OF COURSE, HE WAS never meant to live this long. The nihilistic, fright-wigged peperami of early performances by theatrical Melbourne spleen-punkers The Birthday Party appeared on a collision course with destruction, and when hard drugs notoriously entered the mix, there was writing of sorts on the wall.
And yet, somehow, this prime candidate for membership of “that stupid club” (© Kurt’s Mum) has turned into one of our most consistent artists, evolving new aspects, plumbing new depths and finding more areas of life and love to explore in his unique, grimly wry baritone.
These days, with the man himself long since clean and serene, most years bring new gold from the Cave mine, as his group, The Bad Seeds, have morphed slowly from the savage Weimar avant-bluesmen of 1984 debut From Her To Eternity into something far deeper, wider in scope, surviving potentially crippling line-up upheavals (notably, the departures of Blixa Bargeld and Mick Harvey) as they rage, rage against the dying of the light.
No apologies then, for having Cave on MOJO’s cover for the second time in all, nor for this online appendage of our New Year Nick Cave celebration. It was tough work narrowing Cave’s career down to ten albums and we look forward to your outrage at the absence of some admittedly topnotch albums (but maybe not Nocturama, eh?).
Enjoy our list, and check out the new MOJO magazine, with more Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds than you can shake a stick at, including a free covermount CD featuring tracks hand-curated by Cave and the band. No Cave fan can miss it.
PHOTO: Tom Oldham