Very sad news. Arguably the recent Go-Betweens records were the best
they've done. Oceans Apart was marvellous, one of the best records I
heard last year.
The Go-Betweens' Grant McLennan Dead at 48
Scott Plagenhoef reports:
Grant McLennan, co-leader of the Australian band the Go-Betweens, died
Saturday, May 6, in Brisbane at the age of 48. McLennan passed away in
his sleep; the cause of death is not yet known.
McLennan, along with Robert Forster, formed the Go-Betweens in 1977
around a shared love of 1960s pop, folk-rock, Television, and the
Velvet Underground. The group released six albums of jangly,
intelligent, incisive music and a handful of classic singles on
Postcard, Rough Trade, Beggars Banquet, and Sire before disbanding in
1989 after years of deserved critical success but public indifference.
In the 90s, McLennan released four solo albums and paired with the
Church's Steve Kilbey as Jack Frost. Following a performance at the
behest of French rock magazine Les Inrockuptibles, McLennan and
Forster re-teamed as the Go-Betweens at the start of this decade and
recorded three studio albums, including 2005's vastly underrated
Throughout the 80s, the Go-Betweens seemed poised to gain the success
enjoyed by likeminded groups such as the Smiths and R.E.M., but
despite relocating to London and releasing a string of extraordinary
singles, the charts remained just out of their grasp.
McLennan was often considered to be the more pop-oriented half of the
Go-Betweens' songwriting team, but his work is also often tinged with
sadness and melancholy, most notably "Cattle and Cane", a haunting
rumination on aging and memory, and "Dusty in Here", written for his
McLennan also excelled at marrying breezy melodies to world-weary,
evocative words, crafting cerebral tracks that exuded a delicate
warmth and depth of humanity rare in three-minute pop songs. The best
examples of which are "Bye Bye Pride", "Bachelor Kisses", "Right
Here", and "Streets of Your Town". Among other compositions for which
McLennan will be most fondly remembered are the Go-Betweens' "That
Way", "The Wrong Road", "Dive for Your Memory", "Love Is a Sign", and
"Finding You", and solo tracks "Put You Down" and "Simone & Perry".
Pitchfork wishes to extend its thoughts to McLennan's friends and family.