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The Church Heyday album cover
3.24 | 33 ratings | 7 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Myrrh (4:19)
2. Tristesse (3:28)
3. Already Yesterday (4:16)
4. Columbus (3:49)
5. Happy Hunting Ground (3:48)
6. Tantalized (5:00)
7. Disenchanted (3:53)
8. Night Of Light (4:49)
9. Youth Worshipper (3:42)
10. Roman (3:58)

Total time 41:02

Bonus tracks on CD releases:
11. As You Will (4:49)
12. The View (3:43)
13. Trance Endings (4:47)

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Kilbey / lead vocals, bass, horn & string arrangements (9,10)
- Peter Koppes / guitar, lead (11) & backing vocals
- Marty Willson-Piper / guitar, lead (12) & backing vocals
- Richard Ploog / drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Rick Chadwick / keyboards
- Leon Zervos / sound Fx
- Tony Ansell / orchestration
- Phillip Hartl / first violin
- Peter Walsh / horn & string arrangements (5,9), producer
- Mark Williams / backing vocals (3)
- Mark Punch / backing vocals (3)
- Shauna Jensen / backing vocals (3)
- Maggie McKinney / backing vocals (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Wendy McDougall (photo)

LP Parlophone ‎- PCSO-430034 (1985, Australia)

CD EMI ‎- CDP 7 46256 2 (1985, Australia) With 2 bonus tracks
CD EMI ‎- 5099991817525 (2010, Australia) Remastered by Don Bartley with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy THE CHURCH Heyday Music

THE CHURCH Heyday ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

THE CHURCH Heyday reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by maani
4 stars [Fifth in a series] "Heyday" finds the band abandoning the straight-rock approach and again experimenting (mostly successfully) with their budding progressive sensibilities. From the opening measures of "Myrrh," the band incorporates all the elements that gave "Seance" such a different focus. Here is the lush, expansive atmosphere, the textured guitars and keyboards, the non-standard chord progressions, and most of all the confidence that their previous album ("Remote Luxury") clearly lacked. Slightly more straightforward, "Tristesse" is a nice love song with an interesting retro-60s sound. "Already Yesterday" is a strange concoction that almost defies categorization. Part retro-60s, part 80s pop, it does make interesting use of a vocoder. Their first (unexpected) hit - "Columbus" - is a Moody Blues-ish composition, with a wonderful mid-break full of syncopated percussion and guitar. "Happy Hunting Ground" is the band's second effort at keeping the "instrumental" alive in rock, and succeeds beautifully. Supported by a quasi-Native American rhythm, the bass and guitar play off each other for a while, after which the rhythm takes prominence, accompanied by violin, tremolo guitar, and a tasteful keyboard figure. (It is my second favorite Church instrumental.) You can tell that "As You Will" was not on the original album, as the "sound" is noticeably different: less "expansive," more high-ended, less progressive, less satisfying. "Tantalized," on the other hand, brings us back to the original album with a "punch": an expansive atmosphere filled with a heavy, propulsive beat, great guitar work from Koppes, Beatle-esque horns, great keyboards, an off-time chorus, and a wild break. Along with "Myrrh," my fave on the album. "Disenchanted" is a slightly Bowie-ish composition, combining all the elements now becoming standard in the The Church "sound," while giving a nod to their former sound. And the band is clearly having fun with it. "Night of Light" is a combination of Moody Blues and XTC, filtered through the band's increasingly unique sensibilities. "Youth Worshipper," the weakest track on the album, is an uneven amalgam of standard and non-standard approaches. Despite a promising opening, "Roman" (the last track on the original album) is also slightly weak. "The View" (originally the B side of "Tantalized") is a strange quasi-progressive pop song in a slight "Revolver" vein. "Trance Endings" is both pleasant and, ultimately, forward-looking with regard to the band's progression. Overall, after the misstep of "Remote Luxury," the band is coming closer to being fully "progressive," having chosen to abandon any pretense of deliberate "hit-making" in order to find the progressive voice they know is there.
Review by hdfisch
2 stars This is a very weak album of them and a big drop down compared to Seance. The songs are in fact all nice to listen, but nothing special with two exceptions that is Happy Hunting Ground which is a nice atmospheric instrumental track with great soundscapes and the last one which is a bit outstanding as well. But the rest is Indie Rock with jangling guitars garnished with some cheap sounding keyboards. At this time point the band was obviously not mature enough yet. One can hear in these two songs the potential they had but it was obviously not yet sufficient for a full very good album. This did not happen before Priest = Aura which was their first real progressive album in my view. For this effort I can't give more than 2 stars (for collectors only)!
Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars The hypes and stripes are all gone, for sure.

The band released some very good albums in their early days, but to tell the truth, their previous "Remote Luxury" was less than average. This "Heyday" effort is not a great one either.

Some second hand pop tunes for most of the album. Performing at best, but shy of being models. Of course, the music available was performed in the middle eighties (you know what I' Am talking about) and it is not the best one we have ever acknowledged.

I am lacking though the fantasy that this band showed during their debut ("Of Skins & Heart"). A fantastic album which, unfortunately, won't have any of its kind released later on.

But, apart from the giants we all love, who could release three great albums in this category? I guess little other bands. This is a good album after all. A song as "Happy Hunting Ground" should reconcile most of the progheads and fans of "The Church" but this isn't a thrilling story either. Pleasant. OK.

This is far from being their best album: the music displayed holds some fine tunes or moments but globally, very few highlights can be considered. It is just a very long (over sixty minutes) album with little passion.

Two stars is the limit for this one. Once, "The Church" held some great expectation and passion to my heart. But it seems all gone by now. I guess that a song as "Disenchanted" got it all. Unfortunately.

If ever you would like to discover some more prog during this album; I would only recommend to forget about it. This album doesn't hold anything prog at all. Just a collection of new wave arithmetic. Nothing bad for sure; but hell! Nothing great either.

All in all, this album is just deserving two stars. At this stage, "The Church" is not of any influence. This album is just a collection of average melodies. A good moment to share, for sure. To depict this as a great album is quite adventurous.

This is quite a deception as far as I'm concerned.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Not a bad pop album from THE CHURCH and you could say this was the stepping stone to international fame with their next album "Starfish". This is fairly dreamy with jangly guitars. Not a lot of dynamics at work here with the reserved vocals and that laid back sound but it has it's moments.

They do add some guest horns and strings at times.This works well with the instrumental "Happy Hunting Ground" where we get some atmosphere as well. "Myrrh" the opening track is a top three for me.The sound builds until the vocals arrive then it settles back. "Columbus" is another top three and my favourite. It's uptempo but also uplifting. "Disenchanted" is the other top three. A dreamy track that hits the spot. I like "Youth Worshipper" quite a bit as well.

I really like how this band sounds but this particular album seems to be lacking something.

Review by Warthur
5 stars The Church's Heyday is a brilliant artifact from a parallel universe where paisley shirts stayed cool right into the 1980s alternative underground. The album is wreathed in hefty wafts of a hippified gothic psychedelia atmosphere that's highly reminiscent of the sort of material that All About Eve were working with at around this time - indeed, there'd be a cross-pollination of personnel and ideas between the two bands in the near future precisely because they were working in such a similar area. For my money, Heyday is aptly named, because it represents the magnificent high water mark of the Church's extensive 1980s output.
Review by Dapper~Blueberries
2 stars I believe there is a new found love that I gained for the post punk genre with bands like The Cure, black midi, Oingo Boingo, and Television, all of which showcasing the genre's more expansive sounds that can be both joyous, and quite sad. It is surprisingly a very versatile genre. With that being said though, I do believe that there are things the genre has that I am not very pleased about, such as the more overly commercial post punk revival of the early 2000s that bands like The Killers have attempted. I am also not the biggest fan of the more, overly bizarre and experimental bands like This Heat that really doesn't do the genre much of any favors besides trying to be too weird. The inverse of that weirdness also comes true when it feels bland, and sadly, for me, Heyday by The Church is one of the more formulaic examples of post punk.

I feel like within the sphere of post punk, you can do a lot, and really work on what sound you want to create in this very varied genre. Within Heyday, The Church decided to go for a more gothic rock and new wave sounds, with almost Velvet Underground-like vocal works, which creates a more unique sound the band clearly has a knack for, with songs that feel very bouncy but also with a melancholy edge.

My main problem with this album comes in two factors:

Every song on here just sounds way too similar, to the point where it feels almost like the band isn't really trying. The only exception to this is Trance Ending, which is more or less a bonus track on digital and cd releases, so it doesn't quite count. Tantalized does have some interesting uses of horns and rhythm, but other than that, most of these songs just sound and feel the same, and as someone who loves more variety within their music, it all just makes this feel very generic to me, fully invalidating the unique sound the band seemingly was going for.

I do not like the vocals at all. I know I said earlier that this album gave a unique sound, but as someone who just never liked vocals like this, especially within bands like The Velvet Underground, it just really loses the experience. I know they are trying to go for a more melancholic thematic with the music, and so having monotonous vocals does make sense, but it just makes me lose interest. It makes the music sound boring and lifeless, not filled with emotions of inconsolableness.

All that, plus the almost hour long run time just makes this album as a whole feel less of anything to me. Individually, I think these songs definitely work decently, and I can definitely imagine myself listening to one or two of these melodies on occasion, but as a whole package it just feels bland to me.

Latest members reviews

5 stars From my point of view, artistiscally speaking, along their career The Church reached their top twice (commercially is a different story as it is known). The first time was with this album. Although in most of The Church albums you might find a song or two that don't get your feelings high, wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#52322) | Posted by shyman | Wednesday, October 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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