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ROBERT FORSTER

Robert Forster

Grant & I : Inside And Outside The Go-Betweens

    BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 - MOJO MAGAZINE & UNCUT MAGAZINE "In early '77 I asked Grant if he'd form a band with me. `No,' was his blunt reply." Grant McLennan didn't want to be in a band. He couldn't play an instrument; Charlie Chaplin was his hero du jour.

    And yet, when Robert Forster wrote Hemingway, Genet, Chandler and Joyce into his lyrics, McLennan couldn't resist a second invitation to become 80s indie sensation The Go Betweens. The friends would collaborate for three decades, until Grant's premature death in 2006. Beautifully written - like lyrics, like prose - Grant & I is a rock memoir akin to no other.

    Part `making of', part music industry expose, part buddy-book, this is a delicate and perceptive celebration of creative endeavour. With wit and candour, Robert Forster pays tribute to a band who found huge success in the margins, having friendship at its heart.

    Robert Forster

    Beautiful Hearts - 2024 Reissue

      Following its unanimously acclaimed expanded reissues of Robert Forster’s first two solo albums Danger In The Past and Calling From A Country Phone, Needle Mythology Records is proud to announce the long-awaited remastered reissue of Robert’s 1994 'I Had A New York Girlfriend' now retitled as 'Beautiful Hearts'. The album saw Robert tackle a diverse array of his favourite songs from other composers – among them Mickey Newbury’s “Frisco Depot”, Martha & The Muffins’ “Echo Beach”, “Alone” by Heart and Guy Clark’s “Broken Hearted People" Having had three decades to reflect on the record, Robert took this chance to revisit the album’s title and artwork. I Had A New York Girlfriend had been an eleventh-hour decision, a line taken from the Modern Lovers song “Old World”. The working title had always been Beautiful Hearts, a phrase borrowed from another song, “For Those” by Tindersticks. With the old title gone, the artwork – a New York street scene – no longer made sense. “So in its place,” explains Robert, “comes a contemporaneous photograph of me conducting a set of musicians crashing into the album’s opening cut ‘Nature’s Way’. Well… that’s the fantasy.”

      First time on vinyl for this remastered deluxe reissue.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Nature’s Way
      2. Broken Hearted People
      3. Echo Beach
      4. Tell Me That Isn’t True
      5. 2541 6. Anytime
      6. Locked Away
      7. Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow
      8. Alone
      9. Bird
      10. Frisco Depot
      11. 3am

      Robert Forster

      Warm Nights - 2024 Reissue

        The 'Directors' Cut' re-issue, featuring revised tracklisting and previously unreleased material. Originally released in 1996, Warm Nights repositioned Robert’s standing as one of the great songwriters of the post-punk era. Robert recalls that producer Edwyn Collins “got the [intended] sound of the album completely: a dry low-end groove pitched somewhere between Creedence Clearwater Revival and Willie Mitchell’s early ’70s Hi Records work.” Towards the end of the sessions some complications arose – and it’s these complications that Robert has seized the chance to remedy for this new release of Warm Nights. “It was Edwyn’s idea,” explains Robert, “to bring in a three-piece brass section – it fitted some of the songs beautifully, but it was in the mixing of the brass and the effect it had on the running order that things got complicated, [resulting in] two changes to the album that have been bugging me for 25 years.” Finally, Robert can sleep easy. The revised edition of 'Warm Nights' sees the inclusion of the brass version “Fortress” and the addition of "Half The Way Home” (a song that Robert rashly demoted from the original album and is here for the first time on vinyl).

        TRACK LISTING

        1. I Can Do
        2. Warm Nights
        3. Cryin’ Love
        4. Snake Skin Lady
        5. Loneliness
        6.Jug Of Wine
        7. Fortress (Brass Version)
        8. Half The Way Home
        9. On A Street Corner
        10. I’ll Jump

        Robert Forster

        The Candle And The Flame

          Former Go-between Robert Forster announces his 8th solo album 'The Candle And The Flame'.

          It's an album for Forster that has taken a very different path in creating than his previous works. The first single is titled 'She's A Fighter'. It reveals only part of what became a journey of creating music with family and friends with a need to find joy and solace in the face of adversity.

          Robert explains: "'She's A Fighter' is the last song I wrote for 'The Candle And The Flame' album. I wrote the music for it in June 2021. I liked the tune and the quick energy of the song, but I didn't know yet what it was going to be about. In early July, Karin Bäumler, my wife and musical companion for thirty-two years, received a cancer diagnosis. In late July, with a series of chemotherapy sessions about to begin, Karin talked of fighting for her health and a path through chemotherapy to recovery. The phrase, 'She's A Fighter' came to me. I liked it. And I knew immediately that it would work with my new melody. I needed just one other line for the lyric. 'Fighting for good.' The song was finished. I had written my first two-line song. I had just out-Ramoned The Ramones! Because the song has so much meaning to us, we decided to record it as a family. The only time this happens on the album. Karin sings and plays xylophone. Our daughter Loretta plays electric guitar. Our son Louis plays guitar, bass and percussion. And I strum an acoustic guitar fiercely and sing. And that's 'She's a Fighter'."

          That coming together musically as a family is captured in the video for 'She's A Fighter'. "The video was shot in the same studio (Alchemix Studios, Brisbane) as the album was recorded in. So there is continuity," Forster said. "And the way the four of sit in a circle playing, is very much how we recorded 'She's A Fighter' and other tracks on the album."

          'The Candle And The Flame' consists of 9 songs written by Robert. Produced by Robert, Karin Bäumler and Louis Forster (The Goon Sax), the album was mixed by Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey) and features former Go-Betweens and Warm Nights bass player Adele Pickvance as well as Scott Bromiley and Luke McDonald (The John Steele Singers), who worked on Robert's 'Inferno' and 'Songs To Play' albums.

          "The recording sessions for the album were done sporadically over six months. Sometimes just one or two days a month. As that was all Karin's strength and condition allowed her to do. So we had to record 'live', catching magical moments and going for 'feel'. And that became the sound of the album." says Robert.

          TRACK LISTING

          1 She's A Fighter
          2 Tender Years
          3 It's Only Poison
          4 The Roads
          5 I Don't Do Drugs I Do Time
          6 Always
          7 There's A Reason To Live
          8 Go Free
          9 When I Was A Young Man

          Robert Forster

          Danger In The Past

            2020 sees the thirtieth anniversary of the album that launched the solo career of sometime Go-Betweens frontman Robert Forster. Upon its release ‘Danger In The Past’ met with universal acclaim from critics, even drawing comparison with Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’ in some quarters. To mark this milestone, Needle Mythology will be reissuing expanded versions of both Danger In The Past and its 1992 successor ‘Calling From A Country Phone’. The re-release of these albums comes on the back of an incredible 2019 for Forster, in which he released an acclaimed studio album Inferno and received unanimous five star reviews for G Is For Go-Betweens Vol. 2, the second in a trilogy of box-sets gathering Go-Betweens studio albums and previously unreleased live recordings and outtakes. Forster himself has been fully involved on this expanded reissue contributing new liner notes and newly unearthed photographs. For Danger In The Past, Robert recorded in Berlin with an illustrious ensemble that included Bad Seeds alumni Mick Harvey (producer, multi-instrumentalist), Hugo Race (guitar) and Thomas Wydler (drums). BBC 6 Music’s Gideon Coe, described the record as "a beautiful, confident solo debut.” Of these new remasters, Needle Mythology co-founder Pete Paphides says, “The remastering (from Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios) has dramatically revealed a depth and physicality to these recordings that casts new light on Robert’s intentions for these records. 

            TRACK LISTING

            CD/LP:
            1. Baby Stones
            2. The River People
            3. Leave Here Satisfied
            4. Heart Out To Tender
            5. Is This What You Call Change
            6. Dear Black Dream
            7. Danger In The Past
            8. I've Been Looking For Somebody
            9. Justice
            10. The Land That Time Forgot
            11. Falling Star (Original)

            Bonus 7”:
            1. The Land That Time Forgot
            2. Falling Star (Original)

            Robert Forster

            Calling From A Country Phone

              2020 sees the thirtieth anniversary of the album that launched the solo career of sometime Go-Betweens frontman Robert Forster. Upon its release ‘Danger In The Past’ met with universal acclaim from critics, even drawing comparison with Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’ in some quarters. To mark this milestone, Needle Mythology will be reissuing expanded versions of both Danger In The Past and its 1992 successor ‘Calling From A Country Phone’. The re-release of these albums comes on the back of an incredible 2019 for Forster, in which he released an acclaimed studio album Inferno and received unanimous five star reviews for G Is For Go-Betweens Vol. 2, the second in a trilogy of box-sets gathering Go-Betweens studio albums and previously unreleased live recordings and outtakes. Forster himself has been fully involved on this expanded reissue contributing new liner notes and newly unearthed photographs. For Danger In The Past, Robert recorded in Berlin with an illustrious ensemble that included Bad Seeds alumni Mick Harvey (producer, multi-instrumentalist), Hugo Race (guitar) and Thomas Wydler (drums). BBC 6 Music’s Gideon Coe, described the record as "a beautiful, confident solo debut.” Of these new remasters, Needle Mythology co-founder Pete Paphides says, “The remastering (from Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios) has dramatically revealed a depth and physicality to these recordings that casts new light on Robert’s intentions for these records. 

              TRACK LISTING

              CD/LP:
              1. Atlanta Lie Low
              2. 121
              3. The Circle
              4. Falling Star
              5. I Want To Be Quiet
              6. Cat's Life
              7. Girl To A World
              8. Drop
              9. Beyond Their Law
              10. Forever &Time
              11. Lonely Boy
              12. Brookfield 1975

              Bonus 7”:
              1. Lonely Boy
              2. Brookfield 1975

              Robert Forster

              The Evangelist - Reissue

                Following the 1989 break-up of the Go-Betweens, the band he had formed at college in 1978 with his friend Grant McLennan, Robert Forster embarked on a solo career, releasing four albums under his own name between 1990 and 1996, before reforming The Go-Betweens in 2000.

                After the death of bandmate Grant McLennan in 2006 Robert released, this, his 5th solo album in 2008, including the last three songs he wrote with Grant. 

                'Inferno' is acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Robert Forster's first solo album in four years - his second album over the last eleven years. Forster only makes records when he feels he has the songs - on 'Inferno', he has nine he totally believes in.

                They range from the exhilarating top ten pop of 'Inferno (Brisbane In Summer)', the beach shack groove of 'Life Has Turned A Page', via 'Remain's 1977 New York strut, to finish in a way that this concise, brilliant, drama and wit filled album only can - on the big build epic 'One Bird In The Sky'.

                'Inferno' was made in Berlin in 2018, during the hottest German summer in decades. Noted producer/engineer Victor Van Vugt (Beth Orton 'Trailer Park', P J Harvey 'Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea'), recorded the album; the first time he and Forster had worked together since Van Vugt engineered Forster's debut solo album classic 'Danger In The Past' in Berlin in 1990.

                'Inferno' in its making is a perfect mix of the familiar and the new. Also working with Forster again, are Brisbane based multi-instrumentalists Scott Bromley and Karin Bãumler from 'Songs To Play' (2015), while new recruits are drummer Earl Havin (Tindersticks, Mary J. Blige) and keyboardist Michael Muhlhaus (Blumfeld, Kante). Four musicians from the corners of the world, who, with Van Vugt's bold and beautiful production, sound like a band of the ages. In front of them, Forster delivers the best vocal performances of his career.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Encompassing all of the best melodic aspects of some of the greatest songwriters to date (Forster's vocal drawl sounding not entirely unlike Morrisey's at points), Forster manages to be both poignant and accessible all at once. Shimmering acoustic guitar and crisp production come together to accentuate the country-folk-indie at every turn. A wonderfully written and brilliantly conceived outing.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Crazy Jane On The Day Of Judgement
                2. No Fame
                3. Inferno (Brisbane In Summer)
                4. The Morning
                5. Life Has Turned A Page
                6. Remain
                7. I'll Look After You
                8. I'm Gonna Tell It
                9. One Bird In The Sky

                Seven years since Robert Forster's last album The Evangelist (2008). Seven years since one of Australia's most respected singer-songwriters released what was widely regarded as his best solo album, and one that more than lived up to the many high points of his legendary band The Go-Betweens. Seven years for fans and critics alike to ask, what the hell was he doing?

                Quite a lot, as it turns out. Record producer for acclaimed albums by Brisbane bands The John Steel Singers and Halfway. An extended stint as a music critic for the Australian periodical The Monthly that was so well received, a collection of his writings was published as 'The Ten Rules Of Rock And Roll' in 2009 - and was reissued, revised and updated in 2011. Curator and compiler of G Stands For Go-Betweens. Volume 1 - the first of three lavish boxset compilations charting the career of an Australian music icon, of which he was founding member, singer and songwriter.

                Still ... seven years. Long time, musically speaking. Time for writing songs, time for gathering musicians, time spent preparing for what was to be the next chapter of his musical life – a refreshed creative direction that took shape as the new album Songs To Play. Ten very different Robert Forster songs recorded on a mountain top half an hour from his Brisbane home, in an analogue studio, with a troop of young musicians: talented multi-intrumentalists Scott Bromley and Luke McDonald (from The John Steel Singers), Matt Piele (drummer from his touring band), and violinist and singer Karin Baumler.

                "I had originally envisaged the gap between my last album and my new one as five years," Robert says. "I wanted time to pass, for there to be a cut-off. I knew what happened next would be the start of something new."

                "Five years became seven."

                The resulting album is really nothing like he's ever done before, although it retains many of the qualities we know from his songwriting: highly melodic, with incisive, witty lyrics attuned to real people and real lives. The surprise will be the spirit of the record, its sense of adventure and fun - especially after the meditative reflections of The Evangelist (recorded a year after the death of The Go-Betweens co-founder Grant McLennan). Seven years has brought a bolder, wilder approach to sound ... and a set of truly inspiring compositions. Pop songs. Five minute epics. A bossa nova tune. Singer-songwriter classics. Add the more experimental and detailed production assistance of Bromley and McDonald and no wonder - from the album's opening lines on the super-charged Learn To Burn - Forster is bursting to get out and tell his story. Time's a sequence and you wait for changes. Problem is you know I've got no patience. I've got no desire to be the fourth person in line.

                Seven years in the making. And worth every minute.


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