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$17.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2017 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds remain one of the most prolific adventures of the post-punk era. Since the middle of the 1980s, the vast magnetism of the Australian singer has swirled through violent paroxysms, fulminating covers, piano ballads and sweaty rock'n'roll. Across many years and many recordings, Cave became more and more of a crooner, somewhere between a punk Sinatra and an austere Johnny Cash. This impeccable compilation, published in Spring 2017 not only allows the listener to get a sense of the length of the road they have travelled, but also to enjoy an excellent introduction to the art of this gang that stands apart from contemporary rock. The 45 songs of this Deluxe edition are spread out between three periods: fifteen titles dug out from between 1984 and 1993, fifteen others from between 1994 and 2003 and a final fifteen selected from between 2004 and 2013... Starting with From Her To Eternity (1984) and going up to Push The Sky Away (2013), Lovely Creatures offers a perfect mix of poisonous ballads (Into My Arms), rollocking epics (The Mercy Seat), stripped-down, violent rock (Deanna), apocalyptic cabaret (The Carny), unexpected duets (Where The Wild Roses Grow with Kylie Minogue)  and selected covers. (In The Ghetto). Nestled between the Gothic prose of American authors of the 20th Century, the musical heritage of giants like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, Nick Cave has found his own style, often chambrist, but always sombre and possessed by the spirit of the Old Testament... © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With this February 1996 album, Nick Cave took up his role as the bipolar preacher, caught between sin and redemption. Half goth-punk Johnny Cash, half infernal Lee Hazlewood, the brains of the Bad Seeds, a crooner to the core, told his stories of death, betrayal, sex, violence and passion... His cavernous voice and his Biblical pen fascinated fans. Behind him, the Bad Seeds were knitting together a blood-red score, a cocktail of blues and jazz on ghostly pianos, disquieting guitars and martial percussions. This is a Nick Cave in full Nosferatu mode, and he even has a couple of virgins to snack on: his double, PJ Harvey, on Henry Lee, and his compatriot Kylie Minogue for an erotic thriller entitled Where The Wild Roses Grow. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 29, 2010 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With guitarist/keyboardist Roland Wolf and Cramps/Gun Club veteran Kid Congo Powers on guitar added to the ranks, along with guest appearances from old member Hugo Race, the Seeds reached 1988 with their strongest album yet, the insanely powerful, gripping Tender Prey. Rather than simply redoing what they'd already done, Nick Cave and company took their striking musical fusions to deeper and higher levels all around, with fantastic consequences. The album boldly starts out with an undisputed Cave masterpiece -- "The Mercy Seat," a chilling self-portrait of a prisoner about to be executed that compares the electric chair with the throne of God. Queasy strings from a Gini Ball-led trio and Mick Harvey's spectral piano snake through a rising roar of electric sound -- a common musical approach from many earlier Seeds songs, but never so gut-wrenching as here. Cave's own performance is the perfect icing on the cake, commanding and powerful, excellently capturing the blend of crazed fear and righteousness in the lyrics. Matching that high point turns out to be impossible for anything else on Tender Prey, but more than enough highlights take a bow that demonstrates the album's general quality. "Deanna" is another great blast from the Seeds, a garage rock-style rave-up that lyrically is everything Natural Born Killers tried to be, but failed at -- killing sprees, Cadillacs, and carrying out the work of the Lord, however atypically. The echoing, gentle-yet-rough sonics on the Blind Willie Johnson-inspired "City of Refuge" and the gentler drama of "Sugar Sugar Sugar" also do well in keeping the energy level up. On the quieter side, Cave indulges his penchant for gloomy piano-led ballads throughout, and quite well at that, with such songs as "Watching Alice," "Mercy," and the end-of-the-evening singalong "New Morning." "Sunday's Slave" has a beautifully brooding feeling to it thanks to the combination of acoustic guitar and piano, making it a bit of a cousin of Scott Walker's "Seventh Seal." ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

Murder Ballads brought Nick Cave's morbidity to near-parodic levels, which makes the disarmingly frank and introspective songs of The Boatman's Call all the more startling. A song cycle equally inspired by Cave's failed romantic affairs and religious doubts, The Boatman's Call captures him at his most honest and despairing -- while he retains a fascination for gothic, Biblical imagery, it has little of the grand theatricality and self-conscious poetics that made his albums emotionally distant in the past. This time, there's no posturing, either from Cave or the Bad Seeds. The music is direct, yet it has many textures, from blues to jazz, which offer a revealing and sympathetic bed for Cave's best, most affecting songs. The Boatman's Call is one of his finest albums and arguably the masterpiece he has been promising throughout his career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

$12.99

Rock - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

Keeping the same line-up from Henry's Dream, Nick Cave and company turn in yet another winner with Let Love In. Compared to Henry's Dream, Let Love In is something of a more produced effort -- longtime Cave boardsman Tony Cohen oversees things, and from the first track, one can hear the subtle arrangements and carefully constructed performances. Love, unsurprisingly, takes center stage of the album. Besides concluding with a second part to "Do You Love Me?," two of its stronger cuts are the (almost) title track "I Let Love In," and "Loverman," an even creepier depiction of lust's throttling power so gripping that Metallica ended up covering it. On the full-on explosive front, "Jangling Jack" sounds like it wants to do nothing but destroy sound systems, strange noises and overmodulations ripping throughout the song. The Seeds can always turn in almost deceptively peaceful performances as well, of course -- standouts here are "Nobody's Baby Now," with a particularly lovely guitar/piano line, and the brooding drama of "Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore." The highlight of the album, though, has little to do with love and everything to do with the group's abilities at music noir. "Red Right Hand" depicts a nightmarish figure emerging on "the edge of town," maybe a criminal and maybe something more demonic. Cave's vicious lyric combines fear and black humor perfectly, while the Seeds' performance redefines "cinematic," a disturbing organ figure leading the subtle but crisp arrangement and Harvey's addition of a sharp bell ratcheting up the feeling of doom and judgment. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released November 17, 2014 | Mute, a BMG Company

$12.99

Rock - Released December 21, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released April 27, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

Besides being noteworthy as an astonishingly good all-covers album, Kicking Against the Pricks is notable for the arrival of a new key member for the Seeds, drummer Thomas Wydler. Besides being a fine percussionist, able to perform at both the explosive and restrained levels Cave requires, Wydler also allowed Harvey to concentrate on adding guitar and keyboards live as well as in the studio, a notable bonus. Race reappears briefly to add some guitar while former Birthday Party cohorts Rowland Howard and Tracy Pew guest as well, the latter on some of his last tracks before his untimely death. The selection of songs is quite impressive, ranging from old standards like "Long Black Veil" to everything from John Lee Hooker's "I'm Gonna Kill That Woman" and Gene Pitney's pop aria "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart." Matching the range of material, the Seeds are well on their way to becoming the rock/cabaret/blues showband of Cave's dreams, able to conjure up haunting, winsome atmospheres ("Sleeping Annaleah") as much as higher-volume takes (Roy Orbison's "Running Scared," the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties"). The version of Leadbelly's "Black Betty" is particularly grand, Harvey's drumming driving the track with ominous power. This said, often holding everything back is the key, as the creepout build of "Hey Joe" demonstrates. Even more striking is how Cave's own vocals rebut the charges that all he ever does is overdramatize everything he sings -- consider the husky, purring delivery on Johnny Cash's "The Singer." Other winners include a masterful version of Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and the stately, album-closing "The Carnival Is Over," originally a mid-'60s hit for the Seekers. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released March 29, 2010 | Mute, a BMG Company

Losing Wolf, aside from the final reprise of "Lucy," but otherwise making no changes in the line-up, the Seeds followed up Tender Prey with the equally brilliant but generally calmer Good Son. At the time of its release there were more than a few comments that Cave had somehow softened or sold out, given how he was more intent on exploring his dark, cabaret pop stylings than his thrashy, explosive side. This not only ignored the constant examples of such quieter material all the way back to From Her to Eternity, but Cave's own constant threads of lyrical darkness, whether in terms of romance or something all the more distressing. This said, the softly crooning group vocals and sweet strings on the opening "Foi Na Cruz" certainly would catch some off guard. The title track itself captured the overall mood of the album, a retelling of the Bible's prodigal son story from the other son, the one who stayed at home and did what he was meant to do. The elegant, reflective "Lucy" and the staccato then sweeping "Lament" are two further high points, but the flat-out winners come dead center. "The Weeping Song," a magnificent duet between Cave and Bargeld, starts out sounding a bit like Gene Pitney's "Something's Gotta Hold of My Heart," which the Seeds covered on Pricks, before shading into its own powerful, blasted drama. "The Ship Song," meanwhile, equals if not overtakes the Scott Walker ballads Cave so clearly is inspired by, a soaring, tearjerking declaration of intense love that's simply amazing. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released February 3, 2003 | Mute, a BMG Company

It is truly sad when artists with great vision and imagination, whose work is filled with power and beauty, just kind of lose it all at once. This could be the first record Nick Cave has made that feels like he is just doing it because it is his job to make records and be Nick Cave. Everything is predictable and sounds like something Cave has done before. The Bad Seeds' edges are smoothed over by the too-slick production; Cave's lyrics are not provocative or funny or much of anything worth hearing. "He Wants You" is a smooth and tired-sounding love song, "Still in Love" is a gothic love song with cheesy lyrics and some sickly singing, and "Wonderful Life" has a nice, slinky beat and a memorable melody that is ruined by generic lyrics. There are also a few surprises of an unpleasant nature on Nocturama: "Bring It On" sounds like alternative rock by-the-numbers; without Cave's vocals it could be the Wallflowers. This could be the first Bad Seeds track to sport a depressingly standard guitar solo over the fade. Longtime Cave fans may need to reach for the smelling salts after hearing it. There are also a couple of songs that revisit the old storm-and-bang days of the Birthday Party and early Bad Seeds. One might say these forays into noisy, aggressive post-punk are commendable or one could say he is treading water he puked out 20 years ago. Add to that the fact that the racing tempos, jagged guitars, and shouted vocals of "Dead Man in My Bed" and the seemingly endless "Babe, I'm on Fire" break up the somnambulant mood of the rest of the record. Actually, while it may be derivative of his glorious past, "Babe, I'm on Fire" is a welcome blast of energy; he should have made it 30 minutes long instead of ten and called it his new record. Apart from that track, Cave sounds like a writer on his 15th book with nothing much left to say, nothing left to do but go through the motions, phoning his performance in with a yawn. His fans should send him a message by leaving Nocturama (his worst record title ever) to gather dust on record store and warehouse shelves. His laziness and weak effort should not be rewarded with your hard-earned cash. ~ Tim Sendra
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Rock - Released March 3, 2008 | Mute, a BMG Company

$11.49

Rock - Released March 29, 2010 | Mute, a BMG Company

Continuing the creative roll of Tender Prey and The Good Son, Henry's Dream showed the band in fierce and fine fettle once more. The biggest change was with the choice of producer -- David Briggs, famed for his work on some of Neil Young's strongest albums. While Cave later thought the experiment didn't work as well as he might have hoped, Briggs does a fine enough job, perhaps not letting the group's full intensity through but still capturing a live feel nonetheless. Cave himself offers up another series of striking, compelling lyrics again exploring love, lust and death. Here, though, some of his images are the strongest he's yet delivered, especially with the near apocalyptic "Papa Won't Leave You, Henry," which begins the album brilliantly as the narrator lurches through a landscape of storms, brothels and urban decay. Equally powerful, if slower and calmer, is Dream's lead single, "Straight to You," with Cave delivering a forceful declaration of love. It's the near equal of "The Ship Song," the same sense of beautiful sweep running free. Other numbers like "Brother, My Cup is Empty" and "I Had a Dream, Joe" showcase the Seeds' peerless abilities at fusing older styles with noisy aggression and tension. The former is especially strong, almost dripping with soft then loud musical drama. The quieter numbers aren't to be ignored, though, such as the string-laden "Christina the Astonishing" and especially "Loom of the Land." One of Cave's best songs ever, his portrait of a nighttime walk with a lover is Romantic with a capital R, with a sweet passion that matches the soothing performance from the Seeds, topped off with a particularly fine chorus. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released April 27, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

Nick Cave launched his solo career in style with From Her to Eternity, an accomplished album mixing the frenzy and power of his Birthday Party days with a dank, moody atmosphere that showed he was not interested in simply continuing what the older group had done. To be sure, Mick Harvey joined him from the Party days, as ever playing a variety of instruments, while one-time Party guest Blixa Bargeld now became a permanent Cave partner, splitting his time between the Bad Seeds and Einsturzende Neubaten ever since. The group took wing with a harrowing version of Leonard Cohen's "Avalanche," Cave's wracked, buried tones suiting the Canadian legend's words perfectly, and never looked back. From Her to Eternity is crammed with any number of doom-laden songs, with Cave the understandable center of attention, his commanding vocals turning the blues and rural music into theatrical exhibitionism unmatched since Jim Morrison stalked stages. Songs like "Cabin Fever," with its steadily paced drumming and relentless piano line, and the more restrained and moody "The Moon Is in the Gutter" sound like cabarets in hell. "In the Ghetto," already perfectly suited to such a treatment, shows the underlying sense of beauty that defines the Seeds as much as drama. Even though it's a Presley cover, the sense of Scott Walker's influence isn't far away at all. The title track is and remains a Bad Seeds classic, played at shows up through the present, a tense piano/organ beginning then accompanied by the edgy build of the band, pounding drums, stabbing feedback and keyboard parts and more. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released April 27, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

Reduced to a quartet for the most part, with Barry Adamson joining Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Mick Harvey and Thomas Wydler on only a couple of tracks, the Bad Seeds turn from the interpretive triumph of Kicking Against the Pricks to another strong high, the mostly-original Your Funeral...My Trial. The one cover is a sharp, unsurprisingly dramatic version of Tim Rose's "Long Time Man." As for the rest of the album, Trial shows the Seeds working as, again, a remarkably accomplished and varied act, ever available and ready to explore a wide range of musics distilled into Cave's often dark, always passionate vision. Arguably Cave and company have by now so clearly established their overall style that Your Funeral...My Trial is much more a refinement of the past than anything else, but so good is their work that resistance is near impossible. If anything, the brooding power of the Seeds is more restrained than ever, suggesting destructive endings and overwhelming love without directly playing it. Songs like "Jacks Shadow" and the gentler but still melancholy moods of "Sad Waters," detailing a riverside scene between a couple, are simply grand. The opening title track sets the mood well, Cave handling not merely vocals but Hammond organ, adding a strangely sweet air to the late-night atmosphere of the piece. "The Carny" is a definite highlight, the cracked music-box/carnival accompaniment courtesy of Harvey utterly appropriate for Cave's tale of a circus gone horribly wrong in ways Edward Gorey would appreciate. "Hard On for Love," as the title pretty clearly gives away, is at once sensual and blunt right down to the lyrics, Biblical references and all, as the feverish music rises in a tide of emotion. ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released April 27, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

The blues had long been a potent undercurrent in the Birthday Party's music, so it wasn't all that surprising that Nick Cave embraced the sound and feeling of rural blues on his second album with the Bad Seeds, The Firstborn Is Dead. What was startling was how well Cave and his bandmates -- Barry Adamson, Mick Harvey, and Blixa Bargeld -- were able to absorb and honor the influences of artists like Skip James and Charley Patton while creating a sound that was unmistakably their own. The moody obsessions of rural blues -- trains, floods, imprisonment, sin, fear, and death -- seemed made to order for Cave, and he was able to tap into the doomy iconography of this music with potent emotional force; on "Tupelo," he makes a sweeping and disturbing epic of the rain-swept night when Elvis Presley was born, and "Knocking on Joe" is a tale of life on the work gang that communicates the pain of the spirit as clearly as the ache of the body. Also, the blues helped transform Cave's music as well as his lyrics; the brutal sonic pummel of the Birthday Party here gave way to a more subtle and dynamic approach that still made effective use of dissonance and bare-wired electric guitar noise while proving the balance of loud and soft only made each side deeper and more resonant. (The stark, barely there guitar and drums of "Blind Lemon Jefferson" are as startling and malignantly fascinating as anything in the Birthday Party's catalog.) The Firstborn Is Dead proved Nick Cave's musical palate was significantly broader than his debut album suggested and pointed to a path (channeling the sounds and emotions of American roots music) he would return to on many of his albums that followed. ~ Mark Deming
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Rock - Released September 1, 1993 | Mute, a BMG Company

Exactly what it says it is, and quite good at that -- some fans consider many of the songs on Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Live Seeds to be superior to their studio equivalent -- a testament to its overall quality. Recorded at various spots on the Henry's Dream tour and originally sold with a small picture book documenting said tour, Live features the same sextet that performed on Dream bringing the noise with commanding authority. Cave himself is unsurprisingly in excelsis, his declamatory and quieter sides both showcased with skill. Mick Harvey and Blixa Bargeld's guitar exploits, sometimes snarling with fire and other times strumming with deceptive calm, lead the charge from the rest, with the Thomas Wydler and Martyn P. Casey rhythm section ratcheting up the intensity, and Conway Savage's piano and organ work shading everything out. Three of the thirteen songs are from Dream, with the rest drawn from throughout Cave's solo career, including a dramatic version of "From Her to Eternity" that takes the 1987 re-recording as its start and gets an even more punishing makeover. Few cuts differ drastically from the more familiar album versions, but generally everything is crisper, at times much more brusque, perhaps exchanging texture for force. The opening performance of "The Mercy Seat" doesn't achieve the melodramatic power of the Tender Prey performance, but still makes for a fiery start, Cave's lyric of dues-paying via death delivered with the appropriate power. The Dream cuts arguably are the most different from their studio takes, given a more punchy approach all around, especially on "Brother, My Cup Is Empty." Other highlights include the beautiful passion of "The Ship Song," its tearjerking appeal fully intact, and the doom-laden "The Weeping Song," Bargeld and Cave's duet once again a striking fusion of voices. An end-of-the-night singalong take on "New Morning" concludes this striking record, definitely one of Cave's best. ~ Ned Raggett

Rock - Released April 12, 2017 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released November 29, 2017 | Mute, a BMG Company

Nick Cave is unquestionably an album artist. Each of his records has a specific mood and theme, standing as an individual work. That said, his albums have also been notoriously uneven. Sometimes, as on From Her to Eternity or The Boatman's Call, he has delivered near-masterpieces, while on other albums, only a handful of songs have hit the mark accurately, which is why The Best of Nick Cave is a welcome addition to his catalog. Granted, the title is a bit odd (it's better than Greatest Hits, however), but the compilation itself is as good as it could possibly be. All the major songs -- "Red Right Hand," "Straight to You," "Nobody's Baby Now," "Into My Arms," "Do You Love Me?," "Henry Lee," "Where the Wild Roses Grow," "From Her to Eternity" -- are on this 16-track collection, along with several strong album cuts. Some hardcore fans will find a couple of favorites missing, and the disc should have been sequenced in chronological order, but The Best of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds is nevertheless a terrific single-disc overview of his rewarding, occasionally inaccessible work with the Bad Seeds; it's ideal for both the curious and the casual fan. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released April 7, 2008 | Mute, a BMG Company