wang chung

Wang Chung (band)

Wang Chung are a British New Wave musical group.

The group found their greatest success in the United States with five Top 40 hits including the 1986 #2 hit "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" and their only UK hit, "Dance Hall Days".

Altogether they put out 5 albums in the 80's. Self-titled album "Huang Chung" (1982) (before they changed to Wang Chung), "Points on the Curve" (1984), the soundtrack to "To Live And Die In L.A." (1985), "Mosaic" (1986), and 'The Warmer Side Of Cool" (1989).

There has been news of a new Wang Chung album in the works for the last few years.

Name

The name Huang Chung literally translates from Chinese as "yellow bell", but refers to the standardized bass pitch of ancient China. Early on the band summarized the definition as "perfect pitch" and later, on American Bandstand, they claimed it was the sound a guitar made.

Career

Beginnings

Originally called Huang Chung the band formed in 1979. The lineup consisted of vocalist/guitarist Jack Hues, bassist Nick Feldman, and drummer Darren Costin. Hues originally met Feldman after answering Feldman's ad for a musician in the classifieds section of the weekly British music magazine Melody Maker in 1977.

Soon afterwards, Hues and Feldman formed with Bud Merrick and the late Paul Hammond in late 1977/early 1978 as 'The Intellektuals'. In less than a year, the band split up, as Hues and Feldman joined up with future Wang Chung drummer Darren Costin, along with keyboardists Simon Campbell, Leigh Gorman and Glenn Gregory, to form '57 Men'. This lineup lasted for less than a year as well.

Huang Chung's self-titled debut album was released by Arista Records in 1982 after several singles, including the minor post-punk hit "Isn't It About Time We Were on TV". In 1983, after being dropped by Arista and signed to Geffen Records, they changed their name to Wang Chung (at Geffen's suggestion, to make pronunciation easier for English-speakers—consistent with the claim by VH1's Pop Up Video that they changed it because people kept calling them "Hung Chung") — and subsequently they released Points on the Curve, which yielded two major hits, "Don't Let Go" (#38 US) and "Dance Hall Days" (#16 US).

Soundtracks

Director William Friedkin specifically sought out Wang Chung to score his 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A. The resulting soundtrack is recognizable as their work, but largely eschews conventional pop song formulae for a more atmospheric and textured approach. The title track barely missed the US Top 40 chart peaking at #41 for two weeks. The band also recorded "Fire in the Twilight" for the 1985 John Hughes film The Breakfast Club — it is used in the scene where the kids are led by John Bender down the halls trying to escape Mr. Vernon. "Hypnotize Me" was released as a featured song from the soundtrack of the 1987 film Innerspace.

Commercial peak (1986 - 1989)

In the summer of 1985, Costin left the band while Hues and Feldman continued to record and employed Peter Wolf as their new drummer but never became an official member of the band. The same year, they had their biggest hits: "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" (#2 US, featuring the oft-quoted lyric "Everybody Wang Chung tonight", and rated the third worst song ever by Blender magazine) and "Let's Go" (#9 US), both from the album Mosaic. "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" also has a well-remembered music video (directed by Godley & Creme) where virtually every frame featured a jump cut. Also from the same album, their final US Top 40 single "Hypnotize Me" peaked at #36.

They released their final album, The Warmer Side of Cool, in 1989, and disbanded in 1991.

Post-breakup (1990s)

During the 1990s, Feldman joined up with Jon Moss of Culture Club to form the band Promised Land, and subsequently released their self-titled debut album, Promised Land, in 1992. Hues has done various soundtracks for films including The Guardian. He had a solo album, The Anatomy Lesson, in the making, but this didn't see any light until he teamed up with Tony Banks of Genesis and released the album Strictly Inc.

The late 1990s saw the return of Hues and Feldman with a greatest hits collection entitled Everybody Wang Chung Tonight: Wang Chung's Greatest Hits. Included on this CD was a new single, "Space Junk". Feldman and Hues also enjoyed a series of tour dates around America.

In 2002, the band's song "Dance Hall Days" was used in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on Flash FM as well as in the pre-mission cameo when Lance Vance is waiting for Tommy on a dock before raiding a crack house on Prawn Island. In 2006, their song "Don't Let Go" was used in Vice City's prequel, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, again on Flash FM.

Reunion & recent news

In March 2005, Wang Chung contributed "Akasha", a previously unreleased song, to the "Of Hands and Hearts compilation", in response to the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami crisis.

In June 2005, Hues and Feldman reunited as Wang Chung on the reality TV series Hit Me Baby One More Time, performing "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" and a cover of "Hot in Herre" by Nelly.

Shortly after, in postings at WangChung.com as well as the band's MySpace site, there was news of a new Wang Chung album being worked on by Hues and Feldman. In an e-mail response from Hues, he said, "We are shooting for a release around the March 2006 time frame and a tour in May." However, nothing came about.

In 2008, hints at a new album and tour were made, including on former member Darren Costin's MySpace page.

Currently on Wang Chung's MySpace you can hear new clips such as "Hot in Herre" (The Nelly Cover) and a new song, "I Was Abducted by the 80's".

Discography

Albums

Studio albums

Compilation albums

Music video for "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"

There were two versions of the video "Everybody Have Fun Tonight". The first version contained series of hundreds of videos that flashed in very quick succession across the screen. This video was rumored to cause seizures for some viewers. A second version of the video was shot and debuted shortly after the first.

The original video is a much sought-after collectors item for fans of Wang Chung.

Wang Chung Everybody Have fun Tonight reached #99 on VH1'S 100 greatest hits of the 80's.

See also

References

External links

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