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Friends of Rachel Worth

The Go-BetweensAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: September 19, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jet Set Records
  • ASIN: B00004XSRY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,902 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Magic Is Here
2. Spirit
3. Clock
4. German Farmhouse
5. He Lives My Life
6. Heart And Home
7. Surfing Magazines
8. Orpheus Beach
9. Going Blind
10. When She Sang About Angels

Editorial Reviews

The Friends of Rachel Worth, the Go-Betweens' seventh album, arrives 12 years after the sixth. Though the interceding solo careers of songwriters Robert Forster and Grant McLennan have had their moments, all great partnerships are more than the sum of their parts, and it is to be hoped that this album encourages them to put their reunion on a permanent footing. The Friends of Rachel Worth was recorded by Forster and McLennan in Portland, Oregon, with Sleater-Kinney falling in as a backing band. All the virtues that characterized the Go-Betweens at their finest are still present: five songs each by Forster and McLennan, each one a small El Dorado of hearts and flowers. As ever, their styles are contradictory but complementary: McLennan's peerless knack for the understated, insidious melody anchors Forster's heroically overwrought posturings. In terms of the Go-Betweens' awesome back catalog, this contains the exuberant pop sense of 16 Lovers Lane, the spare and evocative arrangements of Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express, and the lyrical accomplishment of Tallulah. Ultimately, the best that can be said of The Friends of Rachel Worth is that it is worthy of being called a Go-Betweens album, and those in the know will know that praise can come no higher. --Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Lullaby September 22, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Yes, comeback albums are a dodgy prospect at the best of times. No, neither Robert Forster nor Grant McLennan had set the world alight with their most recent solo albums. Yet, from the opening acoustic notes of Magic in Here (which instantly recalls the intimate yet strangely elusive atmosphere of their 1982 classic Before Hollywood), it's apparent that a valuable partnership has been rekindled.
In some ways, not too much has changed. Apart from the fact that this album doesn't feature the ubiquitous double-L in the title, there are 10 songs, as always split evenly between the two songwriters. Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss does a great approximation of Lindy Morrison's unique style before those 80s production teams straightened her out, reinforcing the parallels between this and the Go-Betweens early work, particularly on the edgier Forster songs like Spirit and the obviously autobiographical German Farmhouse.
In other ways, of course, this is a completely different group and, at times, there is a nagging feeling that this is in fact not quite the Go-Betweens but two solo albums grafted together. If anything is really missing, it's the beautiful melodies and additional instrumentation that Amanda Brown gave the band's last two albums, Tallulah and 16 Lover's Lane.
In this sense, this album is not a continuation from where the Go-Betweens left off, but it's very definitely a worthwhile new beginning. Most of the album is very strong, and some of the songs rank with the pair's best work. Forster's He Lives My Life is the centrepiece, a wryly beautiful study of what might have been. And Surfing Magazines is one of his funniest ever songs, his charmingly flat singing not hiding a neat and very quirky hook.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars People Move On June 23, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The problem with some of the other reviews of this album (particularly Thoutah) is that they don't acknowledge that artists who write particularly personal songs are constantly changing their personal situations and perspectives on the world, which ultimately will change the type of songs they write and albums they produce.
With regard to the Friends of Rachel Worth, I would advise anyone not to obssesively compare this album to what the Go-Betweens released in the 80s. Yes, "Streets of Your Town" deserved the NMEs rating of the best single released in the 1980s, but that honor doesn't obligate the Go-Betweens to continue to write this song over and over again. Instead, view this album as Robert Forster and Grant McLennan bringing their individual life experiences in the 90s back into the collective enterprise that is the Go-Betweens. As the circumstances of Robert's life change (wife, children etc..) he like any person is apt to reflect upon his life, what it means that a generation after him now exists, and to contrast his current life to his past. For instance, "Surfing Magazines" is a brilliant take on Robert's view of himself as an outsider to the prevailing "surfie" culture that existed in the 70s when he was growing up in Brisbane. The song both simultaneously mocks this lifestyle and the fact that he once yearned for it. If that doesn't show progress in his writing, I'm not sure what does.
Similarly, Grant is showcasing his songs in a low-fi setting-somehat similar to the production values of Robert's solo efforts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars don't hesitate, just get it October 17, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was a little worried about the prospect of a reunion album from Grant and Robert. I had the good luck to see the two of them live a while back and it was very much a nostalgia trip with the audience moist-eyed and adoring - but the music a little thin without the rest of the band. The CD however, is great and grows on you really quickly. 'Magic in here' is typically sweet and Grant-like. 'Heart and Home' is similarly catchy and sweet. 'Orpheus beach' is also a classic Grant song, dark to start with but opening up to a great chorus. The Robert songs are also good, particularly 'He lives my life', which is not quite 'Clouds' but almost 'Twin Layers of Lightning'. Overall there's not a bad track on the CD. The single 'Going blind' is getting a lot of airplay on 'alternative' stations in Australia meaning we have the inestimable pleasure of driving along on sunny spring days at the moment listening to the Go-Betweens on the radio - something that hasn't happened since 'Streets of your Town'. Since it's unlikely you'll hear them on your radio station (in the rest of the world), you'd better buy the CD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Imagine the band Luna joining forces with early 80's R.E.M... The Friends of Rachel Worth is something that might result from a such a union. Song for song, this record is certainly one of the greatest rock/pop albums of the year 2000. I was never a fan of the band in their hey-day - mostly because I had never heard them! While driving around LA last month I heard the opening track on the radio (KCRW) and drove straight to the record store. This is the kind of music that a lucky few experienced on indy free form radio during the 1980's. R.E.M. stole the limelight but many worthy bands churned out lots of great music as well. This reunion album features the mighty Sleater-Kinney and the other half of the excellent Quasi as a backing band. Every track shines. I can't recommend this album enough. Run , don't walk.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant from start to end
This album is like a shimmering, laid-back roadtrip, from the wonder of "Magic in Here", the melancholy storytelling of "He lives my Life", and ending with the heady ambiguity of... Read more
Published on April 18, 2008 by Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars On the most articulate of 'tweeners', the reunited Go-Betweens
Being almost of an age with Robert Forster and the now late, great Grant McLennan, I find the transformation of the Go-Betweens from the wry, literate indie 80's band nobody ever... Read more
Published on December 16, 2006 by Liz Nicholson
5.0 out of 5 stars Comeback Glory
One of the rare bands that bowed out in an unquestionable high(in what's arguably their masterpiece-1988's "16 Lovers Lane")the Go Betweens nonetheless decided to reconvene 12... Read more
Published on June 21, 2005 by Tezcatlipoca
3.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Return
What can you be disappointed in when one of the best bands ever comes back together again. This is like John Lennon and George Harrison coming back from the dead and Paul... Read more
Published on December 20, 2003 by DKDC
5.0 out of 5 stars A Friend of the Go-Betweens
Not so much a dramatic 'comeback' as never been away! I love this album, it grows with every listen. Read more
Published on July 31, 2002 by "paul_mids"
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kind of Album I Want to Listen To
Perhaps I'm not well-qualified to comment on this release. My exposure to the Go-Betweens has been limited to years of ownership (and enjoyment) of an excellent now-deleted... Read more
Published on March 27, 2002 by Randall E. Adams
3.0 out of 5 stars What Now--The Three "R"s?
Good 'un--the songs about hanging out in Bavaria, checking out the latest glossy American surfing magazine, are quite evocative. Read more
Published on December 6, 2001 by Henry Zeno
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm thrilled to have them back, but...
It may be unfair to compare "FORW" to the Go-Betweens' rich, past body of work. Over 10 years elapsed since they recorded their last album, "16 Lovers Lane," and creative nucleus... Read more
Published on October 10, 2001 by Lypo Suck
4.0 out of 5 stars Good to see these guys back together!
At long last, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan (the veritable Lennon/McCartney songsmiths from Down Under) are reunited as The Go-Betweens after more than 10 years. Read more
Published on February 23, 2001 by Michael Paulsen
4.0 out of 5 stars I Love It With a Single L
This is a very even-handed album, and, to tell the truth, I like it about as much as "Tallulah. Read more
Published on January 13, 2001
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