World Party – Bang!

World PartyBang! by World Party holds the distinction of being the first ever CD I owned. To be honest I can’t remember if I bought it or received it as a gift. I know I got it round about Christmas time. Not I never said that this was the first album I had (I think that goes to the Technotronic remix album Trip On This! on cassette, which I played so much my clock/radio/cassette player chewed it up). When Bang! was released in 1993 I was a radio devotee, listening to it constantly when I went to bed around 10pm to midnight and beyond. Then I would listen in the morning before I got up and on the bus journey to and from school. Round about that time I heard songs from great albums by U2 (Achtung Baby) and R.E.M. (Out Of Time). Also my favourite Bowie song was released, “Jump (They Say)” (from the under-rated Black Tie White Noise), so it was a time of discovery and exploration for me and music.

I heard “Is It Like Today?” on the radio at some point, and I also managed to wangle a loan of Now That’s What I Call Music 24 off someone at school which was swiftly dubbed onto cassette. Looking at the track listing now, it’s amazing the shit we used to listen to. But the World Party song was enough for me to nag my parents into getting me a CD (!) for my birthday (that’s more likely; Bang! was released in April 1993, four months before my 13th birthday). The song itself is a delicately strummed, acoustic song that had a melody that imprinted itself in my memory forever. It has a bustling sound, with piano and electric guitars chiming in from all angles and harmonies that make the song sound like it’s swirling around me. Of course, my love for this one song has overshadowed the rest of the album. Considering this was the only album I had on CD for months, I listened to the whole thing on repeat many, many times. That said “All I Gave” and “Kingdom Come” are all top songs, especially with the latter’s charming lyrics (“you should pick the politician up/kick his bum”).

Elsewhere, “Rescue Me” has a blisteringly, moody guitar solo, “Radio Days” is darker (and samples a Kellogs Crunchy Nut advert if my memory serves me right) and “Hollywood” has a glossy pop feel. Some of the tracks don’t work though, “Give It All Away” has a great mid-section, but is too long. “And God Said…” is funny the first time, but could’ve been left off the album to no ill effect. I suppose it’s hard for me to be truly judgemental of this album. It’s ingrained into my youth, I can’t help but see images of my early teens when I listen to this album. And, me being me, it makes me regret somethings. I wish I’d been more into music when I was younger. I friggin’ loved the R.E.M. songs I heard on the radio, so why did I wait until 1993 to nag my mum and dad into getting me Automatic For The People. I loved “Enjoy The Silence” so why didn’t I try and get a hold of Violator. Why didn’t I borrow my older cousin’s music. I can only imagine how it would have sounded hearing My Bloody Valentine and the Pixes when I was 11 instead of 21. Instead, I have to count my blessings that I did hear what I heard at that time.

World Party – Is It Like Today?:

World Party – All I Gave:

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