posted on July 24, 2008 at 9:03 pm

a man can get into trouble re-interpreting his old work
is it better to let it sit there in all its mythic glory…?
yes my friends
heyday
after the first record which is a bit awful
then the glorious sounding but slightly insubstantial b c
then emi/nick launay ruined seance
with its eighties crud (thanks, nick…it dated real well!)
then remote whatnots patchiness
then…
aha
then we unveiled our first almost masterpiece
remember it was the eighties
it was the fucking frigging eighties
we had to fight just to remain organic
can you understand that almost every idiot in the biz
wanted to make you eighties
eighties as epitomized by the thompson twins
or boy george or a million awful stupid bands
who’d hi-jacked the glorious future
that the beatles had left wide open
we had punk which shook it up
and then……
even listen to what neil young
or new order (new ordure) got up to in the eighties
of course it was harder to fight eightiesness in the eighties
because
only hypersmart hipsters like me even understood what was happening
like fish in water most of the imbeciles back then couldnt tell
that they were swimming through an era of embarrassment and tripe
the haircuts and cutesy little hats and the way girls looked back then
the beginning of the most ridiculous malaise in rock music
which was the perceived need for a huge punctuating snare drum
eg. what they tried to do to seance:electric lash esp
they were experimenting with “firing samples”
which meant when yer drummer whacked his snare on the tape
a sample of another drum played
this other drum would have been considered “better”
than whatever your own drummer played on his snare
so these guys carted there primitive snare samples around the globe
sticking em all over peoples records
we probably got the same ones as midnight oil had
and then after us the models….
one particular fault was the samples played a fraction late
and a fraction of time in a song can be everything
they also did weird things as they’d “refire”
eg the snare rolls in electric lash
sounds like a machine gun
which launay must have thought was cutting edge
but its still making most people groan 25 years later
funny thing is
i liked what he did to midnight oil
he spruced up a band and pushed em through his filter
trouble was the church was not a band
to go thru anyone elses filter
cos it was already going thru mine
so anyway
its important for me that you understand
how everything i did
with nearly everybody
was a fight
the church werent that successful
and everything was a fight for me..
i heard new gold dream and i liked its feel
it was mellifluous and organic
it was modern but not eighties
it was prod n eng by peter walsh
and he could understand ambience
he could also understand that i wanted this record
to have a spiritual component
and sonically he was ready for that
the band had decided to write most of the music together
this gave it a fresh cohesion and an added interest for the others
they were our songs
not just my songs
tho i was still the chooser and editor and general overseer of music
the others came up with brilliant bits n pieces for their parts
and all three shone as co-composers and musicians
peter walsh turned up to find 2 earnest guitarists
a prankster drummer and me
just turned 31
and i wanted to make a record
a non eighties record
with loads of guitars
with orchestras
with melody
with my first true authentic sk lyrics
the album opens with a masterpiece
go on listen to myrrh again
probably one of the best songs us or anybody ever wrote in rock
the music and words unfurl like a dream
no one could do what we were trying to do
but on myrrh we nailed it
everything was right
even the sounds of construction walsh flew in right at the end
construction that started early in the apts where he stayed
so he recorded it on a little dictaphone and stuck it on the record
peter walsh was the loveliest bloke i ever worked with
he was only about 26 when we did this
we spent lots of time playing pinball with him
in the foyer of the studio
a lockout of 6 weeks in 301
in the heart of sydney
8th floor up
we ruled up there
smoking so much fucking dope
but no other drugs
walshy ‘d have a beer occasionally
when he smoked the dope he’d go quite loopy
mainly tho he worked away steadily
he was always cheerful and tried to include everyone
he was a good mediator and everyone got on well
it was a good time
and it shows
walshy was good with all instruments
he knew how to mike and record stuff
he was old school in that way
he knew we wanted to be organic and he kept it that way
everything was great
i even splashed out n bought this renault floride
a 1959 convertible
and walshy n i rode out to the arrangers place in south sydney
with the top down
we were young we were happy
seemed we were on the verge of something
walshy n i figured out the arrangements with this guy
and lo n behold a week later these players turned up
and played on h.h.g and tantalised n night of light
at the end of night of light i had an idea
that the orch. all follow my sliding fretless bass
and they did
everyone was great
everyone was easy
heyday was so much more accomplished than starfish
starfish sold cos it had utmw
but heyday was much better
warmer realer nicer
im talking sounds here not songs
anyway
peter walsh was the producers producer
unlike the next 2 geezers who were uncouth bullies
who got lucky for a little while
gav mckillop was like peter walsh….a real producer
anyway
heyday had its weakspots
in our one argument
walsh didnt “let” me play keyboards
and theres some slightly average stuff on there
he didnt “let” the others sing either
so thats me singing everything
(as on p=a too)
i wasnt mad on disenchanted or youth worshipper
but walshy had heard the demos and he wanted em on
also when the record was repackaged overseas
record companies stuck as you will and the view on the end
which quite frankly was not what i had intended
just like when ziggy stardust finishes and then some other thing
comes on…yes its value for money
but no it disrupts the flow
roman was s’posed to end heyday not the view
it was a b-side!
anyway some understood it
we immediately jumped back up the ranks in australia
and played totally sell out shows everywhere
in sydney they were queuing round the block at midday
in england a few idiots gave it bad reviews and nothin happened
in the us it” only” sold 60 thousand
and got us dropped by warners
and look at us on the cover
ah so pretty so pretty
in paisley as some kinda statement against….
ah i dunno
big fat record execs with their starsign pendants on their hairy chests
against spand-o ballet and belinda carlisle
against the outfield and preppy college kids
against howard jones and madonna
against oafs and brutes n non poetic types
we were the church
we were more beautiful and slender
we had more hair and better guitars
we were well read and we liked to take hallucinogens
we constantly wangled and fluked our way thru
we stayed in amazing hotels and we flew biz class
we were cooler than fuck
christ
it was our heyday
it could never last
but it was
and theres the irony of it
the beauty of it
the extra-temporaiety of it (thats my word)
(which is always my gift..to see beyond these times)
thats why i’m the time being
the eighties couldnt constrain me
i could stand apart from the zeitgeist
i could deliver this in 1986 (made in 85)
and it still sounds fresh as the day it was made
congratulations are in order
if you enjoyed the heyday story
hit your donate button ..hard
if i get some dough in there sharpish
maybe i’ll give it to ya
on another hundred levels
god forbid!

80 Responses to “heyday…..no seriously”

  1. avatar
    craig1.618 | 24 July 2008 at 10:54 pm #

    things did get much better in the late 80’s

    with certain types of music

    as a whole

    at least as i saw it back then

    of course that was my heyday too

  2. avatar
    the dean | 24 July 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    I sometimes toy with the idea of digitally removing those overbearing snares and hand claps from those old 80’s tunes.

  3. avatar
    princey | 24 July 2008 at 11:13 pm #

    You did it!

    Heyday was the one that did it for me too, TOTALLY converted, after years of harassing and making fun of my older brother and his friend for joining your fan club!(he was a diehard sk fan from the start!)Then I tagged along with them to my first Church gig in a small pub in Kew just before Heyday was released, and BANG,CRASH,WOLLOP! it all made sense, I understood!
    I haven’t missed a gig since then and I’ll never forget the shivers down my spine whenever “Roman” would start live…F**K to have those days again!!!!
    Thanks for so many years of the best music in the world sk, I love you for it, Ireally, really do (in case you didnt notice haha)
    Love always,
    Amanda

  4. avatar
    skyintheairwaves | 24 July 2008 at 11:13 pm #

    Heyday is the nazz with god-given ass

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 12:14 am #

    Waddya mean “almost masterpiece”, Professor? Listened to it again for the millionth time just last week and it’s as fresh as a newborn baby’s arse, rich, cohesive, and BRIMMING with gorgeous youthful confidence…”My DIS-enchanted friendddd…” Good God, that sums up every sad, lost, failed relationship I ever had, and still gets me teary…it caught a moment, and it wasn’t the eighties…it’s a beautifully sealed jar on the mantle of a TIME IN PEOPLE’S LIVES…now THAT’S what real music can do, and I’ve lost count of how many times you guys have done that, and continue to do so…nuff said, it’s a Little Masterpiece, fullstop.

  6. avatar
    Warren Street | 25 July 2008 at 12:43 am #

    Agreed.

  7. avatar
    esne snoner | 25 July 2008 at 12:45 am #

    not many days go by that i don’t give hhg a whirl – just the most glorious piece of music that defies the years which of course is true of most of the output of this most favourite of bands – thanks for the lowdown on heyday sk – love your work

  8. avatar
    Anakki Mayhem | 25 July 2008 at 12:56 am #

    Grrr, I love Electric Lash & Fly & No Reason from SEANCE! And I like your version of I Am A Rock on Sing Songs (& I don't like the S&G version at all)… & I could list Church songs I like for DAYS… or weeks even…lol U can't change my mind coz I'm stubborn & wayward. But that said, I love ALL things The Church coz The Church are a band that leads the way into new territories & thru all the years continues to create new & beautiful music that juz gets better & better… & The Church is the best coz u guys don't juz follow the pack into ordinariness but blaze a trail for us lesser lights to follow…
    Said my piece now. Don't hate me. 😉
    PS: My fave faves are ya NEW stuff coz u guys only get BETTER & y live in the past? & since I already think u all are the BEST & have always been the BEST, u must all be a superlative now!
    <3 A
    xoxo
    PPS: I also think u guys did the 80s better than the rest of em & u all WERE the sexiest in teh 80s & are STILL all oh-so-sexy! 😉 How many other bands from then still look good AND sound good AND still write great NEW music???
    I iz done now.

  9. avatar
    the dean | 25 July 2008 at 1:05 am #

    You’re opening the flood gates for unsolicited opinion today.

    So here’s mine two bobs worth – I’d say that Heyday is more representative than Starfish of where The Church are today.

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 1:28 am #

    Perceptively said, the Dean…Heyday has behind it that same joie de vivre that I hear and sense behind ULTC…

  11. avatar
    marco | 25 July 2008 at 1:38 am #

    I was first introduced to the band with Heyday & Starfish. There's ways always something special about it and i've always loved. Myrrh definitively nailed it and still does. this post is just what i needed.

  12. avatar
    Polydora | 25 July 2008 at 1:41 am #

    “they were experimenting with ‘firing samples'”

    Sounds god awful!

    “on myrrh we nailed it”

    You know, I quite agree.

    “ah so pretty so pretty
    in paisley”

    It was a splendid cover. I loved the paisley.

    Heyday came out right when I was having my teenage, hedonistic “sex, drugs and rock and roll” heyday. Can’t think of anything more perfect.

  13. avatar
    ross b | 25 July 2008 at 1:55 am #

    my vinyl copy of Heyday I'd received at xmas '85 is hanging on my wall now. I'd since bought a standard cd pressing and more recently the remastered/released version (as with the remainder of the Church back catalogue remastered series). It remains one of my most played albums.

    With all sincerity thank you so much for this miraculous music, Tristesse to me is the epitomy of pure Magic.

    I suppose if you're comparing Heyday to Starfish that's a bit like comparing the sound of a vintage fender bass to a modern, active bells&whistles bass – one of Heyday's endearing qualities as you mention is its warm organic feel. Yet I love Starfish too.

    We can't turn back the clock, as you say it could never last, and can never last.

    much respect & all the best, r.

  14. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 25 July 2008 at 1:56 am #

    The Church did not reach full-blown musical greatness until Priest=Aura. Heyday was the conception of their greatness and P=A was the fruition of it. I earnestly contend that if Priest=Aura was The Church’s first CD they would be bigger than Radiohead. Sometime Anywhere would have been the ensuing trippy masterpiece just like OK Computer was after The Bends.

    Listening to early 10cc and Godley and Creme. Eric Stewart and Kevin Godley were two good vocalists and all four original members did lead vocals. “Fresh Air For My Mama” “Somewhere In Hollywood” “Old Wild Men” and “Under Your Thumb” were Kevin Godley gems. Who cares I’m Hated For Loving.

  15. avatar
    damien | 25 July 2008 at 2:29 am #

    The eighties weren’t ALL bad, SK.

    What about the brass on Heyday? I have an interview on tape from 1991when you guys did the Sunday Sessions on Triple J, and Marty expressly says he didn’t like the brass. I can imagine that there must have been some arguing about that between you guys.

    Just about every record in the mid-eighties had brass on it, whether it was musically appropriate or not. It has always struck me that the brass on Heyday was a concession to the market of the time. I have always assumed that Peter Walsh must have strong-armed you guys into it. I’ve never been crazy on the strings either.

    Disenchanted is one of my top three tracks on that album.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 2:34 am #

    Funny I thought it sounded like a real band effort vocally.
    It was & is still a great sound.
    Something to be proud of & such a shame your skyrocket is not fuller for it.

    Dutch Pierre

  17. avatar
    veleska1970 | 25 July 2008 at 2:38 am #

    i didn’t realize i was grinning from ear-to-ear while reading this until i reached the end….

    thanks for the laugh about describing the “machine gun” drums of seance. that is EXACTLY what it sounds like. i wish there was a way to hear that entire album the way it was intended, the way it sounded when you were playing it during recording. it’s such a lovely album once you get past the horrible drum sound.

    like so many others here, heyday was my conversion album, too. i first heard “columbus” on the old show “120 minutes” that was on MTV, and the very next day i went out and bought heyday. the instant the needle touched the vinyl and the first few notes of that heavenly “myrrh” rose from my speakers, i was hooked for life. i was acutely aware that i was listening to an intelligence that i couldn’t describe (and still can’t.) there is a depth to the church’s music that cannot be explained. you just have to surrender yourself to it and experience it.

    i have the first US issue of “heyday” that was on warner brothers. later i acquired the “repackage” that had “as you will” and “the view”, and you are very correct in saying that those two songs break the flow of the entire album. they are very good songs, yes, but they don’t fit anyhwere on that album. i always thought they were more suited for “remote luxury”, because to me they both have the sound and feel of that album.

    there isn’t anything more i can add to your blog about it today~~talk about nailing something, you have, steve, with today’s blog.

    oh, speaking of “myrrh”~~that song is my most fave fave fave FAVE song of all time. and i will admit to you steve that “myrrh” has always been the one song, the ONLY song, that could pull me out of the darkest recesses of depression, boredom and sadness. didn’t matter what was going on in my life~~i would play “myrrh” and immediately i was transported away from whatever was bugging me and delivered to what i can only describe as a euphoria. when i say i could literally feel my blood pressure lower while listening to that song, i’m not kidding!! i know every note to that song so well that if i were marooned on a desert island with no music, i could play it in my mind exactly as it sounds in real time, all four minutes and eighteen seconds of it. (and i’ve actually done that, too~~well, not on a deserted island, heh heh heh, but in places where i’ve been stuck, like in a queue or something~~i’d start up my little mental “myrrh” player and allow myself to drift away from the annoyance…)

    eh, i’m rambling. in a chatty mood today, i guess. but i’ll say again as i’ve said a million times in your comment box: thank you thank you thank you thank you, steve, for the church and your wonderful music. and thanks for this blog, too. you truly are special.

    lotza love….

  18. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 25 July 2008 at 2:52 am #

    beautiful heyday story esskay but i want my heyday now, don’t i deserve ‘a’ HEYDAY…
    Jonny Hollywood

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 2:52 am #

    Agree HIGHLY with everything you say here.
    I blame MTV for a lot of it.
    Worst thing to ever happen to music.
    Had it not been for MTV…
    most of those bands would never have gotten past the Happy Hour gig at the local Ramada Inn.
    I liked Heyday a lot and Myrrh is indeed one of the best songs ever written.
    I went back and discovered it after Starfish.
    I loved the guitar effects and the tunings that you utilized on Starfish.
    Very hauntingly effective.
    But Heyday does have an ambiance all it’s own.
    Great album.
    Some things are built to last.

    Peace,
    Mark
    Tampa, Fl

  20. avatar
    JJ | 25 July 2008 at 3:39 am #

    You did nail it, TTB. Such a stellar effort, with high quality songs fully realized to their potential. As Valeska mentions, Columbus was the first song that I heard on local 88.5 Georgia State University radio, with all 100,000 watts broadcasting to me, my radio specifically, as if ordained by supernatural decree that my life should be altered in that moment – I immediately went out in search of the album and went from side to side, song to song, reveling in the discovery that finally, this band called The Church had made the music that captured my imagination, demanded my attention, an oasis in a desert of 80’s crap, the Duran-Duran pop sludge.

    it still is such a compelling work, that when I hear it again it takes me back precisely to that time in my life, the forlornly beautiful Autumn, the feelings and thoughts that swirled inside me at that time. it so powerfully conveys…..a feeling, I can’t explain it, but I knew I’d heard it. Someone named Kilbey had distilled it, captured it.

    I stared at that cover photo many times. Wonder who these people were that created this magic of sound and word. I still proudly wear paisley when the mood strikes. Roman – i tell you, TTB, you have some many great instrumentals that would make wonderful film soundtracks. Roman is one of many. And the wordplay – captivating, it’s promise presaging the lyric art of P=A.

    Thank you. A sincere thank you. it was a lasting gift.

    JJ

  21. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 25 July 2008 at 4:24 am #

    oh wait, i made ‘a’ mistake, my “heyday” was way back when i met the Church backstage at the Northrup Auditorium in 1988 in Minnesota, yeah i was the one who created that long(sign)banner, funny how i was trying to get your attention back then, i am glad it worked, next thing i know me and bout 20 of my friends are hanging out with the Church, esskay and i share ‘a’ joint, that was then this is now, Mary and i still have one waiting just for you…
    The Nev Man

  22. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 25 July 2008 at 5:08 am #

    and now after listening to Heyday and checking out the cover, i see some imagery in the background carpet like right above esskay and marty’s shoulders between their heads, is that Vishnu esskay??? anyway i am sure after staring at the cover for long long time your eyes will play tricks on you, but since we are dealing with esskay anything is possible…
    Jonny Hollywood

  23. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 25 July 2008 at 5:09 am #

    open for comments on cover of HEYDAY!!!

  24. avatar
    MEM | 25 July 2008 at 5:16 am #

    i think:

    an artist must be judged
    on totality

    the entire spectrum
    therefore

    a living artist is
    a continuum

    each work or thing
    extruded

    by said artist either
    adds

    or subtracts from
    the given whole

    in this case dear kilbey
    no need

    to worry as what you
    did

    in the 80’s compliments or
    illustrates

    the genius of the 90’s
    and 00’s

    seriously listen to the b-disk
    of

    // universe
    or the glimmers of el momento

    your are forming the continuum
    you know…

    you are the best
    fuking

    rock poet genus
    of

    our age
    not an easy task

    to fill
    but from night of light

    to p=a
    you have divined

    your oracles
    only

    speaking the truth
    such a

    slippery bastard
    he is…

    you know…

  25. avatar
    kat | 25 July 2008 at 5:25 am #

    luv heydey! and gaf and ultc alot too. i am ready for the new church record. yay!

  26. avatar
    davem | 25 July 2008 at 5:51 am #

    Heyday is glorious but I still get just as excited about every new release of yours.
    I will enjoy reading this one repeatedly over the weekend!!
    Love you lots SK. You’re a genius.

    xx

  27. avatar
    mahatma kane jeeves | 25 July 2008 at 7:14 am #

    i like electric lash – i’ve just listened to it again to make sure and yep – still like it

    🙁

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 7:16 am #

    SK

    I Bought Heyday then traded it in at second hand shop probably 3 or 4 times before i realised it was the best album i had ever heard.

    Never looked back since – but thats the album that got me hooked my Dissenchanted friend.

    DR

  29. avatar
    Thelonious | 25 July 2008 at 8:16 am #

    SK, you’re a genius! The Charlie Parker of the rock n roll world! Heyday, what can you say, so true, so true.

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 8:44 am #

    I believe it is a masterpierce of visionary sounds. Absolute #1 on the list of top 5 albums…. can never be topped but we can all listen and marvel and learn.
    Your art is our new Heyday!!
    VOTSS

  31. avatar
    craigie* | 25 July 2008 at 8:52 am #

    hey Steve?

    I remember back in 85 you asked me what I thought of the strings on Heyday and whether ‘progression’ was a good thing for bands and did fans want it… and I said that bands were like your favourite sauce… you buy it because you like the flavour, and if it changed each time you bought it, you’d soon stop buying it… I think I was saying that drastic changes aren’t needed… anyway, the strings were a little superfluous… Istill dream of hearing versions of “Night” and “Tantalized” shorn of strings… HHG would not exist without them to a large extent tho’…

    You went on to nip and tuck the Church’s sound splendidly without strings and gated drums after that, so nothing to be ashamed of.

    Be proud that some of us are still with you after 26 years on the same trip…

    much love

    craigie*

  32. avatar
    rubikon | 25 July 2008 at 8:57 am #

    Heyday.. One of my favourite Church Albums (along with P = A and After Everything).

    Myrrh (simply exquisite), Tantalised (a chorus to die for), Night of Light (all those wonderful swooping strings at the end), Columbus – fantastic songs, sounds, production, evreything – a glorious, beautiful noise.

    I agree with you totally on some of that 80s production stuff – all those crappy drum samples and compression sprayed indiscriminately over everything – I just can’t listen to a lot of that stuff anymore.

    Keep making that Beautiful Noise.

  33. avatar
    athanasiuspernath | 25 July 2008 at 9:03 am #

    when i first pre-listened heyday, i must have been 13 or 14 or so…it was when you still could ask the clerk if he might put on that vinyl for your prelistening pleasure..and when myrrh (“myrrh”, i thought? isnt that the early dope from bethlehem? and how to pronounce that?) began to play, and the sound was vibrant under the surface like a the sped-up heartbeat of a little mysterious animal in your hand, the church went up from the band i liked a lot to something that was from then on nore one of my traits of character than a band. all those clear crystal instruments are so…themselves they just stop being instruments and become transcended into that flurry of pure sound. it’s very shiny and smooth…but rather like a dnagerous, beautiful water snake is shiny too.

    heyday was the best example how true happiness could sound in rock music, not like in REM’s Shiny Happy Wankers, not that ersatz joy like in Walking on Sunshine, also unlike the outtathisworld happiness of my dearly loved cocteau twinnies, but the deep happiness of a smiling buddha who just had a swim, a sparkling elven cocktail, lembas salad and committed a slight offence against the drug law.

    now walshy is scott walker’s sancho pansa and spends his time walloping dead pigs for percussion.

  34. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 9:30 am #

    hi steve,

    love heyday, and like many, only heard it after starfish. i wonder…did heyday sell more copies after starfish was released, then before?
    Best b-side, and imho, amazing track from those sessions is Trance Ending. Not sure it suited the album…but i sure glad it got released. i love that song. Tristesse was usually my favorite on Heyday, and i was not so enthused when mwp took over the vocal duties lately. really looking 4ward to the new album.
    best wishes.
    kevinN

  35. avatar
    steve kilbey | 25 July 2008 at 9:32 am #

    ahh
    my people
    i love yer heyday memories
    lovesk

  36. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 10:16 am #

    Now.. its funny cuz I once heard a friend say that all of the New church stuff is whatever” but Seance is the bees knees, to which I gave a prompt fuck you” But then as I get into the remastered Seance and I start to really see why it is regarded as such, Seance is really atmospheric and dense.. an amazing progression from BC.. even with all of the Synth drums.. One Day.. Now I wonder Why are amazing and so lovely.. and then to climb to a clearing and you reach the Heyday horizon.. still brewing in my mind like a collage of scenes.. I listen to it in almost all places and Myrrh is still the most kick ass song to open your eyes to…

    I seldom compare albums as they all offer their own essence but Yeah.. there is nothing to be shy about here.. the Church made great albums that have stood the test of time.. and Im not trying to convince anyone.. its just easy to lambast particular aspects of the 80sssssss but I know the integrity of the band has made it what it is today.. and the world my end and I can smile upon all of this…

    jaime r…….

  37. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 10:39 am #

    alright im slapping on the vynil rite now!! it is a fookin cool lp to be sure…

  38. avatar
    verdelay | 25 July 2008 at 10:50 am #

    Nineteeneightysix. The year i woke up. La famille de Fleurs freshly arrived in bright spangly Oz from Aoteoroa, and me (the me that I am now) slowly starting to stir deep within the me that I was then. Deep, but getting shallower and shallower as I floated towards the surface…

    Brisbane, nineteeneightysix. Hot, sultry, mosquito-infested, bat-infested wonderland. The boy Flowers listens to his radio, sifting through the dreck. The family friends we stayed with that newyear’seve play the Molly-dolly-countdown show on the telly and this band come on with this song and it blows me away. “Who’s that?” I ask “Dunno” they say. God I’ve been asleep so long, I’ve been away… . Have to find them.

    And I did, devilish synchronicity, early in the following year when I first heard Myrrh on a mixtape. That’s them, that’s them! Oh the excitement, the anticipation! The boy who made me the mixtape has this hipster older brother who’s switched him on, so I get the word from him, like some kind of arcane knowledge passed down like birdsong. I like this boy – he has everything – the girls, the attitude, the haircut…The Church. I want what he’s got and I set about getting it.

    The first crackle of vinyl. Rapture. The Deep. The mystical childhood world that’s rapidly vanishing all around me flares up brightly before it winks out forever, flares up brightly in song. Emperors, mechanical birds, orchards, deserts, musk foxes, strange fruit, the very last seed in the bag… standing between the two worlds, the record somehow translates what I inherently understand into the odd language I am reluctantly learning. The language of the world-weary adults and their waning glories. And all of this embossed and reinforced by the moment of my hearing it; the child dies and the youth emerges from the glistening caul, the songs imprinted deep within the nascent psyche, never to be dislodged.

    That was twentytwo years ago, but the child I was continues to hide in the brightest and darkest corners of that record, concealed within some contrapuntal moment, or in the deep rumble of the bass; entwined around the strings or at the heart of some fading reverb. There he is. And there.

    Everytime I listen.

    So yeah, thanks for that…
    v

  39. avatar
    rubikon | 25 July 2008 at 11:13 am #

    Shame you can’t go back and remix Seance and Remote Luxury and take off some of that 80s production – all those crappy drum samples and ridiculous amounts of compression (not sure how possible that would be).

    There’s some great stuff on those albums and I’m sure we’s all love to hear them as you originally intended.

    Just a thought..

  40. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 11:33 am #

    Thank-you, Steven – I’ll stop hassling you now! As I’m the brat who once in a pissy mood whined that I’d forked over 100s of $ n you wouldn’t even tell us about Heyday (provoking your ‘not much about Heyday so therefore no payday’ riposte!), I tell you honestly: I’m simultaneously humbled by, and in awe of, this wonderful blog. I’m sure many, many others feel the same. Thank-you SO much, Killa.
    Dollars on the way – it will never be enough for the music you’ve enhanced my life with, but it’s sent with much love and gratitude. Now come on the rest of you fuckers – 20 people fire 100 bucks this man’s way today! What else could you get for a $100 that’s worth as much as this?

  41. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 25 July 2008 at 11:48 am #

    steve, thank you…you’re one beautiful person, keep on making your gorgeous music…i love heyday AND starfish with an unalloyed passion…
    love always…

  42. avatar
    Heyday, I love you | 25 July 2008 at 11:53 am #

    It shimmers and glides like early morning sunlight through gently swaying trees; it glimmers and glows and soars, surges and dives through the night surf. It’s decorative and ornate but it’s rich and warm and dreamlike. And it has song after song after song which are absolute classics, one after the other. A record of unparalleled beauty. 22 years on, it still transports me every time I hear it.

  43. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Now if only you’d taken acid and looked at your paisley shirt collection, Stevo…

  44. avatar
    Stent | 25 July 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Anon. 9.33
    you are so right! So have $100, Steve. Worth every cent & more.

  45. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 25 July 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    Myrrh and Tantalized are GREAT songs, I just with they’d been recorded post-1990, as I absolutely hate 80’s production values. Disenchanted is actually another favourite off Heyday for me, but Youth Worshipper I always skip. Myrrh sounded excellent live, when I attended The Church concert in Copenhagen just around the time that Uninvited, Like The Clouds had been released.

  46. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 25 July 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh my god, did you have to remind me of the 80’s, Steve? Thompson Twins. Madonna. Boy George. Living In A Box. Cutting Crew. Mr Mister. Kim Wilde, Bros, etc. Thank god that decade is long gone, and that it’s friday, so I can sit down and enjoy a drink in the presence – FAR away from the diasters and horrors of the godawful 80’s.

  47. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 25 July 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Damn…should’ve been “in the present”, naturally.

  48. avatar
    grow fins | 25 July 2008 at 1:02 pm #

    Ahh the eighties will forever for me be synonymous with that awful gated reverb drum sound.Blurred Crusade has a timeless open sound which was not surpassed by anything until heyday. Recent stuff aint bad.

  49. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Thomas, Heyday conspicuously lacks those hideous 80s production values – they’re just not on there, thank god! Or, er, judging by the start of the blog, thank Steve! Like grow fins sez: it’s timeless. The strings are straight out of Tony Visconti’s T-Rex arrangements. Much of the brass plays single extended notes – totally unlike 80s horn parps! This is music from the fucken Dreamtime, Thomas!

  50. avatar
    restaurant mark | 25 July 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    wow…i’m getting in late here today! say the word heyday and everybody pops up!
    like veleska i heard and saw columbus on 120 minutes…got chills and i was hooked…i was 15 i think. all i can really say or add to the topic is simple…brilliant record…that’s it.
    take care and have a good weekend everyone
    mark

  51. avatar
    eek | 25 July 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    I love Heyday. Unlike many of today’s commenters I first heard it relatively recently. I was introduced to the Church by Starfish and for some reason didn’t pick up the earlier albums until about six years ago. I have to admit I was initially disappointed with the earliest few (and still only rarely listen to them), but Heyday…Heyday was just fantastic right from the start. It does have a very timeless quality — if I didn’t know it was made in the mid-eighties I never would have guessed it. It’s stood the test of time very well, and it will continue to age very well. Kinda like the musicians that made it.

    congratulations are in order

    Yes, they are…and not just for Heyday. The Church has produced and continues to produce a fantastic body of work. Your music has been such an important part of my life — thank you.

  52. avatar
    lily was here | 25 July 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    Steve, masterful foreplay. I can sense a global orgasm around the world and the sounds of Heyday vibrating through the atmosphere! Wow. Nothing i say could do justice. Starfish didnt grab me like Heyday..The music, songs of Heyday ex-plode when you play live, when myrrh starts i get tingles down my spine, and yes, they did queue around the block! Tantalized is one of the best live songs ever. Roman, i would die happy to hear it live again, perfect lyrical ending, something in that song gets right to that place where your heart breathes …. and then when Heyday finishes, after the music fades off its like a warm smiley feeling & the cigarette of a perfect 80's evening, history embedded in my broken heart, equally happy yet sad*

    But anyway, Heyday to me has always reached perfection in that element, live on stage. Like Mr Anathauiscantspell therestofhisname says "happiness"..EXTREME happiness.. oh yeah, and a warm fuzzy feeling 🙂 Heyday is the essence of your band coming together, the sum of all parts. It comes very close to my favourite Priest=Aura in status. Youth Worshipper was never a fave but crank up those guitars and it deserves its place.

    ps Electric Lash – one of my favourite Church songs, best version, the live version you were doing, just before the acoustic album. Remote Luxury too! Shadow Cabinet/Into My Hands/No Explanation/A Month of Sundays/Violet Town

    *I remember by chance, meeting your Sydney flatmate back then up north, and him telling me you had a blonde swedish girlfriend now. How could a poor girl compete? LOL Here i was single and you were taken again ..bastard! ha .."never coming back again" 🙂

  53. avatar
    unlimber those coffers | 25 July 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    Unleash the chains from your iron wallets, you tightwads! Pay the man and be grateful!

  54. avatar
    kat | 25 July 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    arrrgh, heydey is starting to skip in the car. why?! i used to have this record when it came out. when i split up with my boyfriend at the time he got mad and took it. i am just reaqquainting myself with it again. love the remastered version. hopefully the cd player in the car just needs to be cleaned.

  55. avatar
    kat | 25 July 2008 at 4:52 pm #

    oh yeah, and veleska.. i agree with you about myrrh as the fave. but its a tie between it and tantalized.

    have a good day everyone ;] TGIF here.

  56. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    As a teenager in Nashville, TN in the late ’80s, my friend and I thought the “Electric Lash” drums were so cool. Of course we know they haven’t aged well, so maybe The Church can do another version sometime.

  57. avatar
    eek | 25 July 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    ^

    They have. It’s on El Momento Siguiente.

  58. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 25 July 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    After reading all these comments I guess I’m only a so so Church fan. It’s hard to argue that The Church is the greatest band because of the less than great 1980 through 1990 Era. The 1992 to 2007 era sounds like a very different band and a vastly superior one in the realm of optimal Pink Floyd and optimal psychedilc Byrds.

    The Smiths were a very heavily hyped 80’s band and I only liked The Queen Is Dead and Strangeways–

  59. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    Thanks for the update eek. I feel like a loser now.

  60. avatar
    eek | 25 July 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    Just go buy EMS and you can feel like a winner! (and have a redone version of Electric Lash. It’s No Reason gets a bit of a re-working too. 😉 )

  61. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    Its Already yesterday…

  62. avatar
    Polydora | 25 July 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    … we’re off the calendar

  63. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 7:38 pm #

    I realize time has a way of brushing over the rocks.. but I gather this is when you guys spread around alot of ideas…

    Im just curious as to how the band coalesced into such an amazing bright cinematic sound?

    jr……….

  64. avatar
    Josh in Chicago | 25 July 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    Everyone's got their bookends. Let It Bleed/Exile On Main St, Revolver/White Album, Unforgettable Fire/Achtung Baby, Heyday/P=A. Forget Yourself suggests a trilogy, but that one needs to age more. I would listen to Heyday without ever grabbing a guitar to try and decipher chords or riffs, even though I loved playing stuff from Starfish and GAF. Perhaps Heyday sounded too difficult to play on guitar, or maybe it just carried me off better.

    My teenage mind could not digest all the lyrics, Myrrh suggested an unpredictable travel to somewhere far-off and hardened. It was the first shock of SK blending ancient history and science fiction. Ahhh, the trailing of that voice towards somewhere else whenever I hear "…we won't listen to the lizard part of our brains". Columbus, H.H.G. and Tantalized are the requisite Vampire entries, songs only to listen to at night. There's no usual sign-off with the signature magical epic, instead ending with Roman – sounding like the beginning of a dark journey (Grind was part II). Indeed, As You Will and The View ruined the re-releases. Never bought the remastered version because of it (ditto MATS).

    Everyone and their mother and even the band hates Seance. I can name a few Choich records that are clunkers, but Seance isn't one of them. I still love Seance. The keyboards & acoustic guitars are all warm smiles. A few adolescent summers were scored to Seance, and I still ache to hear Fly live someday.

  65. avatar
    Anonymous | 25 July 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    heyday. yes, that was the one alright. of course, then i discovered seance (vinyl). beautiful piece.

    r.

  66. avatar
    salim nourallah | 25 July 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    i was 19 and living in godawful el paso when the cousin of my best friend brought a copy of heyday from california. i’d been tortured through the walls by my sister’s duran and depeche records for the past 4 years. from the first 10 seconds on – i was hooked for life. you nailed it SK – for anyone looking for something other than hairspray and synthesizers – the ’80s were a horrible time. heyday blasted me outta the stratosphere and helped me keep dreaming of going somewhere else with my life. thank you a million times over – love SN

  67. avatar
    davem | 25 July 2008 at 10:47 pm #

    Ahh Steve, I’m so proud to be one of your people.
    Like that stick of Blackpool rock…….cut me through the middle and I spell and bleed “Kilbey”. Not just Heyday…… Every day, always.
    xx

  68. avatar
    davem | 25 July 2008 at 10:52 pm #

    Oh Sue!! Yes, Remote Luxury!! No Explanation and A Month of Sundays remain in my all time top 10 by any band, they meant so much to me at the time. But even then I’m so excited about the stuff to come. We’re so blessed to have you SK!

  69. avatar
    tim | 25 July 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    since the church found me circa starfish and lost me after gaf i am ashamed to say that i had not heard heyday until about a year and a half ago when i found ttb blog and started listening to all those albums i missed before and after..but you could say it DOES sound eighties if you believe it had an influence on the second half of the decade…but im sorry…no one in their right mind can put the band in the same category as those so called artists you mentioned. At the time the best thing about the eighties to me was starfish,rekoning (rem) treehouse (grapes of wrath) seems like the rickenbacker was making a comeback mind bomb (the the) freedom (neil young)an amazing album in the latter half of the decade…no more and crime in the city are transendant…..guess i was too young to care about music in the first half of the decade..thing is the church NEVER sounds the same….in my mind…from disc to disc…one of the things i love about you….thats my two cents, but what do i know, im a fucking moron…i dont know a goddamn thing..as for the donation….im out of cash until i get some painkiller pal…besides i just blew a grand fixing my jeep….alright…fine..20 bucks its yours (i saved a little this week since my dealer is out of pot …i was on vacation last week and smoked a half ounce in 7 days..god damn i nearly smoked myself retarded) besides (myth is over-rated) i did enjoy the story….the time being.. cyber busker extrodinaire…its alot more money than id throw at that skinny kid with the acoustic guitar fucking up heart of gold on the street corner downtown…and more than some of the cheap cocksuckers on here.

    p.s. made a trip to the rock and roll hall of fame in cleveland last week…they have a strict policy of no pictures, no video…what the fuck is rock and roll about that…i took a bunch anyway until some fat security guy started yelling at me…fuck him.. i have decided i will NOT visit Australia until they induct the church over there…fuck them too…fuck you all…

    LOVE YOU!!!

  70. avatar
    Anonymous | 26 July 2008 at 10:05 am #

    I just wanna say, i get how the production spoiled Seance but it still remains a special record for me…something like “dissapear’ with its annoying snare sound is still just so beautiful so WARM!
    And yes…heyday was a cracker, though i must mention that the heyday show at Le rox ade;laide was my first experience of industrial deafness!!!!!

  71. avatar
    nickfiction | 26 July 2008 at 11:44 am #

    I’m not one to argue with the creator….. but the guitar work and ” capture ” ( regardless if you liked the person recording it ) on Starfish is priceless . Heyday ( if it must be compared ) is great, but it isn’t a complete ” thought ” . It’s like a compilation of music. Starfish is like a great book. It takes the reader ( Listener ) to a place and then drops them back to the beginning . Take UTMW off and it’s still amazing. It is probably my most listened album of all time. And i can give a shit about milky way. Starfish does something that no album has ever done. It paints a million different images in my mind. Beautiful lyrics, one of a kind. Greatest Band Ever !

  72. avatar
    The Kipper | 27 July 2008 at 1:02 am #

    I was aware of The Church by ’86, mostly because of 120 Minutes. The “Constant in Opal” video was interesting, but didn’t convince me to run out and buy it (there really was a lot of good music out there at the time, if one took the time to find it.) But one day, I made my weekly visit to the record shop, and the new Heyday cover really caught my eye. Something about the sly, sideways look by a band member on the front and the intriguing song titles on the back convinced me to make a “blind” purchase without having heard it first.

    I was absolutely stunned by the quality of the album, from start to finish…I had made a discovery of no small importance. At that time, only Remote Luxury was available in the US, so I ordered it right away. After buying Starfish the week it was released, I was a fan of The Church for life. It’s so rare for a band to have a one-two punch like Heyday/Starfish…perhaps only Rubber Soul/Revolver can compare.

    The haunt and love of “Myrrh” will never leave me. In my opinion, it is the greatest song of all. When people visit and see my collection of thousands of LPs and CDs, when they ask what my favorite song of all them would be, for many, many years, I have said “Myrrh”.

    Interesting about the effects at the end of “Myrhh”. I had always wondered why my subwoofer made a big push at an odd point near the end, as well as the odd noises on the fadeout.

    A bit of trivia: ABC’s Monday Night Football used a bit of “Tantalized” for bumper music back then. Millions of people heard it, but didn’t know what it was or where it was from…sadly.

  73. avatar
    Anonymous | 27 July 2008 at 6:56 am #

    Thinking about the cover.. folk have mentioned the paisley but it’s the Persian rug that did it for me. Paisley has very specific references in music but the carpet opened up a whole new world of references and imagery for me and gave the whole LP a warm glow.
    You obviously wanted that effect, who’s idea was it? Who said it first, ‘hey, let’s have a carpet behind us and on the back cover’
    As I write this I’m sitting with a rug almost exactly the same below my feet (coincidence?) and the vinyl playing, heck, I even have incense burning..now all I need is a joint.

    PV

  74. avatar
    Craig MIller | 28 July 2008 at 12:32 pm #

    How about a Seance 2008 remix?

  75. avatar
    Larry | 29 July 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    I love Heyday. It IS of its time, and not. It’s 80s but only in the sense that you can tell it’s a countercurrent to all the gated drums/synth bass/compressed guitar malarkey going on at that time.

    Can you tell us a bit about the goosebump-inducing choir on Already Yesterday? And how HHG came to be?

  76. avatar
    John | 29 July 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    Machine gun? I’ve always thought that!

    I always thought “Seance” sounded like it was recorded inside of a tin can. But I could never COMPLETELY leave it alone.

    John Garratt

  77. avatar
    Kokky | 29 July 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    Disenchanted.. what a great guitarpop-song it still is. Just naming a pop-song like that disenchanted is sheer brilliance. Only Carrere in England clever enough to release it as a single. Love the way how the confronting lyrics are delivered through this la-di-da tune with wonderful chiming guitars. Why aren’t you more proud of this baby? I’d love to hear it live some day.

  78. avatar
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