One Night in Bangkok

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

"One Night in Bangkok"
Single by Murray Head
from the album Chess
B-side"Merano"
ReleasedOctober 1984
Format7", 12"
Recorded1984
GenrePop, new wave[1]
Length3:51
4:06 (US 7")
5:02 (album)
LabelRCA
Writer(s)Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus (composers)
Tim Rice & Björn Ulvaeus (lyricists)
Producer(s)Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Tim Rice
Murray Head singles chronology
"Maman"
(1982)
"One Night in Bangkok"
(1984)
"When You're in Love"
(1984)
Music sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
 
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Sodom album, see One Night in Bangkok (album).
"One Night in Bangkok"
Single by Murray Head
from the album Chess
B-side"Merano"
ReleasedOctober 1984
Format7", 12"
Recorded1984
GenrePop, new wave[1]
Length3:51
4:06 (US 7")
5:02 (album)
LabelRCA
Writer(s)Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus (composers)
Tim Rice & Björn Ulvaeus (lyricists)
Producer(s)Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Tim Rice
Murray Head singles chronology
"Maman"
(1982)
"One Night in Bangkok"
(1984)
"When You're in Love"
(1984)
Music sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.

"One Night in Bangkok" is a song originally sung by the British actor and singer Murray Head (verses) and Swedish singer and songwriter Anders Glenmark (choruses) on the 1984 concept album for the musical Chess. Its music was composed by former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and its lyrics were written by Tim Rice and Ulvaeus.

The release topped the charts in many countries, including South Africa, West Germany, Switzerland and Australia. It peaked at no. 3 in both Canada and the United States in May 1985,[2] and at no. 12 in Head's native United Kingdom.

Lyrics and music[edit]

The full version of the song begins with an orchestral introduction, titled "Bangkok," of Oriental style. This serves as the introduction to Act 2 in the original musical album, and feeds into the first verse of "One Night in Bangkok" itself with an abrupt change in musical style.

The main song has a pop styling, whose lyrics sarcastically juxtapose the Thai capital city and its nightlife with the game of chess. In the original concept album for the musical, the choruses are sung by Swedish artist Anders Glenmark, whereas the verses are a rap originally performed by Murray Head as the American chess grandmaster, a character known as Frederick "Freddie" Trumper in the staged versions. (In the staged versions, a musical ensemble performs the choruses.) Whereas the choruses extol Bangkok's reputation and exciting atmosphere, the American's verses denounce the city, including its red-light district, "muddy old river" and "reclining Buddha." These sarcastic denunciations led to Thailand's Mass Communications Organisation issuing a ban on the song in 1985, saying its lyrics "cause misunderstanding about Thai society and show disrespect towards Buddhism."[3]

In the original London production of Chess, the setting for the song is an interview by Freddie, who is in Bangkok to serve as a TV analyst for a match involving his rival, world champion and Russian defector Anatoly Sergievsky. Freddie states a preference for what he sees as an intellectual purity in chess, in stark contrast to the seedier aspects of Bangkok's night life, e.g., "The queens WE use would not excite you." Trumper's statements suggest a personal lack of interest for the exotic settings typically involved in international chess matches, and that he prefers instead to focus on the game itself. In the original Broadway production of the musical, the song appears not at the start of Act 2 but in the middle of Act 1; in this version, the world championship of Freddie vs. Anatoly takes place in Bangkok.

The lyrics also mention actor Yul Brynner, who famously played the King of Siam in The King and I. ("Siam" was the previous name for Thailand.) The "Tyrolean spa" mentioned early in the song refers to Merano in Italy, the site of Act 1 of the musical. It also mentions three places where the game of chess is popular—namely, Iceland, The Philippines and Hastings, UK.

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "One Night in Bangkok" – 3:54
  2. "Merano" by The London Symphony Orchestra & The Ambrosian Singers – 7:08
12" maxi
  1. "One Night in Bangkok" – 5:38
  2. "Merano" by The London Symphony Orchestra & The Ambrosian Singers – 7:08

The song was also re-released on Murray Head's album Watching Ourselves Go By in 1990.

Personnel[edit]

Charts and sales[edit]

Vinylshakerz version[edit]

"One Night in Bangkok"
Single by Vinylshakerz
from the album Very Superior
Released14 March 2005
FormatCD single
GenreElectro house, Tech house
Length3:28
LabelKontor
Producer(s)Vinylshakerz
Vinylshakerz singles chronology
"One Night in Bangkok"
(2005)
"Tekkno Trash (Pay No Cash)"
(2005)

In 2005, German group Vinylshakerz remixed the song. It was released in March 2005 as the lead single from their debut album, Very Superior. It was a hit across Europe, charting in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (2005)Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[43]41
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[44]8
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[45]14
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[46]6
Germany (Media Control Charts)[47]26
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[48]53
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[49]87

References[edit]

  1. ^ Manning, Kara. "You Can’t Always Get What You Want". Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 24 June 2013. "Actor Murray Head scored an unlikely New Wave hit in 1984 with "One Night in Bangkok" from Chess." 
  2. ^ "May 18, 1985 – The Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 18 May 1985. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "This week in religion history: What the butler saw, then stole". National Post (The Canadian Press). 19 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "Australia No. 1 hits -- 1980's". World Charts. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ (Dutch) "One Night In Bangkok – MURRAY HEAD". Top 30. Retrieved 5 May 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1" 
  8. ^ CHART NUMBER 1481 – Saturday, May 11, 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 July 2007). CHUM. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  9. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  10. ^ "RPM Top Singles." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Songs from the Year 1985". TsorT. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Lescharts.com – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  14. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  15. ^ a b (Italian) "I singoli più venduti del 1985". Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok". VG-lista. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  20. ^ (Polish) "ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK – Murray Head". LP3. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (H)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  22. ^ (Spanish) Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  26. ^ a b c d "Murray Head – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  27. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending MAY 11, 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  28. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  29. ^ (German) "Jahreshitparade 1985". Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  30. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1985". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  31. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 43, No. 16, December 28 1985". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  32. ^ (French) "TOP – 1985". Top-france.fr. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  33. ^ (Dutch) "Single Top 100 over 1985" (PDF). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  34. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1985". Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1985". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  36. ^ (German) "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1985". Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  37. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1985". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  38. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985 at the Wayback Machine (archived 1 October 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  39. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok". Music Canada. 
  40. ^ "French single certifications – Murray Head – One Night in Bangkok" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select MURRAY HEAD and click OK
  41. ^ (French) "Les Singles en Argent". InfoDisc. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  42. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Murray Head; 'One Night in Bangkok')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  43. ^ "Vinylshakerz – One Night in Bangkok – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  44. ^ "Ultratop.be – Vinylshakerz – One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  45. ^ "Ultratop.be – Vinylshakerz – One Night in Bangkok" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  46. ^ "Vinylshakerz: One Night in Bangkok" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  47. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  48. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Vinylshakerz – One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  49. ^ "Vinylshakerz – One Night in Bangkok – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 May 2014.

External links[edit]