Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top 30 Music Vidoes of all Time - Number 19 - "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head

Head...Murray Head. What a perfect name. If I ever get a dog I might just name it Murray Head. Anyway, Murray Head (I can't just call him Murray or even just Head...he's Murray Head) was responsible for one of the strangest topics you could cover with music...chess.

Yes...this song...its about chess. The name of the album this song was on was called "Chess". That's pretty much it. The lyrics tell a tell of a guy who travels to Bangkok, not for the strippers or prostitutes. He goes there to play chess. He also thinks he's better than anybody else. Anyway, here's the video. Follow along...


0:16 - 0:29: In what must have been mind blowing special effects at the time (1982 I believe) you see a chess board right out of an Atari game slowly morph in a single square which then fades into a young woman's eye.

I have to say quickly here that you MUST seek out the extended intro to this song. It has an orchestral score that Yanni has made a career out of imitating. You hear the very last part of it in the beginning of the video here but it actually lasts over two minutes. An NBA team should get a hold of this, it would make excellent introduction music...that's if there's going to be an NBA season.

0:37 - 0:53: Say hello to Murray Head and what looks like a dozen smoke machines and a ladder to nowhere. Did I say how awesome that intro is?

0:54 - 1:10: Murray gives you a little tour of his home ending in a giant room featuring a huge chess board as a floor. This is the only song you'll ever hear a song lyric featuing the words "Yul Brenner". I love the synthesizer in this song too.

1:11 - Michael Jackson must have taken notes because the floor lighting into a chess board looks like a very similar idea used in "Billie Jean" one year later.

1:22 - 1:27: Not sure who directed this video but I do like the filming through the chess pieces here.

1:28 - 1:38: I must say that Bangkok is well diversified. You have a white guy, an Indian woman, a black guy/girl (can't tell), an asian guy, and maybe a spanish woman? Nice "jazz hands" here.

1:42 - I love this part of the song...especially the "whatdya mean" part at 1:51. Lots of special effects going on here that could probably be redone by an 8th grader with a Mac today in his computer class.

2:05 - 2:09: A line I will now incorporate into my regular jargon..."I get my kicks ABOVE the waistline Sunshine". I can't wait to use it the next time I am propositioned by a stripper or hooker.

2:10 - 2:17 : Murray talks as two boxers reenact any fight scene from Rocky 3 and 4. I love how the guy on the right falls at the 2:17 mark. Good Lord, that's some terrible acting.

2:34 - 2:52: I would love a chess expert to chime in and let me know if the moves he's making during the game against the cute lady make any sense.

2:56 - 3:10: After talking about "cerebral fitness" and "reclining footers", Murray appears on a huge TV screen overlooking a chess board with people dancing on it. Cocaine must have been AWESOME in the 1980's.

3:16 - 3:20: I love the facial tics here. "Yah Masssahhge Pahhhlahrs"

3:21 - 3:36: My favorite part of any 80's video...the group dance sequence!!! I'm not sure what they're trying to do here but I love the random hand and arm movements.

3:36 - 4:03 : Murray joins the dancing by appearing from somewhere underneath the chess board floor. He sort of just stands there at first but then struts his way across the board as people go crazy dancing around him.

4:04 - I love that final look.

Until next time...

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