World Party: You're All Invited to the Party (1990)

 |   |  1 min read

World Party: You're All Invited to the Party (1990)

Because he wrote She's the One which became a hit for Robbie Williams in 1999 -- and more so because he was sidelined for four years by a brain aneurysm in 2000 -- little has been heard of Karl Wallinger (who is the sole constant in World Party) since his creative peak in the mid Nineties.

At that time he'd cracked the Grammy-nominated album Goodbye Jumbo and followed it up with the equally good but slightly less successful Bang!

Wallinger -- who grew up in Wales and immersed himself in the music of the Beatles, Dylan and the Stones -- was a smart character (he's interviewed here) and a one-man band. When the Message in a Box single/EP from Goodbye Jumbo appeared it included a letter-perfect version of the Lennon-written Beatles' song Happiness is a Warm Gun from '68 which he'd recorded on authentic equipment from the period, and the Is It Like Today single/EP had a slow, melancholy version of McCartney's poppy World Without Love (a number one hit for Peter and Gordon in '64).

He did these . . .  because he could.

But also on the Message in a Box single/EP was You're All Invited to The Party (also as You're Invited to a Party on another single) which owed something to other sources, notably Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger.

Delivered in the manner of Jagger's Memo from Turner from the '68 movie Performance, it has a sneering and sullen tone coupled with a skewed Dylanesque narrative. It's also an oblique swipe at unpopular British prime minister Margaret Thatcher who was then in the death throes of her leadership. (She was defeated by a coup from within her Conservative Party in November '90.)

Wallinger hasn't recorded in many years but a look back at just how diverse, deep, original, ironic and yes, astutely derivative his music was at this time of Britpop (which he stood apart from with derision) is instructive.

He also "does Prince" in a couple of non-album singles . . . just because he could?

But that's another story . . .

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory sign up for your daily RSS feed of From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

Anthony - Feb 17, 2011

I read an interview with Karl a few years back and he said that Robbie Williams covering Shes The One was the greatest thing that ever happened as he was able to put his daughter through private school on the royalties

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse: Body and Soul (2011)

Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse: Body and Soul (2011)

Yes, March this year doesn't seem to be digging too far back in the vaults . . . and maybe even that notion of "vaults" might seem a little distasteful to some given Amy Winehouse dying... > Read more

Tim Hollier: Full Fathoms Five (1968)

Tim Hollier: Full Fathoms Five (1968)

The title of this song by an obscure and unfairly overlooked British psych-folkie would be familiar to followers of New Zealand music, and those who know the works of the Bard. The line comes... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Jack Bugg; Jake Bugg

THE BARGAIN BUY: Jack Bugg; Jake Bugg

When Jake Bugg played at the Powerstation earlier this year there was, for some, a sense of disappointment that he didn't exactly fire up. After all, here was another of Britain's young pretenders... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Robin Trower; Original Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: Robin Trower; Original Album Series

Funny how quickly some people can get written out of rock history. British guitarist Robin Trower once commanded considerable column inches in rock magazines and encyclopedias of the Seventies... > Read more