If you don’t remember Wang Chung, I dare say you weren’t there for the 80s! What a great, fun band with some awesome pop songs. They also have a new album out, and recently Nick Feldman answered some questions for me – I’ll be posting the interview on Friday. In the lead up, enjoy a whole week full of Wang Chung goodness!
Wang Chung are more than just another 80s pop band! Due partly to their memorable name and partly to their memorable music, they managed to transcend the decade. Their hit song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” is one you’ll likely be familiar with. Here is part of what Nick had to say about the song:
We enjoy the impact it’s had on the culture. It’s namechecked in so many very high profile TV shows and movies, from the Simpsons to Austin Powers to 2 and Half Men and loads of others. In fact ‘to Wang Chung’ became a figure of speech and is even in some dictionaries as a saying or a verb!! It helped to make us a household name.
The band’s music also appeared in some of the most popular movies of the decade, including the Breakfast Club. Tomorrow I’ll be posting my two favorite videos that Wang Chung released – and don’t forget to tune in on Friday for my interview with Nick!
WANG CHUNG HISTORY (from wangchung.com)
1977 – Jack (vocalist/guitarist) and Nick (bassist/guitarist) formed the core duo of Wang Chung, under the initial guise of 57 Men featuring future Heaven 17 vocalist, Glenn Gregory and Bow Wow Wow Bassist Leigh Gorman.
1979 – Hues, Feldman and drummer Darren Costin rechristened themselves Huang Chung.
1980 – Released three live tracks on indie label 101 Records. They released two singles on indie, Rewind Records, gaining their first ever radio play on John Peel with ‘Isn’t It About Time We Were On TV?’. Soon after Arista Records signed them to a two-album deal in early 1981.
1982 – Their self-titled debut, produced by Rhett Davies (Roxy Music), was released by Arista Records in 1982 after several profile raising singles. In late 1982, Huang Chung convinced Arista to let them go, and they signed with American label Geffen Records. They changed the spelling of their name to Wang Chung (at David Geffen’s suggestion, to make pronunciation easier).
1984 – Their Abbey Road Studios recorded album ‘Points on the Curve’ yielded two US hits, ‘Don’t Let Go’ and ‘Dance Hall Days’. It was produced by Chris Hughes/Ross Cullum (Adam and The Ants/Tears For Fears). With their first worldwide smash hits in the bag, Wang Chung extensively toured the album in Europe, the US and Canada, with The Cars and The Romantics, becoming a staple for the new MTV platform with their first videos.
Wang Chung, followed up ‘Points On The Curve’ with a spate of acclaimed soundtrack work. Director William Friedkin sought out Wang Chung to score his 1985 film ‘To Live and Die in L.A’. The resulting soundtrack became the group’s third album. The movie itself also became a huge hit on the video charts. Friedkin himself directed the video.
1985 – Wang Chung recorded “Fire in the Twilight” for John Hughes’ seminal film ‘The Breakfast Club’.
1986 – They recorded their Peter Wolf (Frank Zappa) produced third album ‘Mosaic’ which spawned arguably their biggest hits: The Number One ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight’ and Top 10 ‘Let’s Go’. Their final US Top 40 single from the album was ‘Hypnotize Me’, which was also featured on the soundtrack of the 1987 Spielberg film ‘Innerspace’. Once again they toured the world to support these new hits, both on their own and in support to artists like Tina Turner.
1989 – Saw the release of ‘The Warmer Side Of Cool’ album, spawning hit single ‘Praying To A New God’
1997 – ‘Everybody Wang Chung Tonight: Wang Chung’s Greatest Hits’, released, including brand new track ‘Space Junk’.
2002 – Saw the release of their second Greatest Hits collection: ‘20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Wang Chung’