Of Skins and Heart

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Of Skins and Heart
Studio album by The Church
Released 13 April 1981
22 January 1982
Recorded 1980, Studios 301, Sydney
Genre Post-punk, new wave
Length 39:50
39:20
39:34
Label EMI/Parlophone, Capitol, Carrere, Arista
Producer Chris Gilbey, Bob Clearmountain
The Church chronology
Of Skins and Heart
(1981)
The Blurred Crusade
(1982)
Singles from Of Skins and Heart
  1. "She Never Said"
    Released: November 1980
  2. "The Unguarded Moment, co-written by Mikella Parker and Steve Kilbey."
    Released: March 1981
The Church
1982 European / North American release (Carrere / Capitol)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Of Skins and Heart is the debut album by Australian alternative rock band The Church.[2] It was released in April 1981 by EMI/Parlophone records and reached No. 22 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart.[3] It is the only album to feature Nick Ward on drums and is largely dominated by simple-structured, post-punk songs though Kilbey's semi-surreal lyrics feature heavily. It was produced by Chris Gilbey and Bob Clearmountain.[4] Seven songs were entirely written by lead singer and bass guitarist Steve Kilbey and two co-written with others. The first single, "She Never Said", did not chart on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart.[3] The second single, "The Unguarded Moment", was co-written with Michelle Parker, who was married to Steve Kilbey at the time. This song launched the band to success and has been their biggest hit to date. It brought early attention and significant radio play to the band, it peaked at No. 22 in Australia and No. 19 in New Zealand.[3][5] The track "Is This Where You Live" became a live staple over the following years. By the time of the album's release, Ward was replaced by Richard Ploog on drums. The album was re-sequenced and released internationally as The Church (1982).

Background[edit]

In March 1980, lead vocalist and bass guitarist Steve Kilbey and guitarist Peter Koppes who were already playing together, recruited Nick Ward on drums and formed a three-piece band known as Limosine in Sydney and began performing.[2] A month later, Marty Willson-Piper (originally from Liverpool, United Kingdom) joined on guitar, and they were named The Church.[2][4]

A four-song demo was recorded in Kilbey's bedroom studio.[6] Thanks to contacts from Kilbey's former Canberra band Baby Grande, they sent the tape to Australian record label, ATV Northern.[2] The song "Chrome Injury" attracted the attention of Chris Gilbey who had recently formed a record production company in association with EMI Records in Australia and resurrected the Parlophone label.[7] Gilbey went to band rehearsals and helped shape their sound – he bought Willson-Piper a 12 string Rickenbacker guitar and equipped Koppes with an Echolette tape delay. The band's first contract followed; of the four demos, only "Chrome Injury" was officially released.

Their debut album, Of Skins and Heart, recorded late in 1980, was co-produced by Gilbey and Bob Clearmountain (Bryan Adams).[4] Seven of the nine tracks were written solely by Kilbey and two co-written with others. The first single, "She Never Said", was released in November, but did not chart.[3] The second single, "The Unguarded Moment", co-written by Mikella Parker, was issued alongside the album in March 1981, but initially only in Australia. "The Unguarded Moment" reached No. 22 on the Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart while Of Skins and Heart achieved the same position on the related Albums Chart.[3] To promote their releases, the band undertook their first national tour.[7] By the time of the album's release, drummer Ward had already been replaced by Richard Ploog.[2] He was recruited by their manager, Michael Chugg, after hearing of his reputation in Adelaide. Ploog's arrival established The Church's first stable line-up.[7]

The first recordings by the group with Ploog were eventually released as a five-track double single / extended play, Too Fast for You in July 1981.[2] It included the first collectively written track, "Sisters". Another track, "Tear It All Away", later released as a separate single, showed a development towards more elaborate guitar structures – regarded as typical The Church sound. Their image of tight jeans and paisley shirts(many designed and made by Mikella Parker).,[7] as well as their 'jangly' guitar sound evoked comparisons to 1960s psychedelic groups, particularly The Byrds. The success of Of Skins and Heart enabled Chris Gilbey to present the release to Freddie Cannon of UK label Carrere and Rupert Perry of United States label Capitol. Both labels released the album in 1982, renamed as The Church, with repackaged and altered track listings – including a song(s) from Too Fast for You.[4] Ploog was incorrectly credited as the sole drummer on the US release, despite playing on only three tracks, "Too Fast for You", "Tear It All Away" and "Sisters". Capitol also released an edited single version of "The Unguarded Moment" which was a minute shorter – a decision which displeased the band.[7]

Track listing[edit]

1981 Australian release

Parlophone PCSO 7582

  1. "For a Moment We're Strangers" (Steve Kilbey) – 3:57
  2. "Chrome Injury" (Kilbey) – 4:01
  3. "The Unguarded Moment" (Kilbey, Mikella Parker)[8] – 4:12
  4. "Memories in Future Tense" (Kilbey) – 4:46
  5. "Bel-Air" (Kilbey) – 3:57
  6. "Is This Where You Live" (Kilbey) – 7:40
  7. "She Never Said" (Kilbey) – 3:16
  8. "Fighter Pilot...Korean War" (Kilbey) – 4:29
  9. "Don't Open the Door to Strangers" (Kilbey, Marty Willson-Piper) – 3:32

1982 European release

Carrere Records CAL130

  1. "For a Moment We're Strangers" (Kilbey) – 3:53
  2. "Chrome Injury" (Kilbey) – 4:00
  3. "The Unguarded Moment" (Kilbey, Parker) – 4:12
  4. "Memories in Future Tense" (Kilbey) – 4:42
  5. "Bel-Air" (Kilbey) – 3:53
  6. "Is This Where You Live" (Kilbey) – 7:39
  7. "She Never Said" (Kilbey) – 3:16
  8. "Tear It All Away" (Kilbey) – 4:18
  9. "Don't Open the Door to Strangers" (Kilbey, Marty Willson-Piper) – 3:27

1982 North American release

Capitol Records ST-12193

  1. "The Unguarded Moment" (Kilbey, Parker) – 4:17
  2. "Too Fast for You" (Kilbey) – 3:28
  3. "For a Moment We're Strangers" (Kilbey) – 3:52
  4. "Tear It All Away" (Kilbey) – 4:10
  5. "Don't Open the Door to Strangers" (Kilbey, Willson-Piper) – 3:24
  6. "Bel-Air" (Kilbey) – 3:56
  7. "Sisters" (Willson-Piper, Steve Koppes, Richard Ploog, Kilbey) – 4:05
  8. "Memories in Future Tense (Kilbey) – 4:44
  9. "Is This Where You Live" (Kilbey) – 7:38

The album was re-sequenced and released internationally as The Church (1982) by Capitol Records in North America and Carrere Records in Europe. The 1989 CD release by Arista Records included three extra tracks: "Too Fast for You", "Tear It All Away" and "Sisters", which originally appeared on the double 7" single/extended play, Too Fast for You in 1981.

2010 30th Anniversary Remaster (Second Motion Records)

This release contains all the tracks from the original Australian release in their original running order, and addss two bonus tracks: "In a Heartbeat" (b-side of "She Never Said") and "Busdriver" (b-side of "The Unguarded Moment").

Personnel[edit]

The Church members

  • Steve Kilbey – lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards
  • Peter Koppes – lead guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals
  • Marty Willson-Piper – electric 6 and 12 string guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals
  • Nick Ward – drums, percussion, backing vocals, the thing
  • Richard Ploog – drums, percussion ("Too Fast for You", "Tear It All Away", "Sisters")

Production details

  • Producer – Chris Gilbey, Bob Clearmountain
  • Mixing – Bob Clearmountain
  • Engineer – Christo Curtis, John Bee, Steve Bywaters
    • Assistant – Dave Greenberg, Gary Rindfuss, Raymond Wilhard
  • Studio – Studios 301, Sydney
    • Mixed – Powerstation, New York

Art work

  • Cover illustration – Mikella Parker for "Skins and Heart". Paul Patte
  • Art direction – Peter Shea, Roy Kohara
  • Photography – Gary Matthews (group photo), Mike Mashimoto (liner photo)
    • The Church – Don Bruner (cover photo)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b c d e f McFarlane, Ian (1999). "The Church". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Retrieved 25 October 2010.  Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  4. ^ a b c d Holmgren, Magnus. "The Church". passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Discography The Church". New Zealand charts portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed. "The Church". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 29 April 2004. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Chugg, Michael; Shedden, Iain (2010). Hey, You in the Black T-Shirt: The Real Story of Touring the World's Biggest Acts. Sydney, NSW: Pan Macmillan. pp. 111–116, 126. ISBN 978-1-4050-4022-8. Retrieved 25 October 2010.  Note: [On-line] version has limited preview.
  8. ^ "ASCAP ACE – Search Results for "Unguarded Moment"". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 25 October 2010.  Note: Label sticker has co-writer as M. Parker.