Behind the Band Name: Wang Chung

The English new wave outfit Wang Chung was the 1980s through and through. They dominated MTV with carefree, dance-ready hits like “Dance Hall Days” and “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” They captivated audiences with their innovative style and piqued interest with their intriguing moniker.

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A name like Wang Chung doesn’t initially evoke images of a British new wave dance-pop group, but that was kind of the point.

Behind the Name

Wang Chung consisted of vocalist-guitarist Jack Hues, bassist Nick Feldman, and drummer Darren Costin. The trio was born from the dissolution of another group, and in 1980, they formed their own band.

When they first formed, their band name started out as something slightly different. They originally called themselves Huang Chung, which translates to “yellow bell.” The band eventually changed the spelling of their name to Wang Chung in 1982 to be “less intimidating” to an English-speaking audience.

Wang Chung, and ever formerly Huang Chung, did not really have some deep meaning for the group. The name was essentially a tactic to intrigue potential listeners.

“The idea was that it wasn’t a rock and roll name,” Hues explains in the interview below. “Even Huang Chung gives you no idea about the music you’re about to experience and we wanted to create a space with the name, really. So the whole idea of what it means wasn’t really the important thing; it was how … it created that space.”

“It’s the most asked question in the history of mankind,” Feldman said jokingly.

Wang Chung Today

Wang Chung went on hiatus in the 1990s, and the group has attempted a handful of reunions over the years, playing festivals and one-off gigs here and there.

In 2019, Hues and Feldman, together as Wang Chung, recorded a greatest hits album. The double EP release, titled Orchesography, featured orchestral versions of their music recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra along with various other remixes.

(Photo by John Atashian/Getty Images)

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