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The Church A Box Of Birds  album cover
3.06 | 13 ratings | 2 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Faith Healer (7:36)
2. It's All Too Much (6:11)
3. Hiroshima Mon Amour (4:28)
4. The Porpoise Song (4:28)
5. Decadence (9:15)
6. The Endless Sea (4:33)
7. Friction (5:11)
8. All The Young Dudes (4:10)
9. Silver Machine (4:58)
10. Cortez The Killer (11:07)

Total Time: 61:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Kilbey / vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards
- Peter Koppes / guitar, keyboards, bass
- Marty Willson-Piper / guitar
- Tim Powles / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD Thirsty Ear THI 57073.2

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Buy THE CHURCH A Box Of Birds Music

Box of BirdsBox of Birds
Thirsty Ear 1999
$19.95 (used)

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THE CHURCH A Box Of Birds ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

THE CHURCH A Box Of Birds reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
3 stars This may be the album of the Church's body of work that would appeal most to proggers (sadly, since they are a great band), in that it is a covers album that contains some old 70s chestnuts. I have to say, though I am biased, that this is my favourite covers album, since the band chose some pretty obscure (by most people's standards) stuff that suited their own dream-pop/glam- and prog-influenced style. Here's a breakdown of the covers: The Faith Healer (orig, Alex Harvey Band)- pretty faithful to the spooky original, but with Steve Kilbey's ominous baritone replacing Harvey's pre-Bon Scott Scottish wail; It's All Too Much- A wonderful Beatles cover with some great guitar sounds; Hiroshima Mon Amour - the John Foxx-era Ultravox tune is is sped up into an elegant rocker; The Porpoise Song - a Monkees song from their weird "Head" era; Decadence (Kevin Ayers) - One of Ayers' greatest tracks is done pretty faithfully; a great psychedelic trip; The Endless Sea (Iggy Pop) - I've never heard the original, but a good track; Friction (Television) - About as far from prog as you can get, but classic stuff and a good rendition; All the Young Dudes (Mott/Bowie) - the least successful tune, but not offensive; Silver Machine - yup, the mighty Hawkwind classic is dusted off and rocked. This would be fun no matter who was doing it; Cortez the Killer (N. Young) - An inspired rethinking of the classic with roaring guitars, lots of weird noises and a forbidding atmosphere. Not a bad tracklist, eh? If you like covers albums, this is a confident recording by some old pros that should tickle your fancy.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars A cover album from "The Church". Huuuum?

Several songs from this work do belong to my youth. From the glam / new wave era (but not only).

The opening one is "Faith Healer": one of the best songs from "The Sensational Alex Harvey Band". It is less rocking than the original (the spacey intro is quite original) but OK. I met this song in 1974 with the "Next" album (which I recommend by the way).

Actually, most of these songs will be alright; but the problem resides more in the choice of songs.

I have already outlined in some reviews from their earlier work, that some "Ultravox!" feel could be found. They pay here a tribute to them with a rendition of "Hiroshima Mon Amour" from their second album "Ha! Ha! Ha! It is not my fave track from the band (whom I like VERY much) and this version is somewhat accelerated (hence much shorter).

Another fave band of mine was "Television". A US band from the great CBGB scene and close friends with the sublime Patti Smith. Their debut album was really incredible even if "Friction" was probably one of the least appealing track. A curious choice (why not the mythical "Marquee Moon" or "See No Evil")?

I can't evoke this album without talking about "All The Young Dudes" of course. A formidable song offered by Bowie to "Mott The Hoople" who were desperate in getting a hit and about to call it quit! This song hit number three in the UK chart and launched their career. But this cover is not the best one from the album, I'm afraid.

There is also a "Beatles" cover: a confidential Harrison song featured on the poor "Yellow Submarine" album. I guess that in terms of royalty, it might be affordable and probably therefore it made its entry here.

The Iggy Pop one ("The Endless Sea") has been fully "Churcharized" (as some others ones like "The Porpoise Song"). Nothing too exciting.

One of my fave out here is the old "Silver Machine" from "Hawkwind": it almost sounds punkish here. Not bad at all: wild guitar, crazy drumming and cool vocals. Very good indeed.

The last song I know from "A Box Of Birds" is the guitar hymn "Cortez The Killer" from Neil Young ("Juma" album in 1975). The original was indeed a great moment of electric guitar (but my all time favourite from the man - together with his C, S and N - is the formidable "Southern Man" version available on "Four Way Street"). This extended version also offers some great guitar moment and probably my fave from this cover album.

It is not only a guitar hymn, but also a wonderful homage to the native Mexicans who were exterminated by Cortez, the killer?A poignant song, especially for me (I'm half Mexican by marriage). Vocals from Steve Kilbey fit perfectly well and provide some gloomy and tenebrous feel. A great song for sure. Maybe my fave from the entire discography from "The Church".

In all, this is a good cover album. Only some of the songs are not truly representative of the original band's repertoire and some others are quite sounding too much like plain "The Church" songs.

Three stars.

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