Where should I start with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds?

A long time ago I had a cassette copy of Henry’s Dream and I’ve heard most of Murder Ballads. I currently don’t own any of it and I want to pick up a couple.

Name 3 albums, in order, that I should get.

Get the “Best of” collection, listen to it, and see which albums your favorite material came from, then work backwards.

  1. Best Of - it really is a good collection of his stuff, and good overview of different phases of his Bad Seeds career

  2. The Good Son - chock-filled with classics, like “The Ship Song” and “The Weeping Song”, plus my personal favourite Cave track, “Lucy”

  3. Abbatoir Blues and The Lyre of Orpheus - his latest, a double album with nary a hint of filler

What BBVL said. The import version has an additional live disk, so if you have a choice you might want to grab that.

You could also start with the Live Seeds album.

(Whoops, forgot to include this in my previous post.)

His latest is actually B-Sides and Rarities, if you want to count rereleased material.

God is in the House, live dvd is good as well for getting into the music. The dvd video collection less-so.

Kicking against the Pricks is my favorite along with Henry’s Dream. It’s a cover album, but he does a great job.

(Everything IMO, of course)

  1. Tender Prey: Perfect early Cave. At least just for the amazing The Mercy Seat which was the song that got hooked.

  2. **Henry’s Dream: **I think it’s the best middle-period Cave. It’s a close one between this and *The Good Son *.

  3. **No More Shall We Part: ** Amazing album, much better than Boatman’s Call, it’s the best example of late period, softer Cave, but still has a huge helping of his trademark darkness which I found sorely lacking in Boatman’s Call.

Apart from these the best of is a good start too, but it’s a rather old compilation and also has too many songs from Murder Ballads. * Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus* is fantastic too, that should be the fourth album you buy.

My first post here after lurking for ages, just couldn’t resist a thread on Mr.Cave.

“Let Love In” is one of my absolute favorites. Lots of extremely hooky, dark songs.

Oh hell, I forgot Let Love In. Love that album too.

The Best of… misses few key early songs and avoids you buying some of the more uneven early albums. Since its release I would choose No More Shall We Part and Abattoir Blues… and in fact that is the extent of my Nick Cave collection.

I’d go for “Best of” or “Live Seeds”. I prefer the latter myself, he’s sort of more unhinged. It includes great versions of The Ship Song and The Weeping song.

Let Love In. A great album all songs at least decent and several classics, e.g. Red Right Hand, Do You Love Me.

As for the third, might as well be Lyre/Abattoir.

His albums can be patchy, especially the early ones. And don’t feel the need to investigate the Birthday Party. That put me off Nick for far too long. I had to be forced to listen to Bad Seeds (and that’s all it took).

You’ve probably heard more Nick Cave stuff than you realise. It’s always popping up as background music in films, tv and radio.

I’d absolutely second the suggestion of “Tender Prey”, and you should own “The Good Son”, which might be my favourite CD of all time. I love early Bad Seeds, so you might want to consider either “The Firstborn is Dead” or “Your Funeral, My Trial”, which includes the wonderful “The Carny”. And then of course, “Kicking Against the Pricks” has a killer version of “The Carnival is Over” Seekers, eat your hearts out.
"Murder Ballads’ is great fun, if for nothing else but the “The Curse of Milhaven” which always makes me laugh. But then there is “Henry’s Dream” with “Straight to You”, which is so lovely.

And of course, if you really want to get a handle on the Bad Seeds you need to start at least with The Birthday Party’s “Prayers on Fire”.

But my suggestions if I can’t choose all of them, are:

The Firstborn is Dead
Tender Prey
The Good Son (if you buy nothing else, buy this)
and (I know this is four) The Boatman’s Call.

I think that sort of gives a flavour of the Bad Seeds at different stages.

  1. Live Seeds
  2. Let Love In
  3. Henry’s Dream

Doesn’t really cover the post Murder Ballads era, but I think those three are Cave at his best.

Don’t forget to come back and tell us what you got and what you thought of it :slight_smile: