Bastard Universe, the accompanying bonus disc is a great insight into what you'd hear when The Church are jamming in the studio. They played continuously for one and half hours, recording all the way through - what you hear is exactly what they did that night.
Strangely the bonus disc only has "Stage One" to "Stage Four" printed on it, but there are six tracks on it. It may be of interest that I suggested to Tim that such a long disc have multiple tracks instead of being one long track.
"Whether the Gods were looking down on them during the recording sessions or not, HOLOGRAM OF BAAL could be their finest album yet. From the opener "Anaesthesia" through the closer "Glow Worm," this is The Church at their best. Great melodies, Peter Koppes and Marty Wilson-Piper's [sic] best playing ever, Steve Kilbey's best singing and all underpinned by Tim Powles' tight drum-work. Highlights are the classic-Church sounding "Ricochet," the beautiful "Tranquility" and dreamy single "Louisiana." Throughout their career, The Church have remained one of rock's most innovative and enigmatic outfits, justifying praises from the press including "Best guitar band on earth," "Sonic Perfection" and "Sounds that caress the senses.A couple of mistakes there - it's Marty Willson-Piper, and the bonus CD is 79 minutes long.
Tour plans for the Church include a US tour this fall. This will be the first tour of the US since 1990.
Limited Edition bonus CD BASTARD UNIVERSE (a special 60 minute studio jam) will be included FREE for 1st 7500 consumer CDs!"
Bastard Universe (excerpt 1)
Bastard Universe (excerpt 2)
14th July 1998
A release date has been set ! So have the dates of the tour to promote the album, which includes Europe and may include the U.S ! See the Church News page for more...
19th June 1998
Tim wrote to me to tell me that the latest title for the album is "Hologram of Baal" and that the bonus disc (79 min 21 sec) is called "Bastard Universe". Both titles are still subject to change, so don't print any posters yet ;-) He also said the final EQ and the edit for the first single have not yet been done.
Christopher Price posted the following info on Baal:
Baal (p. BAY-uhl or bayl), was one of the chief gods of the Canaanites in Biblical times. The word means "lord" or "master" and was sometimes used to apply to the God of Israel. However, it generally refers to the Canaanite storm god, who supposedly brought rains in autumn to give fertility to the soil. Because the Israelites who settled in Canaan also wanted fertility for their flocks and crops, they were tempted to worship Baal.
Queen Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab of Israel, worshipped Baal. She tried to convert the Israelites to her religion but was opposed by the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:18-40). The rivalry of Baal remained a problem for the Israelite religion until the Babylonian conquest of the kingdom of Judah in 587 or 586 BC.
(source: World Book Encyclopedia...it was handy :) )
Hope this helps.
Read a book, and support your local library!
Peter tells me the bonus disc is actually an hour and ten minutes long, not fifty minutes. They recorded non-stop for 1 hr 30 minutes and it flowed beautifully.
29th May 1998
Tim and Pete both confirmed that the bonus disc will come with the first five thousand copies of the album. Make sure you get in quickly ! The mix of the first single will be delivered late next week.
22nd May 1998
I forgot to mention that a bonus disc is "most likely" (Tim's words). It will be a fifty minute jam session and has yet to be mastered...can't wait to hear that :)
10th May 1998
The deal is *nearly* done ! Cooking Vinyl will release the new album and it will be distributed in Australia by Festival. They don't have a web site yet but one is coming.
Here's a partial transcription of the lyrics to the song Buffalo. Thanks to Kevyn Marshall for sending them in (though I've corrected a couple of mistakes as pointed out by other people who heard Steve's rendition) - he got them when Steve sang the song at his recent London show. He didn't play the whole song.
Snow came on Friday, I gotta go
Spending the winter up in Buffalo
Someone I know there is calling me so
Got to escape the blues man, don't you know
Days of drowsy summer packed up and gone
And nothing helps me, there's nothing wrong
It was so pleasant, incandescent, it's over now
We should get going
Lady I know there, name of Christina
It's been six lonely lifetimes since I seen her
She takes you places your heart cannot go
During the winter up in Buffalo
Days by the fire, blazed in the glow
Winter surrounds you up in Buffalo
Days of drowsy winter in the afternoon sun
We drift together, we drift apart
She's got the wherewithal, she's got the knowledge
Out there the Snow Queen is kidnapping boys
Her block-of-ice heart tunes out the noise
Peter mentioned this song when I met him during the Margot Smith's last Melbourne concert. He said that he and Steve started writing it while Tim and Marty were out having dinner. He said that within half an hour they had the first verse and chorus ready to show the other guys.
30th March 1998
I do have some Church news, but it might seem a little imprudent (& self promoting) to divulge it yet because my brother apparently played on the new album. I haven't heard the new stuff but seeing as my brother (William) plays ambient music & tells me he played world radio on the church stuff, I guess that means they're heading in new directions (well, when haven't they?)
9th March 1998
Three titles for the album have been mentioned at one time or another : "Au Revoir Por Favor", "Bastard Universe" and "Ourselves But Not Each Other". There are ten tracks and the album clocks in at around 50 minutes.
14th Feb 1998
"[I got] 1 hours sleep after all night mix of 'great machine'....church album is about 6 hrs away from completion" - Tim
13th January 1998
Midway through the mix and things are "sounding excellent" - Tim
30th December 1997
Tim tells me that he will start mixing the album today.
December 9th 1997
From an email between Marty and Craig Haskins posted on Seance :
"The Australian tour went extremely well and the album even better.It was really interesting making a record financed by a tour .Six days in the studio then a gig. Seven days in the studio then two gigs.Actually all the breaking down the gear and setting back up gain was more than justified as we got something extra into the album that wouldn't have been there. Not necessarily a rawness but the chemistry of a band playing together spread into the record. Mmmm nice. It should be finished mid December and we'll keep everyone posted through Brian Smith and the Shadow Cabinet web page about labels and release dates."
October 20th 1997
Julien : "They started working in earnest on the new album today & the vibe in the studio was VERY good."