Karl Wallinger - vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion; David Catlin Birch - guitar, vocals; Jeff Trott - guitar, vocals; Chris Sharrock- drums, vocals; John Turnbull - bass, vocals
World Party was marketed as a band when they emerged on the U.K. pop scene in 1987, but they were really just a musical vehicle for multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Karl Wallinger. This recording was taped at a show on the band's second U.S. tour when the band was promoting its Goodbye Jumbo album.
Wallinger got his professional start as the musical director for one of the early casts of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. From there he landed a gig with the critics' darling band, the Waterboys. After that band's initial success, he bolted for a solo career. Rather than calling it the Kurt Wallinger Band, he opted to name the project World Party after one of the songs on his debut LP. World Party would be a revolving door of musicians and musical ideas, with Wallinger always at the helm.
The group's first album was a collection of catchy pop songs openly inspired by the Beatles, the Stones, Prince, and Bob Dylan. When the single, "Ship Of Fools," became a global hit, Wallinger put together a touring band to promote the record. This was the group's return to the U.S. after a successful debut tour. Opening with "Private Revolution," the title track from the first LP, they move through a set of material from both that LP and Goodbye Jumbo. It is a shame that World Party never became worldwide superstars, because the music is exceptional.
Among the highlights are "When the Rainbow Comes," "Take It Up," "Is It Too Late?," "Thank You World," and, of course, "Ship of Fools," which closes things out.
World Party received rave reviews for Goodbye Jumbo and were nominated for a Grammy, but they still failed to have a big commercial breakthrough. They did two more albums, Bang! (1993) and Egyptology (1996), and then Wallinger was hit broadside with a brain aneurysm that left him unable to speak. To boot, his former A&R rep had taken one of his best songs, "She's The One," and gave it to Robbie Williams, who scored a #1 hit with it at the same time World Party's version was due out. In the end, the success of Williams' cover was a blessing; it kept money coming in while Wallinger regained his health.
World Party, with Wallinger fully recovered, returned to the music scene in 2000. Wallinger has since released a few albums and tours on occasion.