I must have been 12 years old, maybe thirteen. I wanted Tear it All Away to speak for me, even though it didn't accurately reflect me or my life.
Tear it All Away was my introduction to the Church at the same time as Unguarded Moment, probably one step behind, though, when MTV was young and I DID know Unguarded Moment from that time a year or so earlier. M(tv) Tape was the compilation tape my older brother made for me, the watershed moment in my life of music. The Church, INXS (Don't change), Aztec Camera (Oblivious), A Flock of Seagulls (obvious one, i think) and the Producers were all represented on there as well. Unguarded Moment was the second song on the tape, after Don't Change. Tear it all away then ensued in its splendor.
Unguarded Moment is undoubtedly the catchier song. Tear it all away, though, was the song that told me I needed to hear more from the band because there wasn't a second superior song by Flock of Seagulls, for example. My brother thought enough to put two great songs by the church on the tape, so I asked my brother to dub the whole album for me. Shabooh Shoobah was the B side and the American release version ("The Church") was side A. If memory serves me right, I eventually heard the CD version when I picked up the import collection Hindsight at a record convention in Chicago in 1989. And God bless The Church, because the lyrics were included on Hindsight (!) . I have an old, yellowing notebook somewhere in the garage with all the lyrics I could muster of Tear it all away because I thought i had a chance to get it all. And no, I am not going to try and find it, although I will tell you that this song has a strong smell -- not repugnant, mind you -- with adolescent, pubescent overtones. I wanted to the song to speak for me, and tried so hard to make it so.
I seldom listen to you anymore, brave song, yet neither do I think of Janet Brewer. We'll call it a fair trade, 'k?