Tag Archives: the go-betweens

THE GO-BETWEENS: Before Hollywood (LP, Rough Trade ROUGH 54, 1982)

The Go-Betweens - Before Hollywood

Item number one, inspired by the selection of this record

2345. As I fired up the random number generator to select a record for this post, I noticed that the number of records in the list of possibilities now stands at 2,345. That number must surely have some kind of numerological, Kabbalistic meaning? I bet it represents travel, or progression, or something along those lines. Regardless, it’s a very satisying number to type: 2345. Get to a keyboard and try it.

Item number two, inspired by the label that released this record

I’m constantly, overwhelmingly impressed and in awe of the selection of bands that Rough Trade Records have released. Look at this quickly-compiled list of a few of them:

  • Cabaret Voltaire
  • Subway Sect
  • The Raincoats
  • The Pop Group
  • Robert Wyatt
  • The Slits
  • The Fall
  • Wire
  • The Pastels
  • The Smiths
  • Galaxie 500

…and that’s just a handful Any label would (or should) have been proud to release one record by one of those artists. But here’s a label that released many by them all, alongside many more. I don’t know why this is impressive – it’s just pressing records, it’s just shifting product, ultimately – but it is impressive. It speaks of a long-term sense of quality and class that should be an inspiration to all record labels.

Item number three, inspired by the players on this record

Lindy Morrison (drums, backing vocals) once stood as the candidate for the Australian Democrats party in New South Wales.
Grant McLennan (bass, guitars, vocals) very sadly passed away in 2006. More than 1,000 people attended his funeral.
Robert Forster (guitar, vocals) has appeared in a large number of Hollywood movies, including Mulholland Dr., Jackie Brown and the remake of Psycho.

Item number four, inspired by the cover of this record

Band photographs are a funny thing, aren’t they? It’s always difficult to find a photograph that sums up both a band’s collective personality along with that of its individuals; let alone their music. This record’s cover photograph, by Tom Sheehan (who has also shot a massive number of other artists – look him up), does a pretty good job. It’s informal yet strangely confrontational and distracted. The band members look deep in their own thoughts, but are drawn together by the colours of the composition. There is what looks like a blurred clock at the front of the image; what does it mean?

THE GO-BETWEENS: Streets Of Your Town (7″, Beggars Banquet BEG 232, 1989)

The Go-Betweens: Streets Of Your Town

I’m not normally much of a ‘multi-formatter’ – I don’t tend to buy the same release on every format that a record company feels the need to issue. I’ve never reached the level of fanboy obession that’s driven many to covet the same songs on 7″, 12″, CD1, CD2, tape, eight track, flexi, wax cylinder etc etc. Even the ‘bonus’/’extra’/’previously unreleased’ filler material that normally backs up the main songs tends to be slightly outside the reach of interest for all but the most special of bands.

Weirdly though, I’ve got ‘Streets Of Your Town’ on both 7″ and 12″. Not by design or by obsession, but by virtue of having an awful memory and hence having bought each format completely separately, years apart from each other, in different places, with no clue that (in the latter case) I already owned this record.

BUT… for some reason the 7″ is BEG 232 and the 12″ is BEG 218T, suggesting that they’re not actually multiple formats of the same release at all. Checking the Beggars discography online confirms this: the song was released twice within as many years, with different B-sides taking up the slack on each version. No idea of the story behind this, but Beggar (ho ho) me if I in fact don’t own the same release in two formats – I own two releases from Beggars’ and The Go-Betweens’ discographies respectively, and I am hence a better collector than I realised.

To finish, Grant McLennan R.I.P.