The Unguarded Moment (song)

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"The Unguarded Moment"
Single by The Church
from the album Of Skins and Heart
ReleasedMarch 1981
Songwriter(s)Steve Kilbey, Mikela Uniacke[2]
Producer(s)Chris Gilbey, Bob Clearmountain
The Church singles chronology
"She Never Said"
"The Unguarded Moment"
"Too Fast for You"

"The Unguarded Moment" is a song by Australian alternative rock band the Church, released in March 1981.[3] It was the second single from their 1981 debut album, Of Skins and Heart.[4] It was written by Steve Kilbey, the group's frontman, singer and bass guitarist; and Mikela Uniacke (a.k.a. Michelle Parker),[2] who were married at the time.

The song reached No. 22 on the Australian Kent Music Report singles chart,[5][6] and was the band's first radio hit.[7] It peaked at No. 19 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.[8] The single and the album were released on EMI Records then newly revived Parlophone label.[9]

Kilbey later said, "The song just doesn't appeal to me. It doesn't give me any pleasure at all. Maybe it was exciting for people who thought the country was going to be bogged down with the Human League and Buggles for the decade."[10]

In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "The Unguarded Moment" was ranked number 57.[11]


Garry Raffaele of The Canberra Times described the track in June 1981, which "starts out with a bow towards the Beatles, then into a tightly constructed, powerfully written and pulsingly [sic] performed piece. And written so well... phrases like 'men with horses for hearts', 'friends with cameras for eyes'."[12] In August 2002, it was reviewed by Rolling Stone's David Fricke as "The Church's 1981 jangling gem".[13]

Roadrunner claimed, "They've ripped off the riff from "Ticket to Ride". I don't care. It's what you do with stolen goods that counts, and the Church do good things with this." They also predicted, "If given a chance – a hit."[14]

Track listing[edit]

The Unguarded Moment (Australian release)
1."The Unguarded Moment"Steve Kilbey, Mikela Uniacke (a.k.a. Michelle Parker)4:12
2."Busdriver"Steve Kilbey4:09
Total length:8:21
The Unguarded Moment (European release)
1."The Unguarded Moment"Steve Kilbey, Mikela Uniacke (a.k.a. Michelle Parker)4:13
2."Chrome Injury"Steve Kilbey4:03
Total length:8:16


  1. ^ "Tempo". Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2023 – via PressReader.
  2. ^ a b "'Unguarded Moment' at ASCAP: ACE Title Search". American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Retrieved 27 May 2015. Note: User may have to search again and provide details at 'Titles' e.g Unguarded Moment; or at 'Performers' Church
  3. ^ Molitorisz, Sacha (20 November 2003). "This Church still have their believers". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  4. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "The Church". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 4 June 2004. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Marx, Jack (19 November 2004). "Begone, Satan". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  7. ^ Kinsler, Robert (1 April 2010). "The Church starts tour with San Juan concert". The Orange County Register. Freedom Communications. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Discography The Church". New Zealand Charts Portal. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  9. ^ "About The Church". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  10. ^ Tracee Hutchison (1992). Your Name's On The Door. Sydney: ABC Enterprises. p. 23. ISBN 0-7333-0115-0.
  11. ^ "Here Are The Songs That Made Triple M's 'Ozzest 100'". Musicfeeds. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  12. ^ Raffaele, Garry (22 June 1981). "Powerful, Pulsing Performance". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. p. 12. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  13. ^ David Fricke (10 August 2002). "Live Review: David Fricke on The Church in New York". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media LLC. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  14. ^ Donald Robertson (April 1981). "Singles". Roadrunner. p. 30.

External links[edit]