Post Number: 101
|Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 03:52 pm: |
I have purchased most everything of the Go-Betweens over the years. Plenty of 12" singles, the solo albums and some cd singles as well.
Things that I'm missing are:
-Robert's NY CD
-A couple RF singles, especially the Brookville song
-And The Lost Album
I've read an interview recently posted at Roger's site about how Grant loved Robert's pop phase, the album they never released before SMAL. And I'm interested. I take it that this eventually was released as the Lost Album.
Just to describe my Go-Betweens taste on the early stuff. I don't care for SMAL. I like Lee Remick, I love People Say, I love Sound of Rain. I don't like Karen (too dirgy). I like Live in London version of It Could Be Anyone. And Your Turn, My Turn is ok from Live from London too. At the same time, I like the weird stuff too like Man O Sand, Five Words, Unkind & Unwise.
Favorite albums: Before Hollywood, Liberty Belle, 16 LL. But it's always been about the songs and each has classics.
So I'm wondering what this album is like? And would I like it or would I be let down? Can anyone elaborate or critique this album for me to give me more details on what to expect?
Post Number: 399
|Posted on Friday, July 28, 2006 - 04:03 pm: |
Life is too short not to buy it, Matthias. The sound on most of the Lost Album is crap (particularly the four-track demos), with occasional dropouts. The musicianship is pretty rudimentary--Grant was still learning bass and Tim Mustafa is pretty much your typical overplaying garage band drummer, but it's fun and a lot different than SMAL. It's worth the price of admission for the early singles and their flipsides ("Lee Remick," "Karen," "Sound of Rain," and "People Say"), which are a little better quality, soundwise. The rest is at very least entertaining but derivative. A lot of their Jonathan Richman influence shows on the Lost Album, and Robert's songs are mostly "jilted man/failed relationship" things.
You won't play the demos for pleasure often, but once in awhile, they're fun to hear, and they help complete the picture of the band's history. So just buy it!
Post Number: 32
|Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 03:50 am: |
as a completist, I would say "buy it". it chronicles a very cool period and is quite enjoyable to listen to. As for your other "missing" cd's, please consider RF's "New York" covers cd... It got a major bashing from almost every review I have ever read, but I think it's incredible! great song selection from Robert IMHO and even Dave Graney makes an appearance here!
Post Number: 142
|Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 08:12 am: |
The Lost Album shows the Go-Betweens in their early period prior to their first visit to the UK in late '79.
All of the 2-track Golding St songs (The Teeki Tapes) included on the release, bar the singles and their B-sides were left behind with the departure of Tim Mustafa and their widescreen ambitions to head overseas.
From my understanding of things, they never played those songs in Scotland (they played two shows, if I'm not mistaken) and nor did they play them when they returned to Brisbane in 1980.
I guess Grant and Robert's experiences in the UK lead them to throw out their more 'bubblegum' songs in favour of songs like 'I Need Two Heads.'
Robert Forster mentions this in some detail in an interview with Graham Aisthorpe in the short-lived Brisbane street-press, BACKSTAGE upon his return from the UK in mid-1980.
The Teeki Tape excepts on the Lost Album represent the band at a certain time of their career, always progressing and shifting forward, while keeping up with the peers (Orange Juice, Birthday Party, etc) and sometimes overtaking them in the process.
Even from the band's early days with Lindy, you can tell that a lot of songs were being written, performed and never recorded properly. With Grant coming into the fray as a serious songwriter, songs got left behind - but like so many bands of that era, there was no turning back.
Robert says in the liner notes that those songs could have been included on their first album, had they the resources to do one in 1979.
But just comparing the Teeki Tapes to 'I Need Two Heads' the band made a serious jump in the space of 12 months for a band who (at that point) had only ever played shows in Brisbane. It's a jump that's even more severe than that of the SMAL demos on Very Quick On The Eye and SMAL itself.
Strangely though the two singles and their flips had never gotten lost in the whole process and to me, I find that quite interesting.
What I'm trying to say is - buy it!
Post Number: 348
|Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 02:16 pm: |
I don't understand why you wouldn't want to. It's a smoother listen than SMAL.
Post Number: 536
|Posted on Saturday, July 29, 2006 - 07:24 pm: |
I loved. I only actually heard it a few monthas ago for the first time. It was like all first time rehearsals for me, naive, exploratory, fun, funny and a great perspective on their influences.
Really enjoyed it.
Post Number: 56
|Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 04:00 am: |
The Lost album is an essential acquisition. And it's not just for the songs — RF's liner notes are worth the CD price alone!
Overall, what you get with this album is a sense of the early influences and, critically, how they, in many ways, continued to shape the future: particularly, the distinctive rhythm guitar playing of Lou Reed, circa The Velvets 1969 album, that RF nicely rehaped for his own purposes. But you can also hear here the influence of Creedence, The Modern Lovers, Dylan, Francois Hardy, the garage sounds of Lenny Kaye's 'Nuggets' (a very influential album in Brisbane in the late 70s), early rock 'n' roll and surf music.
One of the most curious songs on the album, I think, is 'Long Lonely Day'. It betrays RF's interest in the sound and guitar-playing of early rock 'n' roll, and includes a massive, highly ironic, 45 second guitar solo (Chuck Berry is written all over it). But the song itself is most intreging: it could almost be a soundtrack for a spagetti western or a spy thriller, and in 1999 RF allowed the Sydney-based artist Gail Hastings to use it for a situational artwork that was later presented at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne.
'Rare Victory' is another beauty. Check out the forceful camera metaphor in the opening stanza, which reappeared to great effect in 'Eight Pictures' — another remarkable song from this period, in fact, the only one to find its way onto SMAL (UK pressing only), and which is almost emblematic of the wacky and somewhat unnerving rhythms that so marked the early Go-Betweens.
By the way, Donat, it is not right to describe Graham Aisthorpe's BACKSTAGE as 'street press'. For a start it cost 40c, which in 1980 was at least the price of a 10 ounce glass of beer! BACKSTAGE is also sometimes categorised as a fanzine, but this too is incorrect. However, its relation to both fanzines and what we know today as 'street press' is tangible. Much of the writing was 'fanzine-like', to be sure, although Graham ambition was, on the whole, more critical than fanzine production. After BACKSTAGE folded in late 1980, Graham carried over his regular 'Backstab' column of information about the then lively Brisbane scene into the newly created 'Time Off' magazine, which started out as a fortnightly general arts and culture magazine, but which as the years went by became music dominated and is today part of the street press. Graham's ambition was also, it should be said, at odds with the kind of 'editorial for advertising' formats of the 'straight' rock press of the time and which has pretty much carried over into the largely promotional writing of today's street press. Having said that, Graham was the greatest early promoter of the Go-Betweens — no question of that and I'm sure Lindy would back me up on this — and while he was a huge fan, he was always trying to get at what was of critical value there, something that, I think, the RF interview in the first issue of BACKSTAGE testifies to. The other thing about BACKSTAGE is that it was widely distributed through newsagencies, something which also distinguished it from fanzines and, by definition, the street press of today.
Post Number: 350
|Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 12:48 pm: |
I had no idea that Long Lonely Day had an ironic guitar solo. I can't tell the difference between that & a real one.
The rough-arsed harmonies on Rare Victory are Punk in the extreme.
The Sound Of Rain is a beauty, love the raindrop guitar effects, so much better than the average demo.
Post Number: 471
|Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2006 - 03:26 pm: |
Matthias, I can only reinforce everyone else's recommendation that you buy the Lost Album. For me, it is what filled in the blanks to making Robert and Grant almost like personal friends. So much of what they were doing was very reminiscent of the time. And the music is honestly fun. Their willingness to expose this material to public view is a perfect example of their unpretentious core natures.
If I remember right, "The Sound of Rain" is not a demo. It's a proper studio recording with Peter Milton Walsh in the band on the second guitar but the copy on the Lost Album is taken from a crappy acetate.
Post Number: 171
|Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 01:47 am: |
Yes, 'The Sound of Rain' was supposed to released by the Beserkley label, but the deal tanked and the band lost the master tapes. I think the b-side was supposed to be 'I Want To Be Today'. There was an interview hereabouts that explained why the song wasn't included on The Lost Album... basically Robert and Grant both thought it was substandard. It's actually pretty cool, very poppy with a nod towards 'See Emily Play' or 'Arnold Layne' or something.
Post Number: 488
|Posted on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 - 05:42 am: |
Matthias, proceed with caution.
Not to be contrarian or go against the grain too much, but I have a different opinion than the pack here...buy the "Lost Album" if you must for archival purposes, because you love them and have to have every thing with their name on it (actually you're danged close already, so maybe you SHOULD go for it), but as for the music, well..it's not all that...
I feel compelled to point that out, because reading your post semi-carefully, it sounds like we have a pretty similar take on early GoBees...I played SMAL recently (which I've never really cared that much for) and was shocked at how vastly inferior the original "It Could Be Anyone" was to the Live in London version, which, I think, completely rocks out...
So, I still love it because it is still the mighty GBs, but to be completely honest, I don't think I've listened to it once since I got it when it came out...If you can't get them all and have to choose one, you might actually enjoy NY Girlfriend more. It's a pretty nifty selection of covers, my own personal favorites being RF's take on Keef Richards' "Locked Away"...and his version of Husker Du's "2541" is quite tasty as well..
So, for whatever it's worth, a different opinion...
Post Number: 45
|Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 02:54 am: |
(actually it was Grant Hart's "2541")
Post Number: 104
|Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 03:09 pm: |
Thanks for all those who posted their opinions and thoughts.
One further question, are these songs what Grant was referring to as Robert's pop album that never got released. Are the songs similiar to People Say and Lee Remick?
Post Number: 427
|Posted on Thursday, August 03, 2006 - 04:21 pm: |
Matthias, I wouldn't really say that the rest of the songs on the Lost Album are much like the two songs you name--those are much more deliberate, "prefab" pop singles. But almost all the songs on the Lost Album are way catchier and more conventionally melodic than Robert's songs on SMAL. So maybe that's what Grant meant.
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 12:34 pm: |
There's also that transitional "very quick on the eye" era between the lost album, and the quirky angular experience of SMAL. I wonder if Grant meant that? There's very polished pop pieces like "hope" on that. Shame that was never released properly - great track!
Id say buy it the Lost Album, Matthias. I think its fabulous. Kinksy numbers like "Day for Night", "just Hang on" great Forster comic lyrics like "love wasnt made for us". Early expeirmients like "summer's melting my mind". I really enjoy listening to it - like, as an album.
Post Number: 105
|Posted on Friday, August 04, 2006 - 07:40 pm: |
The article which is on Griffin's great archive site was writtem prior to the Lost Album but Grant mentions the Quick on the Eye bootleg. So A+B=C means he must be meaning the lost album. I was just looking for confirmation from anyone else here.
Thanks for the additional review of TLA's songs. I'll go find it for cheap on ebay. Now if someone would PM about Far Out Corporation...