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Church, The

Church, The

THE EARLY CHURCH

THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHURCH DOCTRINE

THE CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE AGES

THE RISE OF PROTESTANTISM

THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The English word church and the German Kirche derive from the Greek Kyriake, which means that which belongs to the Lord. The Romance languages derive their words for church (iglesia, chiesa, église, etc.) from the Latin word ecclesia, which derives from the Greek, ekklesia, which means convocation or assembly. In the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible, ekklesia is used about 100 times to render Hebrew words like qahal that refer to the assembly of the Lord. In the New Testament the term ekklesia occurs 114 times and is used either for the whole Christian community (Gal. 1:13; 1 Cor. 15:9; Matt. 16:8) or for local or particular churches (1 Cor. 1:2; Rev. 1:4, 2:1, etc.).

Only one of the four Gospels, Matthew, uses the word ekklesia (Matt. 16:8; 18:17), but the term is used twenty-three times in Acts, sixty-five times in Paul, and twenty times in Revelation. This absence of ekklesia in three of the Gospels is probably the result of the Christian belief that the church only replaces Israel as the People of God following Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Christians, however, see the words and actions of Jesus during his earthly ministry as foundational for the church, and they look upon the history of Israel from the time of Abraham to Jesus as the preparation or prefiguring of the Christian Church.

THE EARLY CHURCH

The New Testament relates the spread of the Christian Church through the preaching of Jesus disciples (followers) and apostles (those commissioned by Jesus to preach his message). The Acts of the Apostles, written by Luke, tells the story of the spread of the church from Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, namely, Rome (Acts 1:8).

In the early church, leadership seems to have been both charismatic (some were prophets; 1 Cor. 12:48) and hierarchical (with overseers/bishops; elders/presbyters, and ministers/deacons; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-13, 5:17-20; Titus 1:7-9). In the early second century Ignatius the Martyr (d. c. 107) testifies to three distinct ministries or orders in the universal (catholic) church: bishop (episkopos ), presbyter (presbyteros ), and deacon (diakonos ). By the end of the second century Irenaeus (c. 130-200), the bishop of Lyons, points to the Church of Rome as having a more powerful principality because it is the church of the apostles Peter and Paul.

The rule of faith in the early church was the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. By the late second century, however, Bishop Irenaeus upholds the normative value of the four written testimonies to Jesus life and mission known as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (written c. 65-90 CE). The letters attributed to Paul also achieve scriptural status, and by the late fourth century (367) Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt, specifies the definitive list, or canon, of the twenty-seven writings of the New Testament as they remain in the early twenty-first century. The African Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) endorse the longer list of forty-six Old Testament books as canonical (a list later upheld by the Catholic Council of Trent in 1546, although the Protestant Reformers favored the shorter Old Testament of thirty-nine books).

The Christian Church spread throughout the Near East and the Mediterranean basin during the first three centuries of the Common Era in spite of periodic persecutions from Roman emperors, such as Nero (64-68), Domitian (95-96), Trajan (106-117), Marcus Aurelius (161-180), Decius (249-251), and Diocletian and Galerius (303-311). The spread of the faith amid such persecutions prompted the Christian writer Tertullian (c. 150-220) to remark that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians.

In 313 the Roman emperor Constantine (later baptized a Christian) granted legal recognition and religious freedom to Christianity by the Edict of Milan. In 330 he moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium in Asia Minor (later renamed Constantinople). This move led to the recognition of Constantinople as the New Rome and a leading center of Christian culture. By the fifth century there were five major centers or sees of the Christian Church: Rome in Italy, Constantinople in Asia Minor, Alexandria in Egypt, Antioch in Syria, and Jerusalem.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHURCH DOCTRINE

Between 325 and 787 seven major (ecumenical) church councils were held to clarify points of doctrine in resistance to various teachings considered to be false or heretical. A profession of faith linked to the first two ecumenical councils of Nicea I (325) and Constantinople I (381) summarized the basic points of Christian faith, especially the belief in the Trinity (three persons in one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and Jesus Christ as consubstantial or one in essence with the Father. This profession of faith, known as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (or simply the Nicene Creed) also describes the Christian Church as one, holy, Catholic and apostolic.

Other doctrinal proclamations followed. The Council of Ephesus in 431 affirmed Mary as the God-bearer or Mother of God. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 described Jesus as one person with two natures (human and divine). The Second Council of Nicea in 787 condemned iconoclasm (opposition to the use of sacred images or icons) and reaffirmed the right to give veneration (though not worship) to icons of Jesus, Mary, the angels, and the saints. This council also reaffirmed the condemnation of forced conversions to the Christian faith.

Although these councils sought unity in the church, various groups of Christians resisted their teachings and formed separate ecclesial bodies. The Arian churches (named after the Egyptian Christian priest Arius) denied the full divinity of Christ and rejected Nicea I and Constantinople I. The Church of the East, or Nestorian Church, rejected the teaching of Ephesus (431) on Mary as the Mother of God. It found refuge in the Persian Empire and spread to parts of India and China. Large numbers of Christians in Armenia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and East Syria resisted the doctrine of Chalcedon (451) and formed the Monophysite (one-nature) churches, also known as the Oriental Orthodox churches.

THE CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE AGES

In the 600s Islam rose under Muhammad (570-632), beginning in Arabia. The Muslims, or followers of Islam, denied the Trinity and understood Jesus as a prophet/messenger of God rather than the divine Son of God. They claimed that their holy book, the Quran, corrected the mistakes of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. The Muslims became a military power and conquered Jerusalem in 638; Alexandria, Egypt, in 642; Carthage, North Africa, in 698; and Spain in 712. The Muslims were set to conquer the rest of Europe but were defeated by Charles Martel in 732 in France.

Because of the threat of Islamic expansion, the popes in the West formed an alliance with the Franks for military protection. The crowning of the Frankish king Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in 800 can be understood as the beginning of the Middle Ages in the West. The Byzantine Christians resented the recognition of another Roman emperor because they saw themselves in continuity with the empire of Constantine. This resentment contributed to the 1054 schism (split) between the churches of Rome and Constantinople, which led to an enduring separation of the Eastern Orthodox Churches from the Catholic Church under the pope. The split was mostly over the Orthodox rejection of the popes primacy of jurisdiction over the churches in the East and the addition of the phrase and the Son (filioque ) to the creed. Later attempts at reunion in 1274 and 1439 were not successful.

In spite of the split between Rome and Constantinople, the perceived threat of Islam, now under the rule of the Turks, led to the Byzantine emperor appealing to the pope for military aid. The result was the Crusades, a series of military ventures authorized by the popes and other Christian leaders to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims. These Crusades began in 1095 and ended in 1291. Jerusalem was captured by the crusaders in 1099 and a Latin kingdom established. The Muslims, however, regained control of the holy city in 1187, and the other Crusades were mostly failures. Some tragedies also took place, such as the sack of Constantinople in 1204 by the Western crusaders, which deepened the split between Rome and Constantinople.

The church, as a cultural and political entity, played a major role in the history of western and eastern Europe during the Middle Ages (c. 800-1400), and it provided inspiration and support for education and the arts. Though elements of pre-Christian classicism revived during the Renaissance (c. 1400s1500s), Europe remained essentially Christian, and the secular rulers defended the church (though tensions did exist). Non-Christians, such as the Jews, also lived in Christian Europe during this time, but their situation was sometimes precarious.

THE RISE OF PROTESTANTISM

The Reform or Protestant movements of the 1500s resulted in new Christian churches distinct from the Catholic Church under the pope. The Protestant movementsidentified traditionally as Anglican, Lutheran, Calvinist/Reformed, Anabaptist, and Spiritualisttended to accept only the Bible as the normative Christian authority. When Protestant groups differed in their interpretations of the Bible, multiple Protestant groups were formed.

The Protestant movements resulted in wars of religion when nations and rulers sided with either the Protestants or the pope. By the time of the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, the landscape of Europe was broken up into various Catholic and Protestant regions, with the prevailing policy of following the religion of the local regions ruler (cuius regio, huius religio ). Beginning in the 1500s Catholic and Protestant explorers began to bring their church structures with them to Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD

Christianity in the early twenty-first century comprises three main groups, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant, with Anglicans claiming aspects of both Catholicism and Protestantism. For Catholics (often called Roman Catholics) the church is held in communion by the three visible bonds: unity of faith, unity of seven sacraments, and unity of ecclesial government (bishops in communion with and under the pope, the bishop of Rome). Catholics also conceive of the church as visible and invisible, consisting of three states: the faithful on earth, those undergoing postmortem purification, and the saints in heaven.

Orthodox Christians (those of right worship and doctrine) see themselves as the one, holy, apostolic and Catholic Church of the Nicene Creed. This one church is a communion of self-governing (autocephalous) churches bound together by the apostolic succession of true bishops, divine worship and the seven sacraments (or mysteries), and the apostolic faith of the first seven ecumenical councils (Catholics, though, accept twenty-one councils as ecumenical).

Except for the Anglicans/Episcopalians (who see themselves in continuity with the apostolic succession of bishops), Protestant Christians tend to understand the church as the congregation of the saints (Lutheran Confession of Augsburg, 1530) or as the universal Church, which is invisible, consisting of the whole number of the elect (Calvinist Westminster Confession of Faith, 1643). While the visible church is important for the teaching of correct doctrine and the rightful administration of the sacraments (reduced from seven to baptism and the Lords Supper), Protestants tend to understand the church more as an invisible communion of those chosen by God for justification in Christ. Especially among contemporary evangelical Christians, the denomination of ones Christian community does not matter as much as ones faith and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Since the rise of modern secular states (late 1700s1900s), the Christian churches generally no longer enjoy the patronage of state support. They do, however, play an important role in various works of charity, education, and involvement with causes of peace and social justice. The witness of the church has grown to be more moral than political, although a political dimension is clearly present in many cases.

SEE ALSO Christianity; Church and State; Coptic Christian Church; Greek Orthodox Church; Islam, Shia and Sunni; Jesus Christ; Militarism; Muhammad; Protestantism; Religion; Roman Catholic Church; Vatican, The; War

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Auer, Johann. 1993. The Church: The Universal Sacrament of Salvation. Trans. Michael Waldstein. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press.

Bettenson, Henry, and Chris Maunder, eds. 1999. Documents of the Christian Church. 3rd ed. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

McManners, John, ed. 1993. The Oxford History of Christianity. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

OCollins, Gerald, and Mario Farrugia. 2003. Catholicism: The Story of Catholic Christianity. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Ware, Timothy. 1993. The Orthodox Church. 2nd ed. New York: Penguin Books.

Robert Fastiggi

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Church, The

The Church

Rock group

Critics' descriptions of the Church's sound have varied with the band's ever-changing albums, but the group's distinctive style and ambience remain a constant. The group was formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1980 and over the years has garnered international attention. "Once upon a time," vocalist Steve Kilbey recalled in Raygun, "we were four young fellows starting a band in Sydney in 1980, and we all ate the same things, and looked the same way, and wore the same clothes."

Those four young fellows—Kilbey, guitarists Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes, and drummer Richard Ploog—made up the Church's original lineup. The year following their formation, the band released Of Skins and Heart, their debut album on Australia's Parlophone Records, featuring the single "The Unguarded Moment." In 1982 they landed a deal in the United States with Capitol Records and released The Church, which included most of the cuts from their first Australian release plus three other songs from a double-45 single.

The Church stopped making records for Capitol after their self-titled U.S. debut; instead they continued to produce albums in Australia, including 1982's Blurred Crusade, with critically acclaimed tunes like "I'm Almost with You" and "Come Up and See Me," and 1983's Seance, featuring the tracks "Travel by Thought," "Fly," and "Dropping Names." Then, in 1984, the Church signed a deal with Warner Brothers and released their next album in the United States, Remote Luxury. With "Constant in Opal," the hit single and video from the album, they started developing a dedicated cult following in the States.

That same year, the band went into the studio with producer Peter Walsh to record Heyday, which landed in record stores two years later. The Church moved toward stronger and catchier melodies with songs like "Tristesse" and "Myrrh."

Though the Church's following had built steadily, they had yet to attain hit status or gain widespread recognition in the United States. They opted to switch record labels once again, and in 1987 inked a deal with Arista. In the meantime, Kilbey, Willson-Piper, and Koppes each signed solo deals with Rykodisc and began working on their own material.

Determined to promote the Church, Arista suggested that producers Greg Ladanyi and Waddy Wachtel work with them on their next album. A year later, Starfish got them the attention they were waiting for. "Starfish is the best in a long line of great Church hymnals," wrote a Rolling Stone contributor, "thanks to the band's refined studio poise and a bumper crop of jangle-and-strum jewels like 'Blood Money,' 'Reptile,' and Marty Willson-Piper's 'Spark.'" In addition, their hit single "Under the Milky Way" received significant radio airplay, and the Church made their first major tour of the United States. Arista re-released the band's entire back catalog that same year, and the band developed a whole new fan base. The song also became a mainstay of television and film soundtracks meant to evoke the quintessential sound of the 1980s. Kilbey said in an interview for Michigan's Royal Oak Daily Tribune that the inspiration for "Under the Milky Way" came to him in a flash, recalling that the song "just came falling out of the air." The subsequent exposure of the song in the film Donnie Darko and The O.C. even earned Kilbey fans in his own household. "The exposure has helped us gain interest from newer people," he told the Royal Oak newspaper. "My 15-year-old twin girls are now really interested in what I do. They tell me, 'Hey, dad, you're alright. You're in 'The O.C.' You're in a great band!'"

After touring to support the album, the Church went back into the studio to work on their next album, Gold Afternoon Fix. When they finished recording, they booted drummer Richard Ploog out of the band and recruited Jay Dee Daugherty to replace him. Gold Afternoon Fix, released in 1990, featured the singles "Metropolis" and "You're Still Beautiful," but failed to live up to the popularity of Starfish. However, the band's goals didn't necessarily include getting the top spots on the charts. "I feel that it's really important to just write songs without worrying whether it's going to be a hit or not," Willson-Piper noted in the band's Arista Records press biography. Chris Mundy, writing in Rolling Stone, described Gold Afternoon Fix as "the Church's invitation to visit its murky, ethereal world. It's an invitation that should not be refused."

As a conceptual lyric writer, Kilbey has often been asked to define the songs on the Church's albums, and Gold Afternoon Fix stimulated the question with cuts like "Pharaoh," "Terra Nova Cain," and "Russian Autumn Heart." "Simple pleasure is the most important thing," Kilbey stated in Musician.

For the Record …

Members include Jay Dee Daugherty (member 1988–93), drums; Steve Kilbey, vocals, bass guitar; Peter Koppes (left group 1993; rejoined 1996), guitar; Richard Ploog (member, 1980–88), drums; Tim Powles (joined 1996), drums; Marty Willson-Piper, guitar.

Band formed in Sydney, Australia, 1980; released first album, Of Skins and Heart, in Australia on Parlophone Records, 1981; released self-titled debut album in U.S. on Capitol label, 1982; recorded for Carrere Records in Australia, 1982–83, and Warner Bros. in the U.S., 1984–86; signed with Arista Records, 1987; Willson-Piper and Kilbey released first album as a duo, 1994; released Uninvited, Like the Clouds and embarked on acoustic tour, 2006.Member 1988–93.Left group, 1993.Member 1980–88.

Addresses: Record company—Cooking Vinyl USA LLC, P.O. Box 246, Huntingtion, NY 11743, e-mail—infousa@cookingvinyl.com.

More than any other ingredient, the chemistry existing between band members seems to have sparked the Church's creative output. Kilbey, Willson-Piper, and Koppes all had their solo projects to express their individual creativity, so when the band came together, they concentrated on unifying their ideas. In 1992 they produced Priest=Aura, featuring the single "Ripple." "It was the classic, introspective, ambiguous Church album," Willson-Piper said in the Boston Phoenix. Moving away from the more commercial sound of their last two albums, the Church seemed to head in a darker direction with Priest=Aura. "Set against this elegant soundscape, not so quiet storms add a glint of savagery, bringing moments of drama and beauty to stately songs," proclaimed Ira Robbins in a Rolling Stone review of the album.

The Church toured worldwide once again, with a last stop on their home turf in Australia. Just hours before their tour of Australia began, Koppes announced his intention to leave the band. He agreed to finish the tour, but quit as soon as they completed their last set. Kilbey and Willson-Piper dismissed Jay Dee Daugherty not long after Koppes's departure. "We weren't sure if the band was going to exist anymore," Willson-Piper said in the band's press biography. "I figured we would just know if and when the time was right to get back into the studio."

In the middle of 1993, Willson-Piper left his home in Stockholm to join Kilbey in Australia, and the two of them started working on the next Church album. "Originally, we were worried about the chemistry being different after all that time together as a four-man band," Willson-Piper explained in their press biography. "So we just started messing about together in the studio. Once we recorded "Lost My Touch" we knew everything was going to fall into place." Sometime Anywhere—written, recorded, and mixed in two months during the summer of 1993 and released in 1994—became the first Church album produced by the two remaining members.

"Two Places at Once," the first single from the album, reflected a true collaborative effort by Willson-Piper and Kilbey. After they had cowritten the music for the song, they each penned separate lyrics and then decided to combine the two, with each member singing his own version until the end of the song, when the two would combine. Pulse! contributor Scott Schinder considered the material on Sometime Anywhere to be "denser, darker territory" than the band's earlier releases, and Brian Q. Newcomb commented in the Riverfront Times that in its new incarnation, the Church was still aiming to deliver "contemporary, intelligent rock."

The group re-formed in 1996 with the return of Koppes and the addition of drummer Tim Powles, and by the middle of the next decade, the Church had released material that continued to display their creative vitality.

The Church's 2006 tour followed the release of one of their strongest albums since their first decade. Uninvited, Like the Clouds returned the group to its neo-psychedelic heyday without a whiff of nostalgia. Instead, the songs sounded fresh and contemporary, beginning with the kickoff track "Block." Kilbey took particular pride in the song, telling the Royal Oak Daily Tribune, "All the songs feature the same thematic elements that have concerned me for a long time, including space, time, dreams and surrealism."

Kilbey has said he believes that the band's longevity is due to "the promise of what we could do with the music, which is what kept us together at first and keeps bringing us together to make good music."

Selected discography

Of Skins and Heart, Parlophone, 1981; reissued, Arista, 1988.
The Church, Capitol, 1982.
The Blurred Crusade, Carrere, 1982; reissued, Arista, 1988.
Seance, Carrere, 1983; reissued, Arista, 1988.
Remote Luxury, Warner Bros., 1984, reissued, Arista, 1988.
Heyday, Warner Bros., 1986; reissued, Arista, 1988.
Starfish, Arista, 1988.
Gold Afternoon Fix, Arista, 1990.
Priest=Aura, Arista, 1992.
Sometime Anywhere, Arista, 1994.
Magician Among the Spirits, Griffin Music, 1996.
Hologram of Baal, Thirsty Ear, 1998.
A Box of Birds, Thirsty Ear, 1999.
Under the Milky Way: The Best of the Church, Buddha, 2000.
After Everything Now This, Thirsty Ear, 2002.
Parallel Universe, Thirsty Ear, 2002.
Forget Yourself, Cooking Vinyl, 2003.
El Momento Descuidado, Liberation Blue, 2005.
Uninvited, Like the Clouds, Cooking Vinyl, 2006.

Sources

Books

The Trouser Press Record Guide, Ira A. Robbins, editor, Collier Books, 1991.

Periodicals

Billboard, November 10, 1984; March 5, 1988; April 23, 1988.

Boston Phoenix, May 20, 1994.

Flagpole, May 11, 1994.

Honey, May 1994.

Melody Maker, February 13, 1982; July 10, 1982; August 7, 1982; December 15, 1984; April 6, 1985; May 31, 1986; March 12, 1988; March 19, 1988; April 23, 1988; March 24, 1990; May 19, 1990.

Musician, October 1988, September 1990.

Pulse!, July 1994.

Raygun, June 1994.

Riverfront Times, June 1, 1994.

Rolling Stone, April 21, 1988; May 19, 1988; December 15, 1988; May 17, 1990; April 16, 1992.

Royal Oak Daily Tribune (Michigan), Aug. 11, 2006.

Scene, May 19, 1994.

Variety, June 22, 1988; June 20, 1990.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Arista Records publicity materials, 1994.

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The Church

The Church

Rock band

For the Record

Changes Brought Hit Album

Chemistry Created Simple Pleasures

Foursome Reduced to Duo

Selected discography

Sources

Critics descriptions of the Churchs sound have varied with the bands ever-changing albums, but the Churchs distinctive style and ambience remain a constant. The group was formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1980 and over the years has garnered international attention. Once upon a time, singer Steve Kilbey recalled in Raygun, we were four young fellows starting a band in Sydney in 1980, and we all ate the same things, and looked the same way, and wore the same clothes.

Those four young fellowsKilbey, guitarists Marty Will-son-Piper and Peter Koppes, and drummer Richard Ploogmade up the Churchs original lineup. The year following their formation, the band released Of Skins and Heart, their debut album on Australias Parlophone Records, featuring the single The Unguarded Moment. In 1982 they landed a deal in the United States with Capitol Records and released The Church, which included most of the cuts from their first Australian release plus three other songs from a double-45 single.

For the Record

Members include Jay Dee Daugherty (member 1988-93), drums; Steve Kilbey, vocals, bass guitar; Peter Koppes (left group 1993), guitar; Richard Ploog (member 1980-88), drums; Marty Willson-Piper, guitar.

Band formed in Sydney, Australia, 1980; released first album, Of Skin and Heart, in Australia on Parlophone Records, 1981; released self-titled debut album in U.S., Capitol, 1982; recorded for Carrere Records in Australia, 1982-83, and Warner Bros, in the United States, 1984-86; signed with Arista Records, 1987. Marty Willson-Piper and Steve Kilbey released first album as a duo, 1994.

Addresses: Record company Arista Records, Inc., 6 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019.

The Church didnt make any more records for Capitol after their self-titled U.S. debut; instead they continued to produce albums in Australia, including 1982s Blurred Crusade, with critically acclaimed tunes like Im Almost with You and Come Up and See Me, and 1983s Seance, featuring the tracks Travel by Thought, Fly, and Dropping Names. Then, in 1984, the Church signed a deal with Warner Bros, and released their next album in the United States, Remote Luxury. With Constant in Opal, the hit single and video from the album, they started developing a dedicated cult following in the States.

Changes Brought Hit Album

That same year, the band went into the studio with producer Peter Walsh to record Heyday, which landed in record stores two years later. The Church moved toward stronger and catchier melodies with songs like Tristesse and Myrrh. After recording the album, guitarist Marty Willson-Piper decided to leave Australia and move to Stockholm, Sweden.

Though the Churchs following had built steadily, they had yet to attain hit status or gain widespread recognition in the United States. They opted to switch record labels once again and in 1987 inked a deal with Arista. In the meantime, Kilbey, Willson-Piper, and Koppes each signed solo deals with Rykodisc and began working on their own material.

Determined to promote the Church, Arista suggested producers Greg Ladanyi and Waddy Wachtel work with them on their next album. A year later, Starfish got them the attention they were waiting for. Starfish is the best in a long line of great Church hymnals, wrote a Rolling Stone contributor, thanks to the bands refined studio poise and a bumper crop of jangle-and-strum jewels like Blood Money, Reptile, and Marty Willson-Pipers Spark. In addition, their hit single Under the Milky Way received significant radio airplay, and the Church made their first major tour of the United States. Arista re-released the bands entire back catalog that same year, and the band developed a whole new fan base.

Chemistry Created Simple Pleasures

After their tour, the Church went back into the studio to work on their next album, Gold Afternoon Fix. When they finished recording, they booted drummer Richard Ploog out of the band and recruited Jay Dee Daugherty to replace him. Gold Afternoon Fix, released in 1990, featured the singles Metropolis and Youre Still Beautiful but failed to live up to the popularity of Starfish. However, the bands goals dont necessarily include getting the top spots on the charts. I feel that its really important to just write songs without worrying whether its going to be a hit or not, Willson-Piper noted in the bands Arista Records press biography. Chris Mundy, writing in Rolling Stone, described Gold Afternoon Fix as the Churchs invitation to visit its murky, ethereal world. Its an invitation that should not be refused.

As a conceptual lyric writer, Kilbey has often been asked to define the songs on the Churchs albums, and Gold Afternoon Fix stimulated the question with cuts like Pharaoh, Terra Nova Cain, and Russian Autumn Heart. Simple pleasure is the most important thing, Kilbey stated in Musician. The sun shining on an open field on a nice day is more important than the Pythagorean [theorem of right triangles]. The sun shining on an open field means more than the collected works of Western literature over the last 10,000 years. You dont eat pizza and then go back to the chef and say, But what did this pizza mean? Do you? Why cant music be like that?

More than any other ingredient, the chemistry existing between bandmembers sparked the Churchs creative output. Kilbey, Willson-Piper, and Koppes all had their solo projects to express their individual creativity, so when the band came together, they concentrated on unifying their ideas. In 1992 they produced Priest=Aura, featuring the single Ripple. It was the classic, introspective, ambiguous Church album, Willson-Piper said in the Boston Phoenix. Moving away from the more commercially oriented sound of their last two albums, the Church seemed to head in a darker direction with Priest=Aura. Set against this elegant soundscape, not so quiet storms add a glint of savagery, bringing moments of drama and beauty to stately songs, proclaimed Ira Robbins in a Rolling Stone review of the album.

Foursome Reduced to Duo

The Church toured the world once again, with a last stop on their home turf in Australia. Just hours before their tour of Australia began, Koppes announced his intentions to leave the band after 13 years. He agreed to finish the tour but quit as soon as they completed their last set. Kilbey and Willson-Piper dismissed Jay Dee Daugherty not long after Koppess departure. We werent sure if the band was going to exist anymore, Willson-Piper said in the bands press biography. I figured we would just know if and when the time was right to get back into the studio.

In the middle of 1993, Willson-Piper left his home in Stockholm to join Kilbey in Australia, and the two of them started working on the next Church album. Originally, we were worried about the chemistry being different after all that time together as a four-man band, Willson-Piper explained in their press biography. So we just started messing about together in the studio. Once we recorded [Lost My Touch], we knew everything was going to fall into place. Sometime Anywhere written, recorded, and mixed in two months during the summer of 1993 and released in 1994became the first Church album produced by the two remaining members.

Two Places at Once, the first single from the album, reflects a true collaborative effort by Willson-Piper and Kilbey. After they had cowritten the music for the song, they each penned separate lyrics. When they came back together, the members of the duo found that they had completely different concepts of what they thought the song was about. They decided to combine the two sets of lyricswith each member singing his own versionuntil the end of the song, when the two blend together seamlessly. Pulse! contributor Scott Schinder considered the material on Sometime Anywhere denser, darker territory than the bands earlier releases, and Brian Q. Newcomb commented in a Riverfront Times review of the album: It delivers not only impressive sounds, but also compositional substance and lyrics filled with irony, intelligence, and charm. It seems that in its new incarnation, the Church was still aiming to deliver contemporary, intelligent rock.

Selected discography

Of Skins and Heart, Parlophone, 1981, reissued, Arista, 1988.

The Church, Capitol, 1982.

The Blurred Crusade, Carrere, 1982, reissued, Arista, 1988.

Seance, Carrere, 1983, reissued, Arista, 1988.

Remote Luxury, Warner Bros., 1984, reissued, Arista, 1988.

Heyday, Warner Bros., 1986, reissued, Arista, 1988.

Starfish, Arista, 1988.

Gold Afternoon Fix, Arista, 1990.

Priest=Aura, Arista, 1992.

Sometime Anywhere, Arista, 1994.

Sources

Books

The Trouser Press Record Guide, edited by Ira A. Robbins, Collier Books, 1991.

Periodicals

Alternative Press, July 1994.

Billboard, November 10, 1984; March 5, 1988; April 23, 1988.

Boston Phoenix, May 20, 1994.

Flagpole, May 11, 1994.

Honey, May 1994.

Melody Maker, February 13, 1982; July 10, 1982; August 7, 1982; December 15, 1984; April 6, 1985; May 31, 1986; March 12, 1988; March 19, 1988; April 23, 1988; March 24, 1990; May 19, 1990.

Musician, October 1988, September 1990.

Pulse!, My 1994.

Raygun, June 1994.

Riverfront Times, June 1, 1994.

Rolling Stone, April 21, 1988; May 19, 1988; December 15, 1988; May 17, 1990; April 16, 1992.

Scene, May 19, 1994.

Variety, June 22, 1988; June 20, 1990.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Arista Records publicity materials, 1994.

Sonya Shelton

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