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The most exciting music news imaginable...


LC

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... for me, anyway: The return of World Party. I don't think there's anything that could happen in music that I'd find this exciting these days, except for A) a Beatles reunion, well, okay, a newly discovered Beatles recording; B) another Raspberries reunion or a new Eric album and tour.

Anyway, World Party (i.e., Karl Wallinger) has a five- (5!)-CD collection coming out in April. According to www.worldparty.net, it's got "new songs, live recordings, cover versions, lots of pictures, and 'The Amazing Any-Year Diary' [whatever that may be]." AWESOME!

Wallinger has overcome a serious health issue (brain aneurysm in 2001), and I know he had to cancel a mini-tour last fall (it was to stop in Boston). So it's good to see that he's coming through with a long-promised multi-disc package.

Wallinger distilled Beatles influences as well as anyone, including Raspberries, ELO, Badfinger.... And where Raspberries and EC solo music has hints of Beach Boys and The Who, Wallinger's music has hints of Dylan and the Stones.

A World Party classic:

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Marv,

Gladly! The one that caught my ear — and that I'd still rank as their best, top to bottom — is Goodbye Jumbo, from 1990. It's got several keepers, including "When the Rainbow Comes" and "Take It Up" (both of which are among the most inspiring, uplifting songs I've ever heard) and "Way Down Now" (kind of "Sympathy for the Devil"-ish). And I love "God on My Side" and "Sweet Soul Dream."

And... I don't know if any song sums up a broken relationship better than "And I Fell Back Alone." (The latter I sort of skipped past for a few years, because it's a slow ballad in the midst of all these great uptempo, Beatlesque numbers. It only recently caught me, and now I find it to be a masterpiece.)

So I'd go for "Goodbye Jumbo" first. Listen to it on headphones....

That said, there are some absolutely killer tracks on other World Party discs that I would hate for you to miss. To wit:

* From 1986's Private Revolution: "Ship of Fools" and "World Party"

* From 1993's Bang!: "Kingdom Come" (very Dylanesque, and maybe my favorite of all World Party songs) and "What Is Love All About?" (nice groove)

* From 1997's Egyptology: "She's the One," "Call Me Up," and especially "Hercules" (a really slow blues) and "Rolling Off a Log." Egyptology is very close to Goodbye Jumbo, IMHO, as a top-to-bottom classic.

* From 2000's Dumbing Up: "Here Comes the Future" (awesome!) and "Another 1000 Years" ("Baby You're a Rich Man"-ish) and "You're a Hurricane, I'm a Caravan" (great Dylanesque ballad). Also: "Always on my Mind," an 8-minute opus that's hard to explain.... Actually, I'd probably put Dumbing Up on a par with Goodbye Jumbo. It was reissued in 2006 with a slightly altered track listing and a DVD with videos. Get the 2006 one....

• 2007's Best in Show is a best-of compilation. Its also a good intro to World Party, except... you know how best-of CDs can sometimes leave out "mandatory" songs (like Jackson Browne did with his first one...)? This one is missing several tracks that I love (including "Kingdom Come" and "Hercules"). Yet it's still very strong, which speaks to the whole WP catalog.

Best,

LC

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Marv,

I re-read your question... I hope I answered it. It's tough to pick a "definitive" World Party CD, in the same way I'd have trouble choosing between Fresh, Side 3, and Overnight Sensation as the definitive 'berries album, or between Hard Day's Night, Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Abbey Road as the definitive Beatles record.

But I guess I'd stick by Goodbye Jumbo, mainly because "When the Rainbow Comes," "Take Me Up," "Way Down Now," and "Put the Message in the Box" are so strong. That said, if you aren't familiar with too much of the WP catalog, you'll enjoy discovering every album within.

Karl Wallinger has such a great voice -- he reminds me a lot of Lennon — and like McCartney, he plays guitar left-handed. And he's clearly a literate, intelligent guy who grew up absorbing the best of the legends of rock'n'roll and pop music.

--LC

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok This is my first post but I know how exciting it is when one of your favorite artist is putting out new material. I have been following World Party and Karl Wallinger since Private Revolution and am also so psyched for his new release!

I have been following Eric ever since I bought the 45 All By Myself and then saw him on American Bandstand. That was it! I went to the reunion show in NY a few years ago and was just in awe. I didn't move for 2 hours to get a drink or even use the bathroom..I didn't want to miss a thing! I had goosebumps when he sang...that is how good he is. I hope he knows what a gift he truly has.

Anyway, also looking forward to the new World Party release and hope that Karl comes around again real soon

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Atta-girl, Goodbye Girl! In the same way I've always felt sort of alone in being a Raspberries fan (well, up until Bernie launched this site, anyway), I've also felt a little lonely as a World Party fan. I remember getting turned on to WP when a friend of mine started raving about the Goodbye Jumbo album in the early 1990s. That particular friend, who I've lost touch with, actually grew up in England and was a boyhood buddy of Jeff Lynne's, and was also a huge Beatles fan, so we were on the same page... all of which is to say that when he raved about something, I'd listen.

Anyway, I gave Goodbye Jumbo a spin and loved it, although at the time, my job (music magazine editor) forced me to listen to tons of other music, so I didn't dig into WP's then-short back catalog. Then I stumbled upon an outdoor World Party concert at a music-industry conference in Orlando in 1993 and was blown away by the sound and the songs. Yet I somehow let several years go by before I started down the path of acquiring every World Party CD that was available. (Bang!, Egyptology, and Dumbing Up had come out in the interim.)

However... I finally caught up in the early 2000s. And over the past five years or so, I've come to the conclusion that Karl Wallinger is a pop genius. IMHO, of course.

I'd love to hear your assessment of the World Party catalog in response to Marvin's original question (What World Party CD would you recommend for starters?). These were my thoughts again (if you don't mind me quoting myself):

The one that caught my ear — and that I'd still rank as their best, top to bottom — is Goodbye Jumbo, from 1990. It's got several keepers, including "When the Rainbow Comes" and "Take It Up" (both of which are among the most inspiring, uplifting songs I've ever heard) and "Way Down Now" (kind of "Sympathy for the Devil"-ish). And I love "God on My Side" and "Sweet Soul Dream."

And... I don't know if any song sums up a broken relationship better than "And I Fell Back Alone." (The latter I sort of skipped past for a few years, because it's a slow ballad in the midst of all these great uptempo, Beatlesque numbers. It only recently caught me, and now I find it to be a masterpiece.)

So I'd go for "Goodbye Jumbo" first. Listen to it on headphones....

That said, there are some absolutely killer tracks on other World Party discs that I would hate for you to miss. To wit:

* From 1986's Private Revolution: "Ship of Fools" and "World Party"

* From 1993's Bang!: "Kingdom Come" (very Dylanesque, and maybe my favorite of all World Party songs) and "What Is Love All About?" (nice groove)

* From 1997's Egyptology: "She's the One," "Call Me Up," and especially "Hercules" (a really slow blues) and "Rolling Off a Log." Egyptology is very close to Goodbye Jumbo, IMHO, as a top-to-bottom classic.

* From 2000's Dumbing Up: "Here Comes the Future" (awesome!) and "Another 1000 Years" ("Baby You're a Rich Man"-ish) and "You're a Hurricane, I'm a Caravan" (great Dylanesque ballad). Also: "Always on my Mind," an 8-minute opus that's hard to explain.... Actually, I'd probably put Dumbing Up on a par with Goodbye Jumbo. It was reissued in 2006 with a slightly altered track listing and a DVD with videos. Get the 2006 one....

• 2007's Best in Show is a best-of compilation. Its also a good intro to World Party, except... you know how best-of CDs can sometimes leave out "mandatory" songs (like Jackson Browne did with his first one...)? This one is missing several tracks that I love (including "Kingdom Come" and "Hercules"). Yet it's still very strong, which speaks to the whole WP catalog.

Best,

LC

PS: Thanks for signing up and posting — and welcome to the board!

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Ok, I will do my best but I know my thoughts will not translate as well into writing! Karl gives us a great amount of material to work with. To introduce someone to World Party, I would probably recommend Goodbye Jumbo and that is mostly due to its commercial success. I wouldn't count it as my favorite though, I tend to go for the more obscure things.

Private Revolution- I remember seeing Ship of Fools on MTV when they played videos. The style and sound was everything I liked so I went from there. I also started going through the Waterboys back catalog as well.

Goodbye Jumbo- Again, the most commercially successful cd with many good tracks.

Bang- This cd starts out with Kingdom Come which is a great song. It has many other standout tracks as well. Too many to list..just listen to the whole thing!

Egyptology- Contains one of the most beautiful songs ever entitled She's The One. Too bad Robbie Williams takes all the credit for this one, and I like Robbie by the way! I read somewhere that Karl recieved residuals from the success of this song which helped him out when he was recovering from his aneurysm. Call Me Up is another great tune...I love hearing Karl on the piano.

Dumbing Up- Funny because Dumbing Up has been playing in my car for the past 2 weeks or so. Here Comes the Future is just a great song, along with Another 1000 Years and See The Light. I really thing that alot of their music is an acquired taste. You introduce yourself to the "poppier" songs first and then really discover all of the layers underneath that is truly World Party.

By the way, Jeff Lynne was my absolute idol growing up! ELO has an awesome back catalog to unravel as well! My Dad took me to my first concert ever when I was in 7th grade..it was ELO on the Out of the Blue tour. Don't remember much as it was years ago but i do remember that it was the first time that I smelled pot!

Thank you for welcoming me!

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Oh, and speaking of Robbie Williams stealing the thunder from Karl Wallinger, here's another one that really bothers me as well as fellow Eric Carmen fans as well. Why is it that whenever someone challenges themself to sing "All By Myself" on American Idol the judges refer to it as Celine Dion's song? This makes my blood boil!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good post, Goodbye GIrl. Thank you! Like you, I do think that Goodbye Jumbo is the most accessible World Party record but I also find myself getting into the more obscure songs, including those you mentioned. And I also have had Dumbing Up playing in my car for about two weeks. (I just received a new copy to replace my recently scratched original one; I got it for a penny on eBay. Great deal, but it's almost insulting to the CD to pay so little. That would be like buying the Mona Lisa for $100.

Also, we've had some nice threads on ELO here. PaulMaul started a good one in which he asked a similar question --- which ELO CDs were the ones to buy for someone just starting? A few of us gave him all kinds of advice. I'll try to find that link and bump it.

Jeff Lynne is a great talent and songwriter. It's funny how he doesn't "work" as a solo act (commercially speaking) like he does as ELO's leader. I loved his 1990/91 solo album, the one with the song "Now You're Gone." Beautiful stuff.... Anyway, ELO was the first rock concert I ever saw, back on the 1977 tour (Buffalo). What a spectacle it was, as you know.

Best,

LC

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Good post, Goodbye GIrl. Thank you! Like you, I do think that Goodbye Jumbo is the most accessible World Party record but I also find myself getting into the more obscure songs, including those you mentioned. And I also have had Dumbing Up playing in my car for about two weeks. (I just received a new copy to replace my recently scratched original one; I got it for a penny on eBay. Great deal, but it's almost insulting to the CD to pay so little. That would be like buying the Mona Lisa for $100.

Also, we've had some nice threads on ELO here. PaulMaul started a good one in which he asked a similar question --- which ELO CDs were the ones to buy for someone just starting? A few of us gave him all kinds of advice. I'll try to find that link and bump it.

Jeff Lynne is a great talent and songwriter. It's funny how he doesn't "work" as a solo act (commercially speaking) like he does as ELO's leader. I loved his 1990/91 solo album, the one with the song "Now You're Gone." Beautiful stuff.... Anyway, ELO was the first rock concert I ever saw, back on the 1977 tour (Buffalo). What a spectacle it was, as you know.

Best,

LC

LC, I also enjoyed Jeff's solo album, "Armchair Theatre." You'll be happy to know that Jeff is apparently FINALLY releasing a follow-up sometime in 2012. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Hey, thanks Marvin! I hadn't heard anything about a new Lynne project. And what better place to find out about it than this thread -- given the title "most exciting music news imaginable..."? For me, new World Party and new Jeff Lynne in one year (on the heels of a new McCartney) is as good as it gets in these post-Raspberries days. :-)

Armchair Theatre definitely deserved a bit more attention. A friend of mine sang backup on a couple of the songs, and the way he described the "Now You're Gone" sessions --- wow! It supposedly was magical to be there, hearing it all unfold. He reported a sort of mysticism, with that pronounced Indian influence and unusual (for a pop record) instruments and all these layers of vocals. Very haunting, and always worth a listen:

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  • 1 month later...

Just ordered it...can't wait to listen!
Just ordered World Party, or ELO?

I know WP's new one is pre-ordering on Amazon.... I will follow suit and go get it, too.

When the rainbow comes....

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I have been listening to Arkeology for the last few days and still haven't gotten to the last and final disc 5. What can I say? So nice to hear a "new" release from Karl Wallinger since I admire him so. Interesting but for World Party fans only I think, due to what I feel are many filler songs that did not make it to previous World Party releases. Just my thoughts so far...need much more time to absorb all of the material. With 5 cd's, it is alot of music to cover so I will be working on my "favorites" list soon. Anyway, glad you are back Karl

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