Thursday, July 18, 2013

#345: World Party-Ship Of Fools (Top 500 Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)

#345
(Top Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)
Song: "Ship Of Fools"
Artist: World Party
Release Date: March, 1987
From the Album: Private Revolution (1987)



Quick Take: It took a clean break from Mike Scott for Karl Wallinger to get World Party off the ground, and with some help from Sinéad O'Connor, he finally released Private Revolution in 1987. Wallinger's strong ties to cleaning up the environment are all over the album, and the first single, entitled "Ship of Fools," was destined to become a Top 30 hit before the album even hit the shelves. Eventually adopted by Greenpeace for a benefit album, "Ship of Fools" had all the right ingredients that a lead single should have, and it merged a vocally intense lyrical presence with a well-orchestrated beat, accompanied by some desolate-sounding piano in the background. "You will pay tomorrow" is the threatening message that introduces the chorus, but the song's catchy yet austere bounce nearly outweighs the intended warnings. Wallinger's voice does reveal an honest, emotive quality throughout, and there's no denying the attractive melody and the pop kick that keeps the song from being a totally dispirited and preachy effort. Private Revolution certainly lives up to its title, as the album is an obvious soapbox for Wallinger to address his concerns for the slow dilapidation of Mother Earth. Songs like "Making Love (To the World)," "Hawaiian Island World," "It Can Be Beautiful (Sometimes)" and the title track all pertain to the state of the world from an environmental standpoint, but they're all well-written, pop-smart pieces that show off just as much of Wallinger's talent as they are sermonizing. "Ship of Fools" became the only Top 40 single for World Party, despite some rather strong releases throughout the '90s, but the prominence that it did receive is truly well-deserved.

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