Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"One Night In Bangkok" Song Artist Murray Head-His life And Career

Murray Head was born in London[2] to Seafield Laurence Stewart Murray Head (1919– March 22, 2009), a documentary filmmaker and a founder of Verity Films, and Helen Shingler, an actress.[3] (Helen played Mme. Maigret alongside Rupert Davies in the BBC's 1960s television adaptation of the Maigret novels written by Georges Simenon). His younger brother is Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head. Head was educated at the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington, London and Hampton School in Hampton, London.
Head began writing songs as a child, and by the mid-1960s he had a London-based recording contract. He had limited success until asked by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber to play Judas Iscariot on the original concept album version of Jesus Christ Superstar, which, with the Trinidad Singers, yielded the song "Superstar" which peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1971.
He made his film debut in The Family Way (1966), which featured Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett and John Mills in the leading roles.[1] Head won a leading role in the Oscar-nominated film Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), alongside Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson.[1] Despite these successes, he received little public attention in the next ten years (except for his single release, "Say It Ain't So Joe" in 1975).[1] "Never Even Thought" from the "Say It Ain't So Joe" album has been covered by Cliff Richard (Green Light 1977) and Colin Blunstone (Never Even Thought 1978).
In 1973, he appeared in a radio drama, The Fourth Tower of Inverness. In 1979, Head appeared in the final episode of the ITV programme Return of the Saint.
Head reappeared in the spotlight in 1984 as the American on the concept album for the musical Chess. The song "One Night in Bangkok" featured Head on lead vocal. It became the last significant Broadway/West End number to be a hit on American and German radio up until "No Matter What" by Boyzone in 1996. "One Night in Bangkok" was a major pop hit on both sides of the Atlantic.[1] Head performed the role of world chess champion Frederick "Freddie" Trumper in the London West End stage production of Chess that premiered on 14 May 1986. The show ran in London until 8 April 1989.
After that, Head had little recording success in the UK or the United States. This fact would later be underscored in a radio segment featured on The Kevin and Bean Show on Los Angeles's KROQ FM, in which the hosts would phone Head in the morning to find out "What's Up with Murray Head?" Fluent in French, he has released a number of albums in that language. The song "Une femme un homme", a duet with Marie Carmen, released in 1993 became a radio hit in French-speaking Canada.
In 1999, Head co-wrote the screenplay to Les Enfants du Siècle.[3]
He has appeared on television in the UK on The Bill, Casualty and Judge John Deed. He also played an artist called Jack Hollins on ITV's Heartbeat from 2005-2006. On the 15th March 2010 he appeared in the B.B.C. drama "Doctors" playing a washed up pop singer, Pete Perry, trying to make a comeback, in which Murray sang the Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain". In Canada, he was part of the cast of the 2002 television mini-series Music-Hall, which played on the Radio-Canada network.
Head appeared on the album cover of The Smiths' compilation album Stop Me, taken from a still of the film The Family Way.


  1. A song I really loved and listened to over and over in the 80s.Did you know the song itself was composed by Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA and the lyrics written by Tim Rice & Björn Ulvaeus?