Friday, June 17, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter C, Part 12)

We spin the hits here at LTL... occasionally. I'll forgo trying to make myself sound like I knelt at the altar of the Church from the band's inception. There have been 24 studio albums in 35 years, and I own three of them... and none after the 1988 breakthrough 'Starfish.' It's also, in fact, the only one I have on vinyl, and that's why we're here. So, without further adieu, here is the Church's lone hit here in America, peaking at No. 24. These days, it's often heard while shopping for canned peas at the local supermarket, which should be depressing, but I love it wherever it pops up. I think it has held up rather well.

"Under the Milky Way"

EMI dropped the Church just before 'Starfish.' I suppose there was repenting and head rolling at HQ, but the label wasted no time riding the wave of enthusiasm, releasing the compilation 'Hindsight 1980-1987' one month after the meteoric rise of "Under the Milky Way." If you have that one or any of the early albums, then you know the sound of 'Starfish' is a bit of an outlier. Anyway, the follow-up single, "Reptile," ended the momentum, but I really liked it, especially the biting lyrics. The song was written while the band was living and recording the album in Los Angeles. This and a couple of others on 'Starfish' document how much they hated it there and missed being in Australia. L.A. has been known to have that effect on people.



Dirk said...

Reptile's B-Side, 'Texas Moon' is such a FABULOUS song, in fact I prefer it to 'Reptile' and 'Milky Way' 24 hours a day!!!

Echorich said...

I never really warmed to The Church. They got played with regularity before and after Under The Milky Way on NY's New Wave/Alternative/Modern Rock station (s) but I think they always felt a bit lost for a place to land musically. Aussie/Kiwi bands can have a uphill battle "competing" with Brit and American bands, and the ones that are the most successful, ie. INXS, Split Enz, Icehouse, take a specific direction that finds appeal among listeners outside their homeland. The Church could sound American and psychedelic or British and post-punk, but then never really fit. Maybe doing things their way is why they have such a long history, but it may also be why they never really sustained any breakthrough.

friend of rachel worth said...

Got a great acoustic compilation by them but never really warmed to the LPs always seemed to have a couple of great tracks but a lot that passed me by . However Steve kilby did a couple of LPs with grant mc of the gobetweens as jack frost . The first on especially is a great LP.

The Swede said...

There were no hits in the UK for The Church as far as I remember and I definitely don't recognise 'Under the Milky Way'. I did, however, have a couple of hardcore fans as customers, for whom I had to ensure I ordered every release on every format. I do own the excellent first Jack Frost album - I've no idea why I don't have the second.

Brian said...

I had no idea the Church weren't big in the UK. Based on these comments, I feel like those that do know them are lukewarm on them, and I'm the same. Echorich nailed it, as usual. I do like hearing about Jack Frost though... Don't have that one but sounds wonderful. Thanks for participating.