The Church - Starfish Under The Milky Way - 80`s Alt Rock Classic LP

In stock
The Church - Starfish Under The Milky Way

Canada Lp
Record is VG++ mint
Cover has small hole punch top right very slight ringwear ( see our pic)
Original inner lyric sleeve enclosed with the recording credits. On the back cover are recording credits and the tracklist


1. Destination
2. Under the Milky Way
3. Blood Money
4. Lost
5. North, South, East and West

6. Spark
7. Antenna
8. Reptile
9. A New Season
10. Hotel Womb

From the early 1970s, Steve Kilbey and Peter Koppes had played in several glam rock bands in Canberra, Australia. In 1980 they formed a three-piece with Nick Ward on drums and began performing. After Marty Willson-Piper, from Liverpool, joined them, they took the name 'The Church'. Allegedly, the name was chosen largely because it was unclaimed, but later allusions to the band's spiritual interests by Kilbey hint that it was less coincidental. At the time, only Koppes was a fully-proficient musician. Kilbey was an erratic bass player and Willson-Piper was still searching for his style on guitar.The Church combined the jangling guitar pop of '60s icons like the Byrds with the opaque wordplay. of frontman Steve Kilbey to create a lush, melancholy brand of neo-psychedelia rich in texture and melody. Their debut was Of Skin and Heart, an evocative collection highlighted by the ringing "The Unguarded Moment," a major success down under. After replacing Ward with drummer Richard Ploog, the group resurfaced in 1982 with The Blurred Crusade, a stunning effort featuring mature standouts like "Almost With You" and "When You Were Mine." 1983's Seance continued to refine the Church's atmospheric sound, and the subsequent success of the EPs Persia and Remote Luxury helped earn the band an American deal with Warner Bros., which issued the excellent Heyday in 1986. After moving to Arista, the Church teamed with famed session guitarists Danny Kortchmar and Waddy Wachtel to record 1988's Starfish, their most artistically and commercially successful effort to date. Highlighted by "Under the Milky Way," the album also featured the minor hits "Reptile" and "Spark," a marvelous pop blast penned by Willson-Piper. The follow-up was Gold Afternoon Fix. Ploog left the Church prior to the release of Priest = Aura, which featured former Patti Smith Group drummer Jay Dee Daugherty; by 1994's Sometime Anywhere, only Kilbey and Willson-Piper remained. With new drummer Tim Powles, the Church issued Magician Among the Spirits on the tiny White label; a subsequent tour marked Koppes' return to the fold. Hologram of Baal followed in 1998, and a year later the Church released the covers collection Box of Birds. After Everything Now This and the double album Parallel Universe both appeared in 2002. The group signed with Cooking Vinyl in 2003, releasing Forget Yourself, a magical collection of new songs that harkened back to their "Metropolis" days. In 2005 they released Momento Descuidado, an unplugged collection of old and new tracks for the Liberation Blue acoustic series. It was followed by Uninvited, Like the Clouds. (web bio)

In the wake of its album HEYDAY, arguably the finest album of the band's first phase of existence, '80s college rock fave the Church found itself in a position to capitalize on its success. Its follow-up album, STARFISH, contains some of the band's biggest hits, including "Under the Milky Way," while in no way compromising the band's artistic stance, making it one of a notable group of albums that bridge the gap between critical acclaim and commercial success while making absolutely no discernable changes to the artist's sound. Nearly every track is remarkable. The album opener, "Destination" features an epic psychedelic flavor, the spacious dual guitars of Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper, and Steve Kilbey's arresting lyrical imagery ("In the space between our bodies / The air has grown small fingers"). The above-mentioned "Under the Milky Way" features a bagpipe during its rather spectacular instrumental break. Willson-Piper's "Spark" is an upbeat and strikingly lush pop song. "Reptile" features stunning reverb-drenching guitar work. The list goes on, this is a wonderful record by a band at the height of its powers. (web review)

ANYONE over the age of 35 should be familiar with the band's signature track "Under The Milky Way", one of the tracks from 1988 which pretty much set the table for the rise of college radio as mainstream "alternative rock" in the early '90's ("Head Like A Hole" from Nine Inch Nails and "Mountain Song" by Jane's Addiction being two others); it is a simple song given a lush arrangement and production values that fly under the radar...until you try to play the song yourself and realize that your effort, note-perfect thought it may be, sounds nothing like the Church's album version. Any band would be thankful to be associated by default with such a beautiful song.

And though it may be the most recognizable track and the one most likely to be remembered by casual fans, the strength of this album is that there are no throwaway tracks to be found (with the possible exception of "Spark", perhaps not incoincidentally one of the tracks bassist/main lyricist/vocalist Steve Kilbey does NOT sing lead vocal). "Destination", The opening track sets the mood perfectly, a single guitar followed by bass and drums, each seeming to attempt more restrain than the other follow, leading to a crescendo that takes you instead back to the beginning as Kilbey begins the first verse. "Under The Milky Way" is a perfect successor track. "Blood Money" is a bit of a let-down in the three spot; it seems to be two (at least) partial songs combined to form one with decidely mixed results.

"Lost", however, is an absolute joy to listen to. It's a total stoner vibe (I still remember the Rolling Stone write-up where Kilbey said "It might help to take a lot of acid to better understand my lyrics") that you just can't help laying back and closing your eyes to as you drift off to...somewhere. "North, South, East and West" brings you back, splash-of-cool-water-in-the-face style with a fantastic guitar riff that announces the most up-tempo and aggressive song on the album. Fantastic guitar work by both Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes.

Track 6, the afore-mentioned "Spark" would lead off Side 2 of this album on LP or cassette, weakly in my opinion. Its attitude is out-of-place on this album, and I almost never listen to it. "Antenna" is a different story, though. A finer waltz beat in pop music hasn't been heard since the days of the Doors. "Reptile", the second single/video, is another up-tempo song with an almost schizophrenic distinction between verse and chorus. Steve Kilbey's bass slithers between the guitars of Koppes and Willson-Piper as the defining instrument of the song.

Peter Koppes turns the lead vocal on the longing "New Season", jingle-jangly Byrds-like guitars a-plenty and "Hotel Womb" closes the album on an upbeat note, praising the endless succession of sanctuaries found on the road, the hotel rooms where it IS possible for travelling musicians to avoid more trouble than they can get into.

It could be said that the Church never released an album as cohesive as "Starfish" again, though the musicianship from this album remains a constant. This is the most accessible effort the Church would ever produce, and anyone who appreciates good songwriting, artful arrangement, and general psychedelia will find a regular rotation slot for this LP
. It is absolutely one of the finest albums of the 1980's and produced so sufficiently free of the gimmicks of that era that it still sounds relevant today. Not an easy trick for most of that decade's better releases.
More Information
Format LP
Label Arista Records