Category: Nick Cave

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – The Firstborn Is Dead

ARTIST: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds       220px-The_Firstborn_Is_Dead

TITLE: The Firstborn Is Dead

YEAR RELEASED: 1985

CHART ACTION: #53 UK

SINGLES: Tupelo

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover Wanted Man

LINEUP: Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Barry Adamson, Mick Harvey

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: For their second album, Nick Cave leads his Bad Seeds into a blues exploration. A scary, dark, demon-laced blues exploration.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “Tupelo”, based on a John Lee Hooker song, with some parts lifted from Lead Belly, and lyrics about Elvis Presley and Christ, is a perfect opener to this record. It’s a classic Nick Cave performance, with his voice evoking all kinds of emotions, and his band playing the menacing licks while singing the backing vocals as they were a cowboy band.

But the rest of the record doesn’t let up, either, with the blues and early rock-and-roll getting the Bad Seeds treatment. The band contributes greatly as well and it all concludes “Blind Lemon Jefferson”, a tribute to the old bluesman.

There’s not a lot wrong with this album, though their cover of “Wanted Man” isn’t as effective and “Black Crow King” overstays its welcome. Still, for “Tupelo” alone, it’s worthwhile.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The title refers to Elvis Presley’s stillborn twin Jesse.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A CD vesion has a B-side

 GRADE A-: Creepy blues record thrills and chills.

Nick Cave – From Her to Eternity

ARTIST: Nick Cave 220px-Fromhertoeternity

TITLE:  From Her to Eternity

YEAR RELEASED: 1984

CHART ACTION: #40 UK, #1 UK Independent

SINGLES: None, but the deluxe version has In the Ghetto (#84 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: He’s a cult artist, so either you’re in or out.

LINEUP: Nick Cave, Blixa Bargeld, Hugo Race, Barry Adamson, Mick Harvey.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Cave’s first solo album is an acquired taste, like Cave, but it’s twistedly doomy brilliant in many respects

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Nick Cave’s initial notoriety came from his band The Birthday Party, which terrorized audiences in Australia and the UK for a few years and split up due to typical rock-and-roll reasons (drugs and hatred). He formed a backup band called The Bad Seeds, which included his former bandmate Harvey and Einstruzende Neubauten’s Bargeld.

Instead of the chaos of the Birthday Party, Cave’s first solo album is methodically doomy. Bargeld’s band gives Cave some inspiration in both sound, drumming and tone of the songs, yet the vision is all Cave himself. Reciting (singing kinda at times) lyrics over definite black mood music, Cave makes you pay attention to him.

This isn’t background music, nor is it music to snuggle with your honey. There is a sense of some hope amidst all of the clatter and vibes.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The name of his backing band comes from a Birthday Party song.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION:  Yes, with “In the Ghetto” and other singles.

GRADE: B+: I have to be in a certain mood for this. Again, you either love it or hate it, but you can’t deny his genius or his ability to convey mood with lyrics and music.