The supergroup that never was, World Goes Round is a product of four musicians, Frank Musker, Elizabeth Lamers, Jeff Hull, Marty Walsh, and record producer Tommy Vicari. Coming together in the LA music scene of the late ‘80s, the group had a massive roster of A-list musicians whom they had written with, recorded, performed, or produced for, studded with names like Billy Idol, Prince, Linda Ronstadt, Queen, John Denver, Supertramp, Quincy Jones, and Air Supply: ‘80s rock ‘n’ roll royalty. In this whirlwind of creative energy and stratospheric celebrity, World Goes Round wrote and recorded their music out of a home studio in Laurel Canyon, California.
Thirty years later, those songs are finally getting the fresh air and recognition that they deserve. The pop-rock tunes World Goes Round crafted so long ago sizzle with the energy of a cultural zeitgeist, the surge of the tail end of the ‘80s. As of October 30th, 2020, the band’s eponymous debut album will be released courtesy of Viper Records, and we can all finally enjoy the sound of World Goes Round. With this momentous release inspiring the band-members to look back on their music careers, we have Frank, Elizabeth, Jeff, Marty, and Tommy, joining us for this Stereo Six to run down their most inspirational records of all-time, including a wild card entry that you might not expect to fit with the band’s sound.
1. Boz Scaggs – Silk Degrees (1976, Columbia)
“My choice would be the Silk Degrees album by the brilliant Boz Scaggs. Apart from the groundbreaking musicianship of Jeff Porcaro and David Paitch, Boz sings his heart out in such a cool, soulful, beautiful voice you can’t help but be seduced by it. When I first heard “Lowdown” – that unique drum groove Jeff lays down to start the record – and the gorgeous arrangement, it took me to another place and I knew I wanted to work with those musicians. A few years later I had that privilege and it was every bit as awesome as I had expected. It set the bar very high.” (Frank Musker)
2. Donald Fagen – The Nightfly (1982, Warner Bros.)
“It’s very hard to pick one record that affected my life. I could go on, and on! But I would have to say that The Nightfly is, in my opinion, a perfect record. The production, the engineering, the performances, and the optimism of the future. The sheer joy of life, love, and music. The brilliance of this record is still fresh, every single time I play it! There are a lot of records I could put in this category, but The Nightfly is on the very top of the list. Just fun to listen to! For what it’s worth.” (Tommy Vicari)
“Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly would be my number one. It is a perfect album. Tommy couldn’t have said it better! The storytelling is evocative and hopeful. The recording and sound quality is stunning. I never get tired of hearing it. Plus, there’s that awesome cover photo! It inspired me to be a jazz DJ!” (Elizabeth Lamers)
3. Steely Dan – The Royal Scam (1976, ABC Records)
“While as a budding young guitarist, I was influenced by Clapton, Hendrix, Beck, but when I was really coming of age as a musician, there was one guy who was influencing all of us in LA at the time, guitarist Larry Carlton.”
“As influential as Jimi Hendrix was, Larry’s performance on “Kid Charlemagne” was of that magnitude. That track among others on the album changed the way we all played in LA. Everybody started to sound like Larry after that. I would have to say that moment was the most influential on my sound and style that I ultimately brought to the World Goes Round project.” (Marty Walsh)
4. Peter Gabriel – So (1986, Charisma Records)
“This was one of the most influential records for me at the time. It was a stunning mix of writing, playing, and production, all rolled into one package and it still holds up today. I have a very eclectic background and listen to a lot of different kinds of music, so to pick favourites is a tough one!” (Jeff Hull)
5. Stevie Wonder – Music of My Mind (1972, Tamla), Talking Book (1972, Tamla), Innervisions (1973, Tamla)
“The classic trio from Stevie Wonder would have to be included. His songwriting covered subjects that I had never heard before in R&B or rock. The songs went from dreamlike and inspiring, to sexy and raw – life’s rich tapestry! Now often copied, but such a unique voice in pop music at the time.” (Elizabeth Lamers)
6. Wild Card: The Beatles – Revolver (1966, Parlophone)
“When Revolver came out it was like they were from another planet. No one had ever heard anything like this before. Their voices, the guitar sounds, the songwriting was just up at a whole other level. It was as if they were inventing the genre as they went along. Also, we heard the first glimmers of George’s fascination with classical Indian music. I still get goosebumps listening to it half a century later. And it had the coolest cover art anyone had ever seen!”