120 Reasons To Live: The Go-Betweens

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#2: The Go-Betweens “Was There Anything I Could Do?”

Not so much a favorite video as a well-loved song, the clip for “Was There Anything I Could Do?” neatly illustrates why, perhaps, Australia’s Go-Betweens never achieved the level of fame acquired by peers such as R.E.M. and the Smiths. The Go-Betweens had no idea how to act like pop stars, and this video has all the guile and angst of a Mentos commercial. Robert Forster is rocking some proto-Crispin Glover makeup, Grant McLennan appears unfamiliar with the concept of singing into a microphone, and violinist Amanda Brown is involved in some slow-motion shots that are ill-advised even for the late ’80s. 16 Lovers Lane had a lot going for it—it also includes standout tracks “Streets Of Your Town” and “Dive For Your Memory”—but it’s no mystery why the Go-Betweens were underrated for so long.

6 replies on “120 Reasons To Live: The Go-Betweens”

Jesus christ that was bad. Never in the history of music has a video ruined a good song like this one did. Crap like this is why I could never sit through more than about 10 minutes of the show waiting for something punk to come on.

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