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Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express

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By 1986, The Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster and Grant McLennan had shed much of their early awkwardness and grown into a world-class songwriting team. Their fourth album’s standout tracks—“Spring Rain”, “The Wrong Road” and “Head Full of Steam”—would all become staples of their songbook, while other tunes expanded their sound with lilting strings, vibraphone, accordion and bassoon. Sophistication and desperation intertwine in the band’s comfortable jangle and harmonising, but there’s still some youthful angst biting away on “In the Core of a Flame”.


Formed: 1978 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '00s

The Go-Betweens were perhaps the quintessential cult band of the '80s: they came from an exotic locale (Brisbane, Australia), moved to a major recording center (in their case, London) in a sustained bid to make a career out of music, released album after album of music seemingly tailor-made for the radio in spite of their having little use for contemporary Top 40 musical/lyrical formulas, and earned considerable critical praise and a small but fervent international fan base. Although the Go-Betweens...
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