Wang Chung's "To Live and Die In L.A." soundtrack - C/D

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The movie is an overlooked classic, but what about the soundtrack? Wang Chung creates some vaguely sinister synth-pop tunes here, even going against Friedkin's orders and writing a song that includes the title of the film in the lyrics.

I'm going to say classic, especially in the context of the film. Sometimes I'll have that title track running through my head whilst I drive past the refineries in Long Beach, too.

And jeeeeesus that ending! Wm Peterson getting....I mean...fuck! That's for another board, though...

Gear! (Gear!), Sunday, 14 December 2003 07:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Stone cold classic. (Emphasis on 'cold'.) The title sequence and Willem Dafoe's exposition would have been corny as fuck with any other music.

I have a minor quibble with the OST though : the scene where John Turturro sets off the alarm at the airport and runs away and the siren is joined by percussion - why wasn't that on the album?

Wintermuté (Wintermute), Sunday, 14 December 2003 09:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I love everything about this movie

Andy K (Andy K), Sunday, 14 December 2003 13:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The DVD was just recently released. Fantastic film, one of my favorites from the 1980s, criminally ignored of course. Maybe the runaway success of CSI will win the movie new fans on video. (Wish the same would happen for Manhunter, despite the Anthony Hopkins conspiracy to make it disappear.

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Sunday, 14 December 2003 23:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Their title song is far and away the greatest achievment of their career, followed swiftly if unceremoniously by the track they donated to the "Breakfast Club" soundtrack, "Fire in the Twillight".

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 14 December 2003 23:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

love the way their tune plays over the end credits. terrific, under-rated movie, and the soundtrack is great. think i saw the soundtrack album on tape in a shop in the mid-80's - it had a very garish cover as i recall (i think it was a palm tree silhouetted against an orange/green background).

don't know much about Wang Chung, except that one of their tunes had the brilliantly unforgiveable lyric "everybody have fun tonight/everybody Wang Chung tonight."

Neil FC (Neil FC), Monday, 15 December 2003 00:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Gush gush gush. I spent a lot of time with this tape as a teen. "City of Angels" is synthpop at its best.

Chris Ott (Chris Ott), Monday, 15 December 2003 13:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i remember being deeply disappointed about that ending. i was only 14 years old back then, though. i know this isn't a film board, but should i get on dvd?

Jay Kid (Jay K), Monday, 15 December 2003 14:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

should i get it on dvd?

Jay Kid (Jay K), Monday, 15 December 2003 14:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Wang Chung's music works really well in this movie. I love the sequences where they give the back ground on the counterfeiting operations.

William Petersen did this and "Manhunter" and completely disapeared off of the face of the Earth until that TV show started a couple of years ago. He is great in both, althought they are about the same character.

earlnash, Monday, 15 December 2003 15:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Get the DVD just for Friedkin's commentary re being visited by the FBI. Apparently the prop-master took some of the fake money they made for the movie home with him, and his kids tried to spend it at the candy store. The bills were one-sided, though, so they didn't get any candy. Nonetheless, all of a sudden the gov't was calling Friedkin, who (as he'd been told to do by the counterfeiter he'd hired as a technical advisor) had the following conversation with them:

Gov't Guy: "So, you're printing fake money...for a movie, you say?"
Friedkin: "Do you have a warrant?"
Gov't Guy: "No, but we'd like to talk to you about..."
Friedkin: < click >

Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Monday, 15 December 2003 16:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The DVD is great, good commentary too. Man if you didn't like that ending I don't know what to tell ya. Look at the alternate ending and just be glad that wasn't the one they used.

Gear! (Gear!), Monday, 15 December 2003 20:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"I love everything about this movie"

Felcher (Felcher), Monday, 15 December 2003 20:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

as i said, i was 14 years old. i'm sure i'll like it much more now, when i've become much more of a semi-educated, misantropic nihilist.

Jay Kid (Jay K), Tuesday, 16 December 2003 09:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
somebody needs to go bangalter/falcon on black-blue-white.

:| (....), Thursday, 13 January 2005 21:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The video for the title track is awesome! It's the band playing around in the recording studio, watching the movie, and the singer 'spontaneously' coming up with the perfect words for the song. Words cannot do it justice.

Vic Funk, Thursday, 13 January 2005 22:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

is it the full song at end ?
i might have to get dvd ot get the songs.
- I'm in Australia and it's imposible to get anything except Wang Chung's Mosaic cd - They were better than Survivor and almost as Glass Tiger.

mosaic mistress, Friday, 14 January 2005 06:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'd love to hear Daft Punk cover "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"

donut christ (donut), Friday, 14 January 2005 08:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

They were better than Survivor and almost as Glass Tiger.

I'd sooner place Wang Chung alongside more ambitious bands that the tepid likes of those no-mark losers. i'd say Wang Chung were more akin to Re-Flex (as in "The Politics of Dancing") and maybe Modern English that lumpen Survivor.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 14 January 2005 08:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 14 January 2005 08:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no 'WAIT' is the killer. its really hard to get on soulseek.

piscesboy, Friday, 14 January 2005 10:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

why in the name of god wasn't the remake of MIAMI VICE *anything* like this movie?

pisces, Tuesday, 7 August 2007 01:06 (ten years ago) Permalink

i was just thinking about this movie. shotgun to the face so painful!

poortheatre, Tuesday, 7 August 2007 01:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

the most shocking offing of the lead character since PSYCHO.

pisces, Tuesday, 7 August 2007 01:53 (ten years ago) Permalink

anyone who doesn't like this soundtrack is a nutter.

pisces, Tuesday, 7 August 2007 17:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

great movie, great soundtrack

deej, Tuesday, 7 August 2007 17:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

it must be the weather that keeps bringing me back to this.

piscesx, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 03:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Just got this over the wknd after catching it on cable -- I'd totally forgotten the shotgun to the face! Anyway, I'm really enjoying this and agree the Bangalter remix should be forthcoming (and re the Daft Punk "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" cover -- you could be sure the "Everybody Wang Chung tonight would have major vocoder). Wonderif there's a "complete" boot of this w all the incidental music as well.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 24 January 2010 14:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I'm halfway through this film.

it's rad.

my opinionation (Hamildan), Saturday, 24 April 2010 20:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

Title track = ACE AS SHIT

WARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Karaoke Version) (Sparkle Motion), Saturday, 1 May 2010 06:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

i saw this movie last night on 35mm. when "shotgun to the face" happened at the end, the crowd was silent for a few seconds and then up near the front there was one girl who just quietly said "oh no!"

omar little, Wednesday, 24 November 2010 18:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

Still the best "breath" pad eva. Movie hasn't aged a day.

cee-oh-tee-tee, Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:03 (seven years ago) Permalink

If I dig up the review I wrote of this record for my high-school newspaper, will post here ASAP.

no place running the schools (Eazy), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

haha I did one, too

that sucker is lost to the sands of time tho

tween-justin-bieber-riot-of-09-pandemonium-arrests-terror+tweeting (Edward III), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

also I'm pretty sure I own this soundtrack on vinyl

tween-justin-bieber-riot-of-09-pandemonium-arrests-terror+tweeting (Edward III), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

^ I have two copies, one mint/plastic sleeved, the other a water-damaged Salvation Army 50-cent pickup. Geffen pressed ridiculously high-quality vinyl pre-DGC.

cee-oh-tee-tee, Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

William Friedkin liner notes:

“It will come as no surprise to anyone who has listened to Points on the Curve that Jack Hues and Nick Feldman are two of the move innovative musicians around.

It might also come as no surprise to listeners of their music that while their sound is contemporary, their musical orientation is classical….Strauss, Wagner, Schoenberg, Stravinsky.
Their work stands out for me from the rest of contemporary music, which is why I asked them to create an original score for the film To Live and Die in L.A.

What they finally recorded has not only enhanced the film — it has given it a deeper, more powerful, dimension.

While mixing the sound track I was struck by the inseparable flow of one musical piece into another.

Listening to the album, just now I discovered, to my surprise, that each track also stands out on its own — and delivers its own statement.

For me this is not only an exciting film score, but a fine piece of modern music.”

no place running the schools (Eazy), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 22:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

I still love the title track, I listen to it often.

That's not a "laugh track", it's an audience and you're in it. (MintIce), Wednesday, 24 November 2010 23:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

just watched this on canks rec and the car chase is so good, it's like one half if kafka made a car chase, one half video game with endless baddies

you think you lost the tail but then baddies show up everywhere people running around with assault rifles, you start going the wrong way down the highway, your partners in the back seat ready to hurl, questioning his very existence...

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Monday, 14 November 2011 03:12 (six years ago) Permalink

William Friedkin = better composer of film than liner notes.

Good score tho.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 15 November 2011 05:48 (six years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

The synth-pop thread bought me back to this ace album.

with HD lyrics (Eazy), Saturday, 21 March 2015 20:36 (two years ago) Permalink

Wait is such an earworm that the first time I watched the film I went a full week with it in my head when I fell asleep and still there when I woke up in the morning.

ewar woowar (or something), Sunday, 22 March 2015 10:14 (two years ago) Permalink

I think of this album and 1984: for the love of big brother as great examples of a band creating a soundtrack through songs, and landing somewhere between pop songs and something more experimental.

with HD lyrics (Eazy), Monday, 23 March 2015 01:34 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Fuckin incredible movie

Gary Synaesthesia (darraghmac), Thursday, 19 October 2017 21:45 (four months ago) Permalink


piscesx, Friday, 20 October 2017 01:34 (four months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I've owned the soundtrack for years but unbelievably I hadn't seen the movie until last night. I love that even if you take away the 80s tropes, it's still a great gritty b-movie crime noir: hammy/overwrought acting, killer soundtrack, moral bankruptcy, no movie stars. A bigger budget would have ruined it.

it's like one half if kafka made a car chase, one half video game with endless baddies


My only issue is that there isn't a 20min long remix of the title song, but even then I'm afraid that it would be too short.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 03:08 (two months ago) Permalink

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