Monday, August 18, 2014

the Go-Betweens - Spring Hill Fair

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Spring Hill Fair, the third studio album from the Australian independent rock band the Go-Betweens. In 1984, the band included Robert Forster (vocals and guitar), Grant McLennan (vocals and guitar), Lindy Morrison (drums and backing vocals), and Robert Vickers (bass). Additional musicians on the record included Graeme Pleeth (keyboards), Denis Gautier (trumpet), Marc Fontana (saxophone) and Ana da Silva (backing vocals).

Side one begins with “Bachelor Kisses”, the second single from the album. The song has a sweetness and somberness to it at the same time as it delivers a message of fidelity. It made me think a little bit of Roxy Music. Definitely a good opening track.

“Five Words” has an interesting mix musically that is part pop, part rock and part folk.

The mid-tempo “The Old Way Out” had my head bobbing along to Morrison’s drum beats. I like too how the guitars work together here.

“You’ve Never Lived” reminds me a bit of the Violent Femmes; it sounds like the kind of song that band would have done.

The third single was “Part Company”, a song about a relationship that is breaking up.

Side two starts with “Slow Slow Music”. Vickers bass line is very funky on this unexpected danceable track.

“Draining the Pool For You” is a bitter post-break-up number.

“River of Money” changes things up quite a bit. The music is a slow, plodding piece with the vocals delivered in a stream-of-conscious spoken manner. It is also the longest track on the album.

“Unkind and Unwise” moves back to the indie-pop sound again.

The closing track “Man O’ Sand to Girl O’ Sea” was actually released as a single in late 1982.

This was my first listen a full album by the Go-Betweens, and I really enjoyed it a lot. If this one had much airplay here in the States back in 1984, it was likely on college radio. I see that it initially came out on vinyl, cassette and CD, and then had CD re-releases again in 1996 and 2002. I did not see it though on any of the usual streaming sites. I have to thank those who posted the tracks over on YouTube so that I could give Spring Hill Fair a listen. Would this album ever show up as an affordable purchase, I would definitely be on board to pick it up.

No comments: