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I Had a New York Girlfriend Import

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 1, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Beggars Banquet Intl
  • ASIN: B00002482L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #670,507 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Robert Forster and Grant McLennon were the brains behind one of the 80's best bands, Australia's the Go-Betweens. The band split up in 1990 with both artists starting solo careers. Forster was having writer's block in 1993 when he decided to record an all covers album for his 3rd solo release. It consists entirely of non-original, mostly obscure, songs that Forster interprets in his own melancholy style. He is, along with Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, one of the great out-of-tune vocalists in rock. This is much in evidence on the opening song, Spirit's 'Nature's Way'. The production is airy, yet forceful, and Forster's vocal reflects the concern of the lyric, conservation of natural resources. Elsewhere, there is a strong country music influence in choice of cover material, including cuts by Guy Clarke, Mickey Newbury, Bill Anderson and Bob Dylan (from Nashville Skyline). All of these interpretations remind the listener of what was great about country music, the humor and the heartbreak. Dylan's 'Tell Me That It Isn't True' is my favorite cut with Forster respectfully mimicking Dylan's vocal. Keith Richard's 'Locked Away' is hilarious. Grant Hart's '2541' is exceptional. This is a CD that all Go-Betweens/Robert Forster fans will want in their collection.
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I passed up this release until I had bought virtually everything else related to the Go-Bees on the assumption that it would be a novelty.
Well, gee, I should have remembered that Robert Forster would be a good judge of songs (although I personally can't stomach the sappy "Frisco Depot" conveniently placed at the end of the CD). In fact he's performed the great service of turning me on to Grant Hart. For the most part these very well-chosen songs are given the homely Robert Forster treatment with the result that they simply become his own. There is a definite country element but no more so than on either "Danger in the Past" or "Calling From a Country Phone." If the association of familiar people sways your decisions, be aware that Mick Harvey plays on seven tracks here (thankfully without his heavy-handed production).
In sum, I think this is a great album and a perfect solution to the momentary writer's block afflicting Robert. I strongly recommend this release to anybody who has bought all of the other releases and bypassed this one like I did for the same erroneous assumption.
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Format: Audio CD
...though Robert Christgau, "the Dean of Rock Critics" and a resolute GBs fan, dissed it by calling it a "covers record that runs out of material", a pithy diss, but not quite fair or accurate. RF attains real traction on this set and displays his typical immaculate and discerning taste in his choice of covers..my faves out of the batch are his cover of Keith Richard's "Locked Away" and Dylan's "Tell Me That It Isn't True"....
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Format: Audio CD
Although not a gifted vocalist, Robert Forster is a gifted performer, one who has shown a knack --- through his solo albums and recordings with the Go-Betweens --- for recording emotionally powerful tunes with hooks galore. This is an album of all cover tunes but they are well chosen and very well done. Some tasty --- and very eclectic --- picks on here, perhaps not tunes you would expect. When I saw that he covering songs such as Spirit's "Nature's Way," the old Martha & the Muffins tune "Echo Beach", Guy Clark's tender "Broken Hearted People" and Grant Hart's incredible "2541" ... well, it was no-brainer. I just HAD to get this CD and listen to it. Go Betweens fans should take a chance on this one. It's full of great tunes, and maybe it will inspire you to see out some of the original versions.
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