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Customer Review

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Keys to Seaview Studio Vaults..., 5 May 2012
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This review is from: Arkeology (MP3 Download)
I had long given up hope of there being a new World Party album emerging. Karl Wallinger was never one to rush out releases with Beatles' regularity, but when his new albums arrived, they were always worth the wait. World Party have become one of those almost forgotten bands of the late eighties and nineties, who are rarely referenced these days, although I do still hear Message in the Box played on radio two from time to time. It can be easy to forget what a huge success they were in their day, with Goodbye Jumbo being voted 1990's album of the year by Q Magazine.

Disaster struck some years back when Karl suffered a brain aneurysm, from which I gather he recovered, but was left with some perceptual difficulties, which made guitar playing a little more difficult. However, he played several tours in the States and in Australia in the mid noughties, and the band's 1998 album Dumbing Up was repackaged and re-released, and then... nothing.

Arkeology is like being left in Karl's studio overnight, and being given access to his whole library. There is 5 hours worth of music here, and quite a few bits and pieces will already be familiar to serious fans, having been on bootlegs and then freely available from Karl himself over the years, on his own websites. I recorded some of his BBC live appearances on old cassettes, which are now becoming unplayable. I also had some treasured CD and cassette singles, which had fantastic b-sides, such as the gorgeous Time on My Hands, and No More Crying. All these are here.

There are a number of live versions - concert and radio studio - of the well known songs, which always had a great groove, and which were played differently to the studio versions. There are some fantastic stoned studio experiemental grooves, instumentals, and dance beats, and we are treated to some lovely examples of Karl's Beatlesque sense of humour, such as the George Formby like Silly Song, as well as some sublime covers. The cover of Dylan's Sweetheart Like You has always been a favourite.

But what will really be of interest to the fan will be those new tracks, dotted throughout the 5 CD's. It is easy to make up your own playlist of your favourite tunes from this collection, so you can assemble a 12 track new World Party CD, if you don't particularly want to listen to some of the live tracks regularly. Particular favourites of the new songs are the amazing Lost in Infinity, which has everything I have always loved about the epic songwriting of Wallinger - including several great extended loose guitar solos - and Trouble Down Here, which sounds like it should have been on the first WP album. Everybody's Falling in Love and Photograph are also real growers, with their immensely catchy choruses. These new songs alone have made the purchase worthwhile, but the whole project makes me feel extremely grateful to Karl for making all this material available again.

I wish him well, if he reads this, although I think he has a dislike of the internet and probably all things modern, like twitter, x factor and celebrity (don't we all?). I imagine him living a bucolic life out in the countryside somewhere, bimbling away in his studio when he feels like it. Karl - we love you! Please consider playing a few live gigs in the UK!

***NEWSFLASH*** June 28th 2012

In case any UK/European World Party fans weren't aware of this, a UK World Party tour has this week been announced. The band will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a night at the Albert Hall, London on 1st November. There are also several smaller provincial gigs being arranged too. Thank you world - Thank you Karl!!
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 May 2012 13:59:26 BDT
T. Keen says:
Why no trakc listing, Amazon? This is getting increasingly and annoyingly common....

Posted on 8 Jun 2012 10:23:02 BDT
M. Stevens says:
AN excellent review.... its a pity there have been problems with the packaging, delaying and delaying the release..... I finally get mine today!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 23:19:27 BDT
Eric Generic says:
What were the problems with the packaging? I ask because my set (from amazon) is very poorly produced...the CDs have rough edges and the whole thing is a bit flimsy (the paper sleeves for the discs were another bad idea). I was really looking forward to this set, so it's a shame.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 00:04:39 BDT
Mister Kite says:
I'm not sure what M Stevens means about the problems with packaging. My set of CD's did come in simple plain paper sleeves, but they each have a robust pocket to slip into inside the 'any year' diary. I failed to mention this, but the spiral bound diary , about 10" x5", is in my opinion a clever, witty and original concept. There are many rare World Party and other Karl related photos sprinked through out the yearbook, along with some philospohical and some witty Karl humoured entries (25th July is apparently Doo Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Doo Day!). Don't let this put you off the purchase - the packaging is fine, and more importantly, the actual music is what's important here!

Posted on 2 Dec 2012 09:41:13 GMT
D. K. Gullen says:
I was at the Albert Hall gig, and it was astonishing, fantastic, uplifting. I hope I don't have to wait 10 years for the next one.

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 19:04:24 BDT
Mr B. says:
I have a cassette tape recording of a live BBC radio one interview (Johnny Walker) and a couple of live tracks, I am going to stick em on YouTube so look out for that
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