Wang Chung

  • British New Wave band formed in 1980 from London England. Members were Jack Hues (lead vocals, guitars, songwriting), Nick Feldman (bass guitars, songwriting) and Darren Costin (drums).
  • In 1977, Feldman placed an advertisement in a music magazine, looking for artists to start a band. Hues answered the ad, joining Feldman and 2 other musicians, and they performed using the name The Intellektuals. That group soon split up – Feldman and Hues then joined Costin and 3 other artists to form the band 57 Men. This group lasted until 1980, then folded. Feldman, Hues and Costin decided to continue to work together, renaming themselves Huang Chung. The name is Mandarin Chinese for “Yellow Bell” – Feldman saw it in a book he was reading, and liked it.
  • They were signed to an independent label in early 1980, and they recorded a song, Baby I’m Hu-Man, which was part of a compilation album by the record company. Later that year, they were signed to another label to release 2 singles – neither charted, but it generated interest from bigger record companies, and in 1981, they signed a 2 album deal. At this time, a fourth artist joined the band – Dave Burnand played saxophone for the group.
  • Huang Chung released 3 singles and a self titled debut album – nothing charted. They began working on their second album, and they released the single Dance Hall Days in 1982, which did not chart. At this point, their manager convinced the record company to cancel their contract, and they were signed to a new deal with Geffen Records. Their new record company suggested that they change their name to Wang Chung to make it easier for English-speakers – apparently, people often called them “Hung Chung” before the name was changed. Burnand left the band before they started recording with Geffen.
  • In 1984, they released the album Points On The Curve. It was a moderate success, with 3 songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100, including a re-recorded Dance Hall Days which made it to #16 on the chart, and to #1 on the U.S. Dance Club Songs chart. The song had heavy airplay on MTV, and led to a nomination for Best New Artist at the MTV Music Video Awards (losing to The Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This).
  • Wang Chung was recruited to work on the soundtrack for the film To Live and Die in L.A. It became their third album, allowing them to experiment with different styles of music. The title track reached #41 on the Hot 100 chart. They also contributed a song to the soundtrack album for the film The Breakfast Club. Following this, Costin left the group, leaving Hues and Feldman to work with session artists for the rest of their recording careers.
  • Their most successful album was released in 1986 – Mosaic. It included their highest charting single, Everybody Have Fun Tonight, which peaked at #2, as well as Let’s Go, which reached #9. Everybody Have Fun Tonight had a memorable video, edited such that it has a flip book effect – it was banned from viewing on television for fear that it was trigger epileptic seizures.
  • They released an album, The Warmer Side of Cool in 1989, which performed poorly, and by 1990, they had disbanded. After working on other projects, Hues and Feldman reunited in 1997, and they have performed concerts on and off ever since. In 2012. they released their last album, Tazer Up!, their first studio album in 23 years. It includes a remixed version of Dance Hall Days.
  • Wang Chung can thank MTV for their popularity. Kids from the 80s know the words to the dance hit Everybody Have Fun Tonight, especially the lyric “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight.” If you tend to have seizures, then don’t watch to video! Go ahead – I dare you to watch it!

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