World Party had a Top 40 hit while I was in high school, pushing into the hallowed portion of the U.S. charts with “Ship of Fools,” their first single. Presumably, then, that song and the album it derives from, Private Revolution, represent the high water mark for the band Karl Wallinger started after he walked away from the Waterboys. My memory shapes the history a little differently, though.
I remain highly susceptible to mentally enhancing the value of those albums that arrived sometimes during my first couple of years at my college radio station. That’s partially due to nostalgia, but it also has something to do with the counting stat of plain exposure. I probably played every last song from World Party’s sophomore album, Goodbye Jumbo, multiple times on the radio. And those songs that were station favorites, like the single “Put the Message in the Box,” may very well have inspired me to jot in into my playlists dozens of times.
I don’t think World Party’s music sounds much like anything else that forcefully grabbed our attention back then. It’s happy psychedelia sort of stood on its own. Yet, it’s that very distinctiveness that makes it fully representative of that era to me. A flood of droning guitar garage was about to rush in, but for a little while yet, it felt like the music in our heavy rotation could go just about anywhere.
Listen or download –> World Party, “Put the Message in the Box”
(Disclaimer: Look, I barely even tried to research this one, I was so wary of being proved wrong. But the quickest of passes makes it look to me like Goodbye Jumbo is currently out of print as a physical object that an be procured from your favorite local, independently-owned record store. I share this here and now with the belief that doing so causes no undue fiscal harm to deserving parties and, hey, just might inspire someone to seek out some of the band’s music for legitimate purchase. Even so, I will gladly and promptly remove this file from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any entity or individual with due authority to make such a request.)