Dance Hall Days

Album: Points On A Curve (1984)
Charted: 21 16

Songfacts®:

  • Jack Hues of Wang Chung told Eric Greenberg on the Just My Show podcast: "It begins quite innocent: 'take your baby by the hand,' and then the last verse with 'take your baby by the wrist, and in her mouth an amethyst,' it's all a bit more hallucinogenic in a way, how things that start off simple get complex.

    My dad was a musician, and he had a band that played in an old-fashioned dance hall. I used to play with him in that band, so maybe there's sort of the nostalgia that's in the track. It's all quite real, actually, as far as experiences that I had when I was first starting out playing, and playing in public.

    Musically, it's that sort of rhythm and that kind of shuffly beat. Technically it's sort of like three against two [laughs], but we're not gonna talk about all that. It's a particular feel that was sort of unusual at the time, I suppose. It was partly inspired by one of the Adam and the Ants tracks, and that's part of the thinking of using Chris Hughes, who produced Adam's Kings of The Wild Frontier album. I think the record company were keen that we sort of met up with him, and Chris and I have been friends ever since that time - Chris works with me on my jazz records that I've made in the last couple of years. It's been one of the most important friendships of my life."
  • Even though they are British, this was Wang Chung's only hit in the UK. After it proved to be a bigger hit in the US and was featured in the film To Live And Die In LA, they decided to ignore the UK market and concentrate on the US. This proved an astute decision as they recorded two more American Top 10 hits, "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" (#2 in 1986) and "Let's Go!" (#9 in 1987), whilst not even recording a minor chart placing in the UK.

    Hues explained on Just My Show: "I think it has perhaps created a slight air of unreality around it. Because Wang Chung in Britain is sort of obscure '80s band. I think 'Dance Hall Days' was a fairly substantial hit over here, although it didn't chart high, it was in the charts for a long time. It took a long time going up, and a long time going down, like a proper record should do. And we did Top of the Pops a couple of times, which was a big BBC show where promising bands - or not so promising bands - got their exposure. But I think the divide between the US and the UK for me probably worked, in that I'm quite a private person, and at the time of 'Dance Hall Days' I had three children, and I wasn't married at the time, but my family life is very important to me. Being able to come home and be low key was great. I could leave all of the craziness behind in the States and just be myself, as it were, when I got back here."
  • This was one of the songs that was considered for Michael Jackson's Thriller album. Nick Feldman of Wang Chung told Songfacts: "Before 'Dance Hall Days' was definitively recorded by Wang Chung at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, we had just demoed the song at a small, cheap North London studio. Through our publishers, a copy of the song fell into the hands of Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, who loved it. Suddenly it was being considered for inclusion onto the forthcoming new Michael Jackson album, Thriller!

    That was an an incredibly exciting prospect for an emerging yet-to-be-successful band like us. Some lyric changes were suggested, which we fooled around with, but in the end nothing quite stuck. And thanks to the lack of 'Dance Hall Days' on it, the Thriller album and Michael Jackson went on to fall into failure and obscurity. OK, maybe that didn't quite happen, but 'Dance Hall Days' became a huge hit for us instead and put us firmly on the pop music map in 1984."
  • In 2009, "Dance Hall Days" started appearing in a swell of movies and TV shows, often to evoke the '80s. It has appeared in these films:

    Bumblebee (2018)
    Table 19 (2017)
    The Polka King (2017)
    Deadpool (2016)
    American Ultra (2015)
    The Daughter (2015)
    The Final Girls (2015)
    Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
    The Girl (2012)
    The Fighter (2010)
    Cop Out (2010)
    The Rebound (2009)
    Duplicity (2009)
    Echelon Conspiracy (2009)
    Adventureland (2009)
    I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)
    The Informers (2008)
    Bubble Boy (2001)
    Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997)
    To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
    The Sure Thing (1985)
    Bachelor Party (1984)
    Blood and Bone (2009)

    And in these TV shows:

    Sex Education ("Episode #2.5" - 2020)
    Cobra Kai ("Glory of Love" - 2019)
    Mr. Robot ("eps3.3_m3tadata.par2" - 2017)
    Riverdale ("Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again" - 2017)
    Ray Donovan ("Walk This Way" - 2014)
    Grey's Anatomy ("Everything I Try to Do, Nothing Seems to Turn Out Right" - 2014)
    Glee ("I Do" - 2013)
    The Middle ("The Fun House" - 2010)
    Breaking Bad ("Over" - 2009)
  • When this song was on the charts, Wang Chung were touring in America as the opening act for The Cars, who were supporting their album Heartbeat City.
  • Wang Chung frontman Jack Hues' real name is Jeremy Ryder. He took the stage name as a persona, which British musicians like Joe Strummer and Johnny Rotten were doing at the time. He is the biological father of British actor Jack Ryder, who played Jaime in the British Soap Opera Eastenders. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dave - Ipswich, England
  • A new remix of this song was released in 1997 to promote Wang Chung's Greatest Hits album. The single reached #107 in America.

Comments: 14

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1984 {June 2nd} Wang Chung performed "Dance Hall Days" on the syndicated television program 'Solid Gold', hosted by Marilyn McCoo...
    At the time "Dance Hall Days" was at position #33 on Billboard's Hot Top chart, five weeks later it would peak at #16 {for 1 week} and it spent twenty two weeks on the Top 100...
    And on the day of their appearance on 'Bandstand', the song was at #1 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart...
    It reached #5 on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart...
    Between 1983 and 1989 the London-based trio had eight records on the Hot Top 100 chart, two made the Top 10, "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" {#2* for 1 week in 1986} and "Let's Go" {#9 for 1 week in 1987}...
    * The week "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" peaked at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Walk Like An Egyptian" by the Bangles...
  • Jp from Roanoke, VaThis song can also be heard in the movie "Bachelor Party". It is playing in the scene where Rick and the rest of the bachelor party first enter the male strip club to pull a prank on Debbie and the bachelorette party, with the help of Nick the, uh, "stick" lol.
  • Thomas from Raleigh, NcThis Song was also in a commercial for MLB 2k9 with Tim Lincecum. In the commercial Lincecum is teaching his videogame self how to be him. This song is featured in the background when Lincecum is driving to the park "(Dance hall Days playing in the background)We throw inside when we have to... (turns off music)... and we dont listen to that"
  • Dj from Cincinnati, OhThe song is featured in the film To Live and Die in LA. The scene where William Petersen goes to the strip club to talk to his informant.
  • Bender from East West Virginia, VaLela, Frye and I love this song. In fact, every 3rd tuesday of and odd number month that ends in a consonant, is a DANCE HALL DAY.
  • Miles from Vancouver, Canadacatchy alright!
  • Dave from Cebu, Peru"Flash FM" is my favorite radio station in GTA: Vice City
    And "K Rose" is my favorite radio station in GTA: San Andreas if anyone cares.
  • Brandon from Saskatoon, Canadaya pretty sweet song. just heard it on the radio so decided to download it
  • Josh from Brisbane, AustraliaFeatured on FLASH FM on GTA Vice City. Sooooo 80's!
  • Daniel from Melbourne, AustraliaNothing says 80's like this song! I always thought they were singing "we were cool on Christ"
  • Tony from Chicago, IlThis song was never in To Live and Die in LA. Wang Chung recorded the entire soundtrack to the movie, including instrumental tracks, one of which is used regularly at major sporting events.
  • Paul from Hull, EnglandThe lead singers son, Jack Ryder, was a popular soap (Eastenders) actor in the UK until his character was killed off
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InTheir tunes bring back many memories of my Senior year in high school.
  • John from Wilmington, NcThis song was featured in To Live and Die in LA? I know the song "Wait" was in the film.
see more comments

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