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167) Go-Betweens - Before Hollywood

I have already explained how a young lady I worked with introduced me to the Go-Betweens with a compilation tape and I quickly became, and still am, a fan of this band.

 

They are one of those bands that if you hear and fall for them, they never leave you and all Go-Between fans cannot understand how they were not more successful. We are not unique in this as any fan of any band that do not sell millions, we despair of the record buying public. Have I ever mentioned That Petrol Emotion.

 

Before Hollywood was the second album from the band released back in the mists of time of 1983 and obviously this Australian band recorded it in Sydney, Melbourne, or Adelaide or somewhere with a bit of sun. No as they had recently signed to Rough Trade it was Eastbourne in the autumn, bet that was an eye opener.

 

McLennan/Forster as per the norm from now on contribute equal songs. This is the album where the band began to build their legacy, Lindy Morrison’s drumming is effective and crisp throughout and Forster and McLennan are confident in their songwriting and special mention to producer John Brand who was on a hot streak having just worked on Aztec Camera’s High Land, Hard Rain. It’s a simple unfussy production job that focuses us on the songs.

 

No shock, Cattle and Cane is the gem, the simplicity and beauty of this song has never waned, McLennan pitches his voice exactly right over a magical riff, sweet backing vocals and a reflection of his life so far. It’s a perfect song.

 

Although this is the masterpiece the other nine tracks are none too shabby opener A Bad Debt is urgent for The Go-Betweens and Two Steps has some lovely harmonising.

 

Dusty In Here starts as if the band are tuning up, a minimal song with a piano sauntering in the background, sparse but smart.

 

As usual the guitar draws me to the song Ask and Forster’s By Chance bounces along and at this point Forster and Morrison are still a couple and As Long As That was seemingly written for her.

 

On My Block listen to the riff that works through the song and the majestic That Way finishes with the lines “There’ll come a time when someone will say. It wasn’t that way.”

 

I like to think there will come a time when this group will be appreciated by so many more. Back when they were around it wasn’t that way,

 

8/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: Cattle and Cane

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