World Party was formed in 1986 when Karl Wallinger left The Waterboys to focus on his own desire to craft wistful Brit-pop in the style of Revolver-era Beatles. After scoring a minor hit on U.S. college radio in 1987 with “Ship of Fools”, 1990’s Goodbye Jumbo brought the band as close as they would come to larger scale success away from their homeland. “Way Down Now” is the highlight of the album and of the entire World Party catalog. Hell, it’s a highlight of the 90’s – sloppy and perfect and just gloriously catchy from start to finish. Not only that, it’s one of the few songs that I fell in love with as an awkward mid-teen that I still love as much now as an adult. Whenever I have conversations about my favorites songs of all time, “Way Down Now” inevitably surfaces. Perhaps a bit too “British” for wider American audiences (with its “faceless gits” and backing “woo-hoo’s” that sound like they’re lifted straight off the vinyl grooves of the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil”), the song seems to be lost in time. I have little doubt that had “Way Down Now” been released alongside “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “The Kids Are Alright” we’d be talking about a classic of the British Invasion.
MP3 :: Way Down Now
(from Goodbye Jumbo. Buy here)
Wallinger hasn’t brought World Party across the pond much recently, but apparently the band will embark on their most extensive U.S. tour since 2006 later this year, including some SXSW dates and a handful of shows at Joe’s Pub in NY. There is also a 4 or 5 CD compilation being put together that will collect demos, unreleased tracks, and live recordings to be released the spring. Check out the 1990 video for “Way Down Now” here: