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used records:

MEN. still working

Chris Auman

Men at Work Cargo cover

Men at Work
[CBS] 1983

Business as Usual was a monster hit for these Aussie lads at the beginning of the 1980s. They won a Grammy in 1982 for "Best New Artist" (aka The Kiss of Death) and it was all down hill from there. There was Cargo though. I was a Men at Work fan in '82 and '83. After Queen, they were probably my favorite band in junior high school. "Down Under" was a favorite among my Dungeons & Dragons playing friends. How that song ties into role playing games, I couldn't tell you, but it did. The "Down Under" single, backed with "Crazy", was one of the first forty-fives I ever bought.  In my 7th grade homeroom class (taught by Mrs. Popp, no lie), we got to bring in records every Friday to play for the class. We only got one side. I brought in "Down Under" but spun the b-side instead. You could hear "Down Under" on the radio 24 times a day, but I wanted to turn some heads onto the other sounds of Men at Work—a hipster DJ in the making!

Cargo saw four singles released. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" is a decent enough tune. It's not on par with any of the hits of its Business predecessor, but it was good enough to warrant release as a single. "Overkill," "It's a Mistake" and "High Wire" were the other three. Again, not the same caliber of stuff that made Business resonate with the public or made the cash registers ring, but the best of a batch of mediocre stuff nevertheless. The rest of Cargo is pretty forgettable and signaled the end of the Men's career as hit makers.

Cargo would be followed by Two Hearts in '85. That album was met with the critical and commercial disappointment it almost surely deserved.


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