When Canada’s Men Without Hats surged forward in 1982 with their début long-player, Rhythm of Youth, it marked yet another step in the synthesised pop world, that also housed the likes of Duran Duran, the Human League, Ultravox and others.
Founded by Ivan Doroschuk in the late-70’s, the group revolved around Doroschuk, two of his brothers (Stefan and Colin) and electronics maestro Jeremie Arrobas; however the band did not become a solidified entity until 1980 and the release of their début EP, Folks of the 80’s.
Numerous changes followed Folks of the 80’s and by the time Rhythm of Youth arrived only Ivan Doroschuk remained from the original incarnation.
Produced by Marc Durand, Rhythm of Youth dropped one of the biggest hits of 1982, “The Safety Dance”. The song, about revellers not being allowed to pogo in nightclubs, was Men Without Hats sole commercial success, reaching the top 10 in the UK and hitting number 1 in America’s Billboard Hot 100.
“The Safety Dance” also garnered no little fame for its video. Filmed in a village near Bath, it featured Doroschuk and several random people dressed up in medieval clothing, while morris dancing.
The dance also featured the protagonists making a rather silly “S” shape with their arms.
The band continued until 1991, although success had long since passed. However, Ivan Doroschuk reformed Men Without Hats in 2003 with his brother, Stefan, to release their sixth album, No Hats Beyond This Point, but it was met with little critical or commercial success – in fact, the album has been left completely out of print.
In September, Men Without Hats once again returned to perform at the Rifflandia Music Festival in Canada and are apparently working on another comeback.