Tuesday, April 23, 1985

Men at Work released Two Hearts

First posted 9/19/2020.

Two Hearts

Men at Work


Released: April 23, 1985


Peak: 50 US, -- UK, -- CN, 16 AU


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: pop rock/new wave


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Man with Two Hearts
  2. Giving Up
  3. Everything I Need (1985, 47, US, 28 AR, 37 AU)
  4. Sail to You
  5. Children on Parade
  6. Maria
  7. Stay at Home
  8. Hard Luck Story
  9. Snakes and Ladders
  10. Still Life


Total Running Time: 36:34


The Players:

  • Colin Hay (vocals, guitar, various instruments, drum programming)
  • Greg Ham (flute, keyboards, saxophone, vocals, drum programming)
  • Ron Strykert (guitar, vocals)

Rating:

3.142 out of 5.00 (average of 6 ratings)


Quotable: --


Awards:

About the Album:

Men at Work took the world by storm in 1982 and 1983 with their monstrously successful Business As Usual album and the #1 singles “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under.” They quickly followed with another album that was a top-five, multi-platinum smash which gave the band two more top-10 hits in the U.S.

After they took a break, they reconvened in the fall of 1984 to start work on a third album. Friction led to the dismissal of bassist John Rees and drummer Jerry Speiser before the recording started. They were replaced with session musicians and a stronger emphasis on drum machines and synthesizers.

Guitarist Ron Strykert left during sessions, although he is still credited as a member of the group for the Two Hearts album. The band also let producer Ian McIan go, the man who’d produced the first two hugely successful albums. Colin Hay and Greg Ham opted to produce the album themselves. These were all warning signs that Men at Work might be finished as a viable commercial act and might even be done as a band. Sadly, both proved true.

That isn’t to say, though, that there isn’t some good music here. Everything I Need was the only song that charted, peaking at #47 in the U.S. and barely making the top 40 in their own native Australia. The song, however, sounded worthy of the top-10 status Men at Work had achieved four times with singles from the first two albums.

Man with Two Hearts, Maria, Hard Luck Story, and Still Life were all released as singles, but none charted. The first two certainly weren’t of the same caliber as Men at Work’s biggest hits, but they felt like songs that deserved at least top-40 status.

It was an unfortunate ending for a band whose star rose so quickly and, sadly, fell just as fast. While the group will always be best remembered for its fun videos and chart-toppers, they deserve to be recognized for the unfairly overlooked Two Hearts as well.


Notes: --

Resources and Related Links:

Sunday, April 7, 1985

Marillion released “Kayleigh”...my all-time favorite song

First posted 11/18/2019.

Kayleigh

Marillion

Writer(s): Fish, Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas (see lyrics here)


Released: April 7, 1985


Peak: 74 US, 12 AR, 2 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: --


Video Airplay *: 14.3


Streaming *: --


* in millions

Review:

Most posts on Dave’s Music Database are presented without personal commentary. This one is an exception. 1985 likely marked the most significant year of my life in terms of growth and discovery. I graduated from high school and headed to college. My sheltered upbringing was challenged as I learned to co-exist with people with vastly different backgrounds and lifestyles. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Similarly, my musical tastes would undergo a significant awakening. For my first 18 years I gravitated largely toward pop music. In grade school and middle school, I bought eight tracks of adult contemporary staples like Air Supply, John Denver, Neil Diamond, and Barry Manilow. By high school, my tastes leaned a bit more toward rock with Foreigner, Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Styx. However, in college I started listening to the heavier rock I’d previously snubbed my nose at – Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Rush.

My greatest discovery, though, was a band practically no one in America had heard of – Marillion. My local album-rock station played just enough of the song “Kayleigh” to get me curious. The song didn’t break any new ground with its failed-love theme, but it explored the idea with some of the best lyrics I’d ever heard:

Do you remember chalk hearts melting on a playground wall
Do you remember dawn escapes from moon-washed college halls
Do you remember the cherry blossom in the market square
Do you remember I thought it was confetti in our hair

By the way didn’t I break your heart?
Please excuse me, I never meant to break your heart
So sorry, I never meant to break your heart
But you broke mine

Fish did date a woman named Kay Lee, but said the song was a composite of several “deep and meaningful relationships that basically I’d wrecked because I was obsessed with the career and where I wanted to go.” WK It was an apology to some of the women he’d dated. WK While the song went largely unnoticed in the U.S., its #2 peak in the UK gave rise to the popularity of the name there. WK

I loved the song even if American radio didn’t. Several times I picked up the cassette of the song’s parent album, Misplaced Childhood, in Camelot music store and pondered the fascinating cover art done by Mark Wilkinson of a young boy, barefoot and in a military uniform. I knew nothing about this group. Was it worth taking a risk? The answer was a resounding yes. When I finally took the leap I discovered a neo-progressive rock group from England helmed by a singer and lyricist nicknamed Fish. “Kayleigh” “Kayleigh” was the centerpiece of a concept album about the downfall of the protagonist because of his failed relationship and difficulty in coping with fame. In the end, his rediscovery of the innocence of childhood leads to his rebound.

I found out this was the band’s third album, which led me to delve into their back catalog. “Kayleigh,” Misplaced Childhood, and Marillion became my all-time favorite song, album, and group. I didn’t “break up” with what some considered immature musical tastes; instead I celebrated the music of my childhood even as I discovered new directions in adulthood. It became the philosophy that has governed my music appreciation ever since.


Resources and Related Links:

Awards: