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Australian exclusive. Digitally remastered and augmented with a bonus CD of B-sides and acoustic tracks. Features original art including never before seen photographs. Starfish (originally released 1988) took the Church to a new level creatively and gave them an international hit single 'Under the Milky Way'. EMI. 2005.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Destination" is a wonderfully dreamy intro song. It has a lovely bridge where Steve Kilbey is almost speaking rather than singing. "Under the Milky Way" is an obvious single, although I had never heard it before. There is a great frantic bagpipes sound in the middle of the song. "Blood Money" is another fine song. I started noticing there was something similar here to Midnight Oil's sound - maybe the backing vocals in the choruses.
Man I could go on about all these songs! Side two (LP speaking) is also strong, with the upbeat "Spark" and "Reptile." But The Church are best known for their laid-back guitar rock. Like the Amazon reviewer said, they pre-dated what was to become the English rock sound of the '90s. The mega-successful Coldplay especially sounds influenced by The Church. I also notice similarities with The Verve (psychedelia) and R.E.M. (jangly guitars). They all owe something to the Byrds.
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.Read more ›
STARFISH doesn't have the diversity of sounds and influences that HEYDAY did and what little it has in common with earlier Church releases like THE BLURRED CRUSADE is the basic blueprint for the band's sound. STARFISH shows unexpected fluidity and overall has a less stylized and rigid sound compared to their earlier albums. Comparing this album is akin to comparing the Stones' AFTERMATH to LET IT BLEED or BEGGAR'S BANQUET--the pattern for the suit has been cut, but putting it together and then actually seeing it on someone are far different experiences.
REPTILE, HOTEL WOMB and UNDER THE MILKY WAY TONIGHT represent some of the best, melodic songwriting the band has done. SPARK shows some of the added edge the band has developed on this album. Kilbey, always a stylized vocalist a la Lou Reed or Leonard Cohen, shows considerably range(for him) and a renewed melodic singing/speaking style that was a direct outgrowth of HEYDAY's more varied sound.
Within their stylistic limitations, the Church have grown enormously and this, one of their best albums, became an unexpected hit due to this growth. A pity they haven't added the acoustic version of UNDER THE MILKY WAY as a bonus track, though. Get this cd while you can as most of their material is beling deleted stateside by Arista.Read more ›
No one in school had heard of The Church except this one senior in science class; she said, "Didn't they do that spacey milky galaxy song?"
The summer of '89 I found the whole album in [store] of all places...I bought it with The Cult's 'Sonic Temple' (remember 'Fire Woman' anyone?) and raced home to listen to them both.
Boy, was I disappointed...I was really looking forward to enjoying The Cult album, but it was actually Starfish which caught my attention. It was a very hot summer that year, the guitars shimmered as much as the blacktop and desert and I truly felt that the temperature dropped a few degrees while the album played.
I could listen to the whole album over and over...my favorite Church song today remains 'Reptile', it was one of the first things I tried to learn on guitar! As I'm much older now I appreciate the entire album as a complete work. Musically and technically it is very good, anyone who likes the layered 'jangly' sound of Johnny Marr/The Smiths will certainly enjoy most of the songs on the album.
The only other albums I've had of The Church were Gold Afternoon Fix, Priest = Aura and The Blurred Crusade. I LOVE The Blurred Crusade and a few tracks off the other ones, but Starfish is by far THE one I would take to the grave with me.
The winners on Starfish are Reptile, Destination, Spark and Hotel Room. Sorry folks, Milky Way doesn't do it for me like it does others, but that's alright...it gets some airplay here from time to time, it must still be a requested song.
Most recent customer reviews
Title track and "Blood Money" are the best recordings.
This is a very unique group, in a gloomy-pop sort of way. Read more
I've owned this album (in various formats) for almost 15 years now. So why would I be writing a review after all this time? Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2004 by Kevin Gamble
If I could only own one CD, it'd be Starfish. It's THAT good. Another reviewer wrote that The Church was the most underrated band, and I agree. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2004
I have bought that album because of the song "Under the milky way". It's a ritual song for me: I see the real milky way, I start singing the song and I just give a... Read morePublished on Oct. 31 2003 by Guylaine Le Ber
These guys continue to produce exellent music. I highly recommend "After everything, now this" and "Hologram of Baal"...just absolutely brilliant.Published on April 16 2003
This album was my introduction to The Church. I first heard "Reptile" on some obscure east end Long Island radio station while driving in my car in 1988. Read morePublished on March 24 2003
Starfish is one of those classic CD's that is perfectly unique. Of the thousands of CD's I have heard this one still stands out (the acoustic guitar, the lyrics and overall... Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2002 by K. H Mark
I thought I would go ahead and give this CD a review as it has been in my car for the past two weeks courtesy of a girlfriend who insists that Puddle of Mudd, Sublime and Blink 182... Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2002
"Ethereal" seems to sum up what most others have said about this masterpiece and I would certainly agree. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2002 by D. Hawkins