Sunday, January 24, 2016

Songoftheday 1/24/16 - Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty, sound of their breath fades with the light...


"Under The Milky Way" - The Church
from the album Starfish (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #24 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 5

Today's Song of the Day comes from the Australian modern rock band the Church, who came together in the beginning of the 1980's in Sydney. Led by singer and bassist Steve Kilbey, they released their debut album at the end of that year, and second single "The Unguarded Moment" landed them a top-40 hit in both Australia (#22) and New Zealand (#19). They had a second top-40 hit in their home country in 1982 with "Almost With You". Both were produced by Bob Clearmountain, who translated his "big sound" he uses with the likes of Bryan Adams with the emo posturing of Kilbey's vocals. They muddled along for a little while, even landing on the albums chart in America, before being dropped by their local label and moving off to America.

The result was their fifth album Starfish, a much moodier and less post-punk-styled work, and the first single from the project was "Under The Milky Way". Written by Kilbey along with Karin Jansson, the song strummed along to rule the newly-burgeoning "modern rock" radio format...


"Under The Milky Way" became the Church's sole top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in June of 1988, while climbing all the way to #2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart. Internationally, the single reached the top-40 in both their native Australia (#22) and New Zealand (#25), but was only a minor hit in Canada at #69, and missed the top-75 in the UK.

The follow-up single from the album, "Reptile", went to #27 on the American rock chart (and slipped in at #99 in Australia). In 1990, the band released Gold Afternoon Fix, and the first single, "Metropolis", was their highest-charting hit in their homeland at #19, while in America, the song went to #1 on the newly-formed "Modern Rock" chart in Billboard, and #11 on the regular Mainstream Rock radio list. Two years later, they went to #3 on the Modern Rock chart with "Ripple" from their Priest=Aura album, which would be their so-far last appearance on the singles chart, though their continue to release albums and tour.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the band appearing on Italian television in 1988...


And again for MTV's Unplugged in 1990...


Australian ex-patriot Rick Springfield went back to his roots and added a version of the song on his 2005 album The Day After Yesterday...


In 2010, the band was inducted into the ARIA (the Australian) Hall Of Fame, and brought the song back...


That same year, a pre-American-fame Sia covered "Under The Milky Way" for a car commercial one-off single...


 ...and lastly back to the Church from a concert in 2011..


Up tomorrow: Another Aussie band feels something different.

1 comment:

John said...

One of the best songs of the 80s period.