The Best Go-Betweens Song?


Since uncovering the double CD re-issue of ‘Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express’ in York the other week, I’ve been on a bit of a Go-Betweens kick, particularly the earlier albums.

The first Go-Betweens record I ever bought was the 7″ of ‘Part Company’. And for all the great songs I’ve heard since, I still think ‘Part Company’ is their best song.

The album version from ‘Spring Hill Fair’:

‘Part Company’ very much reminds me of a time when I was on the dole in the mid 80s and the highlight of the week was a trip to Stirling to pick up the latest ‘Melody Maker’ and visit a small indie record shop (wish I could remember the name) in the Stirling Arcade.

In fact I actually applied for a job in there but lost out to someone with more experience. And that was as close as I ever came to working in a record shop!

And a latter day acoustic version of the song together with a version of the other single from ‘Spring Hill Fair’:


  1. Nick Wright says:

    Obviously “sometimes I think I neeed two heads”is a contender as it was the track that set me on my love affair with the Go Betweens. When it came out on Postcard it was the exception that proved the rule for the Glasgow record label. Here was this Australian band that were somehow part of this amazing new sound, so connected with the music that had caught my imagination. I bought their first lp “Send Me A Lullaby” when it came out and it may still be one of my desert island discs, but the band have kept producing fantastic pop songs. “Cattle and Cane” is astonishing – perhaps most astonishing in its lack of success, as so many Go Betweens songs are! Each new album has a clutch of brilliant intelligent pop tunes that only I seem to love! I think ultimately if I had to choose one song by the bandit would probably be “Bachelor Kisses” that has most often caused me to hit the replay button, but there are so many beauts (aussie word play). “Part Company” from the same album, “Apology Accepted”, “Love Goes On”, “Right Here” were all first picks for mix-tapes at the time, and then after the years of nothing the GoBetweens re-appeared with “Caroline and I” and the mesmerising “Here Comes A City”. At their best the Go Betweens combine the sublime pop sensibity of the late Grant McLennan with the poetic and ideosyncratic ramblings of Robert Forster to create the biggest treasure chest of songs that could easily become anyone’s favourites, if only they could hear them! OOps, did I go on there a bit? Sorry 🙂

  2. Andy Wood says:

    I’ve always been a sucker for The Go-Betweens and my favourite song isn’t a single but ‘Twin Layers Of Lightning’ from Liberty Belle which also sums up a point in the latter half of the 80s when I was on the dole. The album is absolutely perfect and this song is a great rumination on the clash between delusions of (faded) glamour and mystique and the shabby reality of life. Romantic, doomed and slightly grubby with a sense of drama. All things I aspired to but couldn’t reach. That said, I love most of their songs and the collection 1978-1990 was one of those rare albums I bought on cassette basically so I could play it over and over on my walkman. Wonderful band.

  3. fyfeopedia says:

    My favorite is Bye Bye Pride. Such a simple chord structure, but beautiful words and beautiful oboe.

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