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Liberty Belle Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Beggars
  • ASIN: B0000070IH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,228 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express is not merely the greatest of the six albums made by this extraordinary and absurdly under-rated group; more than one distinguished commentator has suggested that it might be the greatest album ever made by anybody. The claim isn't as fanciful as it might seem: there have been few more adept crafters of the pop song than Robert Forster and Grant McLennan, and this was as good as either of them got. Liberty Belle is a bewitching combination of instantly addictive pop songs ("Spring Rain" and "Head Full Of Steam" should both have been chart-toppers) and lyrically dense, beautifully lachrymose ballads (the heroically self-mocking four-minute Withnail & I that is "Twin Layers Of Lightning", and the epic paean of random regret "The Wrong Road", which should have gone on for another half an hour or so). Not many people bought Liberty Belle upon its release. But not many of those who did would sell it in a hurry. --Andrew Mueller

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Earlier Go Between albums had shown the possiblity of future greatness with fabulous songs such as "People Say" and "Cattle & Cane". Liberty Bell and the Black Diamond Express is a rare delight of a record with 10 classic songs. This album is possibliy the greatest album ever recorded and should be in your collection. From the opening storm of "Spring Rain" to the more mellow and mournfull "Wrong Road" with lines like `...and the rain hit the roof/ with the sound of a finished kiss/ like a lip lifted from a lip/ I took the wrong road down.' there are no bad tracks. Buy this - you'll never listen to Blur/Oasis again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserved Better 5 Nov. 2001
By Olden Boy - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If it wasn't for the movie Kingpin (Spring Rain is in the soundtrack), I would have never heard of the Go-Betweens and that would have been unfortunate. The title of my review refers both to the band and to the sales of this album. Spring Rain is my favorite track and I can listen to it over and over. The tune is catchy and Lindy Morrison's drums are infectious. This is an album that you tend to like more after each listening. The first time I heard it, the tracks I really liked were Spring Rain, The Ghost and the Black Hat, and In the Core of a Flame. The Ghost and the Black Hat is a really happy sounding song about an unhappy subject. If I had been managing the Go-Betweens in the 1980's, I would have changed the title of In the Core of a Flame to "The Right Word" and released it as a single. After more listenings, I really started to like To Reach Me and Head Full of Steam. Some of the lyrics and vocals are what I would call unconventional. At times, it seems that they try to cram too many words into a phrase such as "Her mother works in exports, but that's of no importance of all." This album is different from what is usually played on the radio and that is a good thing. I'm just sorry that I didn't hear of this album when it was new.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventurous and exciting, yet GOOD. 25 May 2000
By Christopher G. Huttman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
You read about a lot of namechecked artists from the past who were adventurous or exciting or groundbreaking, but after you've heard all the bands who have namechecked them (and copied them) the original band just doesn't seem so exciting when YOU actually get around to listening to them. Big Star comes to mind, so I would argue REM's entire catalog (they've done LOTS of tremendous work, but I'm not of the worship EVERYTHING from the IRS era cult) also does. And while Big Star and REM (and especially REM) have tons of great songs, you still kind of wonder what all the fuss was about from that crazy record store worker, for instance in the case of Third/Sister Lovers and Murmur. Well, like Television's "Marquee Moon" and Joy Division's catalog, the Go-Betweens and especially "Liberty Belle" live up to its lore and far justify it. From the country-western opening of Spring Rain to Apology Accepted its tons of brilliant but subtle songwriting and probably "all that is good about the 80's" music. Which means people that consider themselves 80's types probably won't like it but if you ever liked the Husker's or the Jesus and Mary Chain you'll probably appreciate this different but nonetheless style of good music. Intelligent but not wimpy, and in this age of Radiohead I'd argue thats NOT a bad thing.
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece! 16 May 2008
By Richard Hawkins - Published on
Format: Audio CD
What makes Liberty Belle the greatest album of one of the greatest-ever bands who made many great albums is that every song on it is brilliant and both of those genius songwriters are in top form. There are tender moments from Robert Forster (he's often choleric) and choleric moments from McLennan (who's often tender) and there are classic examples of both at their best. "To Reach Me" has one of their best opening lines (and this from lyricists who had some of the best opening lines ever) in "Never thought I'd ever hear from you, My slapped face has healed and so has the misunderstanding"; there's the strange Robert Altman-ish western "The ghost and the black hat" (in 7/4 time!); there's Grant all intense with "Core of the flame"; there's Robert all gently philosophical in "Bow down"; there's the epic "Wrong road" .. like I said, all tracks are testament to the songwriters' genius.
3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Go-Betweens' best album. 16 Jan. 2002
By darragh o'donoghue - Published on
Format: Audio CD
'The Wrong Road' may be the greatest song Nick Cave never wrote, a haunting, looping narrative ballad, rich and baleful in atmosphere, its repeated, desperately sad melody woven by the thread of a solo violin into a pattern of subdued strings. Like Cave, the lyrics are full of dour, Outback poetry, but Forster and MacLennan replace fateful narrative with a series of dense, fragmented images. It is one of the major songs of the 1980s, and more than justifies the Go-Betweens' otherwise over-inflated reputation.
The rest of the album is more of the same four-square, guitar-drum-bass, 'timeless', folk-tinged indie rock, made slightly more interesting this time by the addition of unfamiliar instruments, such as accordian and viola, but only slightly. An exception is the charming 'Palm Sunday' which opens with a crashing bass that that honestly made my walls shake, and sprinkles its grey main song with jaunty harpsichord and playful bassoon.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait 16 April 2002
By Ryan M. Shepard - Published on
Format: Audio CD
A somewhat difficult but ultimately rewarding proposition, like all of the Go-Betweens' best work: most of the songs on "Liberty Belle" feel slightly clumsy and pretentious at first, but reveal a subtle propulsiveness, grandeur, and beauty after repeated listenings that few other bands of the era could match. The exception is the rollicking, immediate "Apology Accepted," which captures the joy and fear of reuniting with an old lover perfectly.
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