were perhaps the quintessential cult band of the '80s: they came from an exotic locale (Brisbane, Australia), moved to a major recording center (in their case, London) in a sustained bid to make a career out of music, released album after album of music seemingly tailor-made for the radio in spite of their having little use for contemporary Top 40 musical/lyrical formulas, and earned considerable critical praise and a small but fervent international fan base. Although the Go-Betweens
were absent throughout the '90s before re-forming in the new millennium, both of the band's songwriters embarked on respectable solo careers in the interim and, while rarely reaching the heights the Go-Betweens
scaled, they still managed to uphold the group's legacy.
and Grant McLennan
began as a pair of teenagers obsessed with the earthy rock of Dylan
, and the Velvet Underground
and encouraged by the Australian punk of the Saints
. As collected on The Able Label Singles
, their first two singles show a fondness for scruffy, British Invasion/new wave-influenced pop/rock. Picking up permanent drummer Lindy Morrison
, they recorded their debut LP, moved to England, and signed a short-lived deal with Rough Trade. Going for a lush, tuneful sound crammed with nonstandard rock instrumentation, they went on to record five more excellent LPs. Though their pre-Beggars Banquet albums were traditionally hard to find in the States, that label finally reissued all six albums on CD in 1996.
In 2000 the band reunited and released a new album, The Friends of Rachel Worth
, which also featured all three members of Sleater-Kinney
. It wasn't just a fluke, as the band recorded follow-up albums released in 2003 (Bright Yellow Bright Orange
) and 2005 (Oceans Apart
). Documenting a 2005 concert in their hometown, the DVD/CD package That Striped Sunlight Sound
arrived in early 2006, just a few months before the death of McLennan