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November 21st, 2012 JEFF ROSENBERG | Music Stories
 

Primer: World Party

music_karlwallingerworldparty_3903WALLINGER - IMAGE: Art Siegel
Born: In Prestatyn, Wales, in 1957.

Formed: In 1986 in London.

Sounds like: Beatlesque melodies and gentle-Jagger vocals mixed with Neil Young-aspiring lyrics and Prince-ly production touches.

For fans of: The Waterboys, classic rock and pop, mystical-political-philosophical songwriting, one-man bands, traumatic brain injury recovery.

Latest release: Arkeology, a five-disc (!) box set of previously unreleased material, issued earlier this year.

Why you care: After helping Mike Scott launch the Waterboys—that’s him singing, “Oh oh oh, did you see the whole of the moon?” over the fade of the band’s biggest hit, “The Whole of the Moon”—Karl Wallinger decamped to his basement, alone, to fashion World Party's 1987 debut, appropriately dubbed Private Revolution. “Ship of Fools” was an MTV staple, its Koyaanisqatsi-esque video depicting humanity headed for moral and physical collapse. The Grammy-nominated Goodbye Jumbo, sporting the delightfully anthemic single “Put the Message in the Box,” followed in 1990. Over three subsequent albums, interest dwindled, but what nearly wrecked the Party was a 2001 brain aneurysm rendering Wallinger unable to speak or walk for five years. The April release of the Arkeology box is an ambitious ploy to re-energize his fans, and possibly reach new ones, though it’s a pretty hefty entry-level investment. Novices should explore those nifty first two albums, and proceed from there.


SEE IT: World Party plays Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., with the Windsor Player, on Monday, Nov. 26. 9 pm. $22 advance, $24 day of show. 21+.

 
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