Colin Hay Covers Beatles, Kinks, Faces and More on New Album
Colin Hay, best known as the frontman of Men at Work and a frequent member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, has announced a new covers album titled I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself.
The LP features a variety of material originally recorded by some of the biggest names in rock. Hay covers songs made famous by the Beatles (“Across the Universe,” “Norwegian Wood”), the Kinks (“Waterloo Sunset”), Faces (“Ooh La La”), Blind Faith (“Can’t Find My Way Home”) and Gerry and the Pacemakers (“Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying"). In a press release accompanying the album’s announcement, Hay revealed it was the latter track that initially got the project rolling.
“I wasn’t particularly planning a covers album,” the singer admitted. “Gerry Marsden had just died, and I was sitting around in the basement, playing major 7th chords, as you do, and I started singing ‘Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying’ to myself. So I switched on the machines with the pretty lights and recorded it. Just vocals and guitar.”
Hay sent this initial recording to his friend and frequent collaborator Chad Fischer. The producer liked what he heard and encouraged more. “And so it went, until we had 10,” Hay explained.
The classic “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” serves as the LP's title track. The song was penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and made famous by Dusty Springfield in 1964. Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Linda Ronstadt and the White Stripes are among the other artists who have put their spin on the song over the years.
Hay chose “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” because it reminded him of his youth in Scotland, before he and his family relocated to Australia.
“I worked in my parents' record store in the '60s,” he explained. "It seemed Dusty Springfield always had a hit on the charts. ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself’ was produced by Johnny Franz, whose team created the closest thing Britain had to the Phil Spector Wall of Sound.’ Dusty Springfield’s voice is divine.”
You can listen to the exclusive premiere of Hay’s version of “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” and see the track listing for the album, which arrives on Aug. 6 in the U.S. and Aug. 20 in the U.K., below. (it's available for preorder now.) He'll kick off a nationwide tour beginning in August.
Colin Hay, 'I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself' Track Listing
1. "I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself"
2. "Waterloo Sunset"
3. "Wichita Lineman"
4. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)"
5. "Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying"
6. "Ooh La La"
7. "Driving With the Brakes On"
8. "Across the Universe"
9. "Can’t Find My Way Home"
10. "Many Rivers to Cross"