Robert Forster is an Australian singer-songwriter, best known for his work with songwriting partner Grant McLennan, with whom he co-founded The Go-Betweens.
Born 29 June 1957, Forster grew up in Brisbane, Australia. He met McLennan in drama classes at the University of Queensland and, inspired by a mutual love of Bob Dylan and the New York music scene, formed the Go-Betweens in 1977. The first Go-Betweens single, Lee Remick, was released on their own label in 1978 and the first Go-Betweens album, Send Me A Lullaby, was released in 1982, by which time Forster and McLennan had been joined by drummer Lindy Morrison. For much of the 1980s the band were based in the UK, releasing a total of six albums in this decade and adding more members including Robert Vickers on bass and multi-instrumentalist Amanda Brown, before splitting at the end of 1989.
During the 1990s Robert Forster spent time living in both Australia and Germany, recording his debut solo album Danger in the Past in Berlin in 1990. This release was followed by Calling From A Country Phone, recorded at Sunshine Studios, Brisbane, in 1993 with members of local pop group Custard; I Had a New York Girlfriend, a collection of cover versions recorded in Melbourne in 1994; and Warm Nights, recorded in London in 1996 and produced by Edwyn Collins.
In 1999 Beggars Banquet released Bellavista Terrace – Best of The Go-Betweens and to promote this album Robert Forster and Grant McLennan embarked on a world tour, performing acoustically as a duo. In 2000 Forster and McLennan reactivated The Go-Betweens, releasing The Friends of Rachel Worth, recorded in Portland, Oregon. In 2002 Forster moved back to Brisbane, with the next Go-Betweens album, Bright Yellow Bright Orange, being recorded in Sydney in 2003. The final Go-Betweens album, Oceans Apart, was recorded in London in 2005 with a band that now included Adele Pickvance on bass and Glenn Thompson on drums. Oceans Apart received an ARIA award in 2005 for Best Adult Contemporary Album. Also in 2005, Robert Forster started writing a regular column for The Monthly, an Australian magazine covering the arts, politics and society.
On 6th May 2006 Grant McLennan died, bringing an end to The Go-Betweens. Robert Forster continued writing his column for The Monthly, and in this year received The Pascall Award for Critical Writing.
In September and October 2007 the new Robert Forster solo album The Evangelist was recorded in London. Due for release around the world in April 2008, it is Forster’s first solo album for 12 years.
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