Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thank you all so very very much for all the lovely notes and comments. I'm slowly getting used to the wee fella not being around anymore. It's time enough to try and get TVV going again.....
In many ways, The Go-Betweens are the reason this blog started almost six years ago.
I had not long got myself a home PC and was busy loading up all the music from my CDs to transfer to my first ever I-pod. I was also just acquaint myself with some sites in which fans wrote passionately and brilliantly about the music they loved, and quite crucially they also posted mp3s of tracks that I’d long either forgotten about or hadn’t heard in years.
One such blogger from those days has become a close and valued friend. He’s done me loads of favours over the years and I’d like to think I’ve reciprocated accordingly.
The first time he ever he helped me out was he kindly said yes when I asked if he could post the b-side to a 1983 single by The Go-Betweens. He also very patiently explained how I could go about setting up a music blog and how easy it was to convert vinyl tracks to mp3s. From those early e-mail exchanges TVV was conceived and hatched.
For those reasons alone I will always be fond of the best band ever to emerge from Brisbane, Australia. They’re a band that are loved and adored by loads of 40 and 50-somethings but they don’t seem to be cited much by younger generations. There’s plenty of young bands who nowadays talk about how much they have been influenced by 80s indie-pop sound with loads of shout-outs to The Smiths and Orange Juice in particular. Very few ever mention The Go-Betweens……
They were around from 1977-1989 and they disbanded only to re-form in 2000 to much critical and fan acclaim. Sadly, the very sudden and unexpected death of Grant McLellan in May 2006 at the age of just 48 brought it all to an end, although his sidekick Robert Forster has continued as a solo artist and when he has toured his sets have contained a fair sprinkling of songs written and recorded by the band.
The six studio albums from the 80s were as consistently strong an output as any of their contemporaries. They weren’t a band who released a lot of singles – just 18 in total, three of which pre-dated their debut LP. One of these was on Postcard Records and they have the distinction of being the only non-Scottish act to feature on the label.
My 45 45s at 45 run-down of a few years ago revealed that Man O’ Sand to Girl O’ Sea was my favourite single by the band, and I placed it at #13. This is partly a nod to its b-side This Girl, Black Girl being the track I referred to earlier on and the one that got me thinking about blogging. the 45s rundown could just as easily have included Cattle and Cane which I reckon is the song that over time has proved to be their most enduring. It’s one that gets me all melancholy and nostalgic and never fails to take me back to my student days. But there’s another later single from 1988 that never fails to get me dancing…..even when I’m on a crowded train and it comes on the I-pod I close my eyes and imagine I’m elsewhere:-
mp3 : The Go-Betweens – Was There Anything I Could Do?
This single also had a cracking b-side:-
mp3 : The Go-Betweens – Rock’n’Roll Friend
That such a great song was consigned to a b-side speaks volumes for the quality of the songs the band were recording at that time. Oh and it’s such a classic that Robert Forster re-recorded it in 1996 as a track on one of the four solo LPs he released in that decade.
mp3 : Robert Forster – Rock’n’Roll Friend
Happy Listening dear readers.