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Archive - Wang Chung
To Live and Die in L.A.
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Total Disc Time = 38:37

01. To Live And Die In L.A.* (4:53) (Real Audio)
02. Lullaby (4:43) (Real Audio)
03. Wake Up, Stop Dreaming** (4:35) (Real Audio)
04. Wait*** (4:26) (Real Audio)
05. City Of The Angels (9:17) (Real Audio)
06. The Red Stare (3:11) (Real Audio)
07. Black-Blue-White (2:23) (Real Audio)
08. Every Big City (5:09) (Real Audio)

Originally released on Geffen Records on CD, LP, and cassette in 1985.
- USA (Geffen GHS 24081)
- JAPAN (Geffen P-13465)
- HOLLAND (Geffen 70271)


All songs published by Chong Music Ltd., adm. by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. BMI

Music Supervision: John David Kalodner
Production Supervisor: Bob Weiner
"Lullaby" engineered by Brad Davis
Originally mastered by Greg Fulginiti at Artisan Sound Recorders
Art Direction/Design: Steve Gerdes
Graphic Design: Pablo Ferro

Thanks to William Friedkin, Bud Smith and all at Todd A.O., Maggie Abbott and all at Triad, Bob Weiner, Ed Rosenblatt and Elaine Black.

Management: David Massey at Domino Directions, Ltd. London

Geffen Records Press Release Text For "To Live and Die In L.A." (September, 1985)!

Wang Chung

Jack Hues - lead vocals, keyboards, lead guitar
Nick Feldman - vocals, bass guitar, keyboards

To those growing number of modern music aficionados familiar with the sweeping, intensely evocative and visually textured sound of Wang Chung, it will be particularly gratifying to learn that the acclaimed British duo has made the leap from recording to film scores. It is, after all, a natural move for a group whose music encompasses such an emotionally rich spectrum, whose mastery of mood and nuance has made them among the most promising and potent new creative forces on the contemporary scene.

"By doing a film soundtrack, by working in that very specific medium, we were actually able to create the kind of album we wanted." So says Wang Chung's Jack Hues. "We wanted to get away from the very limiting structures of the pop single, to open things up to the expressive potential of our music. Bill seemed to have a fundamental understanding of what we were after."

To live and die in LA videoThe 'Bill' in question is William Friedkin, the creative force behind such landmark films as The French Connection, The Exorcist and The Sorcerer. To Live and Die In L.A. is the latest in the director's long line of riveting cinematic experiences, a film that needed a musical underpinning that would not only emphasize and augment but serve as a dramatic pivot, a key to the core of the film's intent. As with many of Friedkin's best efforts, the music to To Live and Die In L.A. had to reach beyond aural filler to stand on its own, both technically and conceptually. For Friedkin, the sound of Wang Chung "stands out from the rest of contemporary music, which is why I asked them to create an original score for the film To Live and Die In L.A. What they finally recorded has not only enhanced the film, it has given it a deeper, more powerful dimension."

Wang Chung proved an apt choice indeed for the demanding undertaking. Points On The Curve, the group's debut album for Geffen Records, released in January of 1984, proved to be one of the most auspicious offerings of that musical season, a work highlighting Wang Chung's stunning facility with the subtle but telling vocabulary of mood and meaning. Two standout cuts from Points On The Curve, "Don't Let Go" and the extraordinary "Dance Hall Days," brought both radio and video exposure to the group and a subsequent summer tour, headlining clubs and opening for both The Cars and The Romantics, enhanced their growing reputation as a group to watch.

Late in '84 the group's drummer departed, leaving a creative core of two. Jack Hues and Nick Feldman entered the studio to begin work on a follow-up album. "We'd written and recorded quite a bit," recounts Feldman, "but we weren't getting what we were really after. We needed a different approach, something beyond the follow-up album syndrome and we asked our manager if he might be able to find some soundtrack work for us to do. At the time it was just a way to relieve some pressure."

Not knowing quite what to expect, the duo was delighted with Friedkin's offer: Score his sophisticated tale of murder, passion and betrayal set in the City Of Angels. "He particularly liked a song called Wait on Points On The Curve," explains Jack Hues. "There was an element of drama and tension to some of our music that suited what he was after in the film." The song was eventually included in the soundtrack.

"Actually," adds Nick Feldman, "he gave us a completely free hand. We read the script but were not overly involved in the film's actual production. Our job was simply to come up with ninety minutes of music." "It was exactly what we were looking for," interjects Hues. "We mapped out a big instrumental piece called City Of Angels, from which several other thematic segments grew. We also wrote a few separate songs, including Wake Up, Stop Dreaming, which we put together after the major instrumental work was completed." "When we finally saw the film, with some of the music roughly laid in, we were knocked out," continues Feldman. "It became apparent then that what was needed was a title song. We wrote To Live and Die In L.A., which will be the album's first single."

The resulting soundtrack album elicited the following liner-note rave from Friedkin. "While mixing the soundtrack, I was struck by the inseparable flow of one musical piece into another. Listening to the album... I discovered, to my surprise, that each track also stands out on its own - and delivers its own statement." Inseparable, yet distinct. To Live and Die In L.A. is indeed the unique musical synthesis for which Wang Chung had been striving. "We were amazed how the film and the music supported each other," concludes Hues. "Many times the visuals seemed almost to be spotlighting the music; very much a music video feeling." It's a feeling captured on Wang Chung's debut video from the soundtrack album, a breathtaking rendering of the title track.

To Live and Die In L.A. is, finally, more than a soundtrack or a simple musical assemblage. As a work that stands on its own as well as cohering with a remarkable film, Wang Chung, on To Live and Die In L.A. have created something far more than the sum of its parts. Considering the parts that made up that sum, it is a consummate accomplishment.

A Matter of Life and Death and Rock and Roll

A few words from William Friedkin, Director of "To Live And Die In L.A." - Included inside the CD booklet:

"It will come as no surprise to anyone who has listened to Points On The Curve that Jack Hues and Nick Feldman are two of the most innovative musicians around. It might also come as no surprise to listeners of their music that while their sound is contemporary, their musical orientation is classical... Strauss, Wagner, Schoenberg, Stravinsky.

Their work stands out for me from the rest of contemporary music, which is why I asked them to create an original score for the film To Live And Die In L.A.. What they finally recorded has not only enhanced the film - it has given it a deeper, more powerful dimension.

While mixing the soundtrack I was struck by the inseparable flow of one musical piece into another. Listening to the album, just now I discovered, to my surprise, that each track also stands out on its own - and delivers its own statement. For me this is not only an exciting film score, but a fine album of modern music."


"By turns moody and menacing, ethereal and erotic, Wang Chung's 1985 soundtrack to the William Friedkin film To Live And Die In L.A. is a brilliant example of modern film scoring art, capturing the movie's haunting undertones while at the same time standing on its own as a complete musical creation. Featuring the hit title track, along with such densely-textured original compositions as "Wake Up, Stop Dreaming," "Wait" and "City Of The Angels," To Live And Die In L.A. is a fully realized work from an innovative writing and recording team."

"Comprised of vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Jack Hues and vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Nick Feldman, London-based Wang Chung first emerged on the international music scene with their 1984 debut album Points On The Curve, featuring the smash hit "Dance Hall Days." One of that album's more appreciative fans was director William Friedkin of "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist" fame. Intrigued by the drama and tension inherent in Wang Chung's music, he asked them to score his sophisticated tale of murder, passion and betrayal, To Live And Die In L.A."

"It will come as no surprise to listeners of their music that while their sound is contemporary, their musical orientation is classical," Friedkin remarked. "Their work stands out from the rest of the musical field and what they created not only enhanced the film - it has given it a deeper, more powerful dimension... each track stands out on its own and delivers its own statement."

"We didn't want to record a conventional soundtrack or a conventional album," added Jack Hues. "The film was a perfect vehicle to let our imaginations roam freely." The free flow of music for To Live And Die In L.A. spotlights both instrumental and vocal tracks running the emotional gamut and evoking not only life in the City of Angels, but the expressive possibilities brought to life by the marriage of music and images."

Wang Chung Interview
Taken from Cashbox Magazine,
'Filmusic' page, Sept. 21, 1985

TWO MORE CONVERTS - By now, it's quite evident just how alluring film music is to members of the rock community. For them, film represents a new challenge, an opportunity to break free from the perceived shackles of commercial songwriting, a chance to go all out and express themselves musically. The latest of these converts to film music are Wang Chung's Jack Hues and Nick Feldman, who recently wrote not only songs, but a complete score for director William Friedkin's soon-to-be-released feature, To Live and Die In L.A. Speaking from London, where he and Feldman are working on their next album (for Geffen Records), Hues discussed his first venture into the realm of film scoring. "We were feeling all this pressure to write commercial music," he commented. "That led me to ask our manager if we could possibly become more involved with film (Wang Chung contributed material to The Breakfast Club soundtrack earlier in the year). I thought he'd come back with a 10 minute TV documentary which needed a few notes of music." As it turned out, Friedkin (who had employed unusual scores for such films as The Exorcist, Cruising and The Sorcerer) was impressed enough with Wang Chung's music to offer its members the chance to completely score his new film.

Therefore, Hues and Feldman, in a highly unusual arrangement, were asked to write and record ninety minutes of orchestral music, although the musicians had yet to see the film. "I really didn't even know much about the film at that stage," Hues remarked. "I knew it was an intensely dramatic, rather grand movie. Bill trusted us, though." He and Feldman then wrote the music, and over a two-week period, recorded it. "Bill wanted to take what we had recorded and juxtapose it into the film, and that's exactly what he wound up doing. Somehow, it worked, and in fact, many of the timings were uncannily in sync between the music and the footage." The soundtrack from To Live and Die In L.A. will be released by Geffen on September 30, although Wang Chung's title song will be shipped out as a single on the 25th. The LP will feature one side comprised of four pop songs and the other featuring Hues' and Feldman's instrumental work for the film. A video version of the title song, also directed by Friedkin, is being readied as well. For Hues and Feldman, the experience was thoroughly satisfying both emotionally and creatively. "I actually studied classical music," Hues said. "For that reason, I always figured that if I wrote for film, it would be in an instrumental capacity. To work on a film calling for orchestral and rock songs is the best of both worlds."

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page last modified: 08/18/2005