Sad news for Go-Betweens fans

Grant McLennan passed away in his sleep on Saturday at the age of 48. He was the co-founder of Australian indie pop group The Go-Betweens, who always seemed on the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream in the '80s. McLennan paired with Robert Forster -- who was the Lennon to McLennan's McCartney -- to forge one of the better songwriting duo's of the past three decades. Their lyrics were often esoteric and odd, their melodies exquisitely crafted, and their guitars jangly. The group went on hiatus after the release of their sixth record, 16 Lovers Lane, in 1988, a decade or so after forming. I'd recommend their entire catalogue, although the best place to start is probably with their greatest hits comp, Bellavista Terrace, which unfortunately doesn't include their first single, "Lee Remick" b/w "Karen", which has to go down as one of the best opening statements in indie pop's history. Maybe I'll post about that single at some point down the road. For more on the band, see this post I wrote in August.

I got into The Go-Betweens several years ago thanks to a long-distance friend, Tom, who thought that no fan of Belle & Sebastian could resist The Go-Betweens. He was right, at least in my case. Tom and I met up in Chicago to catch the reformed Go-Betweens (just Robert and Grant) in 1999 (maybe?), and I was floored by their performance. They went on to release four records in the new millennium, including a live disc in January of this year. Their resurgence was fueled in part by admirers Sleater-Kinney, who backed the band on their 2000 album, The Friends of Rachel Worth. Here's a couple Grant McLennan-penned tunes to enjoy.

The Go-Betweens - "Right Here" (from 1987's Tallulah)

The Go-Betweens - "Going Blind" (from Rachel Worth)

1 comment:

df said...

Oddly, I posted something about this as well. I swear, I didn't steal your idea. Honest.