Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express

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Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express
Studio album by The Go-Betweens
Released 1986
Recorded Berry Street Studio, London WC1, England
Genre Rock, alternative rock, indie rock
Length 36:53
Label Beggars Banquet Records then LO-MAX Records
Producer Richard Preston
The Go-Betweens chronology
Spring Hill Fair
Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A–[2]

Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express, the fourth album by The Go-Betweens, was released in 1986 in the UK on Beggars Banquet Records, the record label that would release the remainder of the original group's LPs through their break-up in 1989. The album was recorded at Berry Street Studios in London, England. The original release consisted of ten songs. The UK CD release in 1986 (BEGA 72) had the original ten tracks, plus two bonus tracks: "The Life At Hand" and "Little Joe". In 2004, LO-MAX Records released an expanded CD which included a second disc of eleven bonus tracks and music videos for the songs, "Spring Rain" and "Head Full of Steam (Single Version)".[3]

Drummer Morrison later said, "This is my favourite album. This is a really, really fabulous album. We produced this ourselves and it's got the best songs, and I think every single song is a classic. And if we had produced those songs the way radio demands – like, if we'd used drum machines and just had synthesisers do must the stuff – I think we could have got a hit."[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Spring Rain" – 3:10
  2. "The Ghost and the Black Hat" – 2:36
  3. "The Wrong Road" – 4:57
  4. "To Reach Me" – 3:37
  5. "Twin Layers of Lightning" – 4:25
  6. "In the Core of the Flame" – 2:57
  7. "Head Full of Steam" – 3:36
  8. "Bow Down" – 3:47
  9. "Palm Sunday (On Board the SS Within)" – 3:19
  10. "Apology Accepted" – 4:25
  11. "Spring Rain" (Video on 2004 Expanded CD)
  12. "Head Full of Steam" (single version) (Video on 2004 Expanded CD)

All songs written by Grant McLennan and Robert Forster.

Bonus Tracks on 2004 CD Reissue Disc 2:

  1. "Life at Hand" – 3:34
  2. "Don't Let Him Come Back" [New Version] – 2:39
  3. "Apology Accepted" [Radio Session] – 3:48
  4. "I Work in a Health Spa" – 3:42
  5. "Bow Down" [Early Version] – 4:09
  6. "Casanova's Last Words" – 2:39
  7. "Head Full of Steam" [Single Version] – 3:38
  8. "Little Joe" – 3:28
  9. "Wrong Road" [Early Version] – 3:18
  10. "Reunion Dinner" – 4:49
  11. "I'm Gonna Knock on Your Door" – 1:53

All songs written by McLennan and Forster, except for Track 11, written by Aaron Schroeder and Sid Wayne.


The Go-Betweens consisted of:


  • Dean B. Speedwell – organ, piano, accordion, vibes, bassoon
  • Audrey Riley – cello, string arrangements
  • Chris Tomlin – 1st violin
  • Sally Herbert – 2nd violin
  • Sue Dench – viola
  • Tracey Thorn – backing vocals on "Head Full of Steam" and "Apology Accepted"
  • Richard Preston – loops, treatments on "Reunion Dinner"


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (31 March 1987). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Mueller, Andrew, from the liner notes for the 2004 LO-MAX Compact Disc reissue of Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express. All track listing/production history/song writing credit information in this article is taken from these liner notes.
  4. ^ Tracee Hutchison (1992). Your Name's on the Door. Sydney: ABC Enterprises. p. 125. ISBN 0-7333-0115-0.