7 16 Lovers Lane by the Gobetweens 1988
Those double l lp titles ! Tallulah is the first Gobetweens lp I bought and quickly hoovered up their back catalogue, Liberty Belle is probably their masterpiece , Before Hollywood has my two favourite Gobetween's tracks on it, Spring Hill Fair is where that polished pop sound started to really emerge and Bright Yellow Bright Orange showed the quality control of the reunion wasn't a one off.
Still the one I'd save from a fire is the 2 l word 16 lovers lane. In a way it was their own Rumours as at the time 4 of the band were ending relationships with each other. This can be seen especially in the songs of Robert Forster (his strongest set for a Gobetweens lp) all of which are steeped in melancholy and regret.
It kicks of with a 60s pop song of false hope , resigned plea Love Goes On. The tone is set in that the production on the lp is the best the band have managed , crystal clear with each guitar note sparkling.
The two singles were the hit that never was Streets of Your Town. One of those prefect summer pop songs that sounds like it was heaven made for the radio
There are two videos for the song , the first and by far the best features the band filmed in their favourite parts of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
The second followed a re release is one of those blatant lets try and break them in America after some success with Was There Anything I Could Do and relocates them to Joshua Tree Park
Was There Anything I Could Do echoes back to an earlier sound and sticks out a bit on the lp. It's my least favourite track by some distance (the fact that it is a Grant track shows how much Robert Forster raised his game on this lp), although in isolation away from the lp it sounds a lot better.
The video is a bit odd hopefully with a capital ironic
The core of the lp are some heartbreakingly beautiful sad songs. Grant's Quiet Heart - the below version from an acoustic radio session
and Robert's break up songs Dive for Your Memory and I'm Alright. Robert Forster always seemed the confident showman of the duo and in these two he has never sounded so vulnerable
Listening to Forster talk about writing Dive For Your Memory it has struck me just how much water is referenced in his songs on the lp.
The version below of I'm alright below is the acoustic demo made prior to recording the lp
Re listening to the lp again I realise what made them so good and what is also missing from their solo lps . They just go so well together and each bought stuff the other couldn't do. As I've written before , during their time apart I'd catch myself taking their solo lps and picking the best 5 tracks from each and thinking this is what the Gobetweens lp would have been like and it was always more than the sum of its parts.
I thought I'd do something a bit different for this post.
in 2006 a bunch of Australian musicians came together and put on a Gobetweens tribute concert. They also recorded a follow up lp Write Your Adventures down .
I'm afraid I know nothing of the musicians involved but here are the tracks from 16 Lovers Lane. Recorded after Grant's death Dive for Your Memory is especially poignant
Street of Your Town - Bob Evans
Dive for Your Memory - Glenn Thompson
Hold Your Horses - Sarah Blasko
and as an extra here is a beautiful version of a song form their debut lp Send me a Lullaby
You can buy 16 Lovers Lane here it is a tad expensive but well worth it