that literally littered the streets in the early 80’s.  For all of you who cannot or will not remember the band, I would like to offer the following reasons that Men at Work was a group of under-appreciated musical geniuses.  

Who Can It Be Now?
         To truly put the bands magnificence in perspective, it’s wise to take a look at one of their songs that reached Number 1 in US.  While it is an amazing feat to get a song to the #1 spot in the United States, it is not enough to justify calling the band under-appreciated musical super-geniuses.  The justification for the claim comes from the song itself and is compounded by the accompanying music video.  From my relatively shallow listening experiences with the song, it tells the story of a paranoid agoraphobic who fears the knocking at his door.  Moreover, the music video also hints at the possibility the main character is completely delusional.  All of this is set disturbingly to an upbeat saxophone melody.  The absurd juxtaposition is enough to melt the mind of any sane man.  When you consider the other number 1 hits from 1982, the success of the song is even more surprising.  I am not sure how a song about a paranoid recluse could become popular in the era  of Eye of the Tiger and Up Where We Belong.  I am forced to assume Australian devil magic.

It’s a Mistake
         While not the insane success in the USA that “Who Could It Be Now?” was, it did manage to reach #6 on the billboard top 100.  The song is essentially a musical retelling of Dr. Strangelove and is again set to an absurdly upbeat melody. The video ends with a mustachioed general accidentally launching a preemptive nuclear strike.  He does so by mistakenly stub out his cigar on the nuclear launch button rather than in his ashtray.  I am not sure that any words I possess can elucidate how this song proves that they are musical super genies but it does.  It obviously does.  The cold war was supposedly a strange time but I don’t think any level of strangeness could justify this song.    Clearly, strange forces must have been at work in order to give this song birth.  Perhaps Stanley Kubrick made love to saxophone and this is the dark offspring.  Regardless, we all must fear it and worship the powers that wrought it.

         Rather than beat around the bush, I will come out an clearly explain why Overkill proves that men at work was a super-band or possibly a group of underground wizards.  Overkill features more words that end in -tion than I have ever heard in one place in my entire life.  While I understand that the -tion is one of the easier sounds in English to ryhme, this songs takes it up a notch.  I couldn’t be bothered to count the number of words that ended that way so I am forced to assume it was upwards of a million.  The song is almost completely comprised of words ending in -tion.  If Collin Hay, the band’s singer and guitarist’s ability to wield words ending in -tion does not prove the band’s supreme and terrifying power, I do not know what does.  
Additionally, I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares where Collin Hay is staring at me.  Watch the video at your own risk.

Down Under
         Another of the band’s #1 hits, Down Under is an happy tune that tells the story of an Australian man as he wanders the earth.  For me and many other people from the civilized nations Down Under, Crocodile Dundee and the late Steve Irwin represent everything that we know about Australia.  In many ways, this song is solely responsible for the re-discovery of Australia.  Prior to the release of the song, most of the world had simply forgotten about Australia.  Thanks to this song, people suddenly remembered the long forgotten continent and it’s many wonders and dangers.  Only a band of incredible skill and strength could have so forcefully shoved the forgotten continent into the faces of the entire western world. Even to this day, this song is one of the few tenuous strings that binds that nightmare land to the rest of the world.  Without it, Australia would certainly drift away and be forgotten by everyone.    

         While they may not be the greatest band of all time, one has to admit that they are definitely under-appreciated in the modern era.  If you have a little time in your life, do yourself a favor and download some of their songs from iTunes or buy one of their CDs from Amazon.  You won’t regret the purchase.  Also, it will keep the ferocious and terrible Australian demons at bay.  Purchases of Men at Work CDs and Crocodile Dundee DVDs are the only things that keep them from breaking loose from their barren, rock-strewn prison and devouring the world.  You can keep them at bay using the power of Amazon.