Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Contraband: The Best of Men at Work (1996)

This Australian band released only 3 studio albums, but record companies have managed to parlay those 3 into at least 9 greatest hits packages.  Of those 9, this is the one I happened to pick up. I always thought Men At Work were always a singles band, not an album band, so a greatest hits CD is all I really need.  I also think that the band's sophomore effort, Cargo, was a much stronger album than their debut, Business As Usual.  That said, their albums always somewhat uneven affairs, with tracks alternating between number #1 singles and forgettable filler.

Sadly, band member Greg Ham, who played the memorable flute part on Down Under and the famous saxophone line in Who Can It Be Now?, passed away in April of this year at age 58.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: This album never charted, but Business As Usual (1982) was #1 for 15 weeks, Cargo (1983) peaked at #3, and Two Hearts (1985) peaked at #50.

Tracks: 10 of the 16 tracks here are good; I prefer the 5 songs from Cargo: It's A Mistake, Upstairs In My House, High Wire, Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive, and Overkill. From Business As Usual, I like Who Can it Be Now?, Be Good Johnny, and Down By The Sea.  I never have liked the band's biggest hit, Down Under.  Also, the 5 tracks from Two Hearts aren't up to snuff (which explains that album's weak performance on the charts and with the critics).

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I had Business As Usual on LP and dubbed a tape of Cargo from a friend's LP.  I've already recounted my story of searching for Who Can It Be Now? in a previous blog post.  And I still have some of the band's pinbacks that surely must have adorned my clothing in high school.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Colin Hay - Man @ Work (2003)

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