By way of background The Go-Betweens were an indie rock band formed in Brisbane, Australia in 1977 by singer-songwriters and guitarists, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan. I think they were in Gl;asgow for a while and maybe recorded there, hopefully someone will let me know. They were later joined by Lindy Morrison on drums, Robert Vickers on bass guitar and Amanda Brown on violin, oboe, guitar, and backing vocals, before disbanding in late 1989.
Forster and McLennan reformed the band in 2000 with a new line-up, but sadly McLennan died on 6 May 2006 of a heart attack and The Go-Betweens disbanded again.
Robert Foster has several excellent solo albums but I think his work with the Go-Betweens was where he was at his peak.
16 Lovers Lane is one of the finest alternative pop albums of the mid 80's and as good a set of ten songs put on disc by any group in the late 80's/early 90's. The two songwriters, McLennan and Forster, are in absolute top form, balancing guardedly optimistic upbeat numbers with poetic, soul-searching ballads and duets. The central theme throughout the record deals with the unspoken complexities of growing older with love and friendship, and the sometimes poignant contradictions between melancholic regret and hopefulness for the future.
What also makes this album different from its predecessors is the ease with which it all seems to come together. On the surface, the songs all seem simple and effortless, but there is a more complex sound once you get into the album. Like Cosmic Rough Riders, Lloyd Cole, Aztec Camera they take simple elements of acoustic guitars and major chords and weave them into something so rich.
An under-appreciated band.
A great pop album.
Love Goes On
Love Is A Sign
Streets Of Your Town
Dive for your memory
Was There Anything I Could Do