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)
WANG CHUNG ARE JACK HUES AND NICK FELDMAN - THEN THERE WERE TWO
ALL SONGS COMPOSED, PRODUCED AND PERFORMED BY WANG CHUNG AND RECORDED IN MOTION-RAMA BY
DAVID MOTION EXCEPT
* PRODUCED BY TONY SWAIN AND STEVE JOLLEY
** PRODUCED BY WANG CHUNG, ASSISTED BY DAVID MOTION
*** PRODUCED BY CHRIS HUGHES AND ROSS CULLUM
All songs published by Chong Music Ltd., adm. by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. BMI
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: JOHN DAVID KALODNER AND DAVID MASSEY
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)!
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."
The '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
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 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."