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This Weekend I’ll Mostly be Listening to…Grant McLennan January 26, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Reading the Go-Betweens book I was sent scurrying back to a raft of bands mentioned in the pages – The New Christs? No, I thought not. But be that as it may, and by the by, given that Forster, McLennan and Morrison (who comes across as very much a key component of the group and someone whose role as such should be much more widely appreciated) shared a house with members of the Bad Seeds one has to wonder what they all talked about. Or perhaps it’s no mystery at all. This was a pretty erudite crew in their own way.

Still, it’s also impossible to read it and not hear snatches of Go-Between’s songs in ones head from Lee Remick onwards.

And then there are the solo albums. Forster’s Warm Nights is a wonder to me, but I always liked this one too, Watershed, McLennan’s first solo outing from 1991 (and one of the first CDs I bought as it happens). It’s a bit rough around the edges, though paradoxically given it appeared around the same time as the McLennan/Steve Kilbey collaboration, Jack Frost, which was a much smoother affair, it also seemed to have some of that album about it too at least in the song writing. The beats are a bit synth like – not usually a problem for me but there’s something a little inorganic about them. It’s far from a perfect album and some prefer Horsebreaker Star from later though I really like his last solo album In Your Bright Ray. But there’s something about this one I think really holds together, a lightness of touch on none-more-McLennan songs like Haven’t I Been A Fool and When Word Gets Around interspersed by some unlikely riff driven songs such as Sally’s Revolution.

I couldn’t listen to more recent Go-Betweens albums for a long long time after McLennan’s death. But reading the book has been oddly cathartic in that way.

Robert Christgau wrote this about McLennan in the mid-1990s and I think it still holds up bar the final line which is only half right “And no matter how much you love him, the better half of the best songwriting team of the ’80s still ain’t Neil Young” – in my view both of them were equally good songwriters albeit very different in the way they worked.


Sally’s Revolution.

Haven’t I Been A Fool

Easy Come, Easy Go

When Word Gets Around

You Can’t Have Everything


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