Mojo Magazine’s 50 Greatest Songs of Nick Cave

I guess, this my little blog post of that because I blog almost everything NC lately, haven’t you notice? I finally picked my copy up at my local newsagent only this week, did order it online well over three months ago too but that’s never came! Anyway the countdown is kind-of predictable but why not? I’ve bought it twice so I’ll blog about it once!

Typing out the full countdown below plus adding my own two cents comments about each track as well. Embedding some songs but NOT all and some are NOT the actually tracks numbered, that’s very confusing? Right, I do know that but it’s pretty much all the stuff I just want to look up on YouTube tooo listen right now but I don’t if you do? Edit: someone else has made a full Spotify playlist which I’ve just embedding it just above at the top of the post too. Anyway here goes:

1. The Mercy Seat (1988) is anyone shocked by this song at number one?

2. Into My Arms (1997) once again is anyone shocked by this song at number two?

3. From Her To Eternity (1984) didn’t think this would be so high but would be more middle or tail end of Mojo’s top ten!

4. Tupelo (1985) did think it would be easy in their top five tracks!

5. The Ship Song (1990) it’s pretty high but I was thinking it would be even higher but it’s not?

6. Red Right Hand (1994) once again it’s pretty high but I was thinking it would be even higher but I guess I’m wrong again?

7. (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For? (1997) didn’t think it would be in Mojo’s top ten but I guess it was the second The Boatman’s Call album single/video so I’m not really surprised at all!

8. Mutiny In Heaven (1983) first of only three The Birthday Party band songs, I did think they would have more by them, pity but very cool this one made their top ten:

9. Straight To You (1992) once again did think it would be way higher but knew it would in their top ten off course!

10. Ghosteen (2019) last year still pretty new album and the title track cracked their top ten:

11. Jubilee Street (2013) only just missed out the top ten but was thinking it would easy be included in it!

12. We Call Upon The Author (2008) I didn’t think would be this high up but is, wicked job Mojo because it’s my fave from that album:

13. People Ain’t No Good (1997) already the third The Boatman’s Call album song but amazing it’s the last one but making it the 1st album to have three songs. Mojo reminds everyone The Cramps wrote song with the very same title in the mid-80’s:

14. Skeleton Tree (2016) didn’t think any of these from this album would be much higher than this but very nice of them slipping this into just before the top fifteen:

15. Deanna (1988) did you know? Film director Andrew Dominik who made the doco One More Time With Feeling in 2016, he dated the real life woman Deanna who this song is named after, which was only three month after NC. The Edwin Hawkins Singers’ Oh Happy Day song has been given credited before but Mojo point it out again so I’m embedding that:

16. Bright Horses (2019) it seem want I can tell this could be the most popular track from last year’s new album so not surprised it’s at number sixteen:

17. The Weeping Song (1990) could be my own most fave song by him so hoping it would be a bit higher but tail end of top twenty is still pretty good spot, I guess?

18. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (2008) NC has said recently a Grinderman 3 album is on the cards sometime? But this album was really was the un-named third Grinderman album, Mojo even tell us this song was demoed by them entitled then Rockabilly Lazarus before ending up with The Bad Seeds.

19. Saint Huck (1984) so glad this one made their top twenty because it’s most likely my fave song of From Her To Eternity, the debut NC&TBS album:

20. Push The Sky Away (2013) is very nice this one rounds out their top twenty! I want to see Cave & Ellis with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs live at Sydney Opera House late last year. It’s the studio one listed in the mag NOT this one:

21. The Carny (1986) here I think they have screwed up, anything for 1986’s Your Funeral… My Trail album should have been much higher than this because it’s easy the best early album by them:

22. City Of Refuge (1988) didn’t think this one would even make the cut but it’s very cool it did. It’s the third track from Tender Prey album so 2nd album with that many:

23. Stagger Lee (1996) only at number 23? Would have thought it should have been higher yet again but I think I’m pretty sick and tired off anything from the Murder Ballads album at this point so I don’t really care.

24. More News From Nowhere (2008) so the Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! album is the 3rd album with three tracks which just before the halfway point.

25. No Pussy Blues (2007) is one of only a couple of Grinderman songs, their debut single/video song from the first Grinderman album and comes at exactly the halfway point!

26. Jesus Alone (2016) not surprised it’s not higher than a little over halfway. Might be a very strange thing to say because what was happening at that point in his family but I think Skeleton Tree album is tied with Push The Sky Away album as both my faves by NC&TBS right now in 2020!

27. Do You Love Me? (Part Two) (1994) where the hell is the first one? Which is more popular as far as I know. I guess, they have to throw in a few curve balls plus it’s a wicked great track:

28. Leviathan (2019) so the Ghosteen album is the 4th album with three songs listed now and yeah, I agree it’s an epic great album but I do think I still need a bit more time to rate it that highly:

29. Breathless (2004) finally something from the Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus double album which is pretty late included but does have highest numbers of tracks in the last or second part of this list.

30. Stranger Than Kindness (1986) is Cave’s own fave song by The Bad Seeds, off course it wasn’t written by him. The words were written by his ex-gf Anita Lane with Blixa Bargeld doing the music for it.

31. There She Goes, My Beautiful World (2004) saying it yet again but I really did think this would be so much higher than this:

32. Where The Wild Roes Grows (2012) Mojo names Kylie’s re-recording from her Abbery Road Sessions album as the much better version of this song, off course it’s original on Murder Ballads of 1996:

33. Higgs Boson Blues (2013) recently I did learn from NC’s newest book in the early drafts of this song started or were set in New Orleans. Mojo says “a clear antecedent in Neil Young’s On The Beach” so including that:

34. God Is In The House (2007) the live version from The Abattoir Blues Tour as the one named in the magazine as the best, the only live recording included but was from the 2001’s No More Shall We Part album:

35. The Good Son (1990) so it’s the title track for now the 5th album with three songs included here on Mojo’s list.

36. Hollywood (2019) so it’s the newest album Ghosteen who gets to be the 1st album with four songs in this top 50, you know? I think, I’ve said before it’s my fave song from that album but according to Mojo three are better and I’ve embedded all those ones.

37. 15 Feet Of Pure White Snow (2001) Mojo calls it’s a “buried treasure” but hasn’t all the writers at Mojo seen the video clip of it yet? It’s co-starring Jason Donovan, Jarvis Cocker, Noah Taylor etc. It could be the NC&TBS most entertaining video ever made:

38. Sad Water (1986) thank god for that, at least 1986’s Your Funeral… My Trail album get’s to be the 6th album with three songs listed. Is my fave song from that album which I’ve also say that before, about hundred times!

39. Easy Money (2004) always did think this one as his most boring songs ever but having another listen again, it’s an OK song but not his greatest so I still don’t know what Mojo is talking about:

40. Helpless (1989) really a Neil Young cover at number forty? Pretty sweet listening to it again but still I don’t know about it in his top 50:

41. Release The Bats (1981) back the band The Birthday Party which is most likely one of the most loved Punk Goth anthem of all-time so it could have been way higher but isn’t!

42. Palaces of Montezuma (2010) Grinderman’s second track as listed by Mojo which is most likely my fave track from Grinderman 2 album. Recently on Cave’s website he quoted Ellis saying he stole Ed Kuepper’s music from his 80’s band the Laughing Clowns’ song Theme From Mad Flies, Mad Flies to use for Palaces of Montezuma:

43. Sonny’s Burning (1983) The Birthday Party’s third and the final track by them to be included but it’s a totally wicked pick:

44. Mermaids (2013) the Push The Sky Away is now the 7th album with three tracks too! Mojo says it has “echoes of A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum:

45. Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry (1992) could/should have been much higher but thank god it’s listed five songs before the very end!

46. Rock Of Gibraltar (2003) the only song listed from Cave’s most loathed album by fans that was Nocturama. I have this theory, I remember seeing an interview with NC sometime in the 90’s with him saying how much he loves Dylan’s Self Portrait album of 1970 and he wish he could do something like that one day. By the early 2000’s and after the huge successful Murder Ballads/Boatman’s Call albums it was that time! Off course he’s never said he was trying to go out of his way to make a hard or difficult album but Nocturama would be easy his very own Self Portrait type of album, I think? This was released as the album’s third single:

47. She’s Not There (2011) are you fucking joking? This is 60’s band The Zombies’ cover duet with Neko Case from True Blood soundtrack. I do totally love the original but this cover of it is not that very good at all, to me it just sounds like a Pro-Tools trainwreck! Both Nick and Neko have done way better covers than this one but it’s the only one they done together:

48. Nature Boy (2004) so that made Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus album the 8th with three tracks culled onto this magazine’s list. Mojo says it’s “ohh-la-la-la acknowledge a debt to Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)” by Cockney Rebel:

49. End Crawl (2012) music for the final credits for the movie entitled Lawless which is the one and only NC & WE soundtrack score song here because we are almost at the end. It seems NC and the film’s director John Hillcoat had a bit of a falling-out over this movie, Cave refuses the write anymore after this movie plus has gone so far as saying script writing is a shit-job! So it can be the last track to be embedded:

50. Scum (1986) if you count this as a Your Funeral… My Trail album songs which Mojo doesn’t because they say find the very rare flexi-disc! But if you do? It’s the 2nd album with only four songs here so they kind-of made-up for that fuck-up earlier right here at the end of their list! I find this track pretty funny but not that great, you know?

It’s an interesting top 50 tracks and not what would have totally guessed as I did say a few times above but I’ll say it’s pretty good or sometimes even great job Mojo magazine! It’s somewhat approved by me, if that means anything at all?

The other bits in the “22 pages celebration” are mainly about NC’s sidekicks as Rowland S. Howard once them. In truth after scanning over the top 50 the first thing I did read in full was Warren Ellis’ couple of pages, the biggest news here is he’s working on a new Dirty Three album with Jim White and Mick Turner! Another solo score for yet another French film, he lives in Paris for years now that’s why he does all this French stuff! Yet another soundtrack with NC too but I did know about that. Ex-Bad Seeds Mick Harvey also does features, who does kind-of confirms he will write his tell-all memoir, that’s going to be one hell of a book and half! Explains in more details why he leaved the band back in 2009. So it’s been little over ten years since he’s been gone and you could say NC&TBS has just had their most successful or best decade ever without him in the 2010’s? The early years of The Bad Seeds does have the second main part after that countdown. I would say my fave Bad Seeds members is tied with Bargeld and Ellis but next has always been Barry Adamson who does talk about his 80’s with them and then in 2013 rejoining them which is all very wicked great what he has to say! Kid Congo Powers as well pops up and I think he was very under rated member in band at that time so glad he has something to add. James Johnston does features also which that’s very cool as well. The producer Nick Launay talks about recording The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Grinderman making him the only one to worked with all three of Cave’s bands! So that means none new interview by the man himself but they do have “five pearls of wit and wisdom” or 5 quotes from Cave’s the red hand files websites, that’s linked here, his latest post is about Nina Simone’s live album entitled Emergency Ward! is pretty epic reading!

If you are a big fan you’ve most likely already seen this magazine or maybe think it’s totally pointless because it’s yet another boring top song list or something like that? But I did enjoy the whole thing very much! Oh yeah, the 15 track tribute/cover CD is wicked great listening too! The Good Songs tracklisting, if you’re interested is:

1. Primal Scream – Worm Tamer
2. The Lemonheads – Straight To You
3. Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer – Into My Arms
4. Grant Lee Phillips – City Of Refuge
5. Sharon Van Etten – People Ain’t No Good
6. Giant Sand – Red Right Hand
7. Mick Harvey – Come Into My Sleep
8. Hans Chew – Long Time Man
9. Ed Kuepper – Do You Love Me?
10. Camille O’Sullivan – Jubilee Street
11. Japandroids – Jack The Ripper
12. The Walkabouts – Loom Of The Land
13. Mark Lanegan – Brompton Oratory
14. My Morning Jacket – New Morning
15. Conway Savage – Bring It On

What do you else think about all that? What’s your own fave Nick Cave songs, is it above or what? Do you wanna share?

mojo-319-cover-nick-cave-1000
This is the magazine’s front cover!

BTW Nick Cave’s livesteam is coming next week, linked here from info, I can’t wait!

Cheers! 🙂

7 Comments

    1. Oh my god, picking my own number one is impossible! i most likely listen to something by Cave almost everyday but am really bad at picking total fave or just one song,sorry! i did make huge pile of some faves but then i did miss so much out anyway so i don’t if it’s totally prefect? he’s got a lot of great tracks here’s that playlist: https://a1000mistakes.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/playlist-top-100-or-my-all-time-fave-songs-by-nick-cave/
      Oh yeah, Jubilee is sooooo great, love it when he plays it live! it’s a very wicked fave song pick!
      Cheers CC 🙂

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      1. OK, after thinking about very long time I’m going to give you a better answer today! Double checking with my old iPod and triple checking with my old last.fm profile i think my fave Nick Cave track of all-time would be Higgs Boson Blues plus truth be told 2013’s Push The Sky Away would my fave album toooo! if you’ll like to know? So should ask you, do you have fave NC album? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great choice Higgs Boson Blues I love that song too, it’s very haunting it’s one of my favourites aswell. Yeah it’s really hard to pick just one. I have seen Nick live 3 times so far and each time he does Stagger Lee, the crowd goes crazy and it’s just an incredible thing to experience so based on that I would say Stagger Lee. I found this video of him in Copenhagen doing Stagger Lee – the energy between him and the crowd is just whoooooaa!

        Favourite album of mine is a tie between Push the Sky Away and also The Assassination Of Jesse James OST by Cave/Ellis. This is completely different but I like the reflective, ambient and expansive vibe of the soundtrack, to me it sounds and feels like a colonial outpost somewhere remote, a lot of feels for me from this – both happy and sad.

        Push the Sky Away is just incredible though, I agree 🙂 Hope you are having a good Friday so far 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yeah, Stagger Lee would be maybe his ultimate live song, i think? That live version from Copenhagen is beyond epic! A few years ago seeing him live on his so-called “Solo” show he didn’t play it and the crowd was screaming out for it, Nick told everyone he’s not playing on this tour and then joked you can tell your grand-kids when you seen Cave live and he didn’t play Stagger Lee!
        Oh yeah, i think The Assassination soundtrack might be the best by NC&WE too! Ellis was talking recently about how the film’s director really push them to keep making it better and better so every-time they re-worked it did get greater, maybe that’s why it’s so mind-blowing?
        Hope you are have a good weekend too! 🙂

        Like

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