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Men At Work - Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive (1982)

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  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.31
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive" is a song by the Australian musical group Men at Work. The song was written by Men at Work ...

"Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive" is a song by the Australian musical group Men at Work. The song was written by Men at Work singer/guitarist Colin Hay, and the recording was produced by Peter McIan. It was released in October 1982, in Australia, as the lead single from their second album Cargo, which had been recorded during 1982 but remained unreleased until late April 1983.

The song is about a mad scientist named Dr. Heckyll (played by Greg Ham in the song's video clip) who creates a potion that turns him into a smooth, handsome and talkative man. The title is a parody of Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The story is also very similar to the premise of the 1963 film The Nutty Professor.

In Australia, it peaked at #6 and reached #16 in New Zealand. After "Overkill" and "It's a Mistake", the second and third singles released from Cargo, "Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive" was the band's last major top 40 hit in the US, entering the charts at #67 on 17 September 1983, almost a year after its initial Australian release and peaking at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November. The single reached #26 in Canada in October 1983.

The song was also performed live on Saturday Night Live on October 22, 1983.

Music video

The music video shows a Sherlock Holmes-esque detective (Colin Hay) who investigates the case of Dr. Heckyll (Greg Ham), a quirky mad scientist. One night, Heckyll goes out to a party at a house in the neighborhood and takes a swig of the potion he has been working on most recently. Two girls walk in on him, harass him and also take swigs of the drink. They turn into palm trees as a result. Heckyll notices this effect, and transforms into Mr. Jive, a handsome, talkative man who entertains people by playing the piano. The detective, under disguise as a Boy Scouts leader, arrives, but before he can investigate further, Heckyll reverts to normal form and, with his hunchbacked assistant (Jerry Speiser) leaves satisfied and happy into the sunrise.

The video was shot in Los Angeles, California, in 1982; Heckyll's house is 1325 Carroll Avenue.

The band members also appear as boy scouts and party guests.

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