Posts Tagged ‘Bang!’

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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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I’ve always admired Cheap Trick. First of all, they didn’t look like any other band. They had two bonafide looking rock stars in lead singer Robin Zander and bassist Tom Peterson. Their great guitar player Rick Nielsen looked like a Leo Gorcey from the old Bowery Boys films and the drummer Bun E Carlos looked like an old uncle you would have somewhere.

They were a hard-working band from Rockford Illinois in the mid-70s. None of their first three albums made it in the top 40 but they did have a single to chart…a single off their third album “Heaven Tonight” was the first to chart in America…“Surrender” (Studio Version) peaked at #61 in 1978. They were not getting any traction in America but in Japan, they were getting huge.

They toured Japan in 1978 with a Beatlemania atmosphere and played at Budakon and recorded a live album there. “Cheap Trick at Budakon” is what finally broke them in America in 1979.

They never had that milestone studio album that really marked their career like some bands but they made enough good music to be remembered. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.

Cheap Trick have never stopped. Since 1974, those familiar faces — drummer Bun E. Carlos, guitarist Rick Nielsen, bassist Tom Petersson and singer Robin Zander — have become part of rock ‘n’ roll’s fabric and a pop-culture staple.

Cheap Trick is an American rock ‘n’ roll institution.

Formed in Rockford, Illinois in 1973, they were grouped with the era’s reigning arena-rock kingpins by the time they went multi-platinum with the landmark live album, Cheap Trick At Budokanin 1979. But the band always had an acerbic, sneakily subversive edge lurking beneath their larger-than-life, cartoonish persona. They might have shared a producer with Aerosmith in the ’70s, but Cheap Trick felt closer to punk. Dig deep into their catalogue and you’ll find songs about serial killers, suicide, middle-aged pedophiles, pot-smoking parents, and other darkly comic snapshots from the underbelly of Middle America.

The band’s main songwriter is guitarist Rick Nielsen, whose dweeby stage clothes and knowingly ridiculous performance gimmicks — the multi-neck guitars, the dozens upon dozens of tossed-off picks are complemented by a deeply sarcastic sense of humour and an unmatched ability to chronicle suburban kinkiness. His songs are a big reason why Cheap Trick remains a common touchstone for a wide range of artists who would never otherwise commingle.  Unlike so many other bands that have broken up, reunited, cashed in, traded up, fell apart and reunited again, Cheap Trick have just always been there — whether they sell millions of albums or struggle to dent the charts, and delivering great live shows all the while. Few, if any, other bands have that kind of track record, and its most dedicated fans have stuck by the group though its massive arena gigs and even the small club shows.

Cheap Trick’s recorded legacy is full of genius-level highs and somewhat embarrassing lows. Thankfully, the ups outweigh the downs for Rockford, Ill.’s most famous export. From that first album in 1977, right up through 2009’s The Latest, the band has continued to deliver high-energy rock ‘n’ roll songs stocked full of melody, anger, sweetness, absurdity, cleverness and, most of all, great hooks.

As we look through the highlights of their recorded works, Cheap Trick’s the albums uncover a long and fruitful legacy. sticking to just their studio albums for the moment discounting their best selling album, 1979’s “Live At Budokhan”. So many gems from their vast catalogue.

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In Another World (2021)

Rick Neilsen says The more I hear it, the more I like it. When you’re doing it, I don’t compare it to this or that unless it’s a direct steal from somebody or a direct steal from ourselves. We started it on Big Machine, and then as we were doing it, BMG Records wanted it. What’s this, record companies clamouring over us? We’ve been around so long, we’re never going to be the next new thing. We don’t know how to dance. We’d lose on American Idol or any of those shows. We’d never make it. But, they get what we do. There was no interference.

I like the rock stuff. “Summer Looks Good On You,” that’s a fun one. I like “Boys & Girls & Rock ‘n’ Roll.” They’re all kind of different.

I think we’re respected because we never gave up. We made every mistake there is — we’ve had success, we’ve had failure, but we keep going. To me, that’s success, the fact that we’ve done 6,000 shows and played seven nights a week, for no money, in awful places. But we always believe in ourselves. In Another World is out via BMG Records on April 9th.

Cheap Trick At Budokan (1979)

Rick Nielsen: We were starting to get some popularity because of playing with Queen and Kiss, the tours in ’77. When we played with Queen, we opened up two of the shows in Milwaukee and Madison. I think Thin Lizzy was supposed to open for them, but I’m glad they didn’t because we got the chance to open for them. The Japanese press were there for Queen, because they were huge there. But the Japanese press liked us, too. After the show, they asked me to write an article, what’s it like to tour with Queen. I’m so full of crap, I’ll write anything. What do I know? We used to make fun of every band, and Queen was one of them. But we didn’t on those two nights.

After I wrote the article, it came out in Japan and we started getting fan mail. And there were caricatures of ourselves in the Japanese magazines. We were kind of easy to draw funny. And then we had a number one hit with “Clock Strikes Ten.” And it’s like, only in Japan! Holy cow, what a great place. And then we started getting more and more fan mail. We hadn’t even been there. But I thought they were the smartest country on Earth.

So, in ’78, around the “Heaven Tonight” record, we went there, and it was like Beatlemania for us. They loved Cheap Trick! We flew coach from Chicago, and here were 5,000 kids when we landed. I thought, “Who in the heck’s on this plane?” We were in the back of the plane, a little late getting off. They were standing on top of the terminal screaming, and it’s like, “Wow, gee, careful there.” After we go through customs, the security people put us in these taxi cabs, and all these taxi cabs chased us from the airport all the way to where our hotel was. People were screaming, hanging out the windows. It was like, “Wow, this is cool.”

At that time, it was Tom and myself in one room, and Bun E. and Rob in the other room. We were sharing rooms then, but it was better than the U.S. because we’d probably be sharing a room for four people instead of two and two.

Every show we had was sold out. We didn’t know what the Budokan was. The Budokan made us famous, but we made the Budokan famous. I think Robin said, “Here’s a song from our new album,” and it was.

At Budokan

‘The Doctor’ (1986)

‘The Doctor’ is the sound of a rock ‘n’ roll band completely lost in the maze of mid-’80s production (courtesy of Tony Platt). Synth-driven rhythms, castrated guitars and dated gimmickry make this the band’s nadir. It’s not even so much that the songs are terrible, but it still sounds more like a bad Cars record than Cheap Trick. After a few poor-selling albums, the band was under pressure to deliver a hit, but despite efforts, it backfired.

The Doctor