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. In New Zealand it reached No. 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. On the international market, where Business as Usual was still riding high, Cargo appeared at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, and No. 8 in the UK. The lead single, "Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive", was issued in Australia, ahead of the album, in October 1982; it reached No. 6 there in late 1982 and peaked at No. 28 in the US the following year. The second single "Overkill" was released in March 1983 and made it to No. 5 in Australia, and No. 3 in the US. A third single "It's a Mistake" followed in June and only reached No. 34 in Australia, but it did peak at No. 6 in the US. The much less successful fourth and final single "High Wire" was released in late 1983 and only reached No. 89 in Australia, but did reach No. 23 on the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. The band toured the world extensively in 1983.
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. 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".
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".
^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.