WORLD PARTY – ” Private Revolution, Goodbye Jumbo, Bang! , Egyptology , Dumbing Up ,” Vinyl Reissues “

Posted: January 22, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Karl Wallinger has approved vinyl reissues of World Party‘s all five studio albums, including the acclaimed “Goodbye Jumbo” (1990) and the 1993 hit “Bang!”. The other long-players are “Private Revolution” from 1986, “Egyptology” (1997) and “Dumbing Up” which was the last studio album issued way back in 2000.

World Party is Karl Wallinger’s band. Born in 1957, the man has been immersed in music since his earliest childhood, favouring keyboards but practicing many other instruments. His career as a musician began in 1977 when he joined the band Pax. However, it was in 1983 that she took off when Mike Scott recruited him to play the keyboards on the tour of the Waterboys’debut album. He participated in A Pagan Place, showcasing his talents as a musician and producer and then played a decisive role on This Is The Sea, going so far as to influence the sound of the Waterboys. Indeed, while Scott was moving towards minimalist arrangements, it was Wallinger who opened the band to The Big Music by diversifying the instruments and arrangements.

He impressed Scott so much that he will eventually include one of his songs in the setlist of This Is The Sea (Don’t Bang The Drum). As a result, The Waterboys being Scott’s project, he sees Wallinger’s growing influence with a slightly negative eye. In 1985, he eventually ejected him from the band and replaced him with Guy Chambers for the This Is The Sea tour.

He created World Party in 1985 and arrived at Ensign. The following year, he released Private Revolution, Recorded at Wallinger’s home in 1986, his debut album a pop, folk, soul exercise not completely completed but very promising in which he does almost everything: instruments, production. Almost, because he still involves two Waterboys members to help him: Anthony Thistlethwaite and newcomer Steve Wickham (integrated into the line up in 1985). That same year, 1986, therefore, on the side of Mike Scott will, during a tour in Ireland, fall in love with the country and completely change his optics for the folk rock music of the Waterboys. More a Celtic, rock, folk, sometimes minimalist orientation. This change is also accompanied by a change of record company. The band will leave Island for Ensign, label of  World Party. Between World Party’s first and second albums, Wallinger aided a young female vocalist Sinéad O’Connor in recording her 1987 debut, The Lion and the Cobra. O’Connor, then an unknown, had appeared as a guest on World Party’s first album. She would go on to appear as a guest on the second LP as well.

Scott, will still be inspired by Wallinger and credit him for writing the song World Party on Fisherman’s Blues. One can therefore legitimately think that in 1988, Wallinger is in perfect position to begin the composition of “Goodbye Jumbo”.

It’s a shame because with Goodbye JumboWallinger releases an immediate classic. The kind of record that, despite its flaws, goes through the years without taking a wrinkle. In addition to the themes discussed, all are rather universal (love, nature, joy, disappointment, alienation by images, fear of the future), Goodbye Jumbo sweeps through all popular musical styles with an exceptional accuracy and talent. Whether he imprints on the Stones (the choruses of Way Down Now),the Beatles (Put The Message In The Box, the lyrics of Thank You World), to Prince (this voice perched high on the very soulful Ain’t Gonna Come or the funky Show Me To The Top), whether he’s doing poignant ballads (the magnificent And I Fell Back Alone),melancholic pop at will (When The Rainbow Comes),hits(Put The Message, Way Down Now),the Scotsman just aims and touches the heart to almost every song. It’s quite simple, once you’ve put your ears in the gear, it’s almost impossible to get rid of it. Wallinger collaborated with fellow songwriter Guy Chambers on some of the tracks. Goodbye Jumbo was voted “album of the year” by Q magazine and was nominated for a Grammy Award for “best alternative music performance” in the US.

Especially since Wallinger, as the perfect sound wizard that he is, thought Goodbye Jumbo for each song the optimism of Thank You World will contrast with the dull anxiety of Is It Too Late(last and first track of the album), the melancholy of And I Fell Back Alone to the lightness of Take It Up(last track of the face A and first of the B-side), Ain’t Gonna Come and Show Me To The Top will be two different re-readings of Prince (the first will see the very melancholy If I Was Your Girlfriend. 

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After the 1991 EP “Thank You World”, Wallinger recruited guitarist David Catlin-Birch and ex-Icicle Works drummer Chris Sharrock as fully-fledged members for 1993’s album “Bang!” It reached no. 2 in the UK Albums Chart, with the track, “Is It Like Today?” hitting the UK Singles Chart also becoming a moderately successful single in europe.

All the albums will be issued on 180g black vinyl and “Dumbing Up” (which will be a 2LP set) sees its debut on the format. The schedule is roughly one release a month, starting with Private Revolution in February. Self-produced and largely self-played by sixties-obsessed Wallinger, World Party has essentially been Karl’s solo project since he left The Waterboys in 1986. ‘They’ released an impressive run of singles in the late eighties and early nineties including ‘Ship Of Fools’, ‘Message in the Box’, ‘Way Down Now’ and ‘Beautiful Dream’ most of which failed to chart, although the sublime ‘Is It Like Today?’ did creep into the UK top 20 helping Bang! reach an impressive and unlikely number two position in the British album charts. ‘She’s The One’ from Egyptology was covered by Robbie Williams and reached number one in 1999.

It doesn’t look like there’s any CD reissues to go with the vinyl and anyone expecting some deluxe editions is probably out of luck. He also doesn’t like greatest hits, only grudgingly releasing 2007’s Best in Show in the USA and Australia when told he needed something to support the tour. 

Their fourth album, “Egyptology” (1997), written following the death of Wallinger’s mother, was commercially unsuccessful, although “She’s the One” won an Ivor Novello Award and was subsequently recorded by Robbie Williams. Sharrock left the group after the recording of this album, leaving Wallinger on his own. Wallinger took a three-year break from World Party, before the release of “Dumbing Up” in 2000. However, in February 2001 he suffered an aneurysm that left him unable to speak. After a five-year rehabilitation, in 2006 Wallinger re-emerged onto the scene. With his back catalogue reclaimed from EMI, a distribution deal was agreed (via his own Seaview label) with Universal Music.

These release supposedly will be remastered, even though Karl also told us “I’m not really in to remastering tracks we’ve heard before, I don’t really agree with that”. We’ll confirm when that information is forthcoming. All the albums are great, but Goodbye Jumbo is probably World Party’s masterpiece, wonderful catchy pop songs, beautifully recorded, exhibiting a brilliant mesh of influences (Prince, Beatles etc.) and lyrically powerful with a hippy heart delivering messages around ecology and love.

The reissue campaign starts with Private Revolution due on 26th February 2021 and moves through the albums every three or four weeks. These are issued on Karl’s own Seaview label. Bang! has the ‘new’ cover art from 2000, which is a bit of a shame. I can’t find any pre-order links for Egyptology, yet.

Private Revolution (1986) is the first album by the British band World Party – originally released in 1987. It features the hit singles “Ship Of Fools,” “All Come True,” and “Private Revolution.” This is a new 180-gram audiophile re-issue LP. It has been out of print on vinyl for years in the US.

Goodbye Jumbo (1990) Bang! (1993) Egyptology (1997) Dumbing Up (2000)

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