Thursday, 30 August 2012

Rock 'n' Roll Friends

I've not quite reached the High Court judge stage yet ("The Beatles? Are they a popular beat combo?"),  but it's fair to say that my finger is very far from the pulse of what's hot and what's not on the music scene these days.

When I do buy music, it tends to be back-catalogue stuff on iTunes, individual tracks more often than not, so it's pretty rare that I get excited by the release of any album. But I must admit that I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Quiet Heart: The Best of the Go-Betweens, because they remain one of my favourite bands even 23 years after their original break-up. It doesn't seem to have been released in the UK yet, but it should be out any week now.

It's not the first compilation by any means, and this album is as good a summary of that original incarnation as you could hope for, packed not only with the hits-that-weren't but also various obscurities and B-sides, such as the magnificent Rock 'n' Roll Friend. I bought it twice on tape, and wore both out, after it came out in 1990 - the CD version unfortunately has four less tracks.

Quiet Heart is shorter, and also includes tracks from the band's second coming, when Robert Forster and Grant McLennan reunited in the late 1990s, so there's bound to be plenty of "why isn't xxx on here" pub conversations arising from it (you can start now after a quick look at the track listing below). But while I might like to see Love Is A Sign on there, for example, it's good that the wonderful Part Company and Dive For Your Memory made it this time. Most Go-Betweens fans will already have it all, of course (and will buy this anyway), but if it encourages anyone new to listen to the best thing ever to come out of Cairns, Queensland, then it will have done its job.

1. Spring Rain 
2. Love Goes On 
3. Bye Bye Pride 
4. Part Company 
5. Darlinghurst Nights 
6. Bachelor Kisses 
7. Surfing Magazines 
8. Karen 
9. The Clock 
10. Head Full Of Steam 
11. Streets Of Your Town 
12. People Say 
13. Finding You 
14. Dive For Your Memory 
15. Cattle And Cane 
16. Right Here 
17. Here Comes A City 
18. Quiet Heart 


The Editors said...

Hi Matt,

Being slightly out of the loop regarding music is nothing to be ashamed of: I'd be more worried if you were doing what politicians do when they're trying to be 'hip', and claiming to be big fans of Snoopy Snoopy Doggy Dogg or the Antarctic Gibbons, when we all know they secretly listen to nothing but Wagner and Stevie Nicks. What music am I most excited about at the moment? It's all reissues, baby, and reissues from the early nineties to boot: My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Sugar ... Admittedly, I'm very amped up about Bob Mould's new record, but mainly because it sounds like his late 80s / early 90s peak. Let's be honest, Matt, if either of us tried to pretend we loved dubstep or chillwave or witch house (that's a thing, right?) we'd rightly be laughed all the way to the moon. The future is shoegaze and jangly mid-American punk pop, and I'll hear no dissenters.

Simon @ Gists and Piths

Matt Merritt said...

Quite right Simon. I don't know much by Ride, but MBV and Sugar both still get plenty of play in my house (and Husker Du, for that matter). To be honest, it's still pretty much 1992 as far as I'm concerned.