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Monday, 17 January 2011

Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok

'One Night in Bangkok' is a song originally sung by Murray Head on the 1984 concept album for the musical Chess. Its music was composed by former ABBA members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, with lyrics written by Tim Rice & Björn Ulvaeus.

The release topped the charts in many countries, including number 12 in the UK Singles Chart, Number 3 in the US and Canada Charts. It also entered the charts in South Africa, West Germany, Switzerland and Australia.

The full version of the song begins with an orchestral intro, "Bangkok", which has oriental styling, but cannot be confused with Thai folk music. This serves as the introduction to Act 2 in the original musical album, and feeds into the first verse of the song itself.

The main song is a pop song, whose lyrics sarcastically juxtapose the city and its night life with the game of chess. Whereas the chorus - sung by Swedish artist Anders Glenmark extoll Bangkok's reputation, the verses - a rap by Murray Head, who performed as American chess grandmaster Freddie in the original concept album for the musical - denounce the city, including its muddy old river and its "reclining Buddha".

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. Freddie states a preference for what he sees as an intellectual purity in chess, as compared to the seedier aspects of Bangkok's night life, e.g. "the queens we use would not excite you". His statements suggest a personal lack of interest for the exotic settings typically involved in international chess, preferring to focus on the game itself.

Click the link below to download the following:
Single Version
London Symphony Orchestra and Ambrosian Singers - Merano - B-side


Murray Head - One Night in Bangkok - Video

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