Business as Usual is the debut album of Australian band Men at Work, released in November 1981 in Australia and April 1982 in the US. The Australian release of the album included a black and white cover design; overseas releases had the same design but in a yellow and black color scheme.
Business as Usual was one of the most successful albums internationally by an Australian group. It spent an unprecedented 15 weeks at No. 1 on the American album charts from late 1982 to early 1983 and five weeks at No. 1 in the UK in early 1983. It spent nine weeks at the top of the Australian album charts from December 1981 through March 1982. Business as Usual was one of the most commercially successful albums in the early 1980s, with 6 million copies sold in the US and 15 million sold worldwide.
The song, “Who Can It Be Now?” was first released as a single in Australia in June 1981, prior to the recording of the rest of the album. The single reached No. 1 on the Australian singles chart in August that year.
In February 2010 a Federal Court judge in Sydney found that the flute riff from “Down Under” had been plagiarised from the classic Australian song “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, written in 1934 by Marion Sinclair. The Federal Court determined that the copyright was still current (Sinclair died in 1988) and had been assigned to Larrikin Music. The judge found that “a substantial amount of the original song” had been reproduced in “Down Under”. Larrikin Music had suggested 60% of the royalties would be appropriate compensation, but the court decreed they shall receive only 5%, and only on mechanical rights for the song since 2002, and on future profits.
In October 2010, Business as Usual was listed in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.
- Title Length
- “Who Can It Be Now?” 3:25
- “I Can See It in Your Eyes” 3:32
- “Down Under” 3:45
- “Underground” 3:07
- “Helpless Automaton” 3:23
- Title Length
- “People Just Love to Play with Words” 3:33
- “Be Good Johnny” 3:39
- “Touching the Untouchables” 3:41
- “Catch a Star” 3:31
- “Down by the Sea” 6:53