Song of the Day: Albert Goes West by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Unfairly for years this was one of my least liked NC&TBS song ever and more than once in the long past I’ve called it the worse track on their 2008 album. Sandwiched in-between the couple of Grinderman albums was the Dig, Larzars, Dig!!! album which I’ve been enjoying a lot lately, if you wanna know or not I’m telling because you’re reading this post. The trilogy of 2010’s NC&TBS albums have been some of his/their greatest but they’re all very mellow to say the least. So if I’ve wanted some a bit more rock by them? This one is my go to album, some even called it the funkiest Bad Seeds record ever and this song is so very upbeat and is wicked great listening, I think? The fifth song on an eleven track album and was the founding member Mick Harvey’s last stand with the band, more about that down a bit more, OK? Cave sings about America yet again here on this track with Arizona and New Hampshire sung by names as I guess the song settings, Albert joined by Bobby and Henry too plus I do love the line about “sucking a revolver.”

This next bit is might be boring to some because I’m going to type about who played what on this track and Bad Seeds line-up in 2008. Nick started playing guitar in the Grinderman side-project in 2007 so new-ist guitarist who joined the last NC&TBS album in 2004 wasn’t need much here but James Johnston does play both guitar and organ on Albert Goes West, one of only couple he plays on this album which the other one was just the organ on Jesus Of The Moon song. So the two electric guitars are played by Mick Harvey and James but Nick doesn’t play his here. Harvey mainly plays acoustic, some electric plus even plays bass too over the whole album and somehow he plays all three instruments on Albert Goes West, guessing not at the same time? Warren Ellis according to the credits on this track is playing tenor guitar which is like acoustic four-string smaller sized guitar so you could say they’re three guitar players on Albert Goes West song? Warren plays 12 string lute too, mostly like not at the same time too! Jim Sclavunos does drums, bongos and shaker and both Thomas Wydler and Nick do tambourine, Nick also plays toms and harmonica. Jim was the Grinderman drummer so in fairness Thomas should be playing all the drums on Dig, Larzars, Dig!!! album but seems to be half and half between Jimmy and Tommy. I do remember afterwards some of the band members commented on how very tiny small the recording studio was for a band with a lot of members but I think the main reason why? It was the same one Grinderman used for their album a year earlier which was only a four member band line-up, not eight. Well, Conway Savage is credited as a Bad Seeds but he doesn’t play on this album at all so I don’t know really if he was there while recording it, he might not have be? So that’s seven Bad Seeds plus Nick Launay producer and who ever else was there at the time of recording? Both Conway and James are missing from the band photo of 2008 below/above, Conway toured with them but James didn’t in 2008-9.

So far this makes it the fourth SOTD posts sung by Nicolas which are: 2004’s Abattoir Blues and 1994’s Ain’t Gonna Rain Anymore by NC&TBS plus the rare early 80’s side-project After The Fireworks by Toff Monks. He’s the leading vocalist in my SOTD posts but did you know I have missed/cut one of his song out, I’m guessing no one can tell what it is? It’s called After The Fashion by The Boys Next Door of 1979 because I really couldn’t have two “After” something song title with the same singer even if it’s Nick Cave!

Albert Goes West words:

albert he goes west/ he crossed
the vast indifferent deserts of Arizona
he had a psychotic episode on a dude ranch
that involved a bottle of ammonia
henry he went south & lost his way
deep in the weeping forests of le vulva
he grew so wan/ he grew so sick
he ended up in a bungalow/ sucking a revolver
the light upon yr rainy streets
offers many reflections
& I wont be held responsible
for my actions
bobby he goes north/ then goes east
then over to new Hampshire
bobby is a cautious man/ he walked into
a Concord dive/ to drink a beer
do you wanna dance????!!!!
do you wanna move????!!!!
do you wanna dance????!!!!
do you wanna GROOVE????!!!!
the world is full of
endless abstractions
& I wont be held responsible
for my actions
me/ I aint going anywhere
just sit & watch the sun come up/ I like it here!!!
I watch the people go ticking past/ I go hey hey hey
you know I gotta say/ I like it here!!!
sha-la-la-la sha la-la-la sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!!!
sha-la-la-la sha la-la-la sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!!!

It’s Nick, Woz, Mick, Jimmy, Marty and Tommy (l-r) in 2008

Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚




  1. I have been watching an amazing show lately.. it is on Netflix features a soundtrack with Nick Cave, PJ Harvey – Peaky Blinders, have you seen it? I think you would like it William, its an incredible show. When I heard Red Right Hand come on I thought of you and how I think it’s your type of show

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, i have watched Peaky Blinders, i think only got up to season 4 so haven’t seen the fifth yet so don’t tell me what happens next if you’ve seen it but i should ask where are you up too?
      i did blog something about PB in one older NC post linked here:
      Pity this track it’s not called Arthur Goes West because that might work better? i think, Peaky Blinders does finally now have a soundtrack album only released last year on vinyl/cd but off course doesn’t or can’t included everything played on the show! Anyway glad you’re enjoying PB and i should really watch season 5 or just re-watch it all again!
      Cheers CC, hope you have a nice weekend? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would love to have it on vinyl that sound track would be wicked. I won’t give away season five so don’t worry. I am up to the end of season 4 tonight and binging my way to the end on Netflix this weekend, it’s so good. Have a great weekend ๐Ÿค—

        Liked by 1 person

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