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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop Sheen Perfection, 8 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: 16 Lovers Lane (Audio CD)
This is a much more homogenous album than their last album 'Tallulah' and is much more flowing and listenable for it. They rediscover the 'Liberty Belle' guitar sound but this time round the poppy production glosses it up a little more making this the Go-Betweens pop album. The two songwriters compliment each other perfectly. McLennan writes addictive pop gems such as 'Streets of Your Town' and acoustic ballads like 'The Devil's Eye', while Forster adds dry, bittersweet classics like 'You Can't Say No forever' and 'I'm alright'. The lyrics are funny and insightful, the music is crisp, complex and melodic. They sound like a band in real harmony and then they split up of course.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply best album of all time!, 19 Sep 2000
By 
James Faux "jacf7" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 16 Lovers Lane (Audio CD)
Says it all really, a quite magnificent album, with every track a modern classic, from two of the catchiest pop songs ever composed ('Love goes on' and 'Streets of your town') to the fabulous arrangements of 'Clouds' and 'Quiet Heart', ending with the poignant defiance of 'I'm alright'. Approaching near perfection and a must for all record collections, for fans of pure pop to obscure indie stalwarts.
The new 'Friends of Rachel Worth' album aside, you can understand them splitting after the release of this album. When you achieve this level of accomplishment and yet commercial acclaim still eludes you, anyone would just have walked away.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Stuff, 18 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: 16 Lovers Lane (Audio CD)
If there's one band that exemplifies the injustice of the pop charts, it's the Go Betweens. This album is one of the finest ever made, from the soaring magnificence of Love Goes On (listen to it twice and you'll be singing along...) through to Streets of Your Town (tell me why it wasn't number one, or even number 40) and beyond, there isn't a duff one among them. If you're gonna make a final album, make it like this: even at the ripe old age of 30, it's still there in My All Time Top Five - maybe even the Top Two. Forster v. McLennan? It's your call...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two exceptional discs - barely a bad moment, 26 Oct 2012
By 
D. Heaney "idiosyncratic" (Wantage, Occupied Berkshire) - See all my reviews
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This "Expanded Edition" of "16 Lovers Lane" is a gem, with the extra, and in some cases previously unreleased, tracks showing a band on top of their game - indeed, leaving one wondering what fabulous album they might have recorded afterwards, had they not split up first.

As there are plenty of reviews around of "16 Lovers Lane" (which needless to say: is a great, melodious, lyrical, literate pop album of some stature, with male and female vocals complimenting one another, violins supporting and enrichening the guitar and bass core of the sound, and with barely a weak moment among the 10 tracks), I shall concentrate here on reviewing the additional disk in this edition of the release, as I think, out of all the double CD re-releases of the Go-Betweens 1980s albums, this one stands out, again with barely a weak moment among its tracks.

The second disk opens with the remixed single version of "Love Goes On!", which, in all honesty adds a little bit of polish (not necessarily required, but not actively detrimental) to the already fairly shiny album version. But that apart, the rest of the CD is a little more adventurous - bringing together a combination of obscure tracks hidden away on B-sides, some first released on the superlative (and long out-of-print) "1978-90" retrospective double LP, unreleased tracks, and one live recording from the final Go-Betweens concert of the 1980s to a wider audience. Or potentially so, anyway.

Among the highlights of this disk are: "Mexican Postcard", a lush and dreamy, and rather short number, the calibre of which is evidenced by the fact that a Go-Betweens tribute band in London named themselves after the track, despite it being little-known. It's beautiful, as is the original version of the track recorded in the same session, "Rock and Roll Friend". The harmonies and strength of the band make this recording superior to the solo version included on one of Robert Forster's albums of the 1990s, while "You Won't Find It Again", the track that closed "1978-90" is anthemic, and could have served as the band's epitaph - had they not returned in the 2000s to record, well, one great album ("Oceans Apart", and two passable ones. But for all those intervening years, this seemed to be a message to fans.

Sensitive lyricism and a raw production characterises a lot of the tracks on this disk, and it's clear that the songwriting skills of the band were on top form, on tracks such as "Wait Until June", "Casanova's Last Words" (which has a slight country twinge), or the one track recorded live, "Running The Risk Of Losing You", where the atmosphere is not far short of electric - perhaps not surprising given what is known about the personal and romantic dynamics within the band at this time, that was shortly to bring about their demise. Possibly the weakest point of the album is the closing track, a cover version of Bob Dylan's "You're A Big Girl Now": while there is nothing particularly wrong with the recording, it is just surpassed by what has gone before it. Which is absolutely top quality guitar pop, lush and delightful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An address definately worth visiting., 6 July 2004
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
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You can argue yourself into a right tizzy about which Go Betweens album is the best, but for me there is no contest. 16 Lovers Lane is an album engorged with warm sunny melodies and swoon inducing laments. It showcases two very fine song writers at the peak of their escarpment scaling powers, which in the pantheon of rock/pop puts this album right up there.I.m taking the Mount Olympus of music here in case you hadn't got the message. 16 Lovers Lane deserves to sit with gods such as "Abbey Road", "Pet Sounds" or "Rumours".
Grant McClennan and Robert Forster have disparate writing styles. McLennan's is the more accessible. His songs are graceful exercises in limpid writing while Forster has an austere angular approach that renders his songs harder to warm too initially but they grow on you, boy do they grow on you. McClennan is the more natural singer as well, his voice a pleasant equitable burr while Forsters matches his music, being more clipped and precise. Often he's not singing, more like enunciating with a melodic edge.
Every song on 16 Lovers Lane is superb. Both writers are equally adept at writing ballads or more up-tempo numbers. But on this album it's McClennan who provides the strongest examples of both. "Streets of your Town" is a sublime breezy pop gem with angelic vocal backing while "Quiet Heart" is a gorgeous increscent ballad with pullulating violin backing which by its third verse achieves a kind of rapturous aching sadness rarely matched in music history as far as this reviewer is concerned.
As the album title suggests its mainly concerned with matters of the heart and is I suppose a concept album of sorts though it follows no story arc, just the trials and tribulations we all go through in the name of love. Sometimes as is inferred in the lovely brief "Devils Eye" it may not be love at all, but you know that when you're with that person everything seems all right forever. There are more plaintive ravishing violins courtesy of Amanda Brown on "Clouds" and a lonely oboe on "I'm All right". "Love Goes On "is a wonderful frolicsome opener while "Was there anything I could do?" is the spikiest number on the album with its galloping fervent guitars. It concludes with Forsters lovely fragile ballad "Dive for your Memory", a resigned lament for a lost love that contains the universal line "Deep down I'm lonely/and I miss my friend"
We all know someone like that I think. Music as good as this can help ease the pain. Get your prescription and buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IN MEMORY OF A GREAT SONG WRITER, 9 July 2006
By 
D. W. Morgan "Dave 307" (Neath, Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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It was with great sadness that i read about the untimely death of Grant McLennan recently - co-founder along with Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens, one the greatest bands never to achieve the commercial success their talents so richly deserved. 16 Lover Lane is an album of such quality that it deserved to be heard by millions but sadly never was and probably never will be. So just do yourself a favour and buy it in memory Grant. Listen to classics like Quiet Heart, The Devils Eye, Streets of you Town and mourn the fact that the genius that created them has been lost to us forever
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic, 7 Mar 2006
By 
David Johnson "El Burrito" (Buenos Aires) - See all my reviews
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This incredibly beautiful record is a perfect reflection of the emotional state of it's two magnificent songwriters.
16 Lovers Lane was recorded at a time when Grant McLennan was involved in his first real romantic relationship. Listen to the almost euphoric,"love goes on," "I don't thing about darkness, darkness ain't my friend," he claims. It's a fantastic opener. This is followed by Forster's lonesome lament,"quiet heart." A sad, touching track. The emotional impulses between the two band leaders couldn't be more different. "I'm ten fen under water standing in a sunken canoe," sings Robert balefully on,"love is a sign." He is longing for love on this record. Another favourite is,"devil's eye," Grant's beautifully written song about being in love,"with you, i've never seen the devils eye." The catchy,"streets of your town," is a personal favourite. It sounds so eighties but I love the wistful vocals.
This is for me the greatest album of the eighties. Without being spiteful, an album that bands like U2 dream of making.
Lindy Morrison said the band split after this because nobody cared about their music. I got into this band only a few years ago and I'm so glad they decided to get back together. I hope they go on making music forever.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album like an ice sculpture, 7 Jan 2005
By 
not_a_real_folkie "not_a_real_folkie" (Farnham, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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Great to see one of THE albums of the eighties given this classy re-issue treatment. The album itself has been praised elsewhere, and it certainly must rank as one of the classics of the eighties. Not sure I've heard anything comparable since, to be honest, but that's just my opinion. The songs seem slight, on first listen, with acoustic guitars strumming away and apparently simple song structures. However - and this is the skill of messrs McLennan and Forster - the melodies and lyrics get under your skin in a thoroughly addictive way, following which the band arrangements and instrumentation make perfect sense.
It's a bit like watching somebody carving an ice sculpture - you can't quite see what they're doing to start with, but then the finished product begins to appear and it's a thing of fragile beauty. It may even be gone in a couple of days' time.
This is as good a starting place as any for those curious about the "Antipodean Morrissey & Marr" and is probably more immediate than the band's other much-lauded classics such as "Liberty Belle" and "Tallulah". Despite that, it never exhausts its welcome, and I haven't yet tired of it after sixteen years.
The bonus disc is slightly patchy compared to the album itself - all precious drops from the creative pot as far as Go-Betweens fans are concerned, though. More casual listeners might find that "You Won't Find It Again" and "Rock 'n' Roll Friend" are real classics, while the other songs are perhaps less well-formed. Still, to a fully paid-up Go Betweens anorak, it all sounds superb. An excellent re-issue.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This time they'll go Global .... won't they ?, 21 July 2000
By 
Mr. D. J. Matthews "Professional Dropout" (Blackburn , Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 16 Lovers Lane (Audio CD)
Even the record company had no doubts this time. The Go-Betweens were about to be as big as REM ( Go-Betweens fans to a man , incidently ). Of course it just didn't happen and the band called it a day way too soon. Think of the "80's" and you think of Duran Duran , but somewhere out in bedsit land , hearts were being healed and blessed by Forster & Mclennan. Thank God I heard the Go-Betweens ! Imagine if I just never had , like so many people out there. Imagine the Beatles totally missing the boat and having a cult following ... Poetry and Passion set to breathtakingly fragile melodies. Literate , friendly , sexy and cool - Buy this album now.
You can thank me later if you want.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the melodys, just great tunes!, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: 16 Lovers Lane (Audio CD)
I recomend this to anybody who has fell in or out of love and been hurt recentley.Thanks to amazon listeners for the heads up!
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