Cargo (album)

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Men at Work - Cargo.jpg
Studio album by
Released29 April 1983 (1983-04-29)
Recorded1982 at AAV Studios, Melbourne, Paradise Studios, Sydney and Westlake Audio, Los Angeles
GenrePop rock, new wave
ProducerPeter McIan
Men at Work chronology
Business as Usual
Two Hearts
Singles from Cargo
  1. "Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive"
    Released: October 1982
  2. "Overkill"
    Released: 9 April 1983
  3. "It's a Mistake"
    Released: June 1983
  4. "High Wire"
    Released: 1983

Cargo is the second studio album by Australian pop rock band Men at Work, which was released in April 1983. It peaked at No. 1 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart, No. 2 in New Zealand, No. 3 on the United States Billboard 200, and No. 8 on the United Kingdom Albums Chart. Four singles were released from the album, with "Overkill" being an international top 10 hit in Canada, Ireland, Norway, and US Billboard Hot 100.


Australian pop rock group, Men at Work, released their second album, Cargo, in April 1983, which peaked at No. 1 – for two weeks – on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart.[1] In New Zealand it reached No. 2.[2] The album was recorded and finished by mid-1982 with Peter McIan producing again, but its release was pushed back due to the continued success of their debut album, Business as Usual.[3][4][5] On the international market, where Business as Usual was still riding high, Cargo appeared at No. 3 on the Billboard 200,[6] and No. 8 in the UK.[7] The lead single, "Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive", was issued in Australia, ahead of the album, in October 1982; it reached No. 6[1] there in late 1982 and peaked at No. 28 in the US the following year.[6] The second single "Overkill" was released in March 1983 and made it to No. 5 in Australia,[1] and No. 3 in the US.[6] A third single "It's a Mistake" followed in June and only reached No. 34 in Australia,[1] but it did peak at No. 6 in the US.[6] The much less successful fourth and final single "High Wire" was released in late 1983 and only reached No. 89 in Australia,[1] but did reach No. 23 on the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.[6] The band toured the world extensively in 1983.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[8]
Christgau's Record GuideB[9]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[10]

Rolling Stone's Christopher Connelly wrote that Cargo "may lack a track with the body-slamming intensity of 'Who Can It Be Now?' and 'Down Under', but song for song, it is a stronger overall effort than Business as Usual". He chiefly praised the album's dark, paranoid lyrics.[10] John Mendelssohn of Record also felt that none of the tracks measured up to Men at Work's early hits, but went further, saying the album in its entirety is inoffensive but forgettable, with "Upstairs in My House" being the only highlight. He found the band's instrumental solos particularly dull, and assessed that Men at Work's one asset is that "Colin Hay may be the most effortlessly soulful pop singer since Sting".[11]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised "Overkill" and "It's a Mistake" as "demonstrating more depth than anything on the debut". However, he asserted that the album parallels their debut in that it focuses on two strong singles while it is "weighed down by filler".[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Colin Hay except as noted.

1."Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive" 4:38
2."Overkill" 3:47
3."Settle Down My Boy" (extended to 4:10 on the 2003 remaster)Ron Strykert3:31
4."Upstairs in My House"Hay, Strykert4:03
5."No Sign of Yesterday" (extended to 6:34 on the 2003 remaster) 6:15
6."It's a Mistake" (extended to 4:47 on the 2003 remaster) 4:34
7."High Wire" 3:02
8."Blue for You" 3:55
9."I Like To"Strykert4:03
10."No Restrictions" 4:31
2003 Remaster Bonus Tracks
11."Shintaro" (B-side from "It's a Mistake" single)Strykert2:52
12."'Till the Money Runs Out" (B-side from "Overkill" single)Hay, Strykert, Greg Ham, Jerry Speiser, Johnathan Rees3:06
13."Upstairs in My House" (live; B-side from "Dr. Heckyl & Mr. Jive" 12" (Track listed as "Upstairs At My House" on the 2003 remaster)Hay, Strykert3:13
14."Fallin' Down" (live; B-side from "High Wire" Australian single)Speiser, Rees7:55
15."The Longest Night" (live) (previously unreleased)Ham4:04

The live tracks on the 2003 Remastered edition are from a concert recorded 28 July 1983 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (13, 14) and from a 1983 concert in Berkeley, CA (15).



  • Producer: Peter McIan
  • Engineers: Peter McIan, Paul Ray
  • Assistant engineer: David Price
  • Photography: Greg Noakes
  • Artwork: Ron Strykert
  • International manager: Nathan D. Brenner


Chart (1983/84) Position
Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[1] 1
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[12] 3
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[13] 11
Italian Albums Chart[14] 11
New Zealand Albums Chart[2] 2
Norwegian Albums Chart[15] 4
Swedish Albums Chart[16] 8
UK Albums Chart[7] 8
US Billboard 200[6] 3
West German Media Control Albums Chart[17] 7

Singles - Billboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1983 "Overkill" Adult Contemporary 6
1983 "Overkill" Mainstream Rock 3
1983 "Overkill" Billboard Hot 100 3
1983 "It's a Mistake" Adult Contemporary 10
1983 "It's A Mistake" Mainstream Rock 27
1983 "It's A Mistake" Billboard Hot 100 6
1983 "Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive" Mainstream Rock 12
1983 "Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive" Billboard Hot 100 28
1983 "High Wire" Mainstream Rock 23


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[18] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Japan 300,000[19]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[20] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[21] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[22] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  2. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Men at Work – Cargo" (ASP). New Zealand Charts Portal (Recording Industry Association of New Zealand). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b McFarlane, 'Men at Work' entry. Archived from the original on 13 May 2003. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  4. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "Men at Work". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music (Ed Nimmervoll). White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  5. ^ Holmgren, Magnus; Warnqvist, Stefan. "Men at Work". Australian Rock Database. Passagen (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Men at Work – Charts & Awards – Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Men at Work > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cargo – Men at Work". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Men at Work: Cargo". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  10. ^ a b Connelly, Christopher (28 April 1983). "Men at Work: Cargo". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 4 April 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  11. ^ Mendelssohn, John (June 1983). "Cargo review". Record. 2 (8): 26.
  12. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 38, No. 12". RPM. 21 May 1983. Archived from the original (PHP) on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  13. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Men at Work – Cargo" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Gli album più venduti del 1983" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  15. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Men at Work – Cargo" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Hung Medien. Archived from the original (ASP) on 14 January 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  16. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Men at Work – Cargo" (ASP) (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  17. ^ "Album Search: Men at Work – Cargo" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Men at Work – Cargo". Music Canada. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  19. ^ Fujita, Shig (21 January 1984). "International Repertoire Explosion Keys Upturn In Japanese Market" (PDF). Billboard. p. 9. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  20. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Men at Work – Cargo". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  21. ^ "British album certifications – Men at Work – Cargo". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 August 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Cargo in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Men at Work – Cargo". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 4 August 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.