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Starfish

4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 12, 2011
$25.77
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Editorial Reviews

The 1988 Classic that triuphs from opening track to closing echo in a whirlwind of dreamy vocals and effect-laden guitars. masterfully played and perfected songs with a beautiful evocative and haunting atmosphere. Includes 12 bonus tracks!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Destination
  2. Under the Milky Way
  3. Blood Money
  4. Lost
  5. North, South, East and West
  6. Spark
  7. Antenna
  8. Reptile
  9. A New Season
  10. Hotel Womb

Disc: 2

  1. Texas Moon [*]
  2. Perfect Child [*]
  3. We Both Know Why You're Here [*]
  4. Frozen and Distant [*]
  5. Anna Miranda [*]
  6. Nose Dive [*]
  7. Afterlife [*]
  8. Under the Milky Way [Acoustic] [*][Version]
  9. Antenna [Acoustic] [*][Version]
  10. Spark [Acoustic] [*][Version]
  11. Warm Spell [*]
  12. Musk [*]


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 12, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: SECOND MOTION
  • ASIN: B004OYCUO2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,044 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Church had been mainstays of college radio (i.e., "alternative rock", without the marketing/P.R.) for years leading up to this thoroughly accessible (but no less brilliant) neuvo-psychedelic classic that scores from opening track to closing echo in a whirwind of dreamy, breathy vocals and effects-laden guitars chiming away like some ethereal clock ticking away to enlightenment.

ANYONE over the age of 35 should be familiar with the band's signature track "Under The Milky Way", one of the tracks from 1988 which pretty much set the table for the rise of college radio as mainstream "alternative rock" in the early '90's ("Head Like A Hole" from Nine Inch Nails and "Mountain Song" by Jane's Addiction being two others); it is a simple song given a lush arrangement and production values that fly under the radar...until you try to play the song yourself and realize that your effort, note-perfect thought it may be, sounds nothing like the Church's album version. Any band would be thankful to be associated by default with such a beautiful song.

And though it may be the most recognizable track and the one most likely to be remembered by casual fans, the strength of this album is that there are no throwaway tracks to be found (with the possible exception of "Spark", perhaps not incoincidentally one of the tracks bassist/main lyricist/vocalist Steve Kilbey does NOT sing lead vocal). "Destination", The opening track sets the mood perfectly, a single guitar followed by bass and drums, each seeming to attempt more restrain than the other follow, leading to a crescendo that takes you instead back to the beginning as Kilbey begins the first verse. "Under The Milky Way" is a perfect successor track.
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Format: Audio CD
For The Church the stars and planets must have been especially aligned for this album to be made. Never before or since have The Church enjoyed some widespread appeal. Starfish was the first record The Church had recorded outside of their native Australia. This was the first time they had recorded in a studio different from the one they had made their first five albums. Reading band accounts of making of Starfish makes one wonder why they didn't call the record "L.A. Sucks".
The Church hated Los Angeles and barely endured their two-month stay. During that time the city experienced two major earthquakes and numerous tremors. The band members suffered serious bouts of homesickness and dislocation in a lonely town at once both ugly and magnetic. They had lost their recording contract with EMI and had just completed negotiating and signing with Arista. Waddy Wachtel and Greg Ladanyi were assigned to produce the band-two individual mostly known for their association with the Southern California sound of the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks. An antithesis to what the Church stood for and a recipe for friction for all sides. Wachtel had the band rehearse these ten songs over and over-picking them apart and building them back together again ad finitum. Ladanvi on the other hand was apt to be off at the golf course after barely getting the songs on tape in one take.
The first thing that hits you about this record is how much of a "guitar album" it is. Starfish is awash in several different guitar styles and carefully thought out patterns and lines. The result is a lean, cutting and harder edged sound that paradoxically produces a gentle feel.
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Format: Audio CD
"Starfish" one of The Church's best and biggest selling albums receives the deluxe treatment on this reissue import. The sound is louder and here than the previous edition. I haven't compared this head to head on my computer to see if the dynamic range is crushed to create this effect but it sure sounds good to my average ears. The big reason to get this, though, is the second disc of EP/single b-sides that didn't make the album. Many of these tracks appeared on "A Quick Smoke at Spots" but not all of them. Also, ther remastered sound on the second disc of those tracks is much better--crisper sounding--than "Spot's" which sounded rather flat and dull by comparison. YOu get the good with the bad though as the sound is loud with little dynamic range so just be aware of that. Certainly this is a five star album for the content and the bonus disc but the mastering is another matter...

We also get the trio of acoustic tracks that the band released on their CD single "Under the Milky Way" (which was selling for a princely sum on Ebay). All three acoustic tracks are worthwhile for fans to have. These aren't stripped down versions but new recordings of the same songs that were done around the same time. While some of these tracks did appear on the band's acoustic album (and on Steve Kilbey's acoustic album as well), these are terrific takes for fans to have. There are also some unusual songs here that I haven't heard before and can assume that they were never released.

Track listing for second disc:
1. Texas Moon (from "Spot's")
2. Perfect Child (From Spots)
3. We Both know Why We're Here (from Spots)
4. Frozen and Distant (From Spots)
6. Nose Dive (from Spots)
7. Afterlife (from Spots)
8.
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