Chess in Concert

One Night in Bangkok, a song from the album 'Chess' preformed by Murray Head, is not a well known song in the American market. However it did top number three in the charts in the USA and Canada in May 1985. It retained frequent airplay in Canada, and can still be heard on the air today on a regular basis on many Retro radio stations. It seems however, that it has not retrained the same status in the US, which I think is sad in a way. On the other hand it is well known in European and British markets. The song is about a chess match in Bangkok, which was to determine the world chess champion. But the song doesn't specifically address any of the backstory behind it. And looking into the backstory, it is a shame, as the whole album, or 'musical', is worthy of being told.

I believe one of the reasons it never faired well in the US, is because it did tend to portray America in a less than ideal light. It did the same with Russia as well however. Both sides seemed to scheme and toil to their own devices. Also, in many different versions or renditions of this album, different sides did win. Sometimes the Americans won, other times the Russians... In any case, check out the trailer below, and I would recommend, if you enjoy a good story, for people to buy the DVD "Chess in Concert" (2009)

My analysis of the story was that it seemed to emulate a lot of what I have learned about the media, politics, fame and corruption. Many of the themes reminded me of stories that I have heard of real life blackmail and propaganda, and the use of love, and fantasy to try to sway people to make choices which have international political motives. It sounded like an episode of No Agenda, in fact, to some extent!

Having been so curious about the full backstory of the song, I very much enjoyed watching the video mentioned above. One Night in Bangkok is now but a small fraction of an epic story, which really does stir the emotions of any compassionate viewer. It left me wondering who truly won, and who truly lost...