Gold Soundz: "Way Down Now"

If there’s a bigger cliché in music writing than calling a pop song “infectious” I’d like to hear it. No matter the true meaning of the word though, “Way Down Now” by World Party is totally infectious - a shimmering should-be classic that hit my ears around the height of grunge and couldn’t help but jump out amongst all those slow, plodding riffs. Karl Wallinger’s sole mission appeared to be channeling the entire British Invasion, especially Revolver-era Beatles. With “Way Down Now” he wrote a song that stands up nicely to that era.

“Way Down Now” was a minor alternative radio hit in the U.S. after its release. It was maybe too British for broader American popular taste, what with “faceless gets” and “Sympathy for the Devil”-aping “whoo-whoo’s” running amuck, so it never really crossed over to the mainstream. It’s a song that got lost in time. It missed its chance at a snug little spot between “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “The Kids Are Alright” on the charts, and finally poked its head out to a world that no longer fell for songs that sounded like 3 and ½ minute choruses with an Cockney accent.

It’s also kind of a mess really. In fact, I think that’s what made it a revelation for me hearing it as an impressionable young high-schooler. It was sloppier than most anything I’d ever heard before. It certainly didn’t sound radio ready to my 15 year old ears in 1990, but therein lied its charm. It was glorious and perfect and sloppy as hell. I was infected and am yet to recover.

MP3 :: Way Down Now
(from Goodbye Jumbo. Buy here)

These are some of my favorite songs of all time. “Gold Soundz” because it’s cool to have a “feature” that rips off a not-at-all obscure Pavement song.

Gold Soundz - “Gimme Back My Dog”
Gold Soundz - “In The City”
Gold Soundz - “Lake Marie”
Gold Soundz - “The Sky Is Crying”
Gold Soundz - “Holland, 1945”


David said...

And in the alternate universe where this was a hit, and Kurt Wallinger was a star?

Jeff Lynne was a GOD.

Chuy said...

This song, Gimme Back My Dog and Holland, 1945 are so high up on my personal "Gold Soundz" list that I can't wait to get into the other songs in this series. Thank you!!!