When I first heard the Starfish album in 1988 by The Church it completely blew me away. It was nothing like anything that was happening at the time. Songwriting that took you on a journey, guitar sounds that where so unique it was an amazing time in Australian music history.
"Under The Milky Way" was an international hit that threw The Church and the album Starfish into the spotlight. I then checked out their back catalogue and realised Starfish was not a one off songwriting and guitar blazing luck. Their albums before that dating back to I beleive 1980 are all just as amazing, it's just Starfish was the one that broke out for some reason.
The Church was the first band I ever saw live in concert for their Gold Afternoon Fix tour and my Dad was kind enough to take me to their concert on a simple "Dad can you take me to see The Church?". This was 1990. Just a side note, years later my friend got me work as a guitar tech for The Church concert and got to chat with the band, lovely people!
The Starfish album was their break into the mainstream, it is also highly regarded as one of their best works to date.
Though "Under The Milky Way" is the most well known song of the band in general and the album, the album was full of great ground breaking tracks and art rock anthems like Hotel Womb and North, East, South & West.
It may not have been as commercially successful as another great Australian band who where making a huge international wave at the time - INXS, but it is surely as an important album as "Kick" was. It was a commercial success, well ahead of its time, with great critical acclaim as well. Starfish will always be regarded as a fan favourite and to music critics a like for The Church.
However all their albums are great, I'm just focussing on the album that got me hooked onto such a great band, who pushed the boundaries for their time and still have loyal fans world wide.
As I went out and checked out their back catalogue after hearing Starfish I found their album Blurred Crusade. It is awesome!
Within Australia it has another fantastic hit single called "Almost With You", which has jangly guitars, great songwriting and a Spanish guitar influenced type guitar solo on a classical guitar.
The rest of the album is fantastic and paved the way for what was to come after. They had already defined their unique sound by this second album of theirs. Blurred crusade is also a fan favourite too and is certainly one of my favourite albums by The Church.
"Almost With You" is still played in Australia on commercial radio today, but the entire album is fantastic. Though their first album in my humble opinion was great too, discovering their back catalogue, as a fan this is where they really started to hit their stride so to speak and develop the sound that is uniquely theirs.
Get official The Church T-Shirts from the store, they look great! Wouldn't mind getting a couple myself!