Nick Cave/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Murder Ballads (Kylie Minogue/P.j. Harvey) =2LP=

  2 x LP   180grs   33⅓rpm     2 disc w/single sided    + bonus download

2015 EU reissue on 180g 2xLP+download -including Where The Wild Roses Grow with Kylie Minogue & Henry Lee with PJ Harvey, picture sleeve. Toward the end of Bad Seed (Ian Johnston’s autobiography of Nick Cave), a fleeting clue is dropped about a new song

Label:  Mute 
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Release date: 05-02-2015(originally released 1996)

2015 EU reissue on 180g 2xLP+download -including "Where The Wild Roses Grow" with Kylie Minogue & "Henry Lee" with PJ Harvey, picture sleeve Toward the end of Bad Seed (Ian Johnston’s autobiography of Nick Cave), a fleeting clue is dropped about a new song Cave was in the process of writing at the time. With the working title of

A1 Song Of Joy
A2 Stagger Lee

B1 Henry Lee (with P.J. Harvey)
B2 Crow Jane

C1 The Curse Of Millhaven
C2 Where The Wild Roses Grow (with Kylie Minoque)
C3 Lovely Creature

D1 The Kindness Of Strangers
D2 O'malley's Bar
D3 Death Is Not The End

“Red Right Hand II,” it relates the tale of a father of three that murders his entire family - the very same scenario laid out in “Song of Joy,” the opening track of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 1996 album Murder Ballads. The references to “his red right hand” and other Miltonian citations sprinkled throughout link the two songs; but the gory details in “Song of Joy” make it clear that Cave had left behind the baleful romantic brooding of Let Love In, and this was to be a more bloodthirsty successor.


Reaching back to Birthday Party days, Cave’s lyrics never suffered for lack of violence. Proto-murder balladry weaves throughout Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ oeuvre in the form of both cover songs and originals; but the notion of a flagrantly slaughter-themed album had been on Cave’s mind for a while. “It actually started as a joke,” he explains. “The idea of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds dedicating an entire album to murder appealed to us in some way.”

Despite the album’s appalling subject matter, Conway Savage points out, “It’s always been loosely referred to in the band as a ‘comedy’ record.” Not only is the album rife with dark humor, some tracks positively radiate an inappropriately joyful mood. A virtual open invitation was extended to sundry family and friends to drop by the studio during the recording of the album. Co-producer Tony Cohen recollects seeing “probably more than twenty people sitting around the floor, shaking things and banging things and having a laugh.” Mick Harvey remembers a brisk, unfussy attitude towards getting takes: “We just trundled through everything and listened to it two days later.” Cave observes that “We learned a lot from that record: that the recording experience can be playful.” Martyn Casey affirms, “It’s a party record.”

Despite all that, Cave maintains that the underlying objective was “to make a record that would piss people off.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cave’s plan backfired, thanks at least in part to the cavalcade of guest stars invited to participate: Shane MacGowan, Anita Lane, PJ Harvey, and most notably, Kylie Minogue. Murder Ballads remains Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds biggest worldwide success to date. The single “Where Wild Roses Grow” reached number 11 in the UK Singles Chart, breaking the Top Ten in several European countries, and was certified Gold in Germany and Australia. MTV even nominated Nick Cave for their “Best Male Artist” award that year; but the nomination was withdrawn at Cave’s personal request.

With a kill count of 64 Murder Ballads is a kind of death-based aural theme park - so stylised it’s sometimes as much Dennis The Menace as Dennis Nilsen. Yet, Kylie’s guest spot on Where The Wild Roses Grow made this the Bad Seeds’ biggest hit to this point - the album was Number 1 in Norway. Beneath the gore lies striking craftsmanship. Whether traditional or original, these are unlikely tales. Yet, Cave makes them genuinely shocking.


Discs: 2
Drager(LP,EP,12,7,CD): LP
Qual(120grs,150grs,180grs): 180grs
Speed(33,45): 33
Extra info: 2 disc w/single sided
Bonus(cd,single,download): bonus download
Label: Mute
Originally released: 2008
This release: 2014
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