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154: Everybody Have Fun Tonight

Wang Chung was a band that wasn’t getting a lot of traction when they had a more traditionally Chinese name. I remember that early self-titled album Huang Chung and I have to admit I was a little put off by it, because it frankly wasn’t especially cool-looking, so I didn’t give it much of a chance.

By the time their fourth album, Mosaic, came out, they’d switched labels a couple of times and had enlisted the help of people like David Geffen and Peter Wolf to get them on track. In fact, Wolf listened to the demo for “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” and made a suggestion that changed the tenor of the song, and turned it into the hit we all know and love (or hate, I don’t know you).

So after all that, what does it mean to “Wang Chung tonight”? Well, I think Nick Feldman explained it best. He said, “Wang Chung is the feeling, not the word. It represents an abstract, an escape from pragmatic, complex ideas. Wang Chung means whatever you want it to mean. Have fun with it. That’s the whole idea of the line ‘Everybody Wang Chung Tonight.’ It can mean a tribal dance, a Viennese waltz, a party in New York, or whatever.”

And now you know.

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