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Song Stories

“Down Under”

Men at Work | 1982

Singer Colin Hay has said this song — which has become an unofficial anthem for Australia — was a celebration of the land down under even as it was being over-developed by greedy people. Featuring Aussie slang words like "fried-out kombi," "head full of zombie" and "chunder," the song prompted a lawsuit when a publishing company said the famous flute riff plagiarized a copyrighted campfire song, "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree." Flautist Greg Ham — who took to drugs and alcohol after the decision — died two years later at 58. "I think it had a big impact on him," Hay said.

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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