Dear Friend

I am respectfully asking that you take a few moments to have a read over this very distinguished list of songs:-

Cattle and Cane
Man O’Sand to Girl O’Sea
Bachelor Kisses
Part Company
Spring Rain
Head Full of Steam
Right Here
Cut It Out
I Just Get Caught Out
Bye Bye Pride
Streets of Your Town
Was There Anything I Could Do?
Love Goes On!

The songs have a few things in common:-

– every one of them was a single released by The Go-Betweens in the UK between 1983 and 1989
– every one of them was a flop with the best performing stalling at #80
– every one of them is a fantastic and timeless piece of music that shows no sign of dating
– every one of them is 80s indie-pop at its best

Sometimes I just don’t get it.



mp3 : The Go-Betweens – Spring Rain
mp3 : The Go-Betweens – The Life At Hand
mp3 : The Go-Betweens – Little Joe

This was the first single (and rather wonderful b-sides) lifted from the 1986 LP Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express, arguably the band’s most consistent album in terms of quality. Nearly 30 years on and I am still bemused as to why neither Spring Rain nor Head Full Of Steam, the other single lifted from the album, didn’t get the band an appearance on Top of The Pops.

Oh and while I’m here, I’m asking for your indulgence to post another non-single from the album on the basis that there are times when I hear it and think is my favourite ever Go-Betweens song:-

mp3 : The Go-Betweens – The Wrong Road

The addition of cello, violins and viola take this way out of indie-pop territory and into something quite epic.



  1. Succinctly put. Couldn’t agree more JC. Their mystifying lack of sales profile puts me in mind of The Triffids, my own joint favourite Aus band.

  2. Grant and Robert’s lyrics were the issue : too intelligent, too clever. Not enough La la la I love you. Plus criminal lack of label support for promotion. And, tensions in the band (part 1) an issue too – led to a lack of touring for any band with serious intentions.

    Plus the general public suck when it comes to good music…..

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