Jack Hues and Nick Feldman collectively known as Wang Chung – present the 2019 re-recording of their global 80s hit ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight‘ featuring the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Wang Chung came out of the post-punk, New Wavescene in the UK going on to achieve global success, selling millions of records. Throughout their 35 year career they have released 6 albums and 2 Greatest Hits compilations.
They have had 6 US Top 40 hits including a number 1 and other international smash hits including ‘Dance Hall Days‘ and ‘Let’s Go‘, and achieved cult status with their soundtrack for William Friedkin’s movie ‘To Live and Die in LA‘, as well as their original song contribution to John Hughes’ legendary movie, The Breakfast Club.
In the process of all of this (and somewhat unintentionally), Wang Chung became part of the contemporary culture of North America. Their huge smash ‘Everybody Have Fun Tonight‘, with its now famous line ‘Everybody Wang Chung Tonight‘ saw the invention of a new US verb: ”to Wang Chung”, the band being name-checked by everyone from Homer Simpson, Austin Powers, Two and a Half Men’s Charlie and Alan Harper, Top Gear’s James May and Richard Hammond, to Frasier Crane to name just a few.
More recently their music has also featured in TV shows like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, South Park, Glee, This is Us, SNL and The Goldbergs, amongst many others…as well as in movies like Bumblebee, Deadpool and The Fighter. They have also featured in various huge video game titles like Grand Theft Auto:Vice City and in many big commercials.
Orchesography, the group’s newest offering, is exactly what the title implies: a collection of hits that features the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The duo of Jack Hues and Nick Feldman are just the latest act who have gone symphonic. Both Rick Springfield and Hanson recently released albums that feature orchestral re-workings of their catalog. The Who’s current tour has founding members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey performing with a local orchestra. Other acts like Metallica, Erykah Badu and Brandi Carlile will share the same stage with classical musicians for their respective shows.
In Wang Chung‘s case, the idea of working with an orchestra was suggested to the duo by August Day Recordings, an indie record company that previously released an orchestral album by fellow New Wave act A Flock of Seagulls. “It very much appealed to me straight away,” Feldman recalls of that proposal. “Jack was slightly less sure about it initially just because he could see that if we weren’t careful, it could end up a bit cheesy. But I felt that that wouldn’t be the case. We’ve been very involved in the whole process, so we made sure it’s a record that we’re proud of and reflects us well.”
For this project, the duo worked with string arranger Pete Whitfield who came up with a rough draft of the arrangements and mocked them up on orchestral software. “We’d hear audio drafts of what he was going for,” says Feldman. “Then we’d respond and finesse the arrangements until we were all happy with them. At which point he then scored them into charts and they would be presented to the Prague Philharmonic, [who] then record them. In the meantime we’re recording some rough backing tracks. We sort of stick them all together and make the sound picture that you hear you on the album.”