This was posted to the Seance mailing list by Mike Fulmer (fulmer.4@osu.edu.
I was going through and finally labeling some of my old cassette tapes when I discovered that nine years ago I must have taped Casey Kasem's American Top 40, following the progress of "Under the Milky Way" for 5 weeks on the US pop chart (based on Billboard Magazine). Casey likes to add tidbits about the bands, and this "new" group seemed to provide plenty to talk about. Below is the transcript of what I have recorded (I missed some parts). Unfortunately, I don't have exact dates. If anyone does, please pass them along. I believe it's late May/June, 1988.

Mike F.

Week One
-------- ...1980 in Sydney. Their sound's been called modern day psychedelic music, and they've built up quite a cult following over the last few years. Now they've made a top 40 breakthrough. Guitarist Peter Koppes [Casey pronounces it "cops"] told writer Craig Rosen, "This is probably the best thing that could happen to us. It's a good introduction to a lot of people who have never heard us or understood us before." End of quote. Debuting at number 37, from Australia, here's The Church with "Under the Milky Way." [...plays song...] The Church, from Australia, debuting at #37 with "Under the Milky Way." First time on the chart for this Sydney band. It's from their album *Starfish*.

Week Two
Now the answer to our record business riddle. Can a band find chart happiness after being dropped from three record labels, breaking up, then reforming only to be forced to work with producers they can't stand? It can happen, and it's the story of the Australian band called The Church. They're a four man band who got together eight years ago in Sydney. Not long after, they signed with an Australian label. After releasing their first album, an American label made a deal to distribute them in the States. They built up a following, but record sales were slow, so their American label dropped them. But another one picked them up right away. Then, after their next album flopped, that label dropped them, too. At that point their Australian company ditched 'em. Fed up, the four guys in The Church broke up, but soon after they decided to get back together and give it one more try. Good thing, too, 'cause last year, out of the blue, Arista records in America came calling. They wanted to sign The Church based on their cult following, but on one condition--that they work with a couple of studio pros in Los Angeles, the producing team of guitarist Waddy Wachtel and engineer Greg Ladanyi.

It was like mixing oil and water. The Church's singer and bassist Steve Kilbey told the L.A. Times, "It was Australian hippies vs. West Coast guys who know the way they like to do things." [Casey chuckles...] The band and producers clashed. They even made Steve take vocal lessons, and he says, "I wouldn't say we came out of this the best of friends, but I don't think that's important. The record is the most important thing. The idea was for us to utilize their knowledge to make the record we've been trying to make for a long time." End of quote.

Well, The Church's prayers were answered. They call the album *Starfish* that they made in L.A. their best yet, and it's given them their first hit. Moving up six notches to #31 this week, here's The Church with "Under the Milky Way." [...plays song...] A band out of Sydney, Australia, The Church, with their first chart single, "Under the Milky Way." Debuted last week at 37, moves up this week to 31.

Week Three
...developed a sophisticated reputation over the years--a band with a brain. Critics call their music neo-psychedelic rock. How do they write such sophisticated, multi-layered, thought-provoking stuff? Well, one of the group's guitarists, Peter Koppes [Casey pronounces it "copes"] says, "Simple. All four of us will be playing completely different music, and we'll stumble upon something we really like. So we'll stop and we'll record it." End of quote. Huh, works for them! Here's their first top 40 hit, "Under the Milky Way," The Church [...plays song...] [Casey quotes the chorus] The Church, from Sydney, Australia, with their first top 40 hit here in the U.S. Third week in the countdown and it moves up four notches to #27.

[Note : Michael Kamensky pointed out that Kasem was selectively quoting ....

.....very funny that Kasem cut off the quote there, because the way it continued in the original Rolling Stone article (which I can't find at the moment) is something like "And sometimes three of us will be playing and one of us is rolling joints."]

Week Four
These are the biggest hits on the Billboard chart by the world's biggest stars. And at #24 is a hit song called "Under The Milky Way." Ever wonder why our galaxy is called The Milky Way? Well, a dictionary tells us the word "galaxy" comes from the Greek word "galaktos" which means "milk." And that's where it comes from. At #24 here's The Church, "Under the Milky Way" [...plays song...] The Church formed eight years ago in Sydney, Australia. They climb from 27 to 24 with "Under the Milky Way."

Week Five
Once a week with AT40 and you know how your favorite songs are doing across the USA, like the first hit by those neo-psychedelic pop purveyors from down under--The Church at #26, the Australian band from Sydney are singing "Under the Milky Way." [...plays song...] The Church: Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes [Casey pronounces it "cops" again], Richard Ploog, and Marty Willson-Piper. Their song, "Under the Milky Way," drops from 24 to 26. On American Top 40, I'm Casey Kasem.


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