My Top 1000 Songs #192: Way Down Now

As noted previously, I've always been a long-player guy and only rarely purchased singles. But I guess there was something going on back in 1990, where I picked up CD-singles for the amazing Aztec Camera/Mick Jones collaboration "Good Morning Britain" and the also amazing World Party tune "Way Down Now."

Not sure why it was; I think I heard World Party's Goodbye Jumbo and it didn't click (I've since come around and enjoy the album, and the rest of the band's work, quite a bit). But the single, which was getting some airplay on MTV's 120 Minutes, was another story: A ridiculously catchy three-chord pop song right in my sweet spot, the sort of song you're helpless not to belt along to in the car or sing in the shower. A lot of Stones in there as well, from the "Satisfaction"-inspired lyrics ("Some faceless git comes on my screen, the most honest man I've ever seen") to the "Sympathy For The Devil"-styled "woo-woos" to Karl Wallinger's Jaggeresque vocal delivery. But it's ultimately that winning, effortless guitar & piano hook that felt particularly exuberant and necessary when I was in the dregs of law school, a cathartic, crank-it-up tune that remained a mixtape essential over all these years.

Live on Letterman: