(Top Modern Rock Songs Of All Time)
Song: "Under The Milky Way"
Artist: The Church
Release Date: February, 1988
From the Album: Starfish (1988)
Quick Take: Scoring a left-field pop hit in America might not have been the goal when Starfish was being recorded, but that's what "Under the Milky Way" did - even more impressively, with a strange, downright gloomy song musically and lyrically, rather different from what R.E.M.'s at-least tunefully upbeat "The One I Love" did for them. With a quiet acoustic guitar start - a bit of production effects making it sound almost lost and forlorn, much like Steve Kilbey's singing with it - the song then picks up a calm, steady energy to add a bit of subtle contrast. If the Marty Willson-Piper/Peter Koppes guitar team is less prominent throughout much of the song than the strange, haunting keyboards, it's all made up for with the amazing mock-bagpipe solo that adds an immediate, unexpected surge to the whole song. Calling, mournful and truly artistic, it fully transforms the song into the piece of melancholic majesty it is, Kilbey's sly, questioning lyric and expectedly direct but careful singing just what was needed, his concluding repetition of the title as moaning guitar solos softly unreel in the background a last winning touch.