The Church's Starfish: (33 1/3 Oceania)
Chris Gibson (Author)
After a string of commercial disappointments, in 1986 Australian rock band The Church were simultaneously dropped by Warner Brothers in the US and EMI in Australasia. The future looked bleak. Seemingly from nowhere, their next record, Starfish, became an unlikely global hit. Its alluring and pensive lead single, 'Under the Milky Way', stood in stark contrast to the synth pop and hair metal dominating the 1980s. A high watermark of intelligent rock, Starfish musically anticipated alternative revolutions to come. Yet in making Starfish, The Church struggled with their internal contradictions. Seeking both commercial and artistic success, they were seduced by fame and drugs but cynical towards the music industry. Domiciled in Australia but with a European literary worldview, they relocated to Los Angeles to record under strained circumstances in the heart of the West Coast hit machine. This book traces the story of Starfish, its background, composition, production and reception. To the task, Gibson brings an unusual perspective as both a musician and a geographer. Drawing upon four decades of media coverage as well as fresh interviews between the author and band members, this book delves into the mysteries of this mercurial classic, tracing both its slippery cultural geography and its sumptuous songcraft. Situating Starfish in time and space, Gibson transports the reader to a key album and moment in popular music history when the structure and politics of the record industry was set to forever change.
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About the Author
Chris Gibson is a Sydney-based musician and writer, and Professor of Geography at the University of Wollongong, Australia. His books include Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place (2003), Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia (2012), Outback Elvis (2017) and The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree (2021).
- Contributor: Chris Gibson
- Imprint: Bloomsbury Academic USA
- ISBN13: 9781501387005
- Number of Pages: 160
- Packaged Dimensions: 127x197mm
- Format: Paperback
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
- Release Date: 2022-07-14
- Series: 33 1/3 Oceania
- Binding: Paperback / softback
- Biography: Chris Gibson is a Sydney-based musician and writer, and Professor of Geography at the University of Wollongong, Australia. His books include Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place (2003), Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia (2012), Outback Elvis (2017) and The Guitar: Tracing the Grain Back to the Tree (2021).