The Church – Heyday

January 01, 1970

(Second Motion)

 

www.secondmotionrecords.com

 

In many ways, 1986’s Heyday is the quintessential Church album, the one that transformed them from
scattershot beginnings via the odd single and EP and consolidated their image
among the elite underground. Despite their psychedelic status – an image aided
immeasurably by a cover photo that pictured the four band members for the first
time, each dressed in paisley and posed against an equally striking tapestry –
the band took a solid step toward more mainstream acceptance by landing a deal
with Warner Bros., which, in turn, made a real commitment to bring them to the
masses.

 

Several songs promised to aid in that quest – “Myrrh,” the
anthemic opener bolstered by its outsized sweep, the mesmerizing and melodic
“Tristesse,” the jangly  “Disenchanted,”
and the unusually effusive “Youth Worshipper.” While the album may have been
stifled by the band’s reliance on icy, aloof vocals and its generally murky
mood and circumspect, their signature style found common ground with other alt
darlings of the day – Echo and the Bunnymen, the Psychedelic Furs, the Cure,
Modern English and all the other outfits that profited from a similar beguiling
allure. At the same time, it found the group making tentative steps towards
expanding their horizons, adding an ethereal chorus to “Already Yesterday,”
experimenting elsewhere with horns, and dabbling in the occasional instrumental
to create an aural bridge between songs.

 

All in all, it adds up to quite a tour-de-force, affirmed
all the more by the addition of three B-sides culled from the same era, all of
which maintain the high standard established by the LP. Although it didn’t
prove to be the hoped for break-through, Heyday still manages to capture a band obviously at their peak and clearly in their
prime. 

 

DOWNLOAD: “Myrrh,” “Tristesse,” “Disenchanted” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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