Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Year by year: 1988

The Go-Betweens – 16 LOVERS LANE

He was not supposed to like this album. Not at all. He had a vast collection of 60s singles on vinyl (including The Monkees’ immortal “Alternate Title”), thought “She’s Your Lover Now” was Dylan’s best song and played in a bluegrass band in the streets of Newcastle.

But I did play it to him, and at some point during “Love Is A Sign” he nodded his head in quiet appreciation. “This is good”. By the tone of it, this was verging on delight.

That said, it’s hard to play certain albums to other people. It’s not so much insecurity as a fear to be disappointed. Or in some way discouraged from communicating with these people. You get over that with age, inevitably you do, even if you still wince at someone unmoved by The Elephant Man or bored by Pale Fire. These albums are normally made by artists who speak to you. As opposed to whoever else is listening. 

16 Lovers Lane is the sound of intense, poetic, emotional, intelligent pop genius.