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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowie meets The Byrds with breathtaking results., 18 April 2001
Barking Nomad (Chester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heyday (Audio CD)
After four albums on which they combined sixties psychedelia, seventies glam and eighties new wave with varying degrees of success, perennial cult underdogs The Church finally hit their stride on this magnificent 1985 opus. With guitar maestros Peter Koppes and Marty Wilson-Piper at the peak of their considerable powers, the result was an album of jewelled surfaces and glittering sonic architecture - perfectly captured in the shimmering, dreamlike textures of opening track 'Myrrh'.
But this is merely the beginning of the musical magic carpet ride as 'Tristesse' and 'Already Yesterday' take the chiming six-string melodies and soaring vocal harmonies to fresh, seemingly impossible peaks of crystalline, other-worldly beauty. 'Columbus' injects tension and drama into proceedings without losing any of the hypnotic allure; 'Tantalised' is a turbo-charged assault on the senses, while the shadowy and sinister 'Roman' is built around a pulverising guitar riff that would find favour with the most avid Kerrang reader. There's even room for an instrumental track. Normally, of course, the instrumental is the last resort of a band who've run out of 'proper' songs and desperately need something to fill up the running order. Not so 'Happy Hunting Ground' which is steeped in the kind of lush, cinematic grandeur that would grace any movie soundtrack.
Meanwhile in frontman Steve Kilbey The Church have one of the few truly original wordsmiths in modern music. The exhilarating jangle-pop of 'Disenchanted' sees him examining the dark side of fame and fortune with forensic precision. 'Youth Worshipper' adds horns and a string section as he slyly mocks the obssession with staying young and beautiful at all costs. Elsewhere Kilbey's fertile imagination and consistently startling use of the English language gives rise to all manner of exotic images and surreal turns of phrase - all delivered in his uniquely deadpan style. For example on 'Myrrh' when he sings: 'We're interrupted by the telephone/You didn't think they were invented then.' Who knows what he means? And who cares? It's a fantastic line and entirely in keeping with the idiosyncratic nature of the band and their music.
Don't be put off by the awful cover - those dodgy mullet haircuts and migraine-inducing shirts are a small price to pay for something this special. Never was an album more aptly titled; 'Heyday' is the sound of a band striving for perfection and damn near achieving it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highlight of a brilliant career, 6 July 2002
Michael Hurn "spikeymikey" - See all my reviews
First released in 1986 and my personal introduction to The Church, Heyday still shimmers brilliantly. The first half of the album contains songs which have stood the test of time nicely. The first song, Myrrh, is still one of the best songs Steve Kilbey ever wrote and is still an important part of the live set. Kilbeys lyrics are supreme imagery.
The next two tracks, Tristesse and Already Yesterday have hooks and tunes to die for. The guitars jangle in all the right places. Colombus was the second single single off the album and has a slightly harsher edge than whats gone already, but is still a top song.
Happy Hunting Ground is the suprise in the pack. An instrumental which is sweeping and conjures up images of the bands homeland. A great chill out tune.
The second half of the album begins with Tantalized, the first UK single off the album. It charges along with a fair barrage of sound, but the chorus when it hits is genius. The remainder of the album tails off nicely at a fairly even pace with good songs especially Disenchanted and Night of Light.
This release has an additional CD of B sides and videos from the period. As You Will is one of my favourite Church songs. Can't explain why; its just a great song.
A great pop/psychedelic/indie/rock record. Buy it, it really is that good. The Church are still a great band and in 2002 they released another uperb album. Although not their first album, Heyday is where the greatness began.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The one that took The Church to a whole new level., 28 Feb 2008
Mr. C. J. Waldron "mhsob" (UK & Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heyday (Audio CD)
After some patchy stuff in the early 1980's, finally The Church realized their full potential with this dreamy collection of inspired music. From the opening bars of the fabulous "Myrr" to the swinging guitars of "Roman", this is a trully unforgettable collection still fresh and contemporary today. So many highlights - the beautifully crafted pop of "Tristesse", "Already Yesterday", "Columbus" and "Night of Light" to the storming "Tantalised" (one of my all-time Church faves), this is what you'd call a "belter" of a record. Starfish was no surprise after the brilliance exhibited here. "Heyday" really was their 1980's heyday and it set the tone for what was to come out of Manchester several years later. Not bad for an Aussie band .. and perhaps thats why they are still producing some of the finest music in 2008. Don't leave this one out of the collection.
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Heyday by The Church (Audio CD - 2010)
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