One of the more successful New Wave groups to come out of the early '80s and embrace the embryonic MTV, Men at Work had two or three years of massive global success before falling apart in 1985 when their popularity began to wane. Started as an acoustic duo in Australia in 1979 by Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, Men at Work became a quintet in 1980 when they decided to go electric.
With the Police and the popular reggae movement obvious big influences, Men at Work was signed by Columbia Records in their native Australia in 1981. They saw immediate chart success at home and in Europe with songs like "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under." By the time the record was picked up by Columbia's stateside label, MTV was in full throttle mode, andMen at Work's quirky, humorous videos were just what the doctor ordered.
The debut LP went to #1 and broke records all year long. The group was even awarded a Grammy for Best New Act in 1982, but the success was short-lived. 1983's Cargo carried some of the momentum from the previous disc, but faded after a few months on the charts. The group released a few more LPs but their popularity decreased dramatically after 1984.
Only Colin Hay continued on as a solo artist, but his two solo albums went unnoticed. In 2003, Hay was recruited by Ringo Starr to be a member of Ringo Starr & His All Starr band. The trek through America renewed interest in Hay's songs with Men at Work. The group reformed with only Hay and Ham from the original lineup in 2000, and today they continue to record and tour in between solo projects from Hay.