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.
Join us! Take out a Mojo subscription and get an exclusive CD with every print issue.
PHOTO: Tom Oldham
10. Your Funeral... My Trial - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Like a damaged film reel flickering between beauty, melancholy and desperation, this is the record that best captures the Bad Seeds' mid-'80s Berlin period u2013 a time of heroin, a cameo slot in Wim Wenders' And The Ass Saw The Angel. The album's keystone is a rare thing u2013 a Bad Seeds track with no Cave writing credit. Stranger Than Kindness is by Einstu00fcrzende Neubauten man Blixa Bargeld and Cave's then on-off partner Anita Lane. Bargeld's marvelously gnomic Teuton-grunt is also there in his vocal on The Carny.