It wasn’t until I was researching the To Live and Die in L.A. Soundtrack that I learned that Wang Chung had previously gone by the name Huang Chung (same pronunciation… different lettering). And that’s the only reason I knew that that this copy of Huang Chung was in fact Wang Chung’s debut when I came across it the other day. And I figured for three bucks, why not?
This is one of those times I wish I had a graphic equalizer, because Huang Chung sounds a bit flat. It could use a little stretching out on both he low and high ends. That being said, this is a surprisingly good record, a true precursor to the new wave explosion that would wash over us like a wave the following year in 1983. There are dreamy tracks like “Ti-Na-Na” but also some up-tempo (and saxophone-filled because, after all, it’s the early 1980s) pop-rockers like “Straight From My Heart”. The high point is undoubtedly “China”, a brisk-paced catchy number that doesn’t take itself too seriously.