The song that David and Sherri of Rare Victory
picked to title this collection is appropriate; since Go-Betweens
co-founder McLennan died (far too young) last year, there's
been an outpouring of love for the man and his music. The Go-Bs'
and Grant's solo records may not have set the world on fire, but
those lucky enough to fall under his spell tend to be fierce in
Counted among the spellbound are many musicians, from the golden
Go-Betweens days of the '80s up to the present day. That spectrum
is well represented here; particularly impressive is the Rare
Victory guys' ability to elicit performances from long forgotten
contemporaries of Grant's, such as The June Brides' Phil
Wilson or Paul Handyside of the great Hurrah!
(if you can find them, Tell God I'm Here and The Beautiful
are excellent guitar pop records that still stand up today).
Tribute records can be problematic; most are mediocre with two
or three gems, some are just plain terrible and only a select
few are consistently good. Love Goes On succeeds by the
contributors' obvious love for the songs; pretty much all of the
performers here nail their choices and make them their own, while
avoiding the deliberate mauling that mars many tributes. The song
choices are really interesting, too; there are a surprising number
of tunes from the Go-Betweens' recent reunion albums (only one
from the real comeback Oceans Apart, though), and a good
handful of B-sides and solo obscurities.
Chief among the latter is former Auteurs/Black Box
Recorder front man Luke Haines' treatment of "You
Won't Find it Again", an 80's b-side and one of the normally
sunny McLennan's truly bitter songs. It's an ideal choice for
Haines, who fills this tale of loss and regret with his customary
bile. I'd like to hear him take on a few Leonard Cohen
tunes based on this performance.
There are many other highlights, some of which almost achieve
the feat of besting the originals. Special mentions go to the
always-wonderful Bats' take on the Tallulah classic
"Right Here," with a jangling guitar motif replacing
Amanda Brown's violin and Robert Scott's and Kaye
Woodward's perennial vocal harmonies; Ivy's perfect
choice of "Streets Of Your Town," with Dominique
Durand's voice lending just the right touch of Euro-sophistication
that this song always cried out for; and The Clientele's
moody, magnificent take on "Orpheus Beach."
If you were ever bewitched by one of Grant's tunes, get this
from the Web link above; David and Sherri will even follow up
with a personal email asking you what you thought. My reply
was that this is a fitting tribute to a real lost genius of
music; it brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face all
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