$25 / $30
Karl Wallinger was born in Prestatyn, north Wales on 19 October 1957. His musical career has been wide-ranging, interesting and took him to the heights of critical and commercial acclaim in the early 1990s. These days, he's musically self-reliant and recovering from a serious aneurysm.
His formative years were spent listening to the hippy rockers of the 60s such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Love, as well as Motown and Merseybeat, all of which have echoes in the funky but folkily-hippy soul pop songs he went on to make.
Leaving the public school Charterhouse, Wallinger's first foray into the music business was in 1976 as a member of the group Quasimodo, who were much later to mutate into The Alarm.
He moved to London in the late 1970s to work as a clerk for ATV/Northern Songs music publishing company, but soon he became musical director of the Rocky Horror Show in the West End.
1983 found him joining a funk band called The Out and then The Waterboys as a keyboard player. Tensions between him and Mike Scott in the band were severe, coming to a particular head in 1985. Scott refused to lip-sync on Top Of The Pops, costing them a place on what was then the single most important method of publicising a single. Then Scott over-ruled Wallinger over the inclusion of songs written by each of them about Live Aid and its aftermath.
Wallinger left The Waterboys, along with his bandmates Guy Chambers and Chris Witten, in 1986, and worked on what would became World Party's debut album.
Private Revolution was released in 1987, and was a minor hit for Ensign, who'd kept Wallinger on contract after he'd left The Waterboys.
Private Revolution was also a minor critical success. Suffice to say although interest was there, it wasn't a breakthrough. That came with the 1990 album Goodbye Jumbo, released after Wallinger had contributed to SinÃ©ad O'Connor's 1988 debut album The Lion And The Cobra.
Goodbye Jumbo was commercially successful, spawning the hits Message In The Box and Way Down Now, and becoming the very first Q magazine Album of the Year.
The follow-up, Bang!, was another big commercial success, reaching number two in the UK album charts and charting with the singles Is It Like Today and All I Gave. In 1994 he was the musical director for the film Reality Bites and also contributed to the soundtrack of 1996's Clueless.