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Men At Work - It's a Mistake (1983)

  • Video Views 22,488,899
  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.37
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"It's a Mistake" is a song by the Australian band Men at Work. The song was written by the lead singer and guitarist Colin ...

"It's a Mistake" is a song by the Australian band Men at Work. The song was written by the lead singer and guitarist Colin Hay and the recording was produced by Peter McIan. It was released in June 1983, as the third single from their album Cargo and peaked at #34 in Australia. In the US, it entered the charts at #42 on July 2, 1983, and peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1983. It was performed live on Saturday Night Live on October 22, 1983.

Music video

The video, which had moderate rotation on MTV (as opposed to the band's singles from their Business as Usual album), told a satirical story of the outbreak of a war between the Eastern and Western blocs. The beginning of the video shows the five band members dressed as children playing "soldiers" and being invited into an officer's tent by an American officer, inside of which are many allied officers of various services drinking and partying. The video then shows four adult men who are working each as a businessman, a road worker, an anti war protester and a doctor. The video then shows each of them fading into a military uniform vaguely corresponding to each of their peacetime professions with a surprised look on their faces, as to imply they were drafted. We then see them walking through a burnt out forest and come across an elderly man, who beats one of the soldiers with an umbrella, one of the soldiers takes aim but upon realizing what is happening lowers his weapon. The latter half of the video is mostly set in an underground bunker or "War Room" similar to the NORAD facility of Cheyenne Mountain, and the band seemed to engage in a semi-retelling of the 1964 black comedy film Dr. Strangelove. At the end of the video, the officer is nervously tapping his fingers and inadvertently knocks open the protective cover from the nuclear button, which is right next to his ashtray. Then, when he goes to stub out his cigar in the ashtray, he accidentally hits the button instead.

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