Streets of Your Town

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"Streets of Your Town"
Streets of your Town.jpg
The cover present on the Australian release
Single by The Go-Betweens
from the album 16 Lovers Lane
A-side "Streets of Your Town"
B-side "Wait Until June"
Released July, 1988
Format 7" vinyl
Length 3:34
Label Beggars Banquet
Songwriter(s) Grant McLennan
Producer(s) Mark Wallis
The Go-Betweens singles chronology
"Bye Bye Pride"
"Streets of Your Town"
"Was There Anything I Could Do?"

"Bye Bye Pride"
"Streets of Your Town"
"Was There Anything I Could Do?"

"Streets Of Your Town" is a song by Australian indie group The Go-Betweens, a single from their 1988 album, 16 Lovers Lane. Featuring polished production, a prominent backing vocal by Amanda Brown and a guitar solo by bassist John Willsteed, "Streets of Your Town" is one of the band's most recognised songs and is arguably the closest the group had to a mainstream hit. It was released in July 1988 in the UK on Beggars Banquet, where it reached #80 on the singles charts[3] and in Australia in August 1988 on Mushroom, where it reached #70.[4] In New Zealand, the song was issued in November 1988, and was a top 40 hit, peaking at #30[5]–the band's highest-ever placing on any national chart.

The single was re-released in the UK in 1989, in an attempt by Beggars Banquet to encourage the band's commercial momentum. However, it only peaked at No. 82.[3]


Written by Grant McLennan, the sunny, upbeat music is contrasted with darker lyrics: "Don't the sun look good today but the rain is on its way, watch the butcher shine his knives, and this town is full of battered wives". McLennan said of writing the song, "I was listening to 'Under the Milky Way' and I was just working it out–cause I'm a big fan of The Church. And that afternoon I came up with a chord progression and a chorus."[6] Mclennan had not played the song to Forster before entering the studio. "It remains an odd fact - the one Go-Betweens song Grant and I never played before recording," Forster wrote.[7]

Forster later said, "This was obviously the most commercial thing we'd ever done, and it came out around October '88, which caught the summer here. It was re-released in summer and it sat fantastically on Australian summer radio and then it sat well on English summer radio. We were walking around Soho and we'd hear it on the radio, every jean shop and café. It was on Radio 1 and so we were hearing it as we were walking around."[8]

Lines from the song were included by U2 when they played "Elevation" and "With or Without You" on the opening of the Pacific leg of their Vertigo World Tour in Brisbane, in dedication to McLennan. The song was also played after the band's second encore.[9][10] The song was covered by Ivy, appearing on their 2003 album, Guestroom. The opening guitar chords from the song are sampled on "Just the Way You Are" by Italian dance production group Milky. The song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay chart in October, 2003.[11]

This song was used as the theme song for Prime Television in Australia in 2001-2002[12] and for television advertisements for The Courier Mail in 2006/2007, though in both cases the song was edited so that the darker lyrics were omitted. The song was also featured in the 2008 Australian/British AFI award-winning drama-based feature film The Black Balloon.[13] A cover version of the song by Dave McCormack featured in the soundtrack to the film All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane (2007).

There were two video clips filmed to promote the song. One, directed by Paul Goldman and filmed in black-and-white which is included on the CD remaster, featuring footage of the band performing the song and the town of Rainbow, Victoria and the Melbourne suburb of Yarraville, Victoria. The other, more often played videoclip, directed by Kriv Stenders, mixes evocative city images of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The Guardian describes it as, "slabs of bright blue sky behind terrace houses, telephone lines, clock towers, apartment blocks and train stations. There are glimpses of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, overhead tram lines in Melbourne and buildings in central Brisbane. And lots of sun glittering on water."[14]

Track listing[edit]

Original 7" Vinyl release[edit]

  1. "Streets of Your Town" - 3:34
  2. "Wait Until June" - 3:05

Original 12" Vinyl release[edit]

  1. "Streets of Your Town" - 3:34
  2. "Quiet Heart" - 5:20
  3. "Bow Down" - 3:45
  4. "The House that Jack Kerouac Built" - 4:46

Original CD single release[edit]

  1. "Streets of Your Town" - 3:34
  2. "Spring Rain" - 3:06
  3. "Right Here" - 3:53
  4. "Wait Until June" - 3:05


Chart (1988) 1 Peak
Australian Singles Chart[4] 70
UK Singles Chart[3] 80
Chart (1989) 1 Peak
UK Singles Chart[3] 82

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
United Kingdom July 1988 Beggars Banquet 7" vinyl BEG 218
12" vinyl BEG 218T
CD single BEG 218CD
May 1989 7" vinyl BEG 232
12" vinyl BEG 232T
CD single BEG 232CD
Australia August 1988 Mushroom 7" vinyl K607
Spain 1988 Victoria 12" vinyl VIC 349
Germany 1988 Rebel CD single SPV 55-3017
United States 1989 Capitol 12" vinyl SPRO-79547


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ a b c d "UK chart position". Polyhex. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
  5. ^
  6. ^ John O'Donnell, Toby Creswell & Craig Mathieson (2010). The 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Victoria: Hardie Grant Books. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. 
  7. ^ Robert Forster (2016). Grant & I. Penguin. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-6700782-2-6. 
  8. ^ Jody Macgregor (4 September 2012). "The Go-Betweens Pt. 2: 'Lennon/McCartney Could Have Written That'". Mess + Noise. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Mengel, Noel (8 November 2009). "Unashamedly touched by U2". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "U2 get world tour underway again in Brisbane". NME. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  11. ^ Billboard Bits: Jack Black, Dub Narcotic, Milky
  12. ^ "Prime Television". Australian TV History. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "The Black Balloon soundtrack". IMDb. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  14. ^ Barry Divola. "Australian anthems: the Go-Betweens – Streets of Your Town". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]