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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Jun 2019 - Album Exclusive: Prince Originals > STILL MAKING HAY

STILL MAKING HAY

FRONTED BY A SCOTTISH NATIVE WHO RELOCATED DOWN UNDER IN HIS TEENS, MEN AT WORK GLIMPSED GREATNESS BEFORE IT ALL BECAME A BIT SPINAL TAP. FRONTMAN COLIN HAY TRAWLS THROUGH A THORNY AND TRAGIC HISTORY WITH CLASSIC POP.
Colin Hay with the current incarnation of Men at Work © Jorge Sayegh

The rise and fall of Men At Work is a tale of friendship forged in music and ruined by conceit, of smallmindedness stymieing big dreams, of what might have been but wasn’t because of that conspicuous human proclivity for self-sabotage.

On the cusp of world domination, the Aussie outfi t had scored a brace of American No.1 singles with Who Can It Be Now? and Down Under (the latter also claimed pole position in the UK) and were touring their second platinum-selling album, Cargo, when, in 1983, infighting led to their eventual implosion.

“The original band kind of split into two camps, really,”recalls Colin Hay, the Scottishborn singer now domiciled in Los Angeles.

“There were six people in our band – five musicians and one manager. The rhythm section – the drummer and the bass player – got sacked on that tour. So that left four of us. We made a third album and during that record one day Ron [Strykert, guitarist] just said, ‘I’m going home’. And I said, ‘Oh, are you coming back?’And he said, ‘Nah, I’m not coming back’”

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About Classic Pop

In our latest issue, we take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the latest archive release from Prince. Originals gathers together tantalising demos from the iconic songwriter that became hits in the hands of other artists, from The Bangles and Martika to Kenny Rogers. We talk to those who knew Prince best for the inside track on this fascinating new album. So much more than just a founder member of Duran Duran, Stephen Duffy returns with a new Lilac Time album and a reissue of his superb solo LP I Love My Friends. Classic Pop shares a pint with him for an entertaining chat. Elsewhere, we find out if the B52s are serious about hanging up their microphones as they return to the UK for a farewell tour. Is this really the last goodbye from the art-pop party starters? We meet the band to get the definitive answer. In our new album-by-album feature, we take an in-depth look at the recording career of Talk Talk, from reluctant New Romantic poster boys to an outfit that explored the furthest reaches of art-rock. Legendary producer Trevor Horn talks us through his life in vinyl and we catch up with Colin Hay to delve into the troubled history of Men At Work. Our classic album is OMD’s career pinnacle Architecture & Morality and we also look at the 80s British reggae scene including chats with the key players from the era. Our packed new album reviews section includes Prince, Mark Ronson, The Divine Comedy, Hot Chip and more. On the reissues front, we serve up a tasty selection including Depeche Mode, Blancmange, Ian Dury & The Blockheads and a five-star review of Abba. In our live reviews section, we check out gigs by ABC, Wet Wet Wet, Suede, Bananarama and more.