Memories of Murray Head’s “One Night in Bangkok”


When Murray Head’s “One Night in Bangkok” was on the radio and climbing the charts, my family was in Florida on vacation. I remember it blaring away constantly on all the Top 40 stations my sister’s would have on in the car and when we went to the beach it would play on this cheap portable radio we had. It was one of those songs that I did not know how to judge. It was different from anything else that was on, so it didn’t blend into the background. In fact, when music was in the background and this song would come on, I would suddenly become aware of the music.

This happened specifically when I was trying to watch “Up the Creek” on the hotel’s TV with the door to the patio open. Music was playing from a party next door and I did not realize it until Murray Head starting singing. I then got up to shut the sliding glass door and when I closed it, I did it so hard that the glass shattered. They couldn’t get someone up to fix the door that night, but they put cardboard over it and in the morning the room was filled with flying insects and lizards.

I have mixed feelings about this song…

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I love the song, but I love Louise Robey’s version so much more! She brings a wonderful voice and a pure 80s joy to it, for me.

  2. IIRC, Murray Head performs all the spoken verses in the song while another singer does the chorus. Additionally, Murray Head is the brother of Anthony Stuart Head (Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

  3. Funny, this has been playing on siriusxm for a week or two now. I don’t recall having heard it back in the day though.
    As for liking it, it’s a mixed bag. On one hand, I like the majority of it, but I strongly dislike the rap-ish portions.

  4. This song, along with the rest from the musical Chess, always brings to mind ABBA once I learned that Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus wrote it – it sounds like something perhaps from their disco era albums, lol. Great pop song šŸ™‚

  5. Funny how music can get attached to certain memories and bring them back every time you hear a certain song. One of the amazing things about music.

    I do like the song for some reason and probably because it was so different and distinctive. Takes me back to the 80s with a few notes… and that is a good thing.

  6. This song came out when I was 19 y/o and at my first US Army duty station, Ft. Hood, TX. I always cranked it up on my Pioneer car stereo w/ Pioneer TS-X7 speakers when it came on the radio.

    Later, when I decided to fork out a HUGE amount of money (at the time) for the double cassette set. I was entirely disappointed that the rest of the tracks on the two cassettes comprised of an array of unenjoyable music genres. Although, I kind of recall there being a love song/ballad track which wasn’t too bad. I then learned that it was only a soundtrack collection and “One Night” was the only popular release to ever come from that movie.

    I like this singular track, but the rest of my experience with the Chess movie soundtrack is still considered disappointing to me.

  7. I think that other song is called Nobody ‘s Side also from Chess? It definitely has an ABBA feel to it, lol. I’m not sure if it was released as a single also though?

  8. I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine!

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