Christina Aguilera's new movie, 'Burlesque,' continues a long…
- Posted on Mar 6th 2013 3:00PM by Dave Steinfeld
That song, in which Hues and Feldman famously name checked themselves in the chorus, went all the way to No. 2 in 1986. For better or worse, Wang Chung will forever be thought of by the masses as a "fun" band even though there was considerably more depth to their music. Some of the band's other hits included their hypnotic but catchy debut "Dance Hall Days," the exuberant "Let's Go" and the moodier "To Live and Die in L.A," which served as the title track of the William Friedkin film. But ask the average person on the street to name a tune by Wang Chung and there's no question they'll choose "Everybody Have Fun Tonight."
"Nick and I used to meet every month or so for a writing session," the sophisticated, soft-spoken Hues tells Spinner about how the song came about. "We'd exchange ideas and Nick came up with the chorus idea of 'Everybody have fun tonight,' which I loved. "We [initially] wrote a version which was rather slow, like the Beatles' 'Hey Jude.' When we worked on it with our producer, Peter Wolf -- who had just had a hit with [Starship's] 'We Built This City' -- he encouraged us to speed it up and to use the line, 'Everybody Wang Chung tonight' as part of the chorus. We were in a place in our career where we needed a hit -- and it worked!"
After pursuing other projects for the past 20 years or so, Feldman and Hues have just returned with a new Wang Chung album called Tazer Up! The LP features 11 tracks that range
from a new version of "Dance Hall Days" to the majestic ballad "Stargazing" to a tune called "Abducted by the '80s" -- a sentiment that seems appropriate for Wang Chung given when they became popular. Asked why they decided to reconvene the band now, Hues explains, "The catalyst was going to L.A. in 2005 to do this reality show called 'Hit Me Baby, One More Time.' The premise of the show was that you played one of your hits and a cover of a modern song. That was sort of the catalyst to bring us together. In L.A., we met a bunch of people who suggested that we tour again." To that end, Wang Chung do plan to hit the States later this year in support of Tazer Up!
"Dance Hall Days" -- which includes the classic couplet "Take your baby by the ears/And play upon her darkest fears" -- was inspired by a number of things. "The musical inspiration was
partly Adam and the Ants," says Hues. "Chris Hughes, who produced [the track] was one of the drummers in the Ants, and [it was also] partly Little Feat. I love Lowell George's approach to
songwriting and their shuffle feel is the best. My Dad is a musician, still gigging in his 80s, and he had a band in the '60s that played an old dance hall called the Pavillion. We lived in
a provincial [English] town and things just didn't change there, so I did gigs with him when I was very young in this old dance hall. Maybe some Freudian things going on there too!"
As for "Abducted by the '80s," Hues is somewhat ambivalent. "I started playing guitar when I was eight years old, inspired by the Beatles," he remembers. "In my teens, I was into Cream, Yes, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Little Feat, Joni Mitchell. Then I went to music college so by the time I was ready to hit the music scene, it was the '80s -- d'oh! I loved the punk bands of the late '70s and art-rock bands like Talking Heads and Television, but there was a sense in which I was fighting with the stylistic constrictions of the '80s. It [did feel] a bit like an abduction. We had an interesting time though, experiencing all the MTV madness at a time when MTV was cutting edge, playing to 80,000 people a night with the Cars and Tina Turner [and] having chart hits. The 'comeback' came to us, really. I see it as a happy bonus and I'm enjoying it very much. Long may it continue!"