The Church – Temperature Drop in Downtown Winterland

The title, which seems to have nothing to do with any Church lyric I’ve ever heard (and yet which sounds just like one) always makes me think that perhaps Winterland was a concert venue. That and the listing of tour dates on the back of this limited edition EP from 1982 always misleads me into thinking this will be a live EP, which it most emphatically is not. Instead, it’s a collection of early songs, including “The Unguarded Moment,” the song from their first album that first caught my attention on MTV, and “The Interlude” from “The Blurred Crusade.” Along with those are a track called “Sisters” and a lovely little instrumental called “The Golden Dawn” that I know I used as lead-out on one or two compilation tapes back in the day. (Blank space at the end of a tape was unacceptable to me.) It’s a lovely little 10″ 45, and for quite a while it was the only version of “The Unguarded Moment” I owned other than a cassette, so it’s important to me in that respect.

Again, I’m pretty certain I got this at the Syracuse University student-run record store, Spectrum Records. It wasn’t the only place that handled imports in 1982, but it was probably the only one that would bother with odd sizes and lengths.

Temperature Drop in Downtown Winterland
To this day I have no idea what the title of this EP means.

I hadn’t paid any attention to the production credit until I was looking this one up — I forgot that the early Church albums were produced by Bob Clearmountain, who was a producing legend in the making around this time. He was about to own the ’80s with albums like Roxy Music’s “Avalon,” Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Huey Lewis and The News’s “Sports,” and much much much more. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that these tracks sound so good.

Temperature Drop in Downtown Winterland
The back cover’s engraved cathedral look certainly fits the band
Temperature Drop sleeve
Temperature Drop sleeve – I have never seen a record come in a sleeve like this — almost like a glassine envelope
Temperature Drop label
Temperature Drop label, on Carrere Records

2 thoughts on “The Church – Temperature Drop in Downtown Winterland

  1. I saw your blog and I thought I’d add a few things as I was the person at Carrere Records that put this together. At the time we had had a big response to ‘Unguarded Moment’ on a TV show, and the band were coming over to tour, at first as support to Duran Duran and then on their own, so we needed a promotion tool as soon as possible – one that would show the band off and hopefully chart. I decided to make this a collector’s edition – you’ll notice it was a ten inch 45 rpm – really unusual. I asked Steve Kilbey to give me a title for the collection and I know he wasn’t keen but in the end, he relented. As they were having a bad time on tour in Sweden, he came up with ‘Temperature Drop in Downtown Winterland’. The release was so successful – we sold out our run of 10,000 units in the first week – but didn’t get the chart placing I was after because all the copies were bought by export companies which didn’t count to the UK charts. So it was an unsuccessful/ successful release! And you found yours in the US! All true!

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