Something for the weekend – Episode #53 – The Go-Betweens “Oceans Apart”

Back to popular demand! And for a new start, let’s review a great LP from one of our favourite Aussie bands.

The Go-Betweens – “Oceans Apart 2005

For those not familiar with The Go-Betweens, they were an Australian band formed in Brisbane, Australia, based around core members Robert Forster, Grant McLennan (both singing and playing guitars) and Lindy Morrison (on drums). They released nine albums between 1981 and 2005 and basically spent their musical career in London and Australia, trying to get the commercial success they would have deserved…but never achieved. The story of the band is a sad one with the too-early passing of co-composer Grant McLennan in 2006, which meant the end of this beautiful entity. Robert Forster remains very much active though and definitely got new dynamics recently, releasing great records and playing fantastic gigs. He also released a nice book in 2017, writing his vision of the band and paying a wonderful tribute to his late friend and music partner. They were very much present in the indie rock late 80’s London music scene and Everything But The Girl‘s Tracey Thorn recent book about her friendship with Lindy Morrison is also recommended; it is called ”My Rock’n’Roll Friend” and gives a different side of their story…

Released in 2005 as part of what specialists call the second phase of the band after they reunited, ‘Oceans Apart‘ is their ninth and final album for reasons mentioned above. I remember that fans were a bit disconcerted when the album came out as the sound was probably a bit more muscular than before…although all things are relative and this is not The Go-Betweens go metal! Reviews were really good though, which made me want to listen to this record again. Not an inch of disappointment I must confess: I played the first track and here you go, you are immediately in a perfect world for music lovers: the harmonies, the subtleties of the songs, the beautiful and moving lyrics and probably the most important of it all the quality of the melodies. Their come back in the 00’s was a real thing to treasure and the tragedy they faced makes things even sadder when one thinks about the way they could have last for a very long period of time. And one more thing: with 6th track “Darlinghurst Nights“, may Robert Forster have written his best song ever? A record (and a band) to absolutely re-discover.

Format: CD Bought in: 2005 To be noted: The band did not really enjoy commercial success but can now be considered as one of the most influential of its time. Rating: 9.0/10

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