|Genres||Alternative rock, indie pop, folk rock, power pop, psychedelic pop|
|Years active||1986-2000, 2012-2015|
|Labels||Ensign, Chrysalis, Papillon|
|Associated acts||Robbie Williams|
|Website||World Party website|
|Past members||Dave Catlin-Birch|
After a stint as musical director of a West End performance of The Rocky Horror Show, Karl Wallinger joined a funk band called "The Out", before joining Mike Scott's Waterboys in 1984 to record the album A Pagan Place. After their third album in 1985, This Is the Sea, Wallinger departed to form World Party.
Recorded at Wallinger's home in 1986, his debut album Private Revolution yielded two minor hits in the UK, "Private Revolution" and "Ship of Fools". "Ship Of Fools", however, did much better outside the UK — it reached no. 4 in Australia, no. 21 in New Zealand, and no. 27 in the US, in the process becoming the act's only major international hit.
Between World Party's first and second albums, Wallinger aided Sinéad O'Connor in recording her 1988 debut, The Lion and the Cobra. O'Connor, then an unknown, had appeared as a guest on World Party's first album. She would go on to appear as a guest on the second LP as well.
Goodbye Jumbo, World Party's second album, contained the minor UK hit singles "Way Down Now" and "Put the Message in the Box". Wallinger collaborated with fellow songwriter Guy Chambers on some of the tracks. Goodbye Jumbo was voted "album of the year" by Q magazine and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "best alternative music performance" in the US.
After the 1991 EP Thank You World, Wallinger recruited guitarist David Catlin-Birch and ex-Icicle Works drummer Chris Sharrock as fully-fledged members for 1993's album Bang!. It reached no. 2 in the UK Albums Chart, with the track, "Is It Like Today?" (no. 19 on the UK Singles Chart) also becoming a moderately successful single in Europe. Following the success of Bang! World Party appeared at the Glastonbury Festival in 1994, at which they had previously played in 1987 and 1990.
Their fourth album, Egyptology (1997), written following the death of Wallinger's mother, was commercially unsuccessful, although "She's the One" won an Ivor Novello Award and was subsequently recorded by Robbie Williams. Sharrock left the group after the recording of this album, leaving Wallinger on his own. Wallinger took a three-year break from World Party, before the release of Dumbing Up in 2000. However, in February 2001 he suffered an aneurysm that left him unable to speak.
After a five-year rehabilitation, in 2006 Wallinger re-emerged onto the scene. With his back catalogue reclaimed from EMI, a distribution deal was agreed (via his own Seaview label) with Universal, and he played his first live show in a decade at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, USA. He played additional US dates in 2006 including the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. Big Blue Ball, a joint project with Peter Gabriel with production work by Stephen Hague was also released.
In 2009 World Party toured the west coast of the USA, and appeared at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival and San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.
In 2012 World Party released a new five-CD/70-song collection of new songs, live recordings and cover versions titled Arkeology to critical acclaim. World Party toured extensively in America in 2012, and toured England for the first time in 12 years, ending with an appearance in November 2012 in London at the Royal Albert Hall.
Live dates and tours followed through 2015, and a 2013 UK show was issued as a 2CD set called World Party - Live!. World Party has not toured, released new material, or updated their website since the end of their 2015 North American tour.
Karl Wallinger - vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, programming (1985-2000, 2012-2015)
Wallinger cites influences such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Junior Walker, Neil Young and Prince. He sings and plays most of the instruments himself, using multi-tracking to create the studio sound. Lyrically, many of his songs feature thoughtful and occasionally political sentiments.
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
- World Party Live! (2014) (recorded live at the Picturedrome, Holmfirth, UK, April 2013)
Compilations & reissues
- A Brief History Of The World Party (1997) (greatest hits compilation - promotional release for Egyptology)
- Dumbing Up (2006) (limited edition with revised track listing and bonus DVD)
- Best in Show (2007) (greatest hits compilation)
- Arkeology (2012) (5-CD/70 song set of new songs, demos, outtakes, B-sides, alternate mixes, live tracks and radio sessions)
|1986||"Private Revolution"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Private Revolution|
|1987||"Ship of Fools"||42||4||—||65||21||27||—||5|
|"All Come True"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990||"Message in the Box"||39||86||—||—||—||—||8||33||Goodbye Jumbo|
|"Way Down Now"||66||—||—||17||—||—||1||21|
|1991||"Thank You World"||68||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993||"Is It Like Today?"||19||62||52||—||—||—||5||38||Bang!|
|"Give It All Away"||43||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"All I Gave"||37||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"She's the One" (promotional only)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Call Me Up" (promotional only)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000||"Here Comes the Future"||89||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Dumbing Up|
|2012||"Words!" (promotional only)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Arkeology|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
- Acoustic 05 (2005, Echo) — "She's the One"
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 1084. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- "Official Charts > World Party". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Australian chart peaks:
- Top 100 (Kent Music Report) peaks to 12 June 1988: Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives: Australian Chart Book. p. 343. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between mid-1983 and 12 June 1988.
- Top 50 (ARIA) chart peaks from 13 June 1988: "australian-charts.com > World Party in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Top 100 (ARIA) peaks from January 1990 to December 2010: Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 306.
- German chart peaks:
- "Dutch Charts > World Party in Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "charts.nz > World Party in Australian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "norwegiancharts.com > World Party in Norwegian Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "swedishcharts.com > World Party in Swedish Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "World Party Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 610. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "World Party Chart History > Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on 18 May 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "World Party Chart History > Alternative Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "World Party Chart History > Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.