World Party – Arkeology

January 01, 1970

(Seaview/Piccadilly
Records)

 

 

www.piccadillyrecords.com

 

 

Considering the
fact that World Party’s place in the Rock firmament provided them with modest
standing at best, this imaginatively packaged five disc set of outtakes, live
tracks, radio sessions, demos, unreleased efforts and brand new recordings
seems like some auspicious homage indeed. While their five albums, released
over the course of the past 25 years, seems somewhat sparse by comparison —
this one box effectively bests the sum total of their output so far — Arkeology achieves all it sets out to accomplish,
that is, to put the spotlight squarely where it belongs, on the band’s resident
genius Karl Wallinger and the solid song craft that remains largely
ignored. 

 

 

Here, within the
context of more than five dozen odds and sods, Wallinger’s music not only gets
vetted like never before, but his ambitions are set at full throttle. In many
cases, he’s the sole performer, and even when he isn’t, it’s still clear that
inspiration comes mostly from him. There’s humor, earnest endeavor, talent and
clear tenacity; after all, it takes a certain amount of resilience to persevere
when only a modest fan following bears witness. Given all this evidence,
ignoring him now comes with the risk of missing out entirely, given the
consistent quality that Wallinger and his World Party put forth. It’s almost
ironic that they seem so partial to covers — the Beatles and Bob Dylan are
particular favorites, although a live take on Sly and the Family Stone’s
“Stand” is a special treat — because when grouped with the originals, their
own material’s no worse for wear. If Paul McCartney’s “Man We Was Lonely”
stands up to scrutiny via Wallinger’s rendition, so too, his own songs —
“Photograph,” “She’s The One,” “Waiting Such a Long, Long Time” and “Ship Of
Fools,” to name but a few examples — sound none the worse by comparison.
Likewise, a stoic take on “Like A Rolling Stone” helps spark a Dylan-esque vibe
in the tracks that surround it.

 

If anything here
seems over the top, it’s the packaging itself, a notebook filled with
calendars, photos and a ready-made diary that waits to be filled. Track
listings are adequate, but there’s little in the way of liner notes or
explanation, save the musician credits and Wallinger’s hastily scribbled intro.
But that’s quibbling. With this rich variety of music, Arkeology is a treasure trove waiting to be
unearthed.

 

 

DOWNLOAD: “Photograph,” “She’s the One,” “Ship of
Fools” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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