Who Can It Be Now?
|"Who Can It Be Now?"|
|Single by Men at Work|
|from the album Business as Usual|
|B-side||"Anyone for Tennis" (instrumental)|
|Released||6 June 1981 (Australia)
13 August 1982 (U.S.)
|Genre||Pop rock, new wave|
|Men at Work singles chronology|
"Who Can It Be Now?" is a song recorded by Australian new wave band Men at Work. It was first released as a single in Australia in June 1981, prior to the recording of their 1981 debut album Business as Usual, on which the track was later included.
"Who Can It Be Now?" reached number 2 on the Australian singles chart in August that year, and also hit #45 in New Zealand. Released in Canada in early 1982, the track peaked at #10 in July. This spurred an American release of the song, and the single, by now well over a year old, went on to hit #1 in the USA in October, 1982. "Who Can It Be Now?" was also a modest hit in the UK, reaching number 45. As one of Men at Work's biggest hits, it was featured on their later compilation albums, and a live version can be found on Brazil. The song remains a popular symbol of new wave music and has been featured on numerous 1980s compilations. The band performed both this song and "Down Under" live on Saturday Night Live on October 23, 1982.
The lyrics of "Who Can It Be Now?" feature the narrative of a reclusive, perhaps paranoid man who hears knocking at his house door and wishes to be left in solitude. The presence of a "childhood friend" is mentioned, and the bridge lyrics give the impression that the narrator fears once again being taken away to a mental institution. Musically, the song features prominent saxophone lines provided by Greg Ham and a mid-tempo beat. Its chorus vocals, which make up the song title, feature a melody that is echoed through saxophone in a call and response fashion. The second chorus pushes the anxious lyrics further and becomes flush with vocal harmony.
In popular culture
The song appears on the game Karaoke Revolution Party, the Simpsons episode "I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", and the sci-fi horror film The Thing (2011). David Fricke of Rolling Stone commended it by noting "Ham's blowsy sax and the rousing chorus of voices raised in alcoholic harmony spark the rugged boogie of 'Who Can It Be Now?'" Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the song an "excellent single that merged straight-ahead pop/rock hooks with a quirky New Wave production and an offbeat sense of humor." Heather Phares reviewed the song specifically and summed up by saying "In keeping with current trends but just quirky enough to be instantly memorable, the song seems custom-built for repeated play; it's easy to see why it became one of 1982's biggest hits, as well as a definitive New Wave single."
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||2|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||8|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||71|
|Israeli Singles Chart||1|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||49|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||45|
|South African Chart||5|
|UK (Official Charts Company)||45|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||46|
"Jack and Diane" by John Cougar
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
October 30, 1982 (1 week)
"Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Business as Usual/Cargo [Redhot] review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 June 2013. ""Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under," two excellent singles that merged straight-ahead pop-rock hooks with a quirky new wave production"
- Fricke, David Men at Work: Business As Usual : Music ReviewsRolling Stone.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas Business As Usual - Review Allmusic.
- Phares, Heather Who Can It Be Now? - Review Allmusic.
- Danyel Smith, ed. (1981). Billboard 29 august 1981. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Who can it be now in Canadian Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Men At Work - Who Can It Be Now?". Charts.de. Media Control.
- "Who can it be now in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 4th result when searching "Who can it be now"
- Danyel Smith, ed. (1982). Billboard 27 november 1982. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "The best-selling singles of 1983 in Italy". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 1 June 2013.
46. Who can it be now - Men At work [#10, 1982/83]
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now?" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now?". Top 40 Singles.
- John Samson. "Who can it be now in South African Chart". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Men at Work". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "Business as Usual awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 June 2013.