"For any band with a long and varied career but only a smattering of hits, selecting a Best of is a difficult task. "Under the Milky Way" is a generous collection that unfortunately stuck with those songs that were released as singles (regardless of whether said singles became hits). As a result, the album does collect the band's best known songs such as the title track, "Metropolis" and "Feel." Unfortunately, the selections from the band's earlier albums miss many of their best songs. "The Unguarded Moment" was an excellnt choice from the band's debut album, as were "Almost With You" from their second and "Electric Lash" from their third. However, other choices are less solid. The middling "A Month of Sundays" and "Shadow Cabinet," for example, were chosen from the album "Remote Luxury," rather than the much more tuneful "Into My Hands" and "Violet Town."Overall, if you don't own any Church music, or perhaps just the album "Starfish" (their biggest U.S. hit) then this album is quite worthwhile to expand your Church horizons. Once you get to know them well, you'll find yourself wanting more."
A Good Collection from a Great Band
SandmanVI | Glen Allen, VA United States | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Church always created amazing music, long before and long after the success of "Starfish" and its hit singles "Under the Milky Way" and "Reptile". If you don't have these songs or are unfamiliar with the Church then hurry and get this - for the sheer quality of the music I give it 5 stars. For Church veterans, I would give it a 4 at best. It isn't that I have a problem with any of the songs that are included, rather I bristle at some that are excluded.How can "Columbus" from Heyday or "North South East West" from Starfish not be here? What about "Constant in Opal" or "She Never Said" from earlier works? Obviously it is very difficult to release a single album of hits for a band with such a long history and who never really relied on radio hits to define themselves. Why then stick only with singles on a "Best of" CD? The Church would have been better to just hand pick their best songs than just release the singles. Better still, just put the early best-of on disc 1 and the later on disc 2. That's right - bite the bullet and go double disc; The band has too many good songs to trim it down to one and they aren't represented well by so-called hits. Leave the hits for Top 40 fluff... when has any great, creative band been best represented by their "hits"?All pickiness aside, the Church were strong songwriters who made beautiful yet world weary music that any soul can feel."
Fantastic band; song selections not the greatest
Brian D. Rubendall | 10/02/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Church are a fabulous band with an incredible depth in their catalog: a depth not as well-represented here as it could be. The Church won't play "Unguarded Moment" live anymore, yet it's a worthy lead-off track. The Blurred Crusade is an excellent record--there should be more tracks from it on this release. Seance was a rich record best represented by tracks other than "Electric Lash" . . . "One Day" or "Dropping Names" may have been more suitable here. It would have been cool if the Sing Songs EP was represented. Where are "Spark" and "Hotel Womb" from Starfish? As one of the few memorable tracks from the disappointing Gold Afternoon Fix, "Grind" is absent. Clever gems like "Witch Hunt" and "Film" might have more aptly represented the sublime Priest=Aura, while while the crucial "Fly Home" and "Day of the Dead" were missing from the Sometime/Anywhere period.If you're interested in the Church, and want a nice tour without buying the whole catalog, you're better off getting the Hindsight double CD, the B-sides compilation A Quick Smoke at Spot's; their amazing 1998 release on Thirsty Ear, Hologram of Baal; and the record of covers released just weeks ago, A Box of Birds."
Well it is a collection of great songs but...
shards370 | Melbourne, Australia | 02/16/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have to (respectfully) strongly disagree with some of the earlier reviewers.This album contains many great songs but I truly believe if you are to hear "the best of _The Church_" then look beyond the singles. To say "this is the only album by _The Church_ that you need to own" is like saying "just get a cadillac hubcap - you don't need the rest of it". The singles are rarely my favourites on any album by _The Church_ - the only exception is "The Blurred Crusade" and still I would have missed out on some fantastic music by assuming this compilation was "the best of".As for "Of Skins and Hearts" being the best album...well I personally disagree. In fact, I prefer "The Blurred Crusade" over "Of Skins and Hearts" and would be (barely) bold enough to say that, as an album, "Priest=Aura" is probably the best, cohesive pieces of music that _The Church_ have released. (I do reserve the right to change my mind though).Overall, this is a nice compilation if you are NOT a big fan of_The Church_ but do like some of their works."
A decent overview
SandmanVI | 08/07/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a decent overview but is missing some great tracks like "Just For You" from Blurred Crusade. I think the hits were not necessarily the greatest stuff the Church had to offer. Even the flip-side of Metropolis, "Monday Morning," was to me a lot more enjoyable than several of their hits.
Some of the tracks here are edited down to shorter versions, which is actually a benefit in most cases, because one of the Church's faults is to drag their songs on much too long. When 2:30-3:00 minutes would suffice, the Church stretch a lot of songs out to 4:00-6:00.
The Church's best album by far is their debut "Of Skins And Heart," and sadly that one isn't even available at Amazon. That album had none of the overindulgence and sometimes plodding, overlong songs of the later years. All crisp, relatively short, unadorned '60s-influenced pop, more direct and tight than anything else they ever recorded."