Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Church catalog reissues

Before The Church's "Future Past Perfect" U.S. tour winds down next week, I wanted to remind fans about the new catalog reissues available now on Second Motion Records in conjunction with the band's 30th Anniversary. 

The early albums are housed in digi-packs with remastered sound, bonus tracks, rare photos, lyrics and best of all - extensive and fascinating liner notes written by guitarist Marty Willson-Piper.

Of Skins and Heart (1981) - The debut, featuring Church classic "The Unguarded Moment," displayed what Willson-Piper calls their "effortless chemistry." In the liners, he talks about the formation, early Aussie chart success of "Moment" and the awkwardness of making music videos. Bonus tracks are "In a Heartbeat" and "Busdriver" (the B-side of "Moment," making its first CD appearance).

 The Blurred Crusade (1982) - A cult classic produced by Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen) that initially failed to secure a U.S. release, the guitarist says it shows a "brooding progressive side, psychedelic elements and melodic controlled chaos." Bonus tracks are "Life Speeds Up" (B-side of "Almost with You") and "The Golden Dawn" (B-side of "When You Were Mine").

Seance (1983) - According to Willson-Piper, the songs here were more melancholy, with a sound that took a "sonic jump" from its predecessors. The label's recruitment of mixer Nick Launay (Midnight Oil, PiL), proved controversial as he made major sonic tweaks, especially with a then fashionable '80s big drum sound. The band was barely consulted and they were "somewhere between shocked and horrified." The result was often more gothic sounding and Seance didn't sell well. Again, the Church failed to get a simultaneous U.S. release. Bonus tracks are "Someone Special" (B-side of "It's No Reason") and "Autumn Soon" (B-side of "Electric Lash").
Heyday (1986) - More of a critical and commercial success in Australia, this album helped the Church make inroads in the U.S., aided by steady music video play on MTV's "120 Minutes," more alt-rock radio play and high profile tours. The guitarist says "the rich tones on it showcased the intricate webs we weaved" with softer rhythms. Bonus tracks are "As You Will" (B-side of "Already Yesterday"), "The View" (B-side of "Tantalized") and "Trance Ending" (B-side of "Columbus").

Deep In the Shallows: The Classic Singles Collection (2010) - The new 34-track double CD retrospective features liner notes from David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine. 

More studio album reissues (Starfish, Priest=Aura, Gold Afternoon Fix, Sometime Anywhere) and a limited edition EP box set are due out in the months ahead.

Remaining American tour dates:
Friday - Foxboro, MA 
Monday - Greenville, SC
Tuesday - Atlanta, GA
For more information:

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