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Album: Business As UsualReleased: 1982Charted:
Men at Work lead singer Colin Hay wrote this song with the band's keyboard player Greg Ham. In our interview with Hay
, he said: "It was a song written from the standpoint of a 9-year-old boy. His parents are constantly telling him to be good and he feels like he understands some things but is completely misunderstood by the adult world, which I think a lot of people feel."
This was one of the first releases from Men at Work. A #8 hit in their native Australia, it showed up as a promotional single in America in 1981, but there wasn't much to promote, since the Business As Usual
album didn't appear until 1982. "Who Can It Be Now?
" and "Down Under
" became huge hits, but "Be Good Johnny" wasn't released as a commercial single, so it didn't chart.
Like most Men at Work videos, "Be Good Johnny" was done on the cheap and kept quirky. This one follows Johnny on a series of adventures as he causes mischief to varying degrees. It did well on MTV, even though American audiences were a little baffled by the type of football Johnny's father asks him to play.