'One Night In Bangkok' From CHESS Analyzed In New Podcast
Classic concept album and variably successful stage piece CHESS has had a colorful history unlike virtually any other modern musical theatre piece, yet the strangest story of all in the show's thirty-year trajectory may be the unexpected Top Ten hit enjoyed by one of the score's most contemporary-sounding tunes, "One Night In Bangkok", analyzed in a new WNYC podcast as part of Soundcheck's That Was A Hit?!? series.
With the world chess championship as the metaphor for the Cold War being the main thrust of the love triangle-focused musical, CHESS is punctuated by the famous rap theme featuring the American, Frederick Trumper, played on the concept album and in the original West End production by Murray Head.
CHESS was composed by Tim Rice with music by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and was originally released as a concept album in 1984 starring Head, Elaine Paige and Tommy Korberg prior to its West End debut and short-lived Broadway run later in the decade.
Of note, "One Night In Bangkok" reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985 in the US, as well as going #1 in multiple countries/continents including Australia, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Listen to the WNYC Souncheck That Was A Hit?!? analysis of "One Night In Bangkok" from CHESS below.
More On: Murray Head, Tim Rice, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Elaine Paige.