I must butt in here with another little quick glance, as When You Were Mine is my favourite song on The Blurred Crusade. When I learned about The Church in 1990, I was 13, and you know, money was scarce and hard to get. We had that huge record store in our town, and they even had something to file The Church under. I was amazed how many records they had out...and I loved to go there after piano lessons to listen to records I couldn't afford. A few times I listened to Crusade via headphones and I was amazed how different Kilbey's voice sounded then... I didn't buy it until next year, when I was working. However, I could wait in these days and there was no way to find something on the internet, as it was 1990. Music was a hard to find, big mystery.
I remember listening to Almost With You for the first time, and though I still love the song to bits, it was so bloody obvious. A song like Almost With You just had to be there. It has some strong, inherent logic, that, if a 15th century scientist would have had a world formula, Almost With You would have been the logical result. I was surprised by its solemn beauty, but I wasn't surprised by its existence.
What surprised me was When You Were Mine. I just couldnt have foreseen this song, neither its loooong intro section, nor the AMAZING little percussion bits going on beyond the guitars in the intro section, nor its transcendence of the olde chugge, neither the offbeat "Plenty of islands between now and then" section.
It's not 60es, not 70es, not 80es. today, i understand there could be reflections of Neu!'s german angular robotic-while-alive pulsating Hallogalloisms. Yep, if you associate Kraut with weird drugged infinite guitar wankery, check out clean-but-mad Neu! ... but The Church filled the cold brooklets of Neu!'s ideas with a throbbing passion that became something new/neu in the end. This is punk without the poses, it's druggy without losing conscience and straight without being predictable. Just an early, stubbornly individual song, one of the first transcending the rock instrumentation, becoming something you could board, and it'd fly you somewhere...