Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads (2LP, Vinyl)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was originally formed in 1984 by two former members of the Australian band the Birthday Party: Nick Cave (vocals, songwriter, keyboards, harmonica) and multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey. They were joined by Einstürzende Neubauten member Blixa Bargeld (guitar), Hugo Race (guitar), and former Magazine member Barry Adamson (bass, piano). Cave's former girlfriend Anita Lane was also a creative influence and occasional lyricist. This line-up recorded their debut album, from Her to Eternity, released in 1984. During their initial Australian tour, Birthday Party bass guitarist Tracy Pew also performed with the band. With the Bad Seeds, Cave continued to explore his obsessions with religion, death, love, America, and violence with a bizarre, sometimes self-consciously eclectic hybrid of blues, gospel, rock, and arty post-punk, although in a more subdued fashion than his work with the Birthday Party. Cave also allowed his literary aspirations to come to the forefront; the lyrics are narrative prose, heavy on literary allusions and myth-making, and take some inspiration from Leonard Cohen. Cave's gloomy lyrics, dark musical arrangements, and deep baritone voice recall the albums of Scott Walker, who also obsessed over death and love with a frightening passion. However, Cave brings a hefty amount of post-punk experimentalism to Walker's epic dark pop.