Once A Day

Nick West's reviews for Bucketfull Of Brains and Rock'N'Reel

My Photo
Name:
Location: London, United Kingdom

Co-editor and publisher of Bucketfull Of Brains since 1996.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


THE GO-BETWEENS

SEND ME A LULLABY
Beggars Banquet BBL 2001 CD

BEFORE HOLLYWOOD
BBL 2002 CD

SPRING HILL FAIR
BBL 2003 CD

LIBERTY BELLE AND THE BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS
BBL 2004 CD

TALLULAH
BBL 2005 CD

16 LOVERS LANE
BBL 2006 CD

There is a profound mystery at the heart of the Go-Betweens. Its why, like their songs, they remain a shimmering evanescent thing of beauty perceived by a few and missed by the many. Its why, seven years after their passing, they still have not yet been acclaimed as the great lost band of the eighties. Its why, now that their two singer-songwriters Robert Foster and Grant McLennan are performing together again as the Australian Go-Betweens, we still haven't seen them on a stage in London.

The answer may be their quality of timelessness. They share with the Byrds and Big Star that overwhelming sense of newness and freshness that remains no matter how familiar you are with their material. You wonder whether people just didn't realise they were happening now.

What the Go-Betweens had going for them was two supremely gifted, romantically inclined, creators of melody. They seemed to able to turn out exquisite songs almost at will. 'Sing Me A Lullaby' now sounds like the apprentice's first try-out but everything after that was assured and self-confident. 'Before Hollywood' announced them with its waves of nostalgia and loss highlighted in McLennan's aching 'Cattle and Cane'. 'Spring Hill Fair' is light, airy, sunny; lyrically mature and imbued with the knowledge that they were about to break big. The fact that they didn't, and had almost two uncertain years as record deals came and went, emphasised the dark hues which inform the more detailed 'Liberty Belle' and 'Tallulah'. They were never again quite so joyous until the pretty but relatively slight '16 Lovers Lane'.

This series of re-releases consists of the six official albums the Go-Betweens put out between 1982 and 1988. The first three have never been properly released on CD and all have been remastered. They come with the original art work plus extra photographs and comprehensive sleeve notes. Beggars Banquet need to be commended on doing it absolutely right, and we trust they will add to this a collection of all the singles, b-sides, radio tracks, and other assorted bits and pieces to complete the picture.

(from BoB#46 Aug 1996)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home