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Contraband: The Best of Men At Work

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Album Review

Men at Work's records were always somewhat uneven affairs. Certainly, the singles were the highlights, but they had a handful of first-rate album tracks that made the records necessary for dedicated fans, even if the overall album was inconsistent. Contraband: The Best of Men at Work does a terrific job of consolidating all of their highlights onto one disc. From hits like "Who Can It Be Now?," "Down Under," "Overkill," and "It's a Mistake" to slightly neglected album tracks like "Be Good Johnny," Contraband has every great track from the Australian new wave band. For most fans, it will be the only disc they need.

Customer Reviews

Great Music from Down Under

I was a bit reserved, when first heard about this band. After hearing Down Under, Overkill and Who Can It Be Now? my attitudes towards this band changed a lot. So, after listening those three songs over and over again, I decided to buy a compilation by this band and take a closer look.. This compilation starts with Men At Work's first #1 single, Who Can It Be Now? The song is nice, with great saxophone parts and maybe a bit paranoiac lyrics? Well, the song is however great choice for the starter of this compilation. It makes you want to hear more! Then comes Down Under, the beloved and well-known song by the band (also a #1 single.) A happy story about a man, who travels around the world and is proud to be Australian. Like the saxophone in Who Can It Be Now? this song has a great flute parts, based around the tune of Australian children's rhyme.. Next song is called It's A Mistake, another well-known composition by Men At Work. The lyrics might be a bit odd, but who cares!? The song makes you happy, and that's enough! The song following song is called Hard Luck Story (taken from Two Hearts album). The song has very different atmosphere, when compared to preceding three songs. A bit strange choice for this compilation, but it works at the place, where it's put to. Followed up with sophisticated Still Life, these two songs from Two Hearts albums have chilled down the mood a bit. This song could have been a great closing song also, but it's good to have it here, since the next song warms up the ambience again. After Still Life comes Underground, a single from band's debut album, Business As Usual. Underground is one of band's most underrated songs (alongside with Still Life, Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive and Two Hearts.) The song is quite danceable, but for some reason, it seems to be quite forgotten, when talking about this band.. Such a shame.. Then comes Upstairs In My House, a bit strange song, with cool vocals, though. This song isn't the one, that you are going to remember Men At Work, however.. (Nice guitar work, though..) Next song is called I Like To, this is however the live version, which is slightly differing to the studio version, from Cargo. Cool vocals, huh? How can somebody sing that fast?! Followed by High Wire (watch the music video, if you have time), I Like To and High Wire (and couple songs before these, Still Life, most notably) have changed your thoughts of this band, Men At Work isn't just jolly Australian band singin' ”I come from a Land Down Under!” Song has a great refrain, by the way.. Then comes Maria, another song from band's last Two Hearts LP. Unfortunantly people weren't ready for the cold and sophisticated atmosphere of the album, and it was knocked out.. Such a shame.. The song however is nice ballad of girl called Maria, who lives in unhappy marriage.. Next song is called Be Good Johnny, one of the band's best (and most known) songs. The song is popularised by that TV-show, which name I already forgot.. But nice song, however! Followed by one of group's most underrated songs, Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive, a nice song about a story, that everybody knows.. (The music video is great, by the way, watch it!) The lyrics might be a bit cold and strange, but you can dance to the song, so who cares?! Overkill, is the next song in this compilation. Another song with a bit paranoiac and strange lyrics, but who cares, when the song is nice? Next up, (Man With) Two Hearts, starter song of the album, by same name. Like every other song from that album, this one is also cold, sophisticated and a bit desperate. The world just wasn't ready for music like this, from their beloved band from Down Under.. After this comes Snakes And Ladders, another danceable and bouncy song. The lyrics are once again a bit strange, but it's understandable, since it's from Two Hearts LP.. The compilation closes with song called Down By The Sea. A calm and nice song, with cool vocals. This is one of those songs, that make you relax and imagine.. A good song to end with, don't you think so? Well, as a conclusion I could say, that this compilation is one of the best, that I have ever bought and.. buy it today!!! P. S. I tried to be as non-fanatic, as I could..

Biography

Formed: 1979 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Men at Work were one of the more surprising success stories of the new wave era, rocketing out of Australia in 1982 to become the most successful artist of the year. With its Police-styled rhythms, catchy guitar hooks, wailing saxophones, and off-kilter sense of humor, the band's debut album, Business as Usual, became an international blockbuster, breaking the American record for the most weeks a debut spent at the top of the charts. Their funny, irreverent videos became MTV favorites, helping send...
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Contraband: The Best of Men At Work, Men At Work
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