It must have been difficult for The Church, starting out in '80 while their fellow Aussies, the Little River Band and Air Supply, were choking the airwaves. The Church didn't Rock as hard as AC/DC, who came earlier, or INXS who followed, and they certainly had nothing in common with the MOR pop of LRB or Air Supply.
Steven Kilbey (bass, keyboards, vocals), Marty Wilson-Piper (guitar, vocals), Peter Koppes (guitar, vocals) and Richard Ploog (drums, vocals) comprised the original line-up. Jay Dee Daugherty took over on drums in the '90s.
The Church could be moody, gloomy, lush and textured. Easily, there best CD was "Starfish" arriving in '88. The absolute, no question, best song on the CD was "Under The Milky Way." Starting as a mournful acoustic number the drums and electric guitar enter building toward a richly intense Rocker. Excellent and haunting lyrics too ("Lower the curtain down on Memphis"). The guitar solo sounded like a bagpipe. Nice touch.
From "Gold Afternoon Fix," "Metropolis" was a riff Rocker. The ethereal lyrics ("back in metropolis circuses and elephants") and ringing guitars, were a hypnotic combination. It was one of those overlooked classics.
Kilbey, Koppes and Wilson-Piper released solo material into the early '90s without much notice. The Church regrouped releasing the diverse '94 effort "Sometime Anywhere." More time passed before The Church got back together with a series of CDs, "After Everything Now This ('02), "companion" project "Parallel Universe" ('02) and "Forget Yourself ('04).
1981 Of Skins And Heart
1982 The Blurred Crusade
1984 Remote Luxury
1990 Gold Afternoon Fix
1994 Sometime Anywhere
1996 Magician Among The Spirits
1998 Hologram Of Baal
1999 A Box Of Birds
2002 After Everything Now This
2003 Forget Yourself
2005 El Momento Descuidado
2005 Back With Two Beasts
2006 Uninvited, Like The Clouds
2007 El Momento Siguiente
2008 Shriek: Excerpts From The Soundtrack
2009 Untitled #23
The Church, though popular in their native Australia, had a tougher time in the States due in large part to their often diverse, free-form approach. The building-to-a-climax "Under The Milky Way," from the "Starfish" album, is not a typical song. The Church tends to favor thoughtful and meandering acoustic oriented songs. "Heyday" and "Priest = Aura" albums are more energetic. "Metropolis" from "Gold Fix Afternoon" is another brilliant, straight-ahead Rocker but again the album tends to drift off at points. The Australian release "Almost Yesterday" captures the group's best work.
When The Church regrouped in the '90s they continued their electric approach. "Sometime Anywhere" and "After Everything Now This" hold together the best. "Parallel Universe" is strictly for fans - major ones at that. Though "Forget Yourself" has the charming "Telepath" featuring Beach Boys influenced vocals and the compact Rocker "Don't You Fall" it's not as entertaining as its predecessors.