Monday, July 18, 2011

One Night in Bangkok

How can I prove to you that 'One Night in Bangkok' is an awesome song? Well, where to begin...
  • It mentions both Yul Brynner and Somerset Maugham.
  • It rhymes 'tourist' and 'purist', 'waistline' and 'sunshine', 'witness' and 'cerebral fitness', and 'Buddha' and 'would a'.
  • Those rhymes are all delivered by Murray Head in a horribly insincere American accent.
  • There are a handful of female voices serving as a Greek chorus.
  • It starts with a quasi-orchestral introduction that lasts a top-forty-scuppering 1:45. Wikipedia helpfully informs us that this part of the song "cannot be confused with Thai folk music".
  • The song proper is mid-eighties post-disco camp at its finest.
  • It has a solo played inevitably ona keyboard but in imitation of a breathyt flute that I'd call a shakuhachi if I had the first clue what a shakuhachi was.
  • The whole mess is a track from a musical called Chess, which is about... chess. In Bangkok.
  • The musical, and thus the song itself, was written by the two male members of ABBA, and this served as their immediate follow-up to that record breaking band, following the departures of their respective exes.
  • It was banned in Thailand for misrepresenting Thai culture.
  • It toppled do-gooder song 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' from the number one position in Germany and Switzerland.
  • A song this ridiculous made it to number one in Germany and Switzerland. And number three here in Canada.
  • Could only have been the eighties, right?

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