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To Live and Die in L.A. (soundtrack)

To Live and Die in L.A. is a soundtrack album by Wang Chung, recorded for the 1985 film of the same name. It is the band's third album and second on Geffen Records. Instead of following up the success that Points on the Curve landed them, the band switched gears to produce an original motion picture soundtrack. The switch allowed for them to experiment with different styles of music from the conventional pop music on their previous album. The album's title song, peaked at #41 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the second single "Wake Up, Stop Dreaming" failed to chart.

To Live and Die in L.A.
To Live and Die in L.A. album art.JPG
Soundtrack album by
Released30 September 1985
GenrePop rock, new wave
ProducerJohn Kalodner, David Massey
Wang Chung chronology
Points on the Curve
To Live and Die in L.A.
Singles from To Live and Die in L.A.
  1. "To Live and Die in L.A."
    Released: 25 September 1985
  2. "Wake Up, Stop Dreaming"
    Released: December 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

Track listingEdit

All songs written and composed by Wang Chung; all songs produced by Wang Chung, except where noted.

Side one—vocal
1."To Live and Die in L.A." (Produced by Tony Swain, Steve Jolley)4:53
3."Wake Up, Stop Dreaming" (Wang Chung, David Motion)4:35
4."Wait" (Chris Hughes, Ross Cullum)4:26
Total length:18:37
Side two—instrumental
1."City of the Angels"9:17
2."The Red Stare"3:11
4."Every Big City"5:09
Total length:20:00

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1985) Peak position
U.S. Billboard 200 85


  • According to William Friedkin, director of the film To Live and Die in L.A., the main reason he chose Wang Chung to compose the soundtrack was because the band "stands out from the rest of contemporary music... What they finally recorded has not only enhanced the film, it has given it a deeper, more powerful dimension." [1] This, of course, was his response after listening to the band’s previous album, Points on the Curve. In fact, he loved the album so much, that he took two of the songs straight off of the album, "Wait", and "Dance Hall Days" and used them as part of the soundtrack. "Wait" plays at the end credits of the movie, and is the only song to appear on two different non-compilation albums.
  • Every song on the soundtrack, excluding the title song, "Dance Hall Days" and "Wait", was written and recorded within a two-week period. Only after Wang Chung saw a rough draft of the film did they produce the title song. [2]
  • On the original vinyl release, side one was all vocal tracks, side two all instrumental.