Monday, June 22, 2009

My Guitar Sometimes Plays Itself

I'm sure you've realised by now, as I've ranted and opinionated quite a lot on this hyar blog, that I tend to champion the unknown artists over the famous ones. If you've read my Pink Floyd rant you'll also know that I'm more than capable of dumping a previously much-loved band if they put out a real dog of an album - especially if everyone else raves over it. That's why I hate all post-DSOTM Floyd, why I hate all post-Document REM, and why I hate all post-'the-album-that-made-them-rich' anyone and everybody. And I have to say that, most of the time, I feel completely justified in my loathing. But occasionally - just occasionally - it appears that I may have been a bit rash and (dare I say it) wrong.

Take The Church.

I loved the first album (or the English version of it), really liked the second, didn't care for the third, liked the fourth (2xep) a lot, and loved the fifth. And then they made Starfish (and, more siginicantly, the 'Under The Milky Way' single) - and I thought the album stank. And so I dumped them. I considered buying Gold Afternoon Fix and Priest=Aura when they came out but decided against it and went elsewhere.

A couple of months ago I read somewhere (musta been on that internet thingy) that they had a new album coing out. I was surprised to hear they were still going but thought I'd have a listen anyway - and was really surprised.

Truth is, I have to admit that The Church have been consistently prodcing magnificent semi-psychedelic albums throughout the past twenty years, and 'Starfish' was a bit of a one-off. In fact, I almost like it - but not quite. It's still too mainstream and 'Green'-y (hi majors!). But... Priest=Aura! Sometime Anywhere! The new one! I haven't digested all the Church albums I've bought in the past few weeks but I can say with some certainty that I'm going to put them back up where they belong.

Although I don't normally share stuff that can be bought, I think it's worth taking the risk here because I truly believe that more people should hear this band - and from what I can figure out the readers of this blog might just be the kind of people who would do that, and then go buy the albums.

I haven't included the hit singles (Under The Milky Way or The Unguarded Moment) 'cos I figure you may know them anyway, but the rest of these tracks are just the ones that have grabbed me over the past few weeks while I've had The Church on nearly continuously shuffling on my ipod. There's no real difference between the two compilations, they both span the whole career of the band so download one and have a listen. If you like it, download the other. And then decide for yourself what period of their work you like, and buy the albums. Me? I like 'em all.

Apart from Starfish.

JHB Church Anthology One

01 - Bel-Air (from Of Skins And Heart, 1981)
02 - In This Room (from Sing Songs e.p., 1982)
03 - Shadow Cabinet (from Remote Luxury, 1984)
04 - Tantalized (from Heyday, 1985)
05 - Anna Miranda (from Starfish (bonus disc), 1988)
06 - Transient (from Gold Afternoon Fix, 1990)
07 - Swan Lake (from Priest = Aura, 1992)
08 - Day Of The Dead (from Sometime Anywhere, 1994)
09 - No Certainty Attached (from Hologram Of Baal, 1998)
10 - Espionage (from Parallel Universe (disk two - Mixture), 2002)
11 - Pantechnicon (from Back With Two Beasts (Jammed 2), 2005)
12 - Pangaea (from Untitled #23, 2009)
13 - So Love May Find Us (from Pangaea EP, 2009)

Download JHB Church Anthology one

JHB Church Anthology Two

01 - She Never Said (from Of Skins And Heart, 1981)
02 - Constant in Opal (from Remote Luxury, 1984)
03 - Myrrh (from Heyday, 1985)
04 - Reptile (from Starfish, 1988)
05 - Metropolis (from Gold Afternoon Fix, 1990)
06 - Ripple (from Priest = Aura, 1992)
07 - Mistress (from Priest = Aura, 1992)
08 - Two Places At Once (from Sometime Anywhere, 1994)
09 - Another Earth (from Hologram Of Baal, 1998)
10 - The Theatre And Its Double (from Forget Yourself, 2003)
11 - Easy (from Uninvited, Like The Clouds, 2006)
12 - On Angel Street (from Untitled #23, 2009)

Download JHB Church Anthology two


For further information check out the Wikipedia article, The Church Band home page and this fan site, and to buy the albums go to the online store.

Nothing Changes, Soldier Blue

Another long delay. What can I say? Sari.

Truth is, we moved house a few weeks ago and my turntable hasn't been out of its box since - and isn't likely to be any time soon. So I'm reduced to posting stuff that I've already ripped - or, in this case, ripped *off*.

I do have this album on vinyl, and when I finally get my deck up and running again I'll do my own rip (because this rip doesn't sound great to me), but for now you'll have to make do with this. I got it from - there's a lot of other good stuff there, although some of it is available for purchase so I can't be 100% in favour.

The early to mid 80s were an odd time, as I recall - loads of big hair, big guitars, guitars sounding like bagpipes, flanged basses - and most bands wanted to be U2 or Simple Minds. Or Springsteen. Pretty much sums up this lot - I bought this album from Steve Burgess in English Weather in Crouch End (might still have been Terrapin Trucking by then, can't remember). The fact that he recommended this to me shows how bleak the situation was - even Steve could be taken in by pomposity and bombast in place of real emotion or musical ability.

You might think that I'm not over fond of this album. You'd be right. I liked it at the time - but only in the gaps left when I wasn't listening to the Chameleons, Comsats, Cocteaus, Church, and other bands not beginning with C (Icicle Fukin Works - now *there* was a band who could do grandeur without grandiose - power without pomposity - and what a drummer... you ought to see me air-drumming to 'lovers day'... bloody hell...)

Where was I? Oh yeah, Silent Running. Someone asked for this, I have it but haven't ripped it yet, happened to find it at baratomusical. Updated the tags & uploaded. Enjoy it if you can. me - I'm off to 'lovers day' again before my current 80s trip subsides. But I *am* going to see the Comsats later this year for the first time since the mid-80s (Camden Palace with Way Of The West). Can't fukin wait.

Silent Running - Shades Of Liberty (198x)

01 - Home Is Where The Heart Is
02 - Emotional Warfare
03 - One In A Million Day
04 - Sticks And Stones
05 - That's Life (In The Real World)
06 - Young Hearts
07 - Crimson Days
08 - Shades Of Liberty
09 - Go For The Heart

Download Shades Of Liberty