Men Without Hats – Living in China



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The new wave synth pop collective Men Without Hats were formed in 1980 by brothers Ivan and Stefan Doroschuk. Ivan was the leader of the group, writing the majority of the songs and providing the lead vocals; Stefan was the guitarist; and other members changed frequently throughout the course of the group’s career. They independently released their debut EP, Folk of the ’80s, in 1980; it was reissued the following year by Stiff in Britain. During 1982, the band consisted of Ivan, Stefan, another brother Colin Doroschuk (keyboards), along with drummer Allan McCarthy; this is the lineup that recorded Men Without Hats’ 1982 debut album, Rhythm of Youth. Taken from their debut, the single “The Safety Dance” became a major hit, peaking on the American charts at number three in 1983. Driven by an insistent three-chord synthesizer riff, the song was one of the biggest synth pop hits of the new wave era. The group wasn’t able to exploit its success, however. Folk of the ’80s (Part III) stalled at number 127 on the charts in America and made even less of an impact in other parts of the world. Thanks to the minor-hit title track, 1987’s Pop Goes the World was a bigger success, yet it didn’t recapture the audience their first album had gained. Released two years later, The Adventures of Women & Men Without Hate in the 21st Century failed to chart, as did its follow-up, 1991’s Sideways. The two albums’ lack of success effectively put an end to Men Without Hats’ career.

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30 comments

  1. I was just sitting in my chair thinking and doing nothing related to China or men without hats then this song just fucking showed up in my head, and refused to leave until i listened

  2. Yes yes the hats they knew about China too I don’t know I’m gonna play this for my wife because she’s Chinese and I think you’ll dig it all I have your attention now thank you for posting it’s BOSS!!
    QL

  3. You know I love this group maybe they should’ve called them selves Kings without Crowns ! I mean when you consider that there is a horrifying warning in the lyrics and the music of this song…
    China do you wanna dance? Thanks for posting this wonderful song!!
    QL

  4. When I was kid in the '80's, I thought this was kind of a silly song that reminded me a bit of later Devo, and I didn't really understand it (Chairman Mao, ping pong, the Gang of Four, whatever). Revisiting this track 30+ years later, it sounds eerily prophetic of the brave new world in which we now live: the solution is revolution. And yes, I currently am living in China.

  5. What
    Would Chairman Mao say
    If he knew
    What his people think of him today
    Revolution is out of hand
    The Gang Of Four
    Try to make it as a western band
    China
    What do you need
    You've got everything
    From your scruffy head to dirty feet
    China
    Do you want to dance
    You're wearing makeup
    And listening to Adam And The Ants

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