Well, my jaw dropped, I was shocked. It didn't sound dated, and miraculously I STILL wasn't tired of it at all. I'm left wondering why I left it on the shelf so long. I'm a huge Church fan, or at least I was before things just...changed...but even so I am just amazed that this still sounds as good as it did 50 zillion plays ago.
I've also been struck by the lyric "software sings and hardware hears/we're destined babe to live these years". I recall that being a notable lyric even at the time but it kindof forces me to remember what life was like before I had the internet, and somehow it fascinates me that he wrote that before there was any kind of internet connectivity in my life at all, or for most people for that matter. Because of this, I managed to dig out of my memory with much effort what it was like when I had Windows 3.0 with those big icons and no modem to speak of. You could play games, you could use it for word processing. That was about it, as far as I can recall. I still marvel at what life was like without a computer, without the internet. I still can't believe that back in the days when I was crazy about shoegazing and Ride and all that, there was no internet. It seems as if the internet has always been there.
What say you?
― Bimble (bimble), Friday, 19 November 2004 08:43 (fourteen years ago) link
Here's my two cents:
The Church have had several peaks and this record is one of them. There are the early records where Kilbey wrote everything (folks fight over Blurred Crusade vs. Seance vs. Heyday), the sales peak (Starfish) and this record (the end of the Arista period, and the second breakup of the band).
The imagery and content takes on a darker tone compared to earlier albums, possibly reflecting that Koppes would leave once the tour was over and break up the band. There are a few moments of lightness as well, but this was the first time the band had put out something is dark, sprawling and messy as "Chaos". The album opener, "Aura" is probably the quintessential Church album opener. There are a few moments of pop as well ("Ripple" and "Feel"). Also the Ray Bradbury imagery of "The Disillusionist". The sequencing is exactly right. And unlike the more recent albums, there isn't a single song I would remove.
Sure, Kilbey and Willson-Piper reformed later and have even lured Koppes back, but it hasn't been the same. The song "Chaos" has been a signpost for a lot of the material since then but they haven't topped it.
Definitely one of their best.
― Edward Bax, Friday, 19 November 2004 13:15 (fourteen years ago) link
God I've been asleep so long, I've been awayBack from software limbo the natives call "today"I let their promises bind me, the seductive logic blind meI embraced a machine, I went through the routineAnd I hid from the people who were trying to find me...
He wrote that in the mid-eighties, and yet it perfectly describes my life circa 2000, when I would spend days at a time in front of my PC, obsessively searching for and absorbing vast quantities of information, oblivious to all other concerns and the frustration of friends and family.
Kilbey's lyrics - consistently erudite, imaginative and insightful - are probably the principal reason that I would cite The Church as my all-time favourite band.
― Palomino (Palomino), Friday, 19 November 2004 13:57 (fourteen years ago) link
― Onzong Lee, Friday, 19 November 2004 14:15 (fourteen years ago) link
Now if we could just get the Arista-era material remastered.
― Edward Bax, Friday, 19 November 2004 14:50 (fourteen years ago) link
― Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Saturday, 20 November 2004 00:22 (fourteen years ago) link
I must express thanks to Palomino for the Tantalized lyric. That song comes on like a storm for me and I immediately see the video in my mind. I've never bothered to try to look up Church lyrics because the fact is when I was in my obsessive Church phase years, I didn't have the aid of an internet to try to look these things up. I did belong to a Church mailing list when Magician came out, though, but it was unix - no pictures, not much out there on the web.
I have this thing where I keep wondering just what it was that was being sung at the end of the Disillusionist - the only lyric I could ever make out was "his poverty runs so deep" but the rest of that little chorus/break is lost on me. Yet I don't want to break the spell. I'm not sure I'm really ready to know just what was being sung there. The album is perfect.
― Bimble (bimble), Saturday, 20 November 2004 14:23 (fourteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 20 November 2004 14:37 (fourteen years ago) link
― Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Saturday, 20 November 2004 15:57 (fourteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 20 November 2004 16:14 (fourteen years ago) link
― Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Saturday, 20 November 2004 16:35 (fourteen years ago) link
"They say that he is famous from the waist downBut the top half of his body is a corpseHis goal ...(something)... is sleepHis poverty runs so deepIn winter he cracks his summer re(?) ("rewoarse"?) "
― Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 21 November 2004 03:34 (fourteen years ago) link
"His gulver-blind sleepHis poverty runs so deepIn winter, he cracks his summery...'warse'"
But I was thinking about it really hard last night and I wondered if that last word might be remorse. Actually this is really going to bother me now if I don't attempt to look it up.
― Bimble (bimble), Sunday, 21 November 2004 09:48 (fourteen years ago) link
― Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 21 November 2004 10:32 (fourteen years ago) link
"His gold won't buy him sleepHis poverty runs so deepIn winter he cracks, in summer he warps"
― Bimble (bimble), Sunday, 21 November 2004 10:47 (fourteen years ago) link
Seek: the excellent b-sides "Nightmare" and "Fog" which fit so well with the recordDestroy: the remixes of "Feel" (Techno Dub?! Ragga Mix?!)
― Edward Bax, Tuesday, 30 November 2004 02:41 (fourteen years ago) link
― Jay Vee (Manon_70), Tuesday, 30 November 2004 02:58 (fourteen years ago) link
a seenow im working for yai respond so much quicker to yer ree-quests n dee-mandsand a very pithy commenter yesterdaywas saying c'mon kilbey stop complainin'you were in it for the money n fame etcand yes my perceptive friendthats a giveni still am, if it comes my waybut that dont mean working with idiots aint painfulin fact does it have anything to do with it at all?kinda.....i guessi confessi thought you all knewi want(ed) to make beautiful music AND lotsa moneyafter all at what i do im one of the crem de la cremsa crem de menthy i see no real contradictionone does not cancel out the otherim a master craftsman of songs in the melancholy schoolof course i wanted reasonable remuneration (a fortune!)and pear group recognition (divine fame!)baybee who can ever realy say what their motifs arei wanted the glory the money the lurks n perksn whatever else they was givin' outbut that never cancelled out my desire for lovely musiccan ya understand this important distinction?i hoped for the cashbut i never delivered you trash(beginning of sk rap?)i bet michaelangelo gotta fortune for the cistine chapplehe should havejust like me baybeei did score bigfor the greatest melancholy album ever madeby anyone anywherethats rightp=ai got 125 grand publishing advance on that onemy one big kahoona ever1991wowthe xyz conglomeratecoughed up a hundred n twenny five gees for my next batch o songsand they got their moneys worth toothese are great songs especially for the timeseverything i'd ever wanted to doi finally did on this recordthe fucking widescreen cinematic wraparound the walls of noisethe snaky bass linesthe infinite varieties of guitar soundsi loved gavin mckillopa producers producera funny clever shrewd warm hearted scotsmanhe n i made a great teamwe both wanted to make the same recordmarty n peter both firing in top formjay dees excellent n inventive drumming + his calmness and voice of reasonunfortunately i was in the "honeymoon" stage of opiate addictionit was like ye olde devil sittin' there waitingtill i finally cashed in a littleand he calls in the demon handling my casean' he says ok now break out the heroini also was smoking eating drinking opiumanyhow anywayyou can hear it on this recordthe ponderous slowness n depththe warmth n sickly sweetnessesthe disconnected voiceturning dark wordsits a masterpiecerolling stone said at time its rottenrolling stone in new encyclo says its brilliantmasterpieces arent easy to swallowfucking hell!some people buying a cd arent even looking for a masta-peecethey just want that tune they heard on tellyand maybe some more like thatthey dont neskaserrily want the rise n fall of western civ.as described by a rocknroll bandwe wrote it easyi was indeed connected into some opium universeits like a mousetrapi meana mousetrap kills the mousebut it DOES have some cheese, right? so for a very very few monthsthe opium n smack filled my head with ideasnew ideasideas i cant articulate or i woulda actualized 'emsammy tailor collaridge type ideasgrandiose vistaswhole lifetimes in one opium dreammost is gone upon awakeningbut the poet can struggle to recounta tiny reflection of the visionthis thenwas p=awhat more is there to say?i wrote the lyrics in feverish trancelike states?yes i didi snorted white powder off a black pianoand i wrote n wrote n wrotei was like a receiver of messages from somewhere elseit all came wholei didnt write iti dreampt it upthe six string bass linesthe keyboard linesdripped from my fingers like i been playing em foreverthe other guys all brilliant toothey were high by osmosisthey were picking up on this thing we were stumbling intoi smoked joints full of opiuma new way to get highi saw the pot as the treblethe opium as the bassthe opium was playing my white six string bass those sessionsnow my mother will saywhy oh why sun all the drugtalk?because thats the thing about this particular recordi paid a terrible horrible pricei still am no one gets off scot-free from the gear, the scag, the stuffbut nonethelessjesusits an english traditionpoet + opium = good(for a short time)sorry thats how i saw iti dont now nessaceleryits half trueplease keep yer indignant antidrug comments to yerselfi aint glorifying itor am i?i cant tellyou'll have to be an adult n decide for yourselfif you think im being foolishthats okim just an olde olde rockerspinning a yarn about some stuffthat happened a long time agosome of the other people involvedoccaisionally indulgedothers like jay deewere dismayed when o.p 8reared its very ugly headsbut thats the bizdrugs booze women plane crashes greek mythologyi wrote swan lake for my new twins e n ait got some good reviewssomeone wrote in mm or nme or soundsthat the record would have all the shoegazersrunning to their mummies to ask for new fx pedals..ha hai liked thatp=a is an effected recordits cavernous reverbsits pre-echoes that suck up to your earlinebackwards things swoosh byfizzy percussive zit zit zit tshhh!the guitars!mayhem n delicacythese guys finally emerge as themselves n no otherspk paints huge backdrops n delicious melodic neo-classicalmwp screaming hovering howling prettyjay dee bang bom boom boom boombass goes throb a throb a throb can you hear the whammy bass?thats the six string bass high up on beginning of olde flami felt sure we'd made a marstabieceit seemshoweverthe world in 1992 did not wantan opiated pre-raphaelite swooning album/poembut it wanted pearl jamb andi oh i oh oh im still aliveand stone temp-hill pykeletsand wait till the dogzza found her...so boy we copped some bad reviewsand boydid that confuse mei'd gone n done it!we'd gone n done it!me embarking on junkiedom n hard timesmwp embarking on all about evepk embarking on solodomjaydee embarking back to other gigsg mc k embarking on to other gigsi still reckon its brilliantits my berlinits our #3 recordits our diamond dogsour systems of romancethe fact that it flopped enhances its appealyou gotta love it more cos no one else did or couldit deserves your loveits a nice recordits cooldig itifyoucan
― Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 25 January 2007 23:29 (twelve years ago) link
HIRE ONE EDITOR
YOUR FRIEND THAT IS MENED
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 25 January 2007 23:32 (twelve years ago) link
― Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 26 January 2007 00:42 (twelve years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 26 January 2007 00:44 (twelve years ago) link
― White Dopes on Punk (Bimble...), Friday, 26 January 2007 02:38 (twelve years ago) link
You're welcome! I'll post the Starfish one here too...
From the Kilbey post entitled "sel-fish"
it was nearly twenny yeers agothe cherch made that record in l.a.that one with that songthat song about the whatsisnamethe song that got used in that tv showyeah ya know the one i mean1987out of nowhereafter being dropped by warmer brothersand capitol punishmentwe were signed up by a-wrister records n tapeswho insisted that we come to l.a.so they could keep an eye on usthey say why dontcha work with waddsy wok-telland grog lady-aniwe thoughtokwhy not?that sounds ridiculousso we turn up in laand we get put in the oakwood apts on sepulveda, west laploog n i in one aptmwp n pk in anotherswimming poolbarbequeunderground carparklocked gatesthe whole dealfirst time i heard rap musici lying in bed the 1st morningi hear this 'orrible 'orrible loud noise coming up the streeti thought it was the end of the worlda car pumping out rap at a mighty volumea revoltin' way to wake upwe go down the studio to meet our pro-ducersgrog is a rude talentless macho buffoonhe owns the complexthe studio we're recording inhe thinks we're small fishand he dont bother hiding his contempthes "worked" on jackson brownedand dong hen-leeso boy hes a big-headed turkeywaddsy is a lot nicer n friendlierthey both snorting cokey-dokey like fiends, fiendssall the timeit dont seem to affect ww too muchhes pretty affablehe can see we aint too badgrog on the other hand is a messwhen hes just hadda snorthes clammy n enthusiastic ...for about 5 minuteshe wants to listen to everything at top volumethru these huge speakersi cant even bear to be in control roomits louder than a gig!so anyway we go to this soundstagein santa monicawhere we rehearse all the life outta the songsfor 4 tedious weeksthey start wearing down ploogys confidence immediatelythey try to start picking on me bout my voicebut im untouchable in my self-confidencebut they hurt pks n ploogs feelings all the timegrog especially treats us like second rate time-wasters"look at this" he screams out to ww one day"that fucking blah blah got a gig doing springsteen..""and youre stuck here with these useless australian nobodies"i said....grog looked at me searchingly and he cracked an ugly smirk"thats right.....thats fucking right...!"grog n waddsy didnae think much of u.t.m.w. neitherit was a kind of addendum to the rest of the albumi did most of it on my own in a little programming studioploogy didnt play on itthey didnt wanna waste their time putting real drums on itwaddsy even tried to dissuade me from putting it second on the record"you want em to hear some good ones before they get to that one!" he said...meanwhile we all had our own carsand were getting into our own adventuresparticularly ploogy who brought a constant streamof hippies, druggies, ratbags n rastas round our apt.we ate mexican food a lotand roamed venice beachgrog sent me n pk for singing lessons in hollywoodwe hadda crazy singing teachera guy whod played hercules n sampson in some b-grade flickshe talked about sex non stop between singing instructionshey steve do the girls in australia like to give head?he would ask every week between la la la la lashey steve i had a girl in here last weekshe said " im the queen of head jobs"i said get down on yer knees and win the titleetc etc etcin the middle of a c scalehe'd interrupt to tell meof his latest conquestand then straight back to the lesson as if nothin' had happenedi didnt learn nothin'but grog insisted the lessons were helping my hopeless voicehe hated pks voice even worse than mineand made him feel real bad about itone day waddsy stumbled on a huge cache of very very cheap cocainethe boys bought a small mountain of it and started sniffin'i had one line of that stuff n i felt sick for 3 daysgrog made a pig of himself with it the first dayand stayed home for a (blessed) weekwhen he finally reappeared his skin was greyand he lay on the couch softly moanin'but not saying muchgee i didnt have a lotta sympathy for the olde wankerwaddsy on the other hand just piled in harderhe seemed fucking indestructiblewith his diet of coke, winston ciggies, hamburgers, n sodapophe was always alert n on the ball3 months we were therespending so much money that we'd never recoup(we still probably havent)day in day out of insults n abuse from these 2 driving round la scoring pot n getting into troubleploogy screaming out at the merry barbequers at our apts"i dont dig your fucking altar!"arista pouring money into the recordhey its sold almost a million in u.s. alonebut we'll never see any moneycos it cost so much to makedays n days wasted buggering aboutmoving all over l.a. to other money eating studiosour stupid manager dont carehes already commissioned the huge recording advancenow he dont care or know ...if you listen to the recordits actually flat lifeless n sterilegreat songs, surebut the performance, the sounds are ordinarywe coulda got that in australia in a week or 2for a 20th of the money we spentbut what did we knowthese were the ex-spurtsbig shot american hard-assed turkeysthey knew best!anywaythe rest is historyutmw accidentally became a hitand everyone said "whatta great record!"is it really?it aint a patch on heyday or priestit was successful despite of grog n waddsynot because of....so there ya godont expect me to be all excited about sel-fishit was purgatory having to cope with grogwaddsy i gotta bit of a soft spot forhe does know a bit about music i guessnot the kinda music i like, mind ya..you dont hear much about grog these daysi mean i dont think his "producing" career went much furtherhe turned up at a gig after utmw wassa bit of a hittrying half-heartedly to ameliorate it with mebut i just fucking smiled at him likeare you fucking serious... i fucking hate ya!waddsy we worked with againthat was gafha halets all sing it now"i shoulda known better!"anywaytheres the short sordid history about our big onetoo much money...tho none for ustoo much cocainetoo much argy-bargyjust too muchcan ya believe it was almost 20 years ago?seems like only last century...more tails tomorrow!sk
― Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Friday, 26 January 2007 02:43 (twelve years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 26 January 2007 02:45 (twelve years ago) link
There's not too many albums where I can immediately recall the time/place/emotional memories of my first listen. I picked up P=A the day it was released in March 1992 even though my CD player was dead-in-the-water. It's a long album and didn't fit on one side of a 90min tape (I did a lot of listening in the car) and my usual sloth and final-year-of-college ennui prevented me from buying a proper length tape and getting a new CD player until April. The upshot was that even though I had the album for over a month, I didn't listen to it completely until April 29, 1992... The day of the LA Riots.
My city is burning to the ground, here why don't I finally listen to the new Church album to take my mind off of things. OOPS! BIG MISTAKE!
These lines in "Chaos" I thought were especially prescient:
"Bang the gavel, it's lawlessnessI can't unravel the knotHalf this wretched town is starvingWhile the other half are bloatedEverybody hates the bastards in power"
Back to travellin'
― Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Friday, 26 January 2007 03:10 (twelve years ago) link
― White Dopes on Punk (Bimble...), Friday, 26 January 2007 03:46 (twelve years ago) link
― Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Friday, 26 January 2007 14:16 (twelve years ago) link
― Rufus 3000 (Mr Noodles), Friday, 26 January 2007 15:21 (twelve years ago) link
― i'll mitya halfway (mitya), Saturday, 27 January 2007 07:49 (twelve years ago) link
― 808 the Bassking (Andrew Thames), Saturday, 27 January 2007 08:22 (twelve years ago) link
― Lick The Strobelight Lollipops (Bimble...), Saturday, 27 January 2007 08:57 (twelve years ago) link
― jimbo (electricsound), Saturday, 27 January 2007 09:45 (twelve years ago) link
― Lick The Strobelight Lollipops (Bimble...), Saturday, 27 January 2007 10:04 (twelve years ago) link
― Lick The Strobelight Lollipops (Bimble...), Saturday, 27 January 2007 13:20 (twelve years ago) link
― jimbo (electricsound), Saturday, 27 January 2007 13:29 (twelve years ago) link
― i'll mitya halfway (mitya), Saturday, 27 January 2007 16:15 (twelve years ago) link
"His gold won't buy him sleep
His poverty runs so deep
In winter he cracks, in summer he warps"
― Bimble, Saturday, 2 February 2008 04:23 (eleven years ago) link
ADRENALIN IS NOT MY MISTRESS
― Shoegazey Goth Metal Phone (Bimble), Monday, 12 January 2009 06:25 (ten years ago) link
― Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 25 November 2014 10:44 (four years ago) link
― Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:58 (four years ago) link
I just busted this album out yesterday! One of my last acquisitions from episodes of 120 Minutes that I had on tape 20 years ago and never quite got around to buying.
― put your money where the maracas are (how's life), Tuesday, 25 November 2014 13:54 (four years ago) link
Released 23 years ago today!
― Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 10 March 2015 23:03 (four years ago) link
The cool thing on this set of material by the Church is that they really lay back on the tempos and drive giving the music alot of space. It's harder to play slow and keep the music interesting and moving, even the old jazz guys will tell you that. That space allows the music to breathe and gives it dynamics, perhaps best illustrated on the title track. I love Koppes solo with the big delay on that tune.
― earlnash, Wednesday, 11 March 2015 00:54 (four years ago) link
New album is wonderful. Hearkens back to their early '80s run with lots of beautiful gothy synths in the background. Really great.
― Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 6 October 2017 21:03 (one year ago) link
Had to miss the tour stop here, sadly, but definitely need to catch up to the album.
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 6 October 2017 21:09 (one year ago) link
I picked up P = A from the Salvation Army a few weeks ago and have been pleasantly surprised. I mean, I knew it was a fan favourite but it was where I fell off the wagon as a yoof. (Along with Wish, from the same year, the drowsy jams with long running times I heard via radio were pleasant enough but not something I felt any need to invest in.)
But yeah, it's quite good. Though I would have dropped the opening/title track to get the total running time under an hour. It doesn't do much musically, thereby drawing too much attention to some rather dopey lyrics IMHO.
― Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 8 June 2019 05:15 (three months ago) link