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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1999's compilation....
'Bellavista Terrace: Best of the Go-Betweens' was a 15 track compilation that surfaced between Robert Forster and Grant McLennan's late 90's reformation and the cycle of Go-Betweens albums that comprised 'The Friends of Rachel Worth' (2000), 'Bright Yellow Bright Orange' (2003) and the recent masterpiece 'Oceans Apart' (2005). The recent untimely death of Grant McLennan...
Published on 13 May 2006 by Jason Parkes

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3.0 out of 5 stars Forever cursed to Go Inbetween Two Stools, so catch it before it hits, even if they never had any, poor things.
Introduced to these little-known Aussie new wavers by a friend due to a couple of singles he'd got on his computer, I plumped for this compilation. Generally ignored and only ever having got no higher than just outside the UK/US Top 75 in two decades of making music (they split when the 90s arrived but got back together in some form or other for the noughties, until one...
Published 7 months ago by ScottPaul ScottPaul


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1999's compilation...., 13 May 2006
By 
Jason Parkes (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bellavista Terrace: BEST OF THE GO-BETWEENS (Audio CD)
'Bellavista Terrace: Best of the Go-Betweens' was a 15 track compilation that surfaced between Robert Forster and Grant McLennan's late 90's reformation and the cycle of Go-Betweens albums that comprised 'The Friends of Rachel Worth' (2000), 'Bright Yellow Bright Orange' (2003) and the recent masterpiece 'Oceans Apart' (2005). The recent untimely death of Grant McLennan suggests that we'll need another compilation to take in that brilliant career - more similar to the double LP perspective of 1990's '1978 - 1990' compilation on Beggars Banquet.

In the meantime, 'Bellavista Terrace' is a fine reminder of a great band and an ideal one-disc compilation (though there is a limited edition version that needs to be owned taking in two radio sessions that feature many great songs not here: 'Twin Layers of Lightning', 'Clouds', 'The Clarke Sisters', 'Bow Down', 'Apology Accepted' & 'Love Goes On.' Forster and McLennan were the Lennon/McCartney, the Bell/Chilton, or the alternative Morrissey/Marr - one of the great songwriting partnerships (though both have made several solo albums). The Go-Betweens initially sufaced in the UK as part of Alan Horne's Postcard label, alongside such acts as Josef-K, Orange Juice & Aztec Camera. They share lots with Orange Juice - Byrdsian-jangly guitar flourishs, literate lyrics and the tag 'The Smiths...before The Smiths' (though Marr's rock-approaches and the funky basslines he wrote made The Smiths' less culty). The Go-Betweens have been covered by the Wedding Present, have been cited by bands like Belle and Sebastian and Sleater Kinney (the latter worked with them on 'Friends of Rachel Worth'), and I can detect their sound in acts like The Decemberists and the Arcade Fire. One of the great cult bands then...

This compilation comes with typically self depreciating notes from Forster alongside great photos of the band at various stages - there is a hidden track in the form of classic early single 'Lee Remick' (which surfaces a few minutes after the sublime 'Dive for Your Memory' ends).'Lee Remick' is one of the great singles of that exciting era between punk and new pop - silly in a sublime way. There's nothing from 'Send Me a Lullaby', two tracks from 'Before Hollywood' (the timeless 'Cattle and Cane' & 'That Way') and just two from the patchy 'Tallulah' ('Bye Bye Pride' & 'The House That Jack Kerouac Built').There are the single versions of 'Head Full of Steam' (which features Everything But the Girl's Tracey Thorn) and 'Man O'Sand to Girl O'Sea'; the highlights stem from the classic Go-Betweens albums 'Spring Hill Fair' (1984), 'Liberty Belle & the Black Diamond Express' (1985) and '16 Lovers Lane' (1988) - arguably albums that everyone should own anyway!

Forster's 'Part Company' and 'Draining the Pool for You' are sublime tracks taken from 'Spring Hill Fair' - though perhaps trumped by McLennan's wonderful 'Bachelor Kisses', which like 'Cattle and Cane' and 'Head Full of Steam' is great alt-pop. Alongside the aforementioned 'Head Full of Steam' comes the best two songs from 'Liberty Belle & the Black Diamond Express' - 'The Wrong Road' and single 'Spring Rain.' The former finds McLennan taking lead vocals backed by musicians who would play with Siouxsie & the Banshees and Marc & the Mambas - epic, heartbreaking stuff that tops Echo & the Bunnymen's similar work on 'Ocean Rain.' 'Spring Rain' is another transcendental joy - a song that sounds like a hit in the world where I loiter, it was the first Go-Betweens track I heard when it featured briefly in Jonathan Demme's 'Something Wild.'

The Go-Betweens line-up expanded towards the end of the 80s, alongside McLennan, Forster, bassist Robert Vickers and drummer Lindy Morrison was violinist/oboeist/backing vocalist Amanda Brown. 'Tallulah' was a bit patchy, but the line-up delivered the great '16 Lovers Lane' which featured near-hit single 'Streets of Your Town' (like Microdisney's 'Town to Town' this should have been a bona-fide hit), Forster's nostalgic sigh 'Dive for Your Memory' and opener 'Was There Anything I Could Do?'

'Bellavista Terrace' is a fine primer in the Go-Betweens, though I'd probably recommend 'Oceans Apart' - as it defines what the band was/is and contains as many of their best songs that are here. Really though, the four Go-Betweens LPs (Oceans, 16, Liberty, Spring) need to be owned, and the others have much to commend them too. A not bad introduction, but one that needs to be updated to take in the reformed Go-Betweens work ; also a reminder of what a great band they were. RIP.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit pointless but great music nonetheless, 12 May 2000
By 
Gordon Hill (Glasow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bellavista Terrace: BEST OF THE GO-BETWEENS (Audio CD)
Can't quite see the reasoning behind this release? Something for the casual Go-Betweens fan? No such thing in my experience! They may not have had the commercial success they surely deserved but every person that their music touched was instantly converted to rabid fandom and trainspotter like devotion. As it stands this is a pretty reasonable overview of this remarkable bands career although Beggars Banquet put out an excellent compilation a few years back called '1978-1990' which seems to be deleted now. That album had plenty of rarities to entice the serious fan and a good selection of the band's most accessable work to sweeten things out. This one concentrates solely on the latter which means that you get no surprises but the quality threshold never dips below outstanding. Any CD with Cattle & Cane, Spring Rain, Head Full Of Steam and the achingly beautiful 'Wrong Road' on it has got to be an instant classic. If you don't have Liberty Belle, Tallulah or 16 Lovers Lane get them all but if you want all their instant classics on 1 neat cd 'click to buy' now.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Forever cursed to Go Inbetween Two Stools, so catch it before it hits, even if they never had any, poor things., 19 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Bellavista Terrace: BEST OF THE GO-BETWEENS (Audio CD)
Introduced to these little-known Aussie new wavers by a friend due to a couple of singles he'd got on his computer, I plumped for this compilation. Generally ignored and only ever having got no higher than just outside the UK/US Top 75 in two decades of making music (they split when the 90s arrived but got back together in some form or other for the noughties, until one of the singer-songwriters sadly died too young, putting a permanent halt on anything else being group recorded past 2005.

Even in their own homeland they barely had a hit at all, so it's amazing they continued as a unit for so long and knocking out many records, as utter lack of any true commercial success usually results in a one way ticket to the soup kitchen. Perhaps it was clearly noted by avid listeners that stuck loyally to them that their assured talents with instruments and songwriting was enough to allow them more leeway. They certainly don't sound out of place in the 80s-the only musical landscape where anything could and did happen, but they're more contained and constrained than the more exciting acts more remembered. As individually eccentric as they may appear, they're jangly new wave pop seemed to fit alongside the equally ignored Bluebells, better recalled Aztec Camera, Echo & The Bunnymen, even The Smiths, and the later Prefab Sprout and Deacon Blue, though far better than the pointless one-note Orange Juice.

This isn't a singles collection, sadly, which is one of its weak points, as the album tracks on show aren't any memorable shakes to these ears apart from 'That Way' which should have been one. They're not always on-fire with their singles-'Part Company' is vocally annoying thanks to Robert Forster's braying continuance, while he sounds even worse on the demented nonsense of 'Man-O'Sand To Girl O'Sea'-a blunderingly bad choice of single if ever there was one. Grant McLennan as second vocalist is far pleasanter aural company, and he provides generally the best singles on here-'Was There Anything I Could Do', 'Bye Bye Pride', 'Bachelor Kisses' and their most-well known almost hit 'Streets Of Your Town'. In fact Forster only manages to lead 'Spring Rain' and 'Head Full Of Steam' that appear his most amenable. But the very sparse showing of singles also mean that a quintet of really good songs are also not present-the singles 'Cut It Out', 'Right Here', 'I Just Get Caught Out', 'Love Goes On!' and 'Going Blind' as passed over in order to present rather unremarkable songs (to me) that most fans would have on albums anyway.

It's an average to good showcase for a group never given their due, but hey, the 80s is full of those, while the generally overblown and bad get all the raptures, fake sales, praise and are remembered, so this CD could do and could be better. They're not my sort of group to own albums by, but they don't need to be, I have those which meet my requirements, but like other ignored 80s groups like 'The Box' and 'Comsat Angels', they deserve to be as well known as anything they remind you of, instead of Going Inbetween two stools, which is exactly what Robert Forster's vocals tend to do, never quite achieving the more balanced strained brayings of the Bunnymen's Ian McColloch and Fine Young Cannibal's Roland Gift, and being as trying as Jimmy Somerville can be, but at least it's not quite near the horror that the Cure's Robert Smith passes off as a voice!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent compilation of classic tunes, but..., 24 May 2014
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This review is from: Bellavista Terrace: BEST OF THE GO-BETWEENS (Audio CD)
If you're a fan of the alternative side of the 1980s musical landscape - when the mainstream was so very very poor - then it doesn't get much better than the Go-Betweens. Mature, beautifully crafted songs, and here you get an LP's worth of their best. It doesn't get much better than Cattle and Cane, the nearest to perfect there is in a song. However, the autorip facility advertised for this CD has failed to work for me, even though I ordered and received it three weeks ago. This isn't just a review about side-issues, such as the odd one you get about third party packaging, it is about the product as advertised. Here amazon fail. Yes, of course I've told them, but they assume I'm using the cloudplayer wrong, I'm not, but they do like to patronize. So, as a single disc intro to an excellent band, get it. As an example of Amazon and the way they view us, look elsewhere.
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Bellavista Terrace: BEST OF THE GO-BETWEENS
Bellavista Terrace: BEST OF THE GO-BETWEENS by Go-Betweens (Audio CD - 1999)
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