Top Ten Tracks: Nick Cave

“Again!” You might be saying depending on how long you’ve been looking at my blog because of the over the top content of him here? Oh, well here he comes again!

I did do a few top ten albums posts when I first started this blog but stop pretty quick for some reason I can’t recall stop. So who knows who was looking at them then and still looking at my blog now? One of them was his guy’s records and then at one point in 2016 I did top 50 songs of his music too.

Anyway today ending January with this and hopefully will be a weekly thing now. After a post somewhat random selection of ten tracks a few of days ago. Mainly inspired and very much enjoying another blogger, she doing her top ten Portishead tracks this week, yeah! This blog, who I’ve just discovered, linked blog here please check it out! Oh, yeah I did do one post last year of pretend comp album of I think of 15 or 16 or 17 songs or something once only but hopefully this is start of a new set of posts plus ten is a really good number for any artist, act, band etc. expert for say, Nick Cave! Maybe I should have broken it down a bit or something but I could still do that, you know? But at a later date, OK?

The one and only rule I gave myself this week was had to be written by the man himself which might sound strange but he’s done a lot of covers and in the early years of The Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party another songwriter Rowland S. Howard wrote a lot of the great song Nick sung. Trying to included something from everything below but it was incredible hard to do but not all or just the big hits too, some of the smaller songs are here too. So it’s just my personally fave ten tracks of his and nothing else, OK? Order in just chronological because numbering them all would be even harder. So here goes nothing!

Mutiny In Heaven [1983] by The Birthday Party 

Starting here is the end of the first band that had two names in this time. In it I could say was a better songwriter, Rowland S. Howard but without him I would say Cave would never become the great one he is. Off course he had break-up that band and go off to do the solo thing, well not really at all. Blixa Bargeld enter here and along with high school mate that was in the previous bands Mick Harvey for along time his main collaborators in The Bad Seeds at least in 1980’s and into 90’s. Here words pile on top each other. Nick even sings his own death while injecting heroin with all matter of hell brakes loose, rats overflow in heaven, just like say reading the book of revelation but it’s all in a Cave song!

Sad Waters [1986] by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Enter his first real epic ballad, he’s try it before and in the future he’s most likely wrote even better ones but I’ve got to include this because it’s my fave track of all the early Bad Seeds stuff. Opening song on what mostly likely would be the album I would name as his/their best of all in the 80’s too. It’s on the new best of three disc deluxe edition but not on the smaller double from late year. Once again, pointing out this is my blog and my personal taste because I had to ask why not this at the time? It’s a pity tune about a drowning woman when it comes down to it but way he writes and sings it is just beautiful beyond anything, almost!

The Weeping Song [1990] by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (with Blixa Bargeld as duet)

Blixa Bargeld gets the first Cave duet, rewritten into a duet in recording studio. The father and son lyric takes new meaning after his own teenage son died but thinking about it he was only a teenager when his own dad died too. On The Good Son album but since Blixa leaving the band Cave re-claming it back into the single vocal but it’s only the most successfully on recent tour when Nick exited the stage and joins the crowd to teach them all how to clap along with it. On both the old and new or small or big best of comps. BTW I’ve seen Mark Lanegan sing it live with him/them in 2013 too!

Loom Of The Land [1992] by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

A less well loved ballad next, it’s the second last song on the Henry’s Dream album and amazingly I’ve seen it done twice live but I’ve been to every Bad Seeds show in Perth, W.A. since I was 18 years old. Oh, it was played at that first show too and I think I have said before on this blog somewhere this was my first album of his I got back then. Anyway somehow of all these huge epic track on that album this just floats above them all. This album was the one from them I picked to have in my CA list too, you know? I guess it’s love song but it’s also a murder ballad before the whole album of them was made.

Time Jesum Transeuntun Et Non Revertentum [1995] by Nick Cave & Dirty Three

Enter Warren Ellis with his old band with off course Jim White and Mick Tuner. That’s old style Latin title which Cave himself can’t pronounce but I hope I’ve got it right? I guess all you Latin readers will tell me? That’s how it’s spelled in the Complete Lyrics book, translated to “Dread The Passage of Jesus for He Does Not Return” or well that’s what he’s sung in this one. Stripped music down to piano, violin, guitar and drum and I do wish this line-up recorded an album but it was just one of song on an X-Files soundtrack were you rewind your CD player to find it or now on the comp album of B-Sides & Rarities.

Oh My Lord [2001] by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Exit the drugs, drink and clearing up in rehab one last time for good and enter Susie Bick too, they married in 1999 which they have be together even since. Maybe the heaviest track on one of his more piano albums called No More Shall We Part. Cave start writing after having a panic attack at the hair dresser which even featured written into the lyrics and not a metaphor, it really did happen. After kicking all that stuff he’s said he did freaked out a lot but a perfect song as panic attack or the other way around. Ellis now taking center stage in the band, you can see in hindsight now that both Mick and Blixa days were numbered.

Abattoir Blues [2004] by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Exit Blixa Bargeld and co-written with then members of the Mini-Seeds who were the guys who when on to form Grinderman in a few years. The Bad Seeds here when all big band with gospel choir and all on this epic double album. It’s the most rock and roll album they ever done at this point and it was after Blixa left. If you believe the drummer Jim Sclavunos? Cave said the words “Lets try to sound like R.E.M.” which off course they don’t at all but you get the idea. Some would say Blixa is very anti-rock but I would say he rocks but his way only but things totally changed. Then again this song is just a pretty simple blues song and nothing more but it’s what makes Cave is a genius.

Honey Bee (Let’s Fly To Mars) [2007] by Grinderman 

Ellis did banned Cave to write any love songs in this band but he just did this kind-off one which I would say it’s one of his best ever. So I just have to included Grinderman today, some wouldn’t with a top ten only but It’s really important, Cave himself has said it saved The Bad Seeds from become just like any group. Would it be going to far by saying in the 2000’s he really started over, clearing up and getting married and tuning his work into somewhat an office job. If you did draw a line under The Boatman’s Call album and say everything after is just is Cave starting totally fresh, well if not than he did make it pretty clear with this new group that then. Now it’s just a side project of the late 2000’s, his mid-life crisis etc. It’s as great as anything else he done and deserves more respect.

Higgs Boson Blues [2013] by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Exit Mick Harvey, well three years earlier but Barry Adamson returns for the first time since the mid-80’s. If you can wrap your head around it, Higgs Boson is a particle in physics sometimes referred to as the God particle which might just be saying to much here, Google it! Anyway Geneva is where the Large Hadron Collider was built, Google it! Somewhat how to explaining to how you get both Robert Johnson, Mylie Cyrus etc. all in the same song, I know that spelled I her name wrong but that’s how Cave himself writes it in the lyric. Just maybe yet another blues song but you could call it time traveling singer-songwriter tale like no other ever written, it’s beyond a masterpiece of a song.

Jesus Alone [2016] by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Did you know? Cave wrote this track a longtime before, well almost all that last album minus the very last title track on the Skeleton Tree album, before his son did passed away? His wife thinks he’s some kind-of songwriting psyche and don’t like to listen too any of them. His lyrics have become more and more abstract, Warren Ellis even going as far as calling it something totally new to Cave so hopes to continue it on the next few albums and isn’t all over because of what happened. Plus I should add and agree once you get past the incredibly sad known facts about this album it’s amazingly rewarding songs and this is the opening track and is once again a work of pure genius.

What I’m guessing NC would do about any top ten list of his tracks!

I don’t think do any of the above song justice in my little tit-bits about them, what do you think? Hope you enjoy the tracks, do you ten tracks by the man that some him up for you? Please share if you’ll like too, I’ll love to know yours?

Cheers 🙂


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