Men at Work are a Scottish-Australian rock band who achieved international success in the 1980s. They are the only Australian artists to have a simultaneous #1 album and #1 single in the United States (Business as Usual and "Down Under" respectively). They achieved the same distinction of a simultaneous #1 album and #1 single in the United Kingdom. The group won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and have sold over 30 million albums worldwide. The band's sound is distinguished by its use of woodwind and brass instruments.
In 1981, Columbia Records signed Men at Work. Their second single, "Who Can It Be Now?", reached #1 on the Australian chart in August 1981. A subsequent single (a re-worked version of "Down Under") and their first album (Business as Usual) also went to #1. The album also debuted at #1 in New Zealand.
Despite its strong Australian showing, and having an American producer (Peter McIan), Business as Usual was twice rejected by Columbia's parent company in the United States. Thanks to the persistence of the band's management, the album was eventually released in the USA and the UK six months after its Australian release. Men at Work toured the USA to promote the album, supporting Fleetwood Mac.
In October 1982, "Who Can It Be Now?" hit #1 in the USA. Then, in November of that year, Business as Usual began a 15-week run at #1 on the US album chart. While "Who Can It Be Now?" was still in the top ten, the second single, "Down Under" was released. It entered the charts at #79; ten weeks later, it was #1. By January 1983, Men at Work had the top album and single in both the USA and the UK - a feat never achieved previously by an Australian act. "Be Good Johnny" also received moderate airplay, particularly in the USA.
Men at Work won a Grammy Award, winning Best New Artist for 1983 ahead of Asia, Jennifer Holliday, The Human League and Stray Cats. This was the first for an Australian recording act.
That same year, Canada awarded them a Juno Award for "International LP of the Year."
The band soon released their second album Cargo. It had been finished in the summer of 1982, but held for release due to the phenomenal success of the band's debut. The new album went to #1. The international market, where Business as Usual was still riding high, kept the album at #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The album produced three chart singles in the USA: "Overkill" [#3], "It's a Mistake" [#6], and "Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive" [#28]. The band toured the world extensively in 1983.