The Go-Betweens

Bachelor Kisses

Composed by Grant McLennan / Robert Forster

Song Review by

Grant McLennan said in later years that his sister told him this would be a perfect song for Marianne Faithful, a comparison both worthwhile and not misplaced. Surfacing on Spring Hill Fair, "Bachelor Kisses" has the rich, world-weary beauty one might expect from that singer in her 1980s work, but the song is very much a Go-Betweens song through and through. There's the same gentle but clear tension in the rhythm section, the crystalline but never overbearing guitar, the sense of deeper roots but a clearly modern performance. Even the soft keyboard overdub, perhaps a sign of the times more than anything else, suits the thoughtful but quietly intense lyrics and performance more than might be thought. The mid-song break to a slightly more dramatic arrangement suits the song, adding a bit of punch to the seemingly breezy melody, though McLennan's singing, as so often in the Go-Betweens' work, suggests a sudden desire to save things from collapsing rather than simple diffidence.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Spring Hill Fair 1984 Beggars Banquet / Japanese Import 3:33
No Image 1990 Capitol
Bellavista Terrace: Best of the Go-Betweens 1999 Beggars Banquet 3:32
That Striped Sunlight Sound 2006 Yep Roc
G Stands for Go Betweens, Vol. 1 2015 Domino
blue highlight denotes editor's pick