One Night in Bangkok
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One Night in Bangkok

"One Night in Bangkok"
Murray head-one night in bangkok s.jpeg
Single by Murray Head
from the album Chess
"Merano"
ReleasedOctober 1984
Format
Recorded1984
GenreNew wave[1]
Length
  • 3:51
  • 4:06 (US 7")
  • 5:02 (album)
LabelRCA
(lyricists)
  • Benny Andersson
  • Björn Ulvaeus
  • Tim Rice
Murray Head singles chronology
"Maman"
(1982)
"One Night in Bangkok"
(1984)
"When You're in Love"
(1984)
Audio sample
"Murray Head - One Night In Bangkok"

"One Night in Bangkok" is a song from the concept album and subsequent musical Chess by Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. British actor and singer Murray Head raps the verses, while the chorus is sung by Anders Glenmark, a Swedish singer, songwriter and producer.

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

The full version of the song begins with an orchestral introduction, entitled "Bangkok", of Oriental style. This serves as the introduction to Act 2 in the original musical album, feeding 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 compare the Thai capital city and its nightlife with the game of chess. In the original concept album for the musical, Swedish artist Anders Glenmark sang in the chorus, 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 ridicule the city, describing its attractions--the red-light district, Chao Phraya River ("muddy old river"), Wat Pho ("reclining Buddha")--as less interesting to him than a game of chess. 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]

The lyrics mention actor Yul Brynner, about six months before his death, who had famously played the King of Siam in the Broadway musical and the 1956 film The King and I (and for which Brynner received several Tony awards and the Oscar for best actor). Other Thai-related references in the lyrics include ones to "Siam" (Thailand's former name), the Oriental Hotel (the "Somerset Maugham suite"), and ladyboys ("You'll find a god in every golden cloister -- And if you're lucky then the god's a she"). The "Tyrolean spa" mentioned early in the song refers to Merano in the South Tyrol region of Italy, the site of Act 1 of the musical. It also mentions three places where chess tournaments were previously held: Iceland; the Philippines; and Hastings, UK.[]

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. In the original Broadway production of the musical, the song appears not at the start of Act 2, but rather in the middle of Act 1, whereas in this version, the world championship of Freddie vs. Anatoly takes place in Bangkok.[]

Track listings

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

Charts and sales

Robey version

While Head's "Bangkok" was just starting to climb the Billboard Hot 100, Canadian singer and actress Robey hit the charts with her own version. It spent three weeks on the Hot 100 in March 1985, peaking at no. 77.[43] Robey's version fared even better on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, peaking at no. 5.[44]

Charts

Chart (1985) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[44] 77
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[44] 9
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales[44] 45
US Cash Box[45] 75

Vinylshakerz version

"One Night in Bangkok"
Vinyl Bangkok single cover.jpg
Single by Vinylshakerz
from the album Very Superior
Released14 March 2005
FormatCD single
Length3:28
LabelKontor
(lyricists)
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.

Charts

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[46] 41
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[47] 8
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[48] 14
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[49] 6
Germany (Official German Charts)[50] 26
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[51] 53
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[52] 87

See also

References

  1. ^ Manning, Kara. "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Theatre Communications Group. Retrieved 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. 18 May 1985. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "This week in religion history: What the butler saw, then stole". National Post. 19 May 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ "Australian Top 50 - Week Ending 24th March, 1985". Imgur.com. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok" (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. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9285." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0509." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  9. ^ "MusicSeek.info - UK, Eurochart, Billboard & Cashbox No.1 Hits". Archived from the original on 14 June 2006.. MusicSeek.info.
  10. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 978-9-5112-1053-5.
  11. ^ "Lescharts.com - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  12. ^ "The Irish Charts - Search Results - One Night in Bangkok". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  13. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1985" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Charts.nz - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok". VG-lista. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  18. ^ "ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK - Murray Head" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 - 1989 Acts (H)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959-2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  21. ^ "Swedishcharts.com - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Swisscharts.com - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  24. ^ a b c d "Murray Head - Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2014.
  25. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-1993. Record Research. p. 108.
  26. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles - Week ending MAY 11, 1985". Archived from the original on 18 September 2012.. Cash Box magazine.
  27. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  28. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 437. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  29. ^ "Jahreshitparade 1985" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1985" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014.
  31. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Singles of 1985". RPM. Vol. 43 no. 16. Library and Archives Canada. 28 December 1985. Retrieved 2014.
  32. ^ "TOP - 1985" (in French). Top-france.fr. Retrieved 2014.
  33. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 2014.
  34. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1985" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014.
  35. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1985". Rock.co.za. Retrieved 2014.
  36. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1985" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1985". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 2014.
  38. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.. Cash Box magazine.
  39. ^ "Canadian single certifications - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok". Music Canada.
  40. ^ "Les Singles en Argent" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 2014.
  41. ^ "French single certifications - Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok" (in French). InfoDisc.Select MURRAY HEAD and click OK.
  42. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Murray Head; 'One Night in Bangkok')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  43. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1991). The Billboard Hot 100 Charts: The Eighties (1st ed.). Menomonee, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 16 March 1985. ISBN 0-89820-079-2.
  44. ^ a b c d "Robey - Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2014.
  45. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles - Week ending MARCH 16, 1985". Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.. Cash Box magazine.
  46. ^ "Austriancharts.at - Vinylshakerz - One Night in Bangkok" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  47. ^ "Ultratop.be - Vinylshakerz - One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  48. ^ "Ultratop.be - Vinylshakerz - One Night in Bangkok" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  49. ^ "Vinylshakerz: One Night in Bangkok" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat - IFPI Finland. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  50. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de - Vinylshakerz - One Night in Bangkok". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  51. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Vinylshakerz - One Night in Bangkok" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  52. ^ "Swisscharts.com - Vinylshakerz - One Night in Bangkok". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 May 2014.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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