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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
Posts: 1440
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:39 pm 
 

I've seen his name mentioned in approving tones around these parts before, but I don't recall ever seeing a thread for him. So here it is.

I don't remember how I first heard of him, but my guess is that it was on the now-dead Katatonia forum, in 2004 or so. Based on what I read, I went to the music store and picked up the album 'No More Shall We Part'. It was either the only Cave album they had, or the title(s) appealed to me the most. I instantly loved 'As I Sat Sadly by Her Side', but the rest of it didn't immediately click with me. The strength of the opening song kept the album from being shelved or completely buried under my ever-growing CD collection, though, and from time to time I'd pop it in the player, listen to that song, then gradually take more and more time exploring the rest of the album. In time it's become one of my favorite albums of all time. There was a time I was heart-deep in tumultuous longing for this chick, and I'd just written her a desperate love letter. Not long after, I remembered this album, pulled it out, and noticed a song that had slipped my memory somehow: 'Love Letter'. I started playing it as I read the lyrics; I was crushed. It was perfect. That relationship is long since over, but that song still brings me right back to how I felt at the time. And as I got older, I grew equally attached to the rest of the songs.

Yeah, I know I started a general Nick Cave appreciation thread, and so far have spent all my time talking about one album, but I focus on it to explain what a strong impact Nick Cave's music can have on a person. I've since then got a few of his other albums, including one by The Birthday Party ('Mutiny / The Bad Seed'), and have discovered what a wide range of sounds and feelings he ranges. The Birthday Party is loud, chaotic, maniacal, and sadly does nearly nothing for me. Even albums that are quite similar to 'No More Shall We Part', like 'The Boatman's Call', have taken a while to grow on me. But even when he's off on some tangent that makes little to no sense to me, his genius is obvious.

With that, what are y'all's thoughts? Favorite albums? Favorite songs, lyrics, etc.? I'll close with a good example of his lyrical brilliance: the opening verses of 'Oh My Lord'.

I thought I'd take a walk today
It's a mistake I sometimes make
The kids lay asleep in bed
My wife lay wide awake
Kissed her softly on the brow
Tried not to make a sound
But with stony eyes she looked at me
And gently squeezed my hand

Call it a premonition
Call it a crazy vision
Call it intuition
Or something learned from mother
But when she looked up at me
I could clearly see
The Sword of Damocles
Hanging directly above her


P.S. If you were wondering what other albums I've heard, they are 'Your Funeral... My Trial', 'Murder Ballads', 'The Boatman's Call', 'Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus', and 'Push the Sky Away'. I also have 'The Best of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds'.
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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:19 pm 
 

I'm a fan. 'Tupelo' is a sick jam. Red Right Hand is a classic. Murder Ballads is my favorite album.

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CardsOfWar
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:35 am 
 

Absolutely love Nick Cave. I think there's a pretty strong dichotomy in the Bad Seeds' work between the earlier, more apocalyptic stuff, where he sounds like a possessed preacher spitting indictments down on degenerate humanity, and the later work where he's closer to an emotiional soul singer. Both are brilliant for different reasons, and he's oine of these artists who constantly explores deeper and deeper into their own miusical universe, but I think personally, I prefer the apocalyptic material. The Mercy Seat is one of the most comprehensively terrifying pieces of music I've ever heard.

Apparently The Birthday Party used to play shows with Death in June, and I feel like that would be a totally bone-chilling experience.
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dystopia4
Thumbman

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:55 am 
 

Easily one of my favourite songwriters of all time. His lyrics are consistently amazing and his penchant for colourful storytelling about the underbelly of the world is only rivalled by Tom Waits. From the twisted blues of The Firstborn is Dead, to the hard hitting rock of Let Love In to the haunting piano ballads of The Boatman's call, the dude has reinvented his sound so many times and has so many awesome albums to his name. The run from '85 all the way through the 90s saw him release perfect album after perfect album with his sound constantly evolving. I should give the Birthday Party another chance, the first time around didn't really do much for me. I had mixed feelings towards the first Grinderman but the second one was fantastic. I own Tender Prey, Your Funeral, My Trial and The Firstborn Is Dead on vinyl as well as Push the Sky Away and the best of on CD.

Has anyone else seen the movie about him? Thought it was pretty fantastic and provided a lot of insight into his thought process as well as being pretty fucking funny in parts.
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awheio
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:31 am 
 

No mentions of Henry's Dream yet? I believe that's my favorite album of his. It's got a lot of serious grit and intensity, as well as terrific calm bits (especially "Loom of the Land"). "Papa Won't Leave You Henry" and "John Finn's Wife" are endlessly fun.

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Expedience
Metal freak

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
Posts: 4324
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:45 am 
 

My favourites are probably Nocturama and The Good Son, or at least, they're the ones I listen to the most. I also like the chamber music instrumentation and feel of The Boatman's Call. His apocalyptic material I don't listen to much anymore, even though I still like it. And his later stuff has some good songs but a lot of crap as well.

Can't choose a favourite song but this has got to be the best music video ever
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dystopia4
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:54 am 
 

Henry's Dream was great, but the one thing holding it back from possibly even being his best album is that the production really sucks. I remember them saying in interviews that they were very unhappy with the producer. The instrumentation sounds quite sterile at times and doesn't pop where it was clearly intended to.

Don't think I've ever heard anyone say Noctoruama was among their favourites before. Probably the only Cave album I never really listen to. It feels like the only one where he was just going through the motions and cranked out something listenable but unremarkable. The Good Son is also one of my favourites, though. The strings sections are amazing.
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Expedience
Metal freak

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:21 am 
 

dystopia4 wrote:
Don't think I've ever heard anyone say Noctoruama was among their favourites before. Probably the only Cave album I never really listen to. It feels like the only one where he was just going through the motions and cranked out something listenable but unremarkable.


You obviously haven't heard The Lyre of Orpheus.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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Location: Elgin, Illinois
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:22 am 
 

I only got into him a year or two ago, but I've enjoyed almost everything I've heard. I latched on to Let Love In at first probably because it has Red Right Hand and is just generally probably his most accessible. Lately I've come more around to The Good Son and Henry's Dream. It's been a while since I've listened at all though, and I don't think I've heard anything past Murder Ballads, so I'll have to rectify that.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:24 pm 
 

Bastardhead, definitely give 'No More Shall We Part' a try. I can't recall ever seeing anyone but myself raving about it, but to me it's very close to perfect. That one and 'The Boatman's Call' maintain the most similar sound throughout, from what I've heard, whereas his other albums have some pretty wild mood (and style) swings (reference intentional).

I downloaded 'Let Love In' last night and I really like it. Right now I'm giving it a 4/5. 'Do You Love Me?' (parts 1 and 2), 'Nobody's Baby Now', 'I Let Love In', and 'Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore' are five-star songs, with the rest getting four stars except 'Jangling Jack', which only gets three, but really more like two and a half. It's not terrible, but it's by far the weakest song on the album. Also, I must be the only person here who doesn't adore 'Red Right Hand'. It's a really fine song, to be sure, but it just doesn't make the cut to 'great'. *shrug* My mind may change in time.

I'm thinking about getting 'Tender Prey' next, but I'm seeing 'Henry's Dream' mentioned in this thread several times. What do you guys think? Which of the two should I go for?

Really enjoying reading everyone's replies, by the way. Keep 'em coming! :)
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inhumanist
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:52 pm 
 

NCatBS are perhaps my favorite non metal band.
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CardsOfWar
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:33 am
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Location: Where the lip jerks and drools
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:04 am 
 

Thiestru wrote:
I'm thinking about getting 'Tender Prey' next, but I'm seeing 'Henry's Dream' mentioned in this thread several times. What do you guys think? Which of the two should I go for?


Definitely Tender Prey. Henry's Dream is slightly more stirring and sentimental, but he sounds downright possessed on Tender Prey.

It's also worth checking out his various collaborations with Current 93.

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AllPurposeCulturalCatgirlPutin
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:42 pm
Posts: 160
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:31 am 
 

I like Nick Cave the Birthday Party frontman--they were almost worthy successors to The Stooges. (Almost.) And without them my beloved Jesus Lizard wouldn't exist. I don't care so much about Nick Cave the gothic mormon cabaret bluesman (or whatever) singer-songwriter.

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inhumanist
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:13 pm 
 

Finding out that Blixa Bargeld was involved in all the stuff I know from Nick Cave made my love for it much more plausible. I always had the impression that they sounded like if Einstürzende Neubauten played bluesy punk.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:03 am 
 

I heard the first Birthday Party album and Murder Ballads a few years back and don't remember them very well, though I did enjoy them pretty well. Now I'm checking out The Firstborn is Dead - pretty good so far. Nicely rugged, theatrical blues with some Cramps-esque swampy bounce to it.
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Thiestru
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:18 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:14 am 
 

'Murder Ballads' seems to be one of Cave's most popular albums, although I'm not entirely sure why. It's a good album, but 'Your Funeral... My Trial', 'Tender Prey', 'The Good Son' (EXCELLENT album, but I rarely see it mentioned), 'Let Love In', 'The Boatman's Call', and especially 'No More Shall We Part' all outclass it. Haven't heard 'The Firstborn Is Dead' yet. Makes sense that it's really bluesy, since the title is a reference to Elvis's stillborn brother.

Since my last post, I've got 'Tender Prey', 'The Good Son', 'Henry's Dream', and 'Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!'. 'The Good Son' is easily my favorite of those. I suppose I have a soft (heh) spot for mellow Nick Cave. He excels at melancholy, brooding music, which I find much of 'The Good Son' to be, despite its having been written during a happy time of Cave's life. I guess that says something, that songs like 'Sorrow's Child' and 'The Weeping Song' were written on a good day, haha.
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dystopia4
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:49 pm 
 

Thiestru wrote:
'Murder Ballads' seems to be one of Cave's most popular albums, although I'm not entirely sure why.

Yeah, calling Murder Ballads his best album is like calling The Wall Pink Floyd's best album.
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:01 am 
 

On paper, Murder Ballads should probably be my favorite, but I dunno, it didn't stick with me like some of his other ones. I think a huge stain on it is that I just don't like Stagger Lee very much. I totally get what it was trying to do, but I think it just doesn't work and totally bungles the song.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:56 pm 
 

'Stagger Lee' fucking sucks. I know it's his take on a traditional song - I've never heard any traditional renditions of it - but it just blows assholes. It brings the entire album down. What makes its awfulness even more evident is that it follows 'Song of Joy', a really, really good song, and is followed by 'Henry Lee', which is also much better. (On an aesthetic level, it also bothers me that 'Stagger Lee' and 'Henry Lee' are right next to each other. Too many Lees!) If the whole album had an overall quality on par with 'Song of Joy', 'Where the Wild Roses Grow', and 'The Kindness of Strangers', 'Murder Ballads' would have been a masterpiece; as it is, it's just far too uneven, with one major boner of a song fucking the whole thing hard. :(

On the other hand, I just want to mention 'The Good Son' once again as a great fucking album. I can't even pick a favorite song, although 'The Weeping Song' is so catchy that it springs to mind. The rest don't jump out as me as much; they have a more subdued wonderfulness.
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shwartzheim
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:49 am
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:47 pm 
 

Big fan. I got married to The Ship Song.
Anyways, Tender Prey and Let Love In are essential. Live Seeds is great as well. Have to admit I need to spend a bit more time with the post No More Shall We Part material.
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Expedience
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:33 am 
 

I don't see what so essential about Let Love In. Murder Ballads is ok. The duet with Kylie Minogue is better than anything off Let Love In.

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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:50 am 
 

While I agree that 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' is as good as or better than any one song from 'Let Love In', we're talking about albums as a whole, and as an album, 'Let Love In' far surpasses 'Murder Ballads'. The reasons? 'Do You Love Me? (Pts. 1 & 2)', 'Nobody's Baby Now', 'Loverman', 'I Let Love In', and 'Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore'. Most people would hasten to mention 'Red Right Hand' as well - even as the best song here - but while good, it doesn't grab me like the aforementioned do. All the songs on 'Let Love In' range from good to excellent, with one exception: 'Jangling Jack'. This is a prime example of Nick going off on some weird tangent that leave me wondering what the fuck he was thinking. I can't blame heroin because he continues to make the occasional song that just blows, and he's been sober for about 15 years now.

Anyway, I've now heard every post-'No More Shall We Part' album except 'Nocturama'. Can anyone comment on this album? Does it follow the melancholy style of 'No More...', or what? (Yeah, I know I could just listen to it on YT and find out for myself, but I'd prefer keeping the discussion going.)
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Expedience
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:00 am 
 

Thiestru wrote:
While I agree that 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' is as good as or better than any one song from 'Let Love In', we're talking about albums as a whole, and as an album, 'Let Love In' far surpasses 'Murder Ballads'. The reasons? 'Do You Love Me? (Pts. 1 & 2)', 'Nobody's Baby Now', 'Loverman', 'I Let Love In', and 'Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore'.


I don't really like any of those songs. I find that he improved on the slow, romantic songs as he got older, up until Abbatoir Blues.

Quote:
Anyway, I've now heard every post-'No More Shall We Part' album except 'Nocturama'. Can anyone comment on this album? Does it follow the melancholy style of 'No More...', or what? (Yeah, I know I could just listen to it on YT and find out for myself, but I'd prefer keeping the discussion going.)


A bit of both, without being an 'in-between' album. I think it's a superb album and one of his best. He Wants You is probably the best soft song he's ever done, and Babe I'm On Fire is one of his best heavy songs.

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Foxx
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:29 am 
 

Never listened to Nick Cave but I like his books. I think I'd rate And the Ass Saw the Angel as one of my favourite novels. The prose is poetic and story itself is tremendously, genuinely dark.

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TheMizwaOfMuzzyTah
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:01 am 
 

Interesting somebody's read his books but never listened to his music.

Murder Ballads is my favorite Cave for the pure fact of nostalgia. It was the first album I heard of his and it evokes a strong funk around it when I put it on now. Still my favorite song of his Tupelo is not on that album.

Boatman's Call is a great album as well. Everything including and past Lazarus has been meh for me.

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shwartzheim
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:49 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:56 pm 
 

Thiestru wrote:
While I agree that 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' is as good as or better than any one song from 'Let Love In', we're talking about albums as a whole, and as an album, 'Let Love In' far surpasses 'Murder Ballads'. )


For sure. I have the same discussion with a friend of mine over Your Funeral My Trial vs Tender Prey. Whilst the title track, Stranger Than Kindness and The Carny are in my opinion some of the best songs he's ever put his name too, the album itself is rather patchy. Tender Prey however is just such a strong album in every way. Even the dud (Deanna) is decent and does very little to detract from the overall quality.
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Back Stabbath
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:50 pm 
 

inhumanist wrote:
Finding out that Blixa Bargeld was involved in all the stuff I know from Nick Cave made my love for it much more plausible. I always had the impression that they sounded like if Einstürzende Neubauten played bluesy punk.


Bargeld is badarse. When I saw the Seeds in '96 he sat with his back to the audience the whole time. Also, Kylie is a hottie, and very small.

My first girlfriend said The Ship Song reminded her of me. It remains my favourite song ever.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:15 am 
 

I've been glued to Tender Prey for weeks now. This is fantastic. I really can't see any flaws and it just gets better all the time. There's such a palpable sense of dread and doom and the occult and the weird. I love the Western overtones, very dark and macabre and seedy. The band is acrobatic and goes between swinging, groovy blues rock to piano-y lounge music with harmonicas mixed in...damn, fascinating stuff. Can't wait to pick up another one.

"Deanna" definitely isn't a dud - that song is fucking stone cold badass.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:05 pm 
 

I missed your reply, Emp. I'm glad you're digging him! Is this your first time listening to Nick Cave?
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:23 am 
 

Hm, I love Murder Ballads, pretty much all of it, yes, including "Stagger lee", which is just badass. I think the album is really consistent and love how it's all a bunch of stories playing on different angles of the theme of murder, all culminating in the existential death orgy that is "OMalley's Bar". Despite the subject matter it's not so dark and dreary and the lyrics often inspire a few chuckles. That one and No more Shall we part were my first Nick Cave albums, but I knew a few songs before then. Despite what's noted above about {I]The Good Son[/I] not being one of his most known albums, surely "The Weeping Song" is his most popular/played tunes?

Although I haven't listened to it in quite some time, I definitely agree that No More Shall we Part is a very strong album. At first I thought, "what, he's gone really mellow", but the music is heartfelt and the lyrics are achingly poignant, and it's just a really sweet listen. The darkness is a lot more subtle but it's still there, and I appreciate the sad introspection present in many of the songs.

Have to be in the right sort of mood to jam his stuff, but I think I'll always be ready for a bit of Murder Ballads. I have some really good memories associated with that record, too, so there's that.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:55 am 
 

Thiestru wrote:
I missed your reply, Emp. I'm glad you're digging him! Is this your first time listening to Nick Cave?


Recently, yeah. Been playing a lot of The Firstborn is Dead and Tender Prey - this is right up my alley. I'll probably blind buy another one sometime.
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Purabid
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:01 am
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 3:24 pm 
 

Stagger Lee is awesome. It's one of my fav songs by them alongside O'Malley's Bar, John Finn's Wife and Babe I'm On Fire. These songs are just pure fun. But my most fav song is The Mercy Seat. This song gives me the chills. Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow is also awesome. Among the mellower songs my fav is Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere? Nick Cave is one of my most fav lyricist. I should listen to him more. His songs take multiple listens to really sink in. The guy is awesome.

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