Viper Records [Release date 22.01.21]
It was 30 years ago today that World Goes Round recorded their one and only album (Ed: we might be a year or two out). This supremely talented array of artists, whose names (almost) always fell below the fold, are unarguably the adult pop genre’s most famous unknown band.
Individually and collectively, Frank Musker, Elizabeth Lamers, Jeff Hull and Marty Walsh wrote hit songs for a multitude of acts, including high profile artists like Heart, Susannah Hoffs, Queen, Cher and Eric Clapton.
Together with producer Tommy Vicari (Prince, Jeffrey Osborne, Philip Bailey, Billy Preston and many others) they recorded this album and went their separate ways. It’s now been dusted down and polished up.
It’s unquestionably born of time and place. And is the sound that came to define the second half of the eighties. It was a modern, new wave influenced, blue eyed soul album with a distinctive pop flavouring.
Vicari keeps the arrangements deceptively simple, giving the music an all round accessibility and space between. By the end of ‘Rebel Heart’ and ‘Joy& Pain’, we’re already knee deep in synthesisers and drum machines. It sounded like the future in 1989. By ‘Put It On The Line’, we’re adjusting. The song’s soulfully sleek programming, punctuated by the funky, syncopated guitar style of Nile Rodgers, is a perfect fit for this album.
Vicari’s production is crystal clear, 3 dimensional, you can hear the words, every one. And despite its provenance, it doesn’t sound sterile. Vicari works the programming consoles like a Simon Rattle at the rostrum, expertly wielding the baton, creating a rich panoply of sounds.And the music is full of little love stories (the Bangles-ish ‘Once Around The Sun’ is a peach), threaded with visionary pieces like ‘Big House’ that warn us of Global Warming. No decade should be without its socially aware pop songs, it would seem.
By the mournful ‘Please Please’ and the Mr Mister lookalike, ‘Puttin Down Roots’, we’re fully tuned in, and being later turned on by the compact sophistication of the rhythmically intricate ballad ‘Can’t let Go’, and the upbeat AOR of ‘Round The World’, an outlier that recalls the commercial nous of Jefferson Starship.
To quote a cliché, this album is a blast from the past. And un-cliche-like, it succeeds in reminding us just how stylish and innovative the past could be. ***1/2
Review by Brian McGowan
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 February, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 7 February 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 26 January 2021.
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
Featured Albums w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 RADAR Lost In The Atlantic (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 DURBIN The Beast Awakens (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN – The Darkest Days Are The Brightest (InsideOut Music)
Power Plays w/c 22 February 2021 (Mon-Fri)
DEAD REYNOLDS Bright Lights
ALLY VENABLE Road To Nowhere
JASON SWEENEY She’s A Fighter
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!