Peak UK Chart Position: #3 in March 1987.

Known just about everywhere except Australia and New Zealand for one single, Mental As Anything formed in Sydney in 1976. They survived 23 years without a single change to their line-up, maintaining a strong singles presence on the Australian charts through the 80s, and continuing to chart with album releases in the 90s. Martin Plaza (vocals and guitar) and Andrew ‘Greedy’ Smith (vocals, keyboards, harmonica) are the two members of their line-up to have lasted the longest, still touring and performing with the group as a five-piece.

Quick facts:

  • “Live It Up” was originally recorded in 1984, and became a hit in Australia in 1985, reaching number two.
  • Elsewhere, it got to number two in Ireland, four in Norway, and six in New Zealand and Germany.
  • It climbed into the top ten in the UK on this day in 1987, up from 19 to 8, one week away from its peak position.
  • The track gained recognition in Europe after its inclusion in the 1986 film “Crocodile Dundee”.
  • In 2009, Mental As Anything was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame alongside Kev Carmody, The Dingoes, Little Pattie and John Paul Young.

Here is their performance as the opening act at Australia’s strand of Live Aid – known as Oz For Africa – from July 1985. It was the first of three songs that the group performed. INXS were the act that closed the four-hour show.

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