American Top 40 PastBlast, 10/22/83: Men at Work, “Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive”

The music of Men at Work has its fingerprints all over my first three semesters of college. “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under” were dominant on the airwaves and charts that first fall and winter; I like them still but on the whole I’ve heard them plenty. “Be Good Johnny” could have been a hit but was held back in the U.S. so that their second album could be released . Cargo produced three more hits: the top 10 songs “Overkill” (my favorite now) “ and “It’s a Mistake,” plus this one, which is peaking in this countdown at #28.

Their well ran fairly dry after that. I wonder if the goofiness level they brought to the (turn)table was unsustainable or simply wore too thin.   For instance, in this video: Why is Colin Hay dressed up like a Scout? Why do the women turn into potted plants when they drink Dr. Heckyll’s magic formula while he turns into Mr. Jive? Why did he go to this party in the first place? I know they had only a little over four minutes to get their point across, but what was the point of channeling Jerry Lewis (or Stevenson, for that matter)? I want answers!

Enough grousing. I’ll just try to kick back and enjoy it.

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