World Party ruled the groove to show something true in the pure pop throwback message of this sweet soul dream. After working on 'A Pagan Place' and 'This Is The Sea' with The Waterboys, Karl Wallinger left to form World Party, recording 'Private Revolution' at his home studio. As he was working on the followup, he acquired a studio space above a converted bakery in the Kings Cross section of London.
Wallinger reveals: "This was used as a fire watch-tower during the war. It was post-apocalyptic when we moved in, uninhabitable, but it was a dedicated space for a studio, which was something I'd never had before - you know, somewhere to have a studio clock and red and green 'recording' lights...We had this kind of beauty parade of people who do the insides of studios. One guy just wanted to clad the whole thing in fibreglass wool. Another guy asked us what colour we wanted it, which wasn't very technical of him. But then a great guy called Nick Whitaker appeared and he had a computer which analysed the rooms, and he said, 'if you just stick a box here and a box there, it'll be fine.' ... This [mixing] desk came up, offered for a ridiculously small price, sight unseen. It's from 1975 - state-of-the-art for then. The Clash did 'London Calling' on it and Mike Batt did the Wombles on it, and 'Never Mind the Bollocks' was mixed on it. It was just an old desk out of an old studio, and it looked like chickens had lived in it - but it was a great, vibey object. I didn't even know if it would work. It came through the window on a 100ft crane which I didn't see, because I didn't want to be here to watch it...I liked the idea that you could make yourself a fantasy version of Studio Two at Abbey Road and then conduct your business in whatever way you wanted: if you wanted to pretend you were George Martin and the Beatles, you could indulge it. We went through three copies of the Mark Lewisohn book about the Beatles' recording sessions. We thumbed through them until they fell apart, looking at the pictures and seeing the screens and drum positionings and mike positionings, and re- creating it, because that must be a good way to do it. It sounds obsessive, but it's just a pleasurable way of doing things - working and living out a childhood fantasy at the same time."
'Goodbye Jumbo' was engineered and produced by Karl Wallinger who did lead vocals and most of the instruments except for Guy Chambers on drums, guitar, synthesizer, harmonium, and piano, Jerod on acoustic guitar, Jeff Trott on 12 string, electric, and slide guitar; Sophia Ramos and Sinead O’Connor on backing vocals. Chris Whitten on drums; Steve Wickham on violin; Martyn Swain on bass; and Roy J. Morgan on tambourine. Joe Blaney assisted with engineering and Tim Young did the editing and mastering.
Once again, Wallinger channels his musical heroes like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Prince: “Yes, an appropriate voice does seem to come out, doesn’t it? I don’t have specific voice and certainly don’t think, ‘Oh, I’ll write one like this.’ Afterwards I do get disappointed if people can’t hear I’ve actually written something as honestly created as anything else. But growing up on the Beatles, Beach Boys and Stones, it is highly likely you’ll find some reference to their styles...And sometimes there’s just a general playfulness about it – and in-jokes. I like toying with cultural references and making them amusing. Music is so serious today. Too much so. It could be more fun. And I’m not talking about having to be wacky like Madness, because that’s so simplistic and like musical slapstick...I like subtlety and can’t see why music can’t be witty or whimsical...On ['Goodbye Jumbo'] I was able to do things I’d wanted to do all my life to recapture that excitement of my first decade in music. A song like Message in the Box couldn’t have cropped up on 'Private Revolution'. And it isn’t on 'Bang!' because now I have gone through that gate and there is new terrain for me to explore without having to reference the co-ordinates quite so precisely...Maybe people only enjoyed Goodbye Jumbo because it arrived at a particular time when there looked like there was going to be a 60s revival ... It's like, 'There's this guy who writes songs — they seem to be about God, or are they about the world?' I don't know really. I'd like people to make up their own minds. I just believe in the power of the twenty-four-track studio...I don't feel amazingly well educated. I just feel like an enthusiast — a world watcher, really. It's not just the Beatles. I'm trying to piece together the whole thing. I need, like, the session books for mankind. You know what I mean? How did Jesus record his songs? How did the Israelites get that trumpet sound when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down — and can I get it on an S900? You know? No, because it'd blow my speakers."
'Goodbye Jumbo' went to number seventy-three in the US. The album was voted "album of the year" by Q magazine and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance.
"Way Down Now" went all the way up to number one on the US modern rock tracks chart.
"Put the Message in the Box" drove its way to number thirty-nine in the UK and number eight on the US modern rock tracks chart.
"When the Rainbow Comes"
"Show Me to the Top"
"Thank You World"
"Is It Too Late?" – 4:24
"Way Down Now" – 3:49
"When the Rainbow Comes" – 4:58
"Put the Message in the Box" – 4:16
"Ain't Gonna Come Till I'm Ready" – 5:05
"And I Fell Back Alone" – 3:57
"Take It Up" – 4:37
"God on My Side" – 4:14
"Show Me to the Top" – 5:15
"Love Street" – 4:21
"Sweet Soul Dream" – 4:39
"Thank You World" – 3:47