Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18: Ron Strykert, co-founder of Men At Work is 56-years-old today.

Ronald "Ron" Graham Strykert co-founded Men at Work with Colin Hay as an acoustic duo in 1979, regularly performing at the Cricketer's Arms Hotel in Richmond, Victoria.

In 1981, Columbia Records signed Men at Work. The band's second single, "Who Can It Be Now?,” was released in June 1981 and reached No. 1 on the Australian singles chart in August that year. It rose from No. 3 to No. 1 in the week of 17 August on the Australian singles chart. It was No. 1 for two consecutive weeks.

A subsequent single (a re-worked version of "Down Under") and their first album (Business as Usual) went to No. 1. The album also debuted at No. 1 in New Zealand. They are the only Australian artist to have a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 1 single in the United States (Business as Usual and "Down Under" respectively).

 They achieved the same distinction of a simultaneous No. 1 album and No. 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. 

Strykert recorded a third album with the group, Two Hearts which peaked at No. 50 on the chart. Although four songs were released as singles to promote the album (lead single "Everything I Need,” "Man with Two Hearts,” "Maria,” and "Hard Luck Story"), only the first song charted in the US, and that only at No. 47.

The record relied heavily on drum programming and synthesisers and reduced the presence of Ham's saxophone.

Strykert left the group during the album's production. Strykert relocated to Hobart, Australia in 2009 from Los Angeles, continues to play music and released his first solo album, Paradise, in September 2009. He has expressed some resentment towards Hay, mainly over royalties.

On 13 February 2009 Strykert was arrested for allegedly making death threats against Colin Hay.

Business As Usual
Business As Usual (album) 1982-1983

"Land Down Under" (single) 1982

Men at Work


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