Rus Articles Journal

How the musical including a hit about Bangkok was written? To birthday of Bjoern Ulveus of

at the time of “cold war“ even sports meets were perceived as a symbolical duel of two systems - Soviet and capitalist. Also the chess match for a rank of the world champion between the Soviet grand master, Boris Spassky did not become an exception, and American - Robert Fischer. Should tell

that unlike the USSR interest of the public in chess in the United States was extremely weak. Until in 1966 all were not struck by Bobbie Fischer who became the champion of the USA on chess of century. 13 years. In 1972 two chess titans - Spassky and Fischer - decided to put the end to a question - who the best chess player in the world.

The duel took place in the “neutral“ territory - in the capital of Iceland - Reykjavik. Peripetias of a match resembled skillfully put show, and riveted attention even of the people indifferent to chess. It seemed that players were shrouded by the atmosphere of paranoia and suspiciousness.

At first Fischer “behaved in a queer way“. That he unexpectedly demanded some unprecedented financial assignments for broadcasting before the beginning of a match. Refused to play that before television cameras which supposedly prevent it to think the crash. And even removed a metal seal from teeth, considering that Councils have the secret device capable to influence metal. Spassky in reply demanded to illuminate a X-ray Fischer`s chair, considering that it can have the generator which waves influence a brain.

As a result of intense struggle Fischer everything is bypassed Spassky, having won 10 games from 17 - ti.

It is clear, that the Soviet chess players could not be in debt, and soon already Anatoly Karpov threw down a challenge to Fischer. But the scandalous chess player refused therefore he was deprived of a rank of the world champion in 1975. And in 1981 Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi`s chess opposition in the Italian city of Merano riveted public attention again.

The direct observer of both the first, and second match was Tim Rice who was fond of chess too, but “Jesus Christ Superzvezda“ and “Evita“ became famous as the author of the libretto to the well-known creations of Lloyd Webber. It is no wonder that in the head to it the idea sank down - to write the musical about a chess duel against “cold war“.

At first Rice handled idea to the old workmate - to Webber - but the composer refused: he with might and main was engaged in statement of “Cats“ based on Thomas S. Eliot`s verses. Then it meets the chief composers of ABBA group - Bjoern Ulveus and Benny Anderson. The group while time was on the verge of disintegration, and Bjoern and Benny thought to write down something more serious.

Benny Anderson:
“Tim Rice joined us in 1982. For several years before I thought that it would be interesting to write some work, more difficult in a form, than four-minute the priest - the song. Perhaps, musical. And then there arrived Tim and met me and Bjoern, expressed desire to work together. To me it is thought that he was simply tired of joint creativity with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tim had couple of ideas into the account of a plot. One about the King Saul on a biblical scene, another - about chess. “Chess?“, - we told. It could not absolutely - be written the musical about chess.
... That to me, so it is a love story. You cannot write the musical directly about a chessboard, it is simply impossible. You need feelings which surround a subject“.

as a result except chess and policy into a plot of the musical entered the love line (where without it). Two chess players - the Soviet Anatoly (called in honor of Karpov) and the American Freddie - meet in a duel. As a result the Russian not just wins, but also takes away the girlfriend Florence at the American, and then runs from supervision of KGB and remains in the West. But soon and the Russian wife of Anatoly - Svetlana - and Florence understand that they always were and will be less important for him, than chess (remember the hero of “Luzhin`s Protection“ V. Nabokov).

In order that “to like spirit and the atmosphere of the Soviet Union“, Bjoern, Berney and Tim visit Moscow in 1983. ABBA in the USSR was welcomed therefore visitors were given a cordial welcome and showed the whole cultural program. The Trinity visited Red Square, the ballet “Nutcracker“, a hockey match of the USSR - ChSSR and even several churches. In completion acquaintance of the Swedish composers to the Soviet entertainment star - Alla Pugacheva took place.

Benny Anderson:
“It arrived on red “Mercedes“, wrapped up in white fur, and it in the Soviet Union, nothing to itself … I thought, quite pleasant personality, the such happy girl“.

Considered even idea of execution of Svetlana`s party by Pugacheva, but understandably it was at that time impossible to realize it. What creators of the musical considered as “bridging“ the Soviet management considered as the next criticism to the USSR (that else for escapes of chess players on the West?) . In 1986 the musical was scarified in “Komsomolskaya Pravda“ (article “And Now Chorus“). And even at the end of 1980 - x - in the middle of reorganization - refused to the Swedish composers a request to put “Chess“ in Moscow.

However, and in the West the destiny of the musical was difficult. If the first statement in 1986 took place in London successfully, then display on the Broadway failed.
But a double album with music of “Chess“ (“Chess“), left in 1984, was sold in two-million copies and contained two popular hits. The first - Svetlana and Florence`s song - “I Know Him So Well“ (I know it so well) - performed by Barbara Dixon and Elaine Page. The melody of a song was written by Ulveus and Anderson for ABBA, but did not enter one of albums of group.

Well, and to us other hit of group - “One Night In Bangkok“, of course, is closer to heart (One night in Bangkok). The main party in it and in general Anatoly`s part in the musical was performed by Murray Hed well familiar to music lovers as Judas`s voice from the original version of “Jesus Christ Superzvezda“.

The song opened 1 - yu the party of the second plate, and the speech in it went about a chess duel of “defector“ Anatoly with the new Soviet champion title contender of the world. The match takes place in the capital of Thailand - Bangkok - therefore in the song temptations of night Bangkok are discussed. The crowd sings:

Only a night in Bangkok, and the whole world - before you.
But in bars - temples pearls expensive. you Will find
God in the golden temple. Kohl will carry
, he will be a woman.

what the American answers:

... To you not prosech, children,
my Calculation of options of a mat.
Is possible, I would invite you, But hardly the queen you would excite
Come back to bars and temples or salon massage …

the Soviet generation 1980 - x danced under “Bangkok“ in discos, in large quantities wrote the song on tape recorders, but usually and did not suspect about what it and from where. Many remember the homebrew text “Night patrol“ written and sung by famous “mocker“ Sergey Minayev better:

In Bangkok the set of defects
Is dangerous to stay day at least one
to me in Bangkok there to go a reluctance
Still I wish to go on the ground...

But also without text music of “Bangkok“ sounded for those times quite brightly and unusually. It occupied 3 - e the place in the USA and was, in fact, the first song in style a rap which got to the top lines a hit - parades moreover and executed by white singers. As authors admitted, on the first steps of “Bangkok“ they were inspired by a hit of LOVIN group` SPOONFUL “Summer In The City“ which is written down in 1966.

Murray Hed: “When the RCA firm released
“Bangkok“ as a single, they and told me: “What is it? What the genre is? That, se, even R’n’B. Ah, musical! And what we with it will do?“. As a result the single stayed in sale of 9 weeks, and then they removed it.

In same one girl by the name of Robin by means of the French producer is a high time made very simplified version of this song, without introduction, without in general any special work what was done by us, writing down this song. Just percussions and a bass - here and all “Bangkok“. In such look the song anew appeared in tants - clubs, and sales from it grew, grew and grew. And RCA were forced to make release of the original version of “Bangkok“ anew. And we appeared in charts again. Robin reached 9 - go the place, and then we overtook her. Its version of a song slowly came to naught, and original, on the contrary - gained weight. However, reached all third place, probably, from - for the fact that the people were already bought by disks with our song“. should telling

In end that Anatoly Karpov everything is got acquainted with Tim Rice and became the hot admirer of the musical. And “One Night In Bangkok“, despite political changes in the world, is still included into collections of the best songs of 1980 - x.

Anatoly Karpov: “… it is natural
that there (in the musical - S. K.) there is a political moment, is a lot of things affected, but just the person as saw it in 1981, being a citizen of Great Britain, so it also presented it. Well, he had the right for it. To transfer very difficult inner world of the chess player, top-level fight it is clear, but all the same it turned out, it is one of, probably, few ingenious works on a chess subject“.