Gold Afternoon Fix
|Gold Afternoon Fix|
|Studio album by The Church|
|Released||February 22, 1990|
|Recorded||Ocean Way Recording Studios
Los Angeles, CA 1989
|Producer||Waddy Wachtel and The Church|
|The Church chronology|
Gold Afternoon Fix, The Church's sixth studio album, and second on Arista, was released in February 1990. Meant to capitalize and build on the success of 1988's Starfish, the album saw considerable promotion upon its release. Despite moderate success in the U.S., with the single "Metropolis" reaching the top of the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the release failed to deliver mass commercial appeal.
Following their tour for the Starfish album in 1988, the band members went home for a four-month break before reconvening to begin work on the next album.
Arista demanded demos of all the tracks before the official recording process could begin. Consequently the band was heartily sick of the material by the time the recording sessions commenced in late 1989. Band members repeatedly noted how much they disliked being in Los Angeles during the recording sessions; "North, South, East And West" is an indictment of L.A.'s shallow aspects. Further difficulties were caused because the band wanted ex-Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones to produce, but the record label teamed the band again with Recorded/produced in Los Angeles by L.A. session musicians Waddy Wachtel and Greg Ladanyi, since they didn't want to change what had been a winning formula with the Starfish album. Arista feared a Jones/Church collaboration might turn out too artsy and uncommercial, vetoing the venerable musician in favour of the safer (and commercially tested) Wachtel and Ladanyi. According to Robert Dean Lurie, the original demo recordings (despite all their roughness and rhythmic shakiness) are more enjoyable to listen to than the finished album. 
The recording sessions for the album were particularly tense and unsuitable, and in-band tensions led to drummer Richard Ploog being ostracized. While some of the bare, open sound that characterized Starfish punctuates the recording, heavy use of drum loops (representing usable parts of Ploog's live recordings) has resulted in the album being criticized as somewhat stiff and cold. Ploog left the group for good following the recording, for reasons not altogether clear; musical differences were part of the situation, however Ploog may have been suffering from drug-related problems also.
Gold Afternoon Fix is also unique among the Church's releases in the absence of any 12-string electric guitar. The missing trademark sound was due to guitarist Marty Willson-Piper's 12-string Rickenbacker having been stolen during the previous tour.
While many fans have assumed that due to the album title, Steve Kilbey was using heroin at this point, this is not so. Robert Dean Lurie points out that the album title actually derives from the stock market term referring to the price that is set daily for buying gold.
All tracks written by (Kilbey/Koppes/Ploog/Willson-Piper) except where noted.
- Pharaoh (3:54)
- Metropolis (4:44)
- Terra Nova Cain (Kilbey/Willson-Piper) (5:10)
- City (3:22)
- Monday Morning (4:06)
- Russian Autumn Heart (5:14)
- Essence (3:07)
- You're Still Beautiful (6:10)
- Disappointment (4:22)
- Transient (3:40)
- Laughing (4:35)
- Fading Away (3:38)
- Grind (6:07)
A 3-track EP TITLED Megalopolis was released in conjunction with the album. Tracklist:
- 1. "Metropolis" (4:44)
- 2. "Monday Morning" (edit 2:44)
- 3. "Much Too Much" (3:50)(not available elsewhere at the time of this release; later included on A Quick Smoke at Spot's - see Priest=Aura).
- Steve Kilbey: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
- Marty Willson-Piper: Guitar, Lead vocal on "Russian Autumn Heart"
- Peter Koppes: Guitar, Lead vocal on "Transient"
- Richard Ploog: Drums
- Gold Afternoon Fix at AllMusic
- Robert Dean Lurie. No Certainty Attached: Steve Kilbey and the Church. Portland OR: Verse Chorus Press, 2009, p.198.
- Richard dean Lurie. No Certainty Attached: Steve Kilbey and The Church. Portland OR: Verse Chorus Press, 2009, pp. 201-02.
- Robert Dean Lurie. No Certainty Attached: Steve Kilbey and The Church. Portland OR: Verse Chorus Press, 2009, Footnote 14, p. 211.