Sunday, September 8, 2019

"Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2885
Date:  10/04/1986
Debut:  82
Peak:  2
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  This duo (Jack Hues and Nick Feldman) was on the brink of making it big. Their second album, Points on the Curve, sold well and spawned the #16 "Dance Hall Days." They then ventured into soundtrack territory with their music for the film To Live and Die in L.A. With their next LP they had an opportunity to make a big splash and they set out with producer Peter Wolf to try and make their most commercial effort to-date. The results would be their fourth album, Mosaic, and this lead single kicked things off in a big way. The song caught on and it eventually wound up in the #2 spot at Pop for two weeks. It also got to #4 Dance and #25 Rock. Even though the album would peak at #41, which was lower than the #30 peak of Points on the Curve, the hit kept the album selling and eventually it would be certified gold. The duo's plan to conquer the charts worked well in the US, but back home in their native UK it didn't quite work out. This song barely made a dent in the UK chart topping out at minor #76. The album didn't even chart. Seems like folks there just weren't ready to have fun tonight...or Wang Chung tonight...

ReduxReview:  This was a brilliant, yet goofy, pop single. Like the title says, they want you to have fun and frankly it's hard not to when this comes on. They really hit the nail on the head with the feel of the song and it's indelible chorus. Plus, the self-promoting within the chorus became a catchphrase on its own. Wolf's production is spot-on as well. Is it a great song? Not really. No one is going to compare this to Dylan or the Beatles, but that doesn't matter. The song was meant to be entertaining pop and it more than achieved that goal. It was played at an endless amount of wedding receptions and parties for years and I bet it can still fill a dance floor even today. When this song comes on and tells you to have fun tonight, you damn well better.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) When Hues and Feldman originally wrote this song, it actually had a much slower tempo and was more like a ballad. But sometimes fate will step in and help a song reach its full potential. In the case of "Everybody," it would be producer Peter Wolf who would help shape the song. When Hues and Feldman played him their more relaxed original demo version, Wolf told them that if they sped it up, they had a dance hit on their hands. With Wolf's guidance (apparently enough to earn him a writing credit), the tune went from a pondering ballad to a hit party song. The original demo would be used on the b-side of the "Everybody" single and be retitled "Fun Tonight: The Early Years." It would also be issued out later as a track on the duo's 1997 compilation, Everybody Wang Chung Tonight: Wang Chung's Greatest Hits.  2) In the duo's original demo, they only use the phrase "everybody Wang Chung tonight" once. However, producer Peter Wolf encouraged them to use it throughout the song as it was catchy, memorable, and helped promote the band. They did and the phrase became a much quoted one over the years. Even stodgy Frasier Crane quoted the lyrics in an episode of Cheers in which he was trying to get in the mood for his bachelor party.  3) The original video for this song was created by Godley & Creme. They used a machine that did very quick edits at certain intervals and the jump cuts gave the video a jerky feel. The spasmy feel of the video made it very memorable, but not everyone was thrilled with it. It seems that folks at the BBC were not fans of the video and thought that the flashing speed of the edits would be too much for some people and might even cause someone to have a seizure. The BBC then banned the video from being aired.


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