The Go-Betweens In Session – 1983 – Past Daily Soundbooth

The Go-Betweens - in session for Peel - 1983
The Go-Betweens – leaving lots of inspiration to go around.

The Go-Betweens – In Session for John Peel – Broadcast December 10, 1983 – BBC Radio 1-

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The Go-Betweens tonight.In session for John Peel and broadcast on December 10, 1983 – the second of three sessions the band did for Peel during their tenure.

The Go-Betweens were an Australian indie rock band formed in Brisbane, Queensland in 1977. The band was co-founded and led by singer-songwriters and guitarists Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, who were its only constant members throughout its existence. Drummer Lindy Morrison joined the band in 1980, and its lineup would later expand to include bass guitarist Robert Vickers and multi-instrumentalist Amanda Brown. Vickers was replaced by John Willsteed in 1987, and the quintet lineup remained in place until the band split two years later. Forster and McLennan reformed the band in 2000 with a new lineup that did not include any previous personnel aside from them. McLennan died on 6 May 2006 of a heart attack and The Go-Betweens disbanded again. In 2010, a toll bridge in their native Brisbane was renamed the Go Between Bridge after them.

In 1988, “Streets of Your Town”, the first single from 16 Lovers Lane, entered the Top 100 on both the Kent Music Report chart in Australia and the UK Singles Chart in the United Kingdom. The follow-up single “Was There Anything I Could Do?” was a No. 16 hit on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the United States. In May 2001, “Cattle and Cane”, from 1983’s Before Hollywood, was selected by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time. In 2008, 16 Lovers Lane was highlighted on Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) TV’s The Great Australian Albums series.

The focal point of The Go-Betweens was the song writing skills of Forster and McLennan, described by The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau as “the greatest songwriting partnership working today.” Each developed a distinctive but complementary style: Forster’s songs were angular and angst-ridden, making much use of irony and unusual lyrical imagery, while McLennan’s were generally softer and more sensitive, his lyrics often based on character study and reported speech. Without ever securing an Australian or UK Top 50 chart single—a fact which mystified their supporters in the press, to the point where this “scandalous” lack of popular success became a cliché when writing about the band. However, there were a few very minor chart successes for the band, starting with “Spring Rain”, which snuck into the lower rungs of the Australian charts in 1986 and became the band’s first ever Top 100 chart hit. The following year, “Right Here” similarly rode low on the UK Top 100 Charts. Then in 1988, “Streets of Your Town”, the first single from 1988’s 16 Lovers Lane, reached the Top 100 in both Australia and UK.

For a sample of what they were up to in 1983 (although not listed in the Peel sessionography but from BBC 6 Music, who rebroadcast this, sez so), crank it up and relax.

Oh . . .and thanx Wikipedia. I contributed.

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