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The Church

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Sydney, Australia (1980 – present)

The Church is an band which formed in Sydney, Australia in 1980. Initially linked in with acts of the period, their music later became largely defined by the interplay of guitarists Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes coupled with the abstract lyrics of bassist/singer Steve Kilbey. Their debut album, Of Skins And Heart (1981), earned them their first radio hit “The Unguarded Moment”. They were originally signed to EMI’s Parlophone label, but record company dissatisfaction led to them being dropped overseas, which limited their exposure early on.

After signing to Arista in 1988, they saw their largest international success with the album Starfish and the American Top 40 hit “Under the Milky Way” which resurfaced on the soundtrack of the cult movie “Donnie Darko”. Whilst the band remain feted by their peers, subsequent commercial success proved elusive: 1990s follow-up album “Gold Afternoon Fix” failed to capitalise on their success, and the band weathered several line-up changes after its release, first losing long-term drummer Richard Ploog, then Peter Koppes following 1992s “Priest = Aura”. That album baffled and confused many fans upon its release as to what band The Church was considered to be, but is now considered a seminal album and one of the most revered by Church connoisseurs. The vacant drum-stool on Priest=Aura being occupied by Jay Dee Daugherty of Arista labelmate Patti Smiths group, and it was produced by Gavin MacKillop of Moose.

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