Send Me a Lullaby

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Send Me a Lullaby
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 1981 (AUS)
February 1982 (UK)
RecordedJuly 1981
Melbourne, Australia
GenreRock, alternative rock, indie rock
LabelMissing Link (AUS)
Rough Trade Records (UK)
ProducerThe Go-Betweens and Tony Cohen
The Go-Betweens chronology
Send Me a Lullaby
Before Hollywood
Singles from Send Me a Lullaby
  1. "Your Turn, My Turn"
    Released: July 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[1]

Send Me a Lullaby was The Go-Betweens' debut album. It was released in November 1981 in Australia on Missing Link as an eight-track mini-album. It was subsequently released in the UK on Rough Trade Records, an independent music record label (Missing Link's UK distributors) in February 1982, as a 12-track album.[2]


The album was recorded at the Richmond Recorders studio in Melbourne in July 1981. The album was engineered and produced by Tony Cohen (The Birthday Party), together with The Go-Betweens. Forster said that Cohen, although having a signature sound, lacked a producer's instinct and the band had to "choose their own songs and arrange them themselves," resulting in many older songs being jettisoned from the album.[3]

In 2002, Circus Records released an expanded CD which included a second disc of twelve bonus tracks of songs recorded by The Go-Betweens around the same time as the album together with a music video for the song, "Your Turn, My Turn".

McLennan later said, "Send Me A Lullaby is to me an inauspicious debut. It's a record that I think if I'd heard - well, it's hard for me to say that, but if I'd heard that and I wasn't in the band, I think my comment would have been 'What the fuck is going on here.' There's great melodies but then there's changes which to this day I can't work out. There's lyrics to this day which I don't understand and when I actually summon up enough courage to get to the microphone, I sound like a choirboy with a mouthful of fruitcake."[4] Forster agreed, saying, "So, no classic first album. But a band has to keep thinking they are writing their own story. This was our way."[3]

Morrison said her drumming on the album had been affected by the experimentation with her previous band Xero. "The trouble was, it had become part of me to do silly things, which is why my drumming is idiosyncratic with the Go-Betweens in many ways. On Send Me A Lullaby there are lots of strange drumbeats, things that a normal drummer wouldn't play," she said.[5]

Melbourne artist Jenny Watson painted the cover of the album. The portraits were later purchased by the Australian National Portrait Gallery.[6] Forster claimed, "She got the three of us with precision, placing us on the album with the touch of a master psychologist."[3] The inner gatefold had pictures of Forster & McLennan's apartments.


Reviewed in Australian Rolling Stone at the time of release, it was described as reflecting, "the progression from folky naivety of the early songs to a more involved, complex set of emotions, though understatement is still a key feature." The reviewer notes it is an album with, "no, or at least very few, overdubs," and says, "the band have produced a fresh, uncluttered sound that has a live presence to it." The review concludes by saying, "everything's come together just fine."[7]

NME described the album as, "a record of tremendous depth, a mystery to be fathomed." Noting the album's naivety, clumsiness, intelligence, and frailty, the reviewer notes, "Maybe I'm forgetting, but this seems the least fussy, least pompous, most natural and moving music I've yet heard from their part of the planet."[8]

Track listing[edit]

Send Me a Lullaby (original Australian issue)
1."One Thing Can Hold Us"Grant McLennan3:17
2."People Know" (vocals by Lindy Morrison)Robert Forster2:11
3."Midnight to Neon"Robert Forster, Grant McLennan2:31
4."Careless" (lead guitar – Grant McLennan)Robert Forster2:34
5."All About Strength" (lead guitar – Grant McLennan)Grant McLennan2:12
6."Ride"Robert Forster3:30
7."Hold Your Horses"Grant McLennan2:14
8."It Could Be Anyone" (lead guitar – Grant McLennan)Grant McLennan4:30
UK issue
1."Your Turn, My Turn"Grant McLennan3:03
2."One Thing Can Hold Us"Grant McLennan3:17
3."People Know" (vocals by Lindy Morrison)Robert Forster2:11
4."The Girls Have Moved"Robert Forster2:36
5."Midnight to Neon"Robert Forster2:31
6."Eight Pictures"Robert Forster4:52
7."Careless" (lead guitar – Grant McLennan)Robert Forster2:34
8."All About Strength" (lead guitar – Grant McLennan)Grant McLennan2:12
9."Ride"Robert Forster3:30
10."Hold Your Horses"Grant McLennan2:14
11."Arrow in a Bow"Robert Forster2:00
12."It Could Be Anyone" (lead guitar – Grant McLennan)Grant McLennan4:30
2002 bonus disc
1."Sunday Night"Robert Forster2:50
2."One Word"Grant McLennan2:02
3."I Need Two Heads"Robert Forster2:34
4."The Clowns Are in Town"Robert Forster2:14
5."Serenade Sound"Grant McLennan2:23
6."Hope"Robert Forster2:04
7."Stop Before You Say It"Robert Forster1:42
8."World Weary"Robert Forster1:41
9."Distant Hands"Fobert Forster2:01
10."Undo What You Did"Fobert Forster4:05
11."Cracked Wheat"Robert Forster3:54
12."After the Fireworks"Robert Forster, Grant McLennan, Nick Cave, Lindy Morrison6:59
13."Your Turn, My Turn" (Video) 4:29


The Go-Betweens[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Nick Cave – vocals ("After the Fireworks")
  • Steve Daly – drums ("I Need Two Heads", "Stop Before You Say It")
  • James Freud – saxophone
  • Mick Harvey – piano ("After the Fireworks")
  • Rowland S. Howard – guitar ("After the Fireworks")
  • Dan Wallace-Crabbe – piano ("World Weary")


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ "Go-Betweens Send Me a Lullaby". Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Robert Forster (2016). Grant & I. Penguin. pp. 95–96. ISBN 978-0-6700782-2-6.
  4. ^ Gavin Sawford (12 April 1996). "Gazing On A Sunny Afternoon". Rave. Stones Corner, QLD: Rave Magazine Pty Ltd: 7–8.
  5. ^ Clinton Walker (1984). The Next Thing. Kenthurst, New South Wales: Kangaroo Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN 0-949924-81-4.
  6. ^ "Robert, Lindy, Grant". National Portrait Gallery.
  7. ^ Toby Creswell. "Records". Australian Rolling Stone. No. 17 June 1982. North Sydney, NSW: Silvertongues Pty Ltd. pp. 14–18.
  8. ^ Dave Hill (26 June 1982). "Raw Paradox". NME. London, England.