The Go-Betweens - POX or CDR

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Okay, I just re-read David Nichols' GB's book while listening to the records, and noticed this seemingly hasn't been done here. With my renewed affection I couldn't get it down to ten, so a POXX/C90/CDR it is, and possibly an odd selection at that.

Anyone care to demonstrate what a POX might look like?

Lee Remick
Don't Let Him Come Back
The Sound of Rain
If One Thing Can Hold Us
People Know
It Could Be Anyone
By Chance
Cattle and Cane
Before Hollywood
Second Hand Furniture
This Girl, Black Girl
Part Company
Unkind and Unwise
Emperor's Courtesan
Spring Rain
Head Full of Steam
I Just Get Caught Out
Bye Bye Pride
The Streets of Your Town
Dive For Your Memory

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Sunday, 28 December 2003 02:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

that's a good selection. i'd also include:

man o sand to girl o sea
love goes on
just a king in mirrors

the surface noise (electricsound), Sunday, 28 December 2003 03:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

fuckyeah! re: Karen.

fav go-b's album? I'd happily choose 16 lover's lane, I think.

OCP (OCP), Sunday, 28 December 2003 14:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Robert Forster's mum says People Say is the best song he's ever written. She might be onto a good thing there. Also Apology Accepted. In The Core Of A Flame, too, if only for the opening lines "if the devil had seen your dress/he would've changed his name/put down his fork and moved back above/why burn in hell when you can burn for love?"
From the two comeback albums, Going Blind and Make Her Day are pretty much essential.
Oh yes, and Wait Until June for the full Lou Reed joins Creedence Clearwater Revival experience.

Canada Briggs (Canada Briggs), Sunday, 28 December 2003 14:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The whole of Liberty Belle - doesn't get nearly enough attention!

Chris Ott (Chris Ott), Sunday, 28 December 2003 22:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

my fave GB album would be Tallulah i think. i love 16 Lovers Lane but i've also heard it a little too much.

the surface noise (electricsound), Sunday, 28 December 2003 23:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm too hard on Tallulah given the presence in those grooves of the travesty that is "Cut It Out". The rest of it is excellent.

I was so astonished by the jerky 3-piece stuff I'd vote for Before Hollywood or on some days even *gasp* the seemingly indefensible Send Me A Lullaby.

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Monday, 29 December 2003 05:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The whole of Liberty Belle gets my undivided attention. Was also the first I got. Saw the GBs and Triffids a few times when i was at Uni, better get my walking stick out.

mentalist (mentalist), Monday, 29 December 2003 12:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'd include "I'm Alright" on that list.

Jazzbo (jmcgaw), Monday, 29 December 2003 14:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Saw the GBs and Triffids a few times when i was at Uni,

you lucky bastard!

the surface noise (electricsound), Monday, 29 December 2003 21:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

where oh where is Jen M when you need her?

M Matos (M Matos), Monday, 29 December 2003 22:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

you lucky bastard!

Just the good fortune of being where i was and when i was :~}

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 December 2003 05:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

you lucky bastard!

Just the good fortune of being born where i was and when i was :~}

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 December 2003 05:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 December 2003 05:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Saw The Triffids at Bham Irish Centre. MIGHTY. Lead singer's dead now ?

Mark Trickett, Tuesday, 30 December 2003 23:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yes David McComb died after a car accident. It wasn't the accident that killed him as such. He had a lifetime heart condition.

mentalist (mentalist), Tuesday, 30 December 2003 23:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
That Way
The Old Way Out
Part Company
A Head Full Of Steam
Spring Rain
To Reach Me
Apology Accepted
You Tell Me
You Can't Say No Forever
Quiet Heart

I'm very into 'You Tell Me' and 'The Old Way Out' at the moment. 'That Way' just there to represent Before Hollywood really, which I used to think was maybe my favourite album, but haven't listened to in ages. Maybe I should have picked something more unique to it, like the title track.

Alba (Alba), Sunday, 17 April 2005 15:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

draining the pool
man o sand (if only for the line" i'm so sure about our love, i wrote a song about us breaking up"
head full of steam (the video!)
dive for your memory
i just get caught out
spring rain
i'm alright
little romance

dan. (dan.), Sunday, 17 April 2005 15:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've never understood the appeal of 'Karen'. I mean, it's gauche juvenilia that's funny for one or listen, but after that??

What's the video for 'A Head Full Of Steam' like? I should get that expanded edition, should I? And get a ticket for next month.

Alba (Alba), Sunday, 17 April 2005 16:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
I dreamed of 'Here Comes A City' last night.

Alba (Alba), Monday, 25 July 2005 15:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'm convinced the new album will rank at or near the top of their best work, hence inclusion of several of its tracks:

You Tell Me
Bow Down
I'm Allright
As Long As That
Someone Else's Wife
The Statue
Unkind & Unwise
He Lives My Life
Right Here
Part Company

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Monday, 25 July 2005 15:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Karen is like their take on the Modern Lovers. I love that style and the swagger (for them anyway) in Robert Forster's voice. It's just a little unusual for them. The video for Head Full of Steam is Robert prancing around in a little half shirt and lot of make-up and kind of flies in the face of the song. Kind of a gender twist. Also that reissiue has the Spring Rain video which is charming.

dan. (dan.), Monday, 25 July 2005 15:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, I love the new album - haven't you only included 'The Statue' from it there though?

'He Lives My Life' is my favourite from the post-reunion albums, but I find it hard to judge them alongside the old stuff.


Alba (Alba), Monday, 25 July 2005 15:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I would have included "Darlinghurst Nights," "Here Comes The City," and "Born To A Family" if I'd had the space!

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Monday, 25 July 2005 16:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Karen is like their take on the Modern Lovers.
I never thought of that. I always though of it as their rip off of Patti Smith. (Dancing Barefoot..) The Modern Lovers comparison works though...

Darlinghurst Nights is absolutely great, innit? I mean, awesomely, put-on-repeat-a-few-times great.

geyser muffler and a quarter (Dave225), Monday, 25 July 2005 16:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The stretch from Darlinghurst Nights through the Statue totally makes that record.

dan. (dan.), Monday, 25 July 2005 16:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love how on Darlinghurst Nights the arrangement gets more baroque while Robert still talk-sings, unaware of the clamour.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Monday, 25 July 2005 16:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I made a playlist of from the reunion albums recently, trying to turn them into one really great 12-track album. I like the way it's sequenced too. I listen to it a lot. No 'Darlinghurst Nights' I'm afraid.

Magic In Here
Caroline & I
The Clock
Finding You
Here Comes A City
Going Blind
Unfinished Business
He Lives My Life
Boundary Rider
Surfing Magazines
The Statue
Too Much Of One Thing

Alba (Alba), Monday, 25 July 2005 16:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

am i crazy or is this one of the best go betweens songs i've ever heard. definitely one of the greatest lloyd cole songs i've ever heard.

scott seward, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 21:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's more like a grant solo track, there's no forster tension there. not bad tho

the dolly doctor movement (electricsound), Tuesday, 13 July 2010 23:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, "Lori" is more like a cover of an Al Stewart song Grant left off of Watershed or In Your Bright Ray. The implied backdrop of events the Go-Betweens were known for is lacking here. But a good song.

POX is kind of impossible with the Go-Betweens. I've come to appreciate Liberty Belle the most out of their pre-comback material, and I also like their first record a lot. "Karen" I like less than I like "Lee Remick" or for that matter "The Sound of Rain" off of '78 'til '79; the recording is shitty and Grant knows that one bass lick, but it's great nonetheless. I've also come to think I like Forster a bit more. His first 2 solo records are pretty great; I think Grant was a bit more hit-and-miss and the voice is just too weak to carry some things, and I also think Grant never quite got the super-pop he obviously loved so much. Maybe a few things here and there. Which isn't to say I don't love him. The singles they did after their comeback are cool and I've been listening to them, and Forster's "Erotic Sunshine" is just so fantastic. My theory is that heroin or whatever Grant was into sort of diminished him to the point that he just wasn't as strong as he should've been--you can see it in the video stuff. Sad.

Here's a CD, but god, I'm still leaving out plenty of stuff I love.

Lee Remick
Two Steps, Step Out
Cattle and Cane
Dusty in Here
Hammer the Hammer
Bachelor Kisses
Slow Slow Music
Draining the Pool for You
Newton Told Me
Sweet Tasting Hours
Spring Rain
Head Full of Steam
You Tell Me
I Just Get Caught Out
Spirit of a Vampyre
The Clarke Sisters
Love Is a Sign
Streets of Your Town
Thd Devil's Eye
Rock and Roll Friend
The Clock
Surfing Magazines
Erotic Sunshine
Born to a Family
No Reason to Cry
Darlinghurst Nights
This Night's for You

The 16 Lovers Lane demos are pretty great too.

ebbjunior, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 19:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

I mean, that's a long CD, looking at it. I could live without "Rock and Roll Friend" or even "This Night's for You" and "Slow Slow Music."

ebbjunior, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 19:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

glad you included "You Tell Me."

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 19:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

I said this in another thread, but McLennan got complacent. Forster never stopped stretching.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 19:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

the older i get the better their stuff sounds to me. i mean, i always liked them, but now i play a go betweens record and i hear all kinds of things that i never heard before. and it all sounds deeper to me too. more soulful than i remember.

scott seward, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 19:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

In that big orange SPIN book Eric Weisbard remarked that the Go-Bes are a band you grow old with. Man, that makes more and more sense.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 19:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

heroin or whatever Grant was into
didn't know this -- he was into heroin? drugs?

tylerw, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 20:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

They've been circumspect about it. I don't see evidence from '84 onwards of heroin use.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 20:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

was playing bright yello the other day and that one really grew on me. i think i pretty much like the whole thing now. when it was released it came w/a limited bonus disc; and "the locust girls" on that is *stunning*

fried ice cream is a reality (outdoor_miner), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 21:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

That one had good songs but it's my least favorite of the comeback trilogy -- the production is colorless.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 21:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wince wince--why's he getting to publish a collection of critical essays? No doubt being "famous" helps, though I suspect being famous in Australia helps a lot more--embattled colonial cultures go out of their way to support their own. Anyway, as a connoisseur of the form I'm here to tell you that this is a damn good collection of critical essays. I agree with Forster's judgments no more than half the time and probably less--he's fonder than I would have thought of various folkies, and, in a contrarian/revisionist trend I have no use for, champions such ignored or half-forgotten MOR heroes as Glen Campbell, Neil Diamond, and Nana Mouskouri. Only he's never in the least contrarian about it, because his method is always to appreciatively describe the work at hand. The voice is knowledgeable without being even a little full of itself, and radiates a musician's kindness to other musicians without letting failed efforts off the hook. The insights into the recording process are sharp without being inside, and the Australia-specific stuff, usually about artists I've barely heard or never heard of, is consistently fascinating. His criticism is kind of like his music. He's no hotshot--modest confidence is his m.o.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 July 2010 21:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh -- Xgau's long interview with Forster is in this month's Believer. Good stuff.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 15 July 2010 02:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

No love for "I Need Two Heads", their Postcard single?

Also "Spring Hill Fair" seems rather underrepresented here. Every track is pretty much indispensible.

bham, Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not every track, but it is their most underrated of the original albums imho.

"The Dad" from Gay Dad (King Boy Pato), Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:51 (eight years ago) Permalink


also the 2cd reissue of it has my fave bonus tracks

the dolly doctor movement (electricsound), Thursday, 15 July 2010 08:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

SHF is the first one I bought, so I've considerable affection for it: love the "produced" post-Talking Heads sound on "You've Never Lived" and "Slow Slow Music."

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 15 July 2010 11:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I think SHF is amazing, and the bonus tracks from that era are probably my favorite bonus tracks. But these days I prefer Liberty Belle and Tallulah; I have no problem saying the latter is their most concentrated music and that "Clarke Sisters" is likely their greatest track ever.

They were definitely a critics' band in the sense that they were so self-editing and so careful about their effects, but they were also very warm-hearted and open to Glen Campbell or whoever Christgau has no use for. I enjoy Gordon Lightfoot and Tom Rush, and all those folkies. But if Christgau wants to worry about it, have at it. Those Forster solo records I enjoy so much are all about folkiedom and singer-songwriters and of course, Forster's version of America--the wide open spaces and strums of canyon-sized importance.

ebbjunior, Thursday, 15 July 2010 17:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

The Evangelist really is a marvelous album: definitely an album to savor as one becomes old enough to understand the tug of spouses and adopted homeland, and the pain of missing dead friends one probably loved more than a spouse or adopted homeland. How amazing that he's writing songs this good.

In that Believer interview, Forster cautions Christgau and the audience not to expect another album for another few years.

I'm never gonna do it without the Lex on (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 15 July 2010 17:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

Just listened to this interview with Forster in which he elucidates his ten rules of rock 'n' roll. From his book. I was actually somewhat disappointed--great bands never make solo records, great artists hide behind their managers. True enough. I did like the one about how great bands never do anything new after the first 20 minutes on stage and the one about show-offs who change guitars after every three songs: they're not really playing, they're just exhibiting their guitar collections. But in general, not as sharp as I would've expected--funny enough, I guess.

I also like Evangelist. Fine indeed. He's one droll man and just has it as a songwriter, in my book.

ebbjunior, Thursday, 15 July 2010 17:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

yuoowemeone, Saturday, 31 May 2014 09:12 (five years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

3 years pass. More like 30.

Never understood the reverence , so made another effort tonight.

I always loved 'Streets of your Town'. I realise that could be a typical pick for a GB newbie

The only other song I think is excellent is ' Love is a Sign'. Beauty.

Apologies to the diehards. I only have the 78 - 90 thing.

The only other thing I remember is 'i don't wanna be Grant McClennan' but I think that was by Buffalo Tom ; -)

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Saturday, 14 February 2015 00:37 (four years ago) Permalink

Guess I don't understand lyrics - it's all just babble

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Saturday, 14 February 2015 00:40 (four years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

For me it's the overall effect, good phrases and ones I don't always catch, caught up in the music. Re the rain at an outdoor show in Denmark, one of 'em says, "We'll try to do something about that," and they already are: sounds like the sun's keeping time as they lope through the dust and rust of Down Under distances, which keep getting "older and longer and higher," while the singers are older anyway, not pretending to be wiser, but been at it so long, can't help remembering some of how people places and things go, despite all the flights and a few fights, at least. Not that they're really tough guys: the epic finale is about bugging on a librarian who "stands behind the counter, and solves all the problems I encounter," in terms of finding books, anyway. On the road to that counter: "Visions of blue! Might be perverse but it's true," and "I don't blame her, people don't know what they want," and "Clouds lie on their backs and rain on everyone/You're always dry, gotcher own pirate sun...People say I'm mad to want you." Good set: a coople of fast-enough strummers, then the whole band. mp3s and lossless. Thanks again, Tyler.

dow, Thursday, 14 May 2015 19:57 (four years ago) Permalink

Reminds me of how Janet Weiss's drumming fit right into that last Go-Betweens album (was it the last? Think so).

dow, Thursday, 14 May 2015 20:03 (four years ago) Permalink

best song not yet mentioned on this thread: "mrs morgan"

ciderpress, Thursday, 14 May 2015 20:07 (four years ago) Permalink

The Evangelist really is a marvelous album

Yes. If you are not familiar with this, you should seek it out.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 14 May 2015 20:15 (four years ago) Permalink

The only other thing I remember is 'i don't wanna be Grant McClennan' but I think that was by Buffalo Tom ; -)

dammit why can't you FP on zing

( who ALSO my boss and his sister!) (sic), Thursday, 14 May 2015 23:08 (four years ago) Permalink

Even better sound quality on this Grant/GW McLennan collection I'm listening to: euphoric, driving full band show on the first ten tracks (with a really good singer-guitarist he addresses as Anna; Anna who, dammit?). 15 more solo acoustic, also clear and strong, so far. Beware of the stripedsunlight blog Rob mentions here as a source: good reading matter, but all the links I tried were dead or polluted. No prob with Rob's repercussion round-up though; thanks again, Rob:

dow, Friday, 15 May 2015 01:23 (four years ago) Permalink

Happy to oblige, dow.

Too bad about the links at stripedsunlight. He/they shared some great stuff over the years...

Robinbrevard, Saturday, 16 May 2015 16:43 (four years ago) Permalink

where should I go after Tallulah and 16 Lovers Lane? I tend to like Quiet Heart, Right Here, Streets of Your Town....or the singer that doesn't sound like Verlaine. though he's growing on me too. tia

campreverb, Sunday, 17 May 2015 00:30 (four years ago) Permalink

Before Hollywood. It's harder and treble-ier.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 17 May 2015 00:37 (four years ago) Permalink

And now for something--not completely different, but the earliest and post-punkiest Go-Betweens I've heard, as a trio, on a good live FM tape from Sydney, in 1982. Short, sometimes curt phrases, tending to staccato and oblique strokes of pen and guitar, but some supple turns of phrase come through clearly enough already, like "His inner self left him for someone else," and "I know you, you're easy to find/Come see me," and lots more in the second half, especially starting in "our big single, that put us on the road to success," which sounds like they like the early Cure: "And with all of these things that are said/Sometimes I think I need two heads" (mention of a "child detective" in here too), followed by a semi-cryptic sex song--"This is what comes of dressing up like spies"---again, getting clear enough. especially after a penultimate scramble: "I forgot my jeans/I forgot your name."
Would like to hear some of these mixed in with their later, better-known style, especially when the transition happens in songs like that last," "Near The Chimney," but much moreso in the next one, "Undo What You Did": "Now---I can't--"
("He can't") "--say what I like, in front of, in front of---undo wot you did!/Take away the times/That I/Ev-en said...(guitar comes in to save him).
They also sound like they like Joy D. and early Wire (Tyler suggests The Birthday Party and The Fire Engines). But you can tell it's them, rattling along in an absurdist, earnest, worthy-apprentice way:

dow, Monday, 18 May 2015 00:38 (four years ago) Permalink

[misc xposts]

There's one school of thought that maintains the even-numbered LPs, of the original batch, are the most accomplished, so yeah Before Hollywood and also the Liberty Belle..., by that line of thinking. Aside from the first LP, both singers get equal number of tracks.

"Don't Want to be Grant McLennan" was by Smudge. ie.

Janet Weiss was on the third-from-last LP only, in 2000. Went back to a strictly 'strayan rhythm section after that IIRC.

Maximum big surprise! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Monday, 18 May 2015 04:23 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

I knew Jim Elkinton was one cool motherfucker, I didn't know just how cool, though.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 20:58 (five months ago) Permalink

Yeesh, ELKINGTON. The man's name is JAMES ELKINGTON and he is delightful.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 8 January 2019 21:01 (five months ago) Permalink

^ Bless.

Spooky that this has been bumped today as I literally just finished watching the full length Right Here documentary after the DVD distributor offered massive discounts over Xmas. Way better--in terms of dealing with musical context and actual specific songs--than the 1 hour version that was streamlined for ABC (Aus) general audiences. Though oddly, the 45 minutes of outtakes seemed to be exactly the same.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 06:11 (five months ago) Permalink

Thanks for the tip! is it this?: Note reviewer warning us against the other version---"lacks 45 minutes of bonus footage"---also on Amazon and a bit more expensive.

dow, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 16:54 (five months ago) Permalink

That's a shame. I have the Umbrella one which claims to be "NTSC - All Region". The bonus stuff is no less interesting, IMHO.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 10 January 2019 01:09 (five months ago) Permalink

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