Bachelor Kisses

"Bachelor Kisses" is a song by the Australian alternative rock band The Go-Betweens that was released as the second single from their third album Spring Hill Fair in 1984.[1] The single was issued in the UK and Australia on Sire Records.[2] "Bachelor Kisses" was the Go-Betweens' first real attempt at a commercial single.[3]

"Bachelor Kisses"
Bachelor Kisses.jpg
7" single cover
Single by The Go-Betweens
from the album Spring Hill Fair
A-side"Bachelor Kisses"
B-side"Rare Breed"
ReleasedNovember 1984 (1984-11)
RecordedMay 1984
Miraval Studios, Le Val, France
LabelSire Records
Songwriter(s)Grant McLennan, Robert Forster
Producer(s)Colin Fairley
Robert Andrews
The Go-Betweens singles chronology
"Part Company"
"Bachelor Kisses"
"Spring Rain"


Robert Forster later said of the song, "Grant wrote this. It sounded like a pop song right from the word go. He was a very, very melodic songwriter. "Bachelor Kisses" was just something that rolled off and felt very natural and beautiful. It's amazing."[4] McLennan said, "I'm sorry if it sounds a courtly song but it's not about that. I see a lot of infidelity around me most people involved in music are guilty of it in many cases. I see a lot of trust, promises being broken – I'm guilty of it myself. It's about all the promises the world of men have made women as far as the future of their lives, security, the raising of children, and I've found it wanting. Not a unique thought."[5]

Originally recorded with John Brand with the other songs on Spring Hill Fair, the song was re-recorded with producers Colin Fairley and Robert Andrews for the single release at the insistence of the record label. Forster complained of, "new producers, more days on the bass drum, and a version of the song of no great variance to the Miraval take."[6] The song features backing vocalists from Ana da Silva, the lead singer for British post-punk band The Raincoats.[7]

The single and the album failed to chart in the UK or Australia[8] resulting in the band being dropped by Sire Records. "Bachelor Kisses" was however voted in at No. 72 in Triple J's Hottest 100 for 1989[9]

Sire paid for a promotional video, featuring the band miming mixed with beach scenes. Forster said, "the black-and-white stuff of the band playing is actually very, very good. Then we shot some stuff, down at Brighton, of the water and stuff. They can print up colours. And they just went mad."[10]


We came back from Christmas in New York having lost our record company [Rough Trade] somewhere along the way. I wrote this in immigration having been refused entry to the United Kingdom. The first person who heard the song was my sister. She said that Marianne Faithfull should sing it.

— Grant McLennan[11]

In a review of the song on Allmusic, Ned Raggett, comments that such a comparison is both worthwhile and not misplaced.[12] He goes on to state that the song "has the rich, world-weary beauty one might expect from that singer in her 1980s work, but the song is very much a Go-Betweens song through and through. There's the same gentle but clear tension in the rhythm section, the crystalline but never overbearing guitar, the sense of deeper roots but a clearly modern performance"[12]

In Mat Snow's review in the October, 1984 edition of NME he states "Only when we're confronted with a song so perfectly turned, lines so finely balanced and a melody so achingly sweet as Bachelor Kisses are we forced to notice how hollow most contemporary pop rings."[13] Elsewhere in NME, Biba Kopf called the song, "an affecting male rejoinder to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend".[14]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by G. McLennan, R. Forster[15].

7" vinyl version
1."Bachelor Kisses"3:33
2."Rare Breed"2:53
Total length:6:26

All tracks are written by G. McLennan, R. Forster[15].

12" vinyl version
1."Bachelor Kisses"3:33
2."Rare Breed"2:53
3."Unkind and Unwise" (instrumental)3:02
Total length:9:28



Additional musiciansEdit

Release historyEdit

Year Country Label Format Catalogue No.
November 1984 UK Sire Records 7" single W 9156
12" single W 9156 T
AUS 7" single 7-29156


Swedish band, The Radio Dept., recorded an exclusive cover of "Bachelor Kisses", for the August 2007 issue of the Swedish fanzine I Godan Ro. Only 10 copies of that issue were printed. The track was subsequently included in their compilation album Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002–2010.


  1. ^ "The Go-Betweens: Bachelor Kisses". Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Go-Betweens, The - Bachelor Kisses". Discogs. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  3. ^ Nichols, David (1997). The Go-Betweens. Portland, Oregon: Verse Chorus Press. ISBN 1-891241-16-8.
  4. ^ Jody Macgregor (3 September 2012). "The Go-Betweens Pt. 1: 'These Are Central Things To Me'". Mess + Noise. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  5. ^ Mat Snow. "The Go-Betweens: Money Can't Buy You Love". Rock's Backpages.
  6. ^ Robert Forster (2016). Grant & I. Penguin. pp. 140=141. ISBN 978-0-6700782-2-6.
  7. ^ Johnny Ray Huston. "Mighty oceans". San Francisco Nay Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Hottest 100 Of All Time -1989". Triple J. 1989. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  10. ^ David Nichols (2005). The Go-Betweens. Verse Chorus Verse. p. 159. ISBN 9781891241161.
  11. ^ McLennan, Grant, from the liner notes for the 1990 compilation album 1978–1990
  12. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Bachelor Kisses - The Go-Betweens". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  13. ^ Snow, Mat (13 October 1984). "Money Can't Buy You Love". NME. Archived from the original on 16 March 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  14. ^ Biba Kopf (1984). "The Band That Holds You Also Harms You". NME.
  15. ^ a b ""Bachelor Kisses" at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 4 May 2010.