Mental As Anything: A Mental Collection


Edsel will next month issue a box set featuring five albums from Aussie pop/rock band Mental As Anything.

Best known internationally for their 1986/7 hit Live It Up (thanks to its inclusion in the film ‘Crocodile’ Dundee) Mental As Anything were already successful at home with singles such as The Nips Are Getting Bigger (from 1979’s Get Wet/Mental As Anything) and If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too? (from 1981’s Cats and Dogs).

Mental As Anything perform ‘Live It Up’ on Top Of The Pops

Mental As Anything: A Mental Collection is a five-CD set that contains their first five albums; the two mentioned above plus 1980’s Espresso Bongo, Creatures of Leisure from ’83 and 1985’s Fundamental (aka Fundamental As Anything) which includes Live It Up.

There doesn’t appear to be any bonus tracks here, although the booklet has notes by frontman Greedy Smith to accompany each album.

Mental As Anything: A Mental Collection is released on 29 April 2016.


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Does this have ‘Stanley’ on it, from the 1984 movie Stanley. Rare as hell but a catchy tune.

Geoff Fink

Saw them co-Headline with The Bongos @ First Ave in Minneapolis in 1983 I think. Loose, fun show! Threw a coupla beers down with them afterwards!


My Mental’s boxset arrived two hours ago.

For £17, you get (almost) their first five albums as they were badly mastered in the late 80’s for their original CD releases. So you’ll get all the dynamics, but I’ve always suspected that the original master tapes weren’t used back then as there is audible tape drop out – and these discs are almost straight copies.

They come in card sleeves as is obvious from the above photo. That’s it. The front cover is reproduced and that’s it. There was so much artwork for these albums that has either never been reproduced or badly reproduced. The whole lot has been scrapped for this boxset.
The notes from Greedy Smith in the booklet are minimal. The only photos of the band are of Greedy and Martin Plaza who are the only current founder members.
Nothing about Dave Twohill, Peter O’Doherty or Reg Mombassa. Look up Reg Mombassa’s artwork. You’ll have all seen it. Remember Public Image Limited’s “The Greatest Hits, So Far” from 1990? Reg did that cover…and many others.
He ended up doing the majority of artwork for Mental’s releases. If it wasn’t Reg then Peter would have done it, or Martin, or Greedy. All missing from this boxset.

Another problem is – the 4th album “Creatures Of Leisure” is the wrong version. Edsel have managed to press the European / American / Canadian version which has the tracks in a different order and some replaced by others.
Gone from the original Australian release are “Space To Let”, “Not Enough” and “Country In The Concrete”, replaced on the Europe / America (and replicated here!) by the non album single “Working For The Man” (a 1983 Roy Orbison cover) and it’s b-side “Seems Alright To Me” by Martin Plaza.
On the original album, the last track listed is “Let’s Not Get Sentimental”. Hidden at the end of that track was a very slow, laid back version of a Mental’s song from their first album called “Business And Pleasure”. The very first line is “We were almost creatures of leisure” – hence the album title to the 4th album. In Europe / America, the re-recording (with its backing of lawn mower noises…the back cover was of a lawn mower) was ditched in favour of the original fast version from the first album. So Edsel have faithfully reproduced an identical track on two different CD’s, just like Tears For Fears “Broken Revisited” instead of “Broken” being pressed onto “The Hurting” boxset two years ago.

The albums are great, “Creatures Of Leisure” is troubled by bad drum machines, but they were five talented musicians whose back catalogue deserves to be released on CD PROPERLY. Plus b-sides and remixes and artwork…from the original mastertapes.

0.5 out of 100 to Edsel / Demon for effort.

Rob Galgano

The box does appear to say “Volume I”. More to come?


I’m afraid Elvis Costello only produced one single (no albums), “I Didn’t Mean To Be Mean” from 1982. It was a single only so won’t be on these reissues.

Their first album “Get Wet” from 1979 was self titled outside Australia and New Zealand for some reason.
The third album “Cats And Dogs” from 1981 was totally remixed (for no apparent reason) and repackaged in 1982 for the rest of the world and renamed “If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?”.

Shame their debut E.P. and the early b-sides have been missed out.

elliott buckingham

id be more tempted by the addition of the various 12″ mixes that must be available

Robert Fitzpatrick

just because some of you only know two songs does not mean they are rubbish!
I will name 5 other songs by them go on youtube and have a listen they are really a great group
1.If You Leave Me,Can I Come Too
4.He’s Just No Good For You
5.Spirit Got Lost
Best Of Mental As Anything cd is a good pick up and probably a little cheaper

CJ Feeney

Nobody said they were rubbish, only that they wouldn’t buy five albums on the basis of single song.

The fact that Elvis Costello produced them is intriguing, and I think I will check them out via streaming or youtube. Thanks for the info Robert and David.

David Bricknell

Elvis Costello produced a couple of these early LP’s and is a real fan of the band.

There’s some excellent songs in this lot that don’t sound a million miles removed from Costello’s first few records come to think of it.


I only know one track by them and I didn’t like that very much…

CJ Feeney

I thought I knew two, but “If you wanna leave me, can I come too” is a song by Bryan Adams.

I thought “Live It Up” was a great song, but not really enough to tempt me to buy this.

elliott buckingham

universal released a 5 cd boxset last year

DJ Control

That Universal box set has different albums.
Get Wet
Cats And Dogs
Mouth To Mouth
Liar Liar Pants On Fire
I’ll be getting this box set as I love The Mentals and their earlier albums have been out of print for ages in Oz.

Andrew Gardiner

I don’t understand why the Universal set bypasses “Espresso Bongo” and “Creatures of Leisure”.
There are no notes of any sort in this package, not even song writing credits. The only artwork is the album front covers. So low marks for packaging but I did manage to pick up the Universal box set for about $20 Australian so I can’t complain too much.
Ultimately it is the quality of the music that is important and I am enjoying songs that I had never heard before.

P.S. In my opinion THE album to get is “Plucked” which consists of acoustic reworkings of their greatest hits.