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The Go-Betweens

The Go-Betweens were perhaps the quintessential cult band of the '80s: they came from an exotic locale (Brisbane, Australia), moved to a major recording center (in their case, London) in a sustained bid to make a career out of music, released album after album of music seemingly tailor-made for the radio in spite of their having little use for contemporary Top 40 musical/lyrical formulas, and earned considerable critical praise and a small but fervent international fan base. Although the Go-Betweens were absent throughout the '90s before re-forming in the new millennium, both of the band's songwriters embarked on respectable solo careers in the interim and, while rarely reaching the heights the Go-Betweens scaled, they still managed to uphold the group's legacy.

Robert Forster and Grant McLennan began as a pair of teenagers obsessed with the earthy rock of Dylan, CCR, and the Velvet Underground and encouraged by the Australian punk of the Saints. As collected on The Able Label Singles, their first two singles show a fondness for scruffy, British Invasion/new wave-influenced pop/rock. Picking up permanent drummer Lindy Morrison, they recorded their debut LP, moved to England, and signed a short-lived deal with Rough Trade. Going for a lush, tuneful sound crammed with nonstandard rock instrumentation, they went on to record five more excellent LPs. Though their pre-Beggars Banquet albums were traditionally hard to find in the States, that label finally reissued all six albums on CD in 1996.

In 2000 the band reunited and released a new album, The Friends of Rachel Worth, which also featured all three members of Sleater-Kinney. It wasn't just a fluke, as the band recorded follow-up albums released in 2003 (Bright Yellow Bright Orange) and 2005 (Oceans Apart). Documenting a 2005 concert in their hometown, the DVD/CD package That Striped Sunlight Sound arrived in early 2006, just a few months before the death of McLennan in May. ~ Michael Ribas
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Oceans Apart

Disc 1

1. Here Comes A City

2. Finding You

3. Born To A Family

4. No Reason To Cry

5. Boundary Rider

6. Darlinghurst Nights

7. Lavender

8. The Statue

9. This Night's For You

10. The Mountains Near Dellray

Disc 2

1. People Say

2. He Lives My Life

3. The Wrong Road

4. Bye Bye Pride

6. Streets Of Your Town

x

Track List: Bright Yellow Bright Orange

1. Caroline And I

2. Poison In The Walls

3. Mrs. Morgan

4. In Her Diary

5. Too Much Of One Thing

6. Crooked Lines

7. Old Mexico

8. Make Her Day

9. Something For Myself

10. Unfinished Business

x

Track List: The Friends of Rachel Worth

1. Magic In Here

2. Spirit

3. The Clock

4. German Farmhouse

5. He Lives My Life

6. Heart and Home

7. Surfing Magazines

8. Orpheus Beach

9. Going Blind

10. When She Sang About Angels

x

Track List: Bellavista Terrace: Best Of The Go-Betweens

1. Was There Anything I Could Do?

2. Head Full Of Steam

3. That Way

4. Part Company

5. Cattle And Cane

6. Draining The Pool For You

7. The Wrong Road

8. Bye Bye Pride

9. Man O'Sand To Girl O'Sea

10. The House That Jack Kerouac Built

11. Bachelor Kisses

12. Streets Of Your Town

13. Spring Rain

14. Dive For Your Memory

x

Track List: 16 Lovers Lane

1. Love Goes On!

2. Quiet Heart

3. Love Is a Sign

4. You Can't Say No Forever

5. The Devil's Eye

6. Streets of Your Town

7. Clouds

8. Was There Anything I Could Do?

9. I'm All Right

10. Dive for Your Memory

x

Track List: 16 Lovers Lane (Deluxe Edition)

x

Track List: Tallulah

1. Right Here

2. You Tell Me

3. Someone Else's Wife

4. I Just Get Caught Out

5. Cut It Out

6. The House That Jack Kerouac Built

7. Bye Bye Pride

8. Spirit Of A Vampyre

9. The Clarke Sisters

10. Hope Then Strife

x

Track List: Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express

1. Spring Rain

2. The Ghost And The Black Hat

3. The Wrong Road

4. To Reach Me

5. Twin Layers Of Lightning

6. In The Core Of A Flame

7. Head Full Of Steam

8. Bow Down

9. Palm Sunday (On Board The S.S. Within)

10. Apology Accepted

x

Track List: Before Hollywood (Expanded Edition)

Disc 1

1. A Bad Debt Follows You

3. Before Hollywood

4. Dusty In Here

5. Ask

6. Cattle And Cane

7. By Chance

8. As Long As That

9. On My Block

10. That Way

Disc 2

1. Hammer The Hammer

2. Heaven Says

3. Just A King In Mirrors

4. A Peaceful Wreck

5. Man O'Sand To Girl O'Sea

6. Near The Chimney

7. This Girl, Black Girl

Comments

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one of the greatest oz bands,the song cattle and cane along with the triffids wide open road captured a feeling of the land the time and the place
Report as inappropriate
Thank you Pete for introducing me to this great band. So many great memories.
Report as inappropriate
Saw them at the old 9:30 Club in DC in the mid 80s I guess. They were incredible. But the place was hardly half full. We chatted with them a bit after the show in that pit under the stage.
Report as inappropriate
I lived through the 80s and never heard of them. I wish I had - they are quite good.
Report as inappropriate
I totally forgot about them. One of the many under appreciated bands from the 80's.
Report as inappropriate
Never got the fame they deserved. Typical.
Report as inappropriate
Wow!!
Have never heard of this band before.

If 'Quiet Heart' is any indicator of their other material... I'm quite impressed!

((Icing on the cake for me is they're from Brisbane, Oz... bringing back memories of living in Australia in the 80s and vacationing in Brisbane.))
Report as inappropriate
I can't help but notice some similarity with Moody Blues; this is a good thing in my book. Wish I had heard of them long before now! I heard Robert Forster on NPR recently and am looking forward to his solo efforts.
Report as inappropriate
had the honor of actually seeing this band play in LA in the late 80's and early 90's. these guys along with the reivers were amazing. first time we saw the go-betweens, robert forster was wearing a long dress. classic. take me back!

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