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Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

4.2 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 26, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

This culling of the "best" cuts from the Bad Seeds' songbook avoids the pratfalls of many best-of compilations. First off, the songs aren't arranged chronologically, but instead for effect, raveling new with old, weepy ballads with adrenaline-pumped rockers. In addition, there aren't any rare live tracks, alternative takes, remixes, acoustic versions, or B-sides that clutter other compilations. What you get is pure Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in all their gloomy glory. Things get off with a bang with the rollicking "Deanna" and the carnivalesque "Red Right Hand" that display Nick Cave's literary and narrative talent. After the wacked preacherman blues stomp of the excellent track "Tupelo," the disc slides into a series of ballads that highlight his baritone croon. "(Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?" captures Cave in a, gasp, sentimental and lovely mood. The disc closes out with "From Here to Eternity," and the band hits the steamroller tempo with apocalyptic might. The Best Of... is a wonderful introduction to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, but even weathered purists will enjoy the juxtaposed presentation of these songs. --Tod Nelson

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Deanna
  2. Red Right Hand
  3. Straight To You
  4. Tupelo
  5. Nobody's Baby Now
  6. Stranger Than Kindness
  7. Into My Arms
  8. (Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?
  9. The Carny
  10. Do You Love Me?
  11. The Mercy Seat
  12. Henry Lee
  13. The Weeping Song
  14. The Ship Song
  15. Where The Wild Roses Grow
  16. From Here To Eternity

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 26, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B0000062WD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,018 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Although Nick Cave is a definite album artist, and also not someone with numerous hits, an album like this is needed because he has a large catalog and all of his albums are good. Certainly one could complain that a song is missing here or there, but, all things considered, this is really a fine compilation. It isn't arranged chronologically, but this actually makes for a more cohesive listen, as they are arranged for effect, and the album's general sequencing of ballad/rave-up/ballad/rave-up is very effective indeed. Would you really want the album to start with From Her To Eternity, and close with (Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For? I think the songs are chosen well, and most of the major ones are represented. Let's take it album by album:
From Her To Eternity - This album was a masterpiece, but the title track is the only song that belongs on a compilation like this. Kudos.
The Firstborn Is Dead - Tupelo is the necessary track, and one of Cave's all-time classics. It's here in an edited form, but that was necessary to fit it on the album. Kudos.
Kicking Against The Pricks - Although this album is uniformly excellent, it was an all covers affair, and the songs are not Cave's. It was skipped over for this collection. No bones.
Your Funeral, My Trial - Here we get my first quibbles with the track selection. Where the hell is Sad Waters? Many people consider this to be Cave's best song ever. It should have been included. The Carny... yes, of course; a great and necessary track. Stranger Than Kindness, now, I have always found this to be one of Cave's most overrated tracks, but it's a mainstay in his live set to this day, and appears on this album. It's good, yes, but nothing special. Maybe it's the fact that Cave didn't write it.
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Format: Audio CD
After all these years, this remains my only Nick Cave cd but I still play it frequently whenever I need to cry, brood, or otherwise get freaked out...
Nick Cave is an acquired taste, often it's too much for me to handle, but it's darn good...many of Nick's songs seem to be possessed with a sickness, very gothic tunes for murders, cynical strangers, lonely souls, and shadowy devils seem to be his standard...
That said, on with the basic layout...
You get Nick's most known songs...the spooky, haunting horrofests that travel into the most morbid regions of your psyche..."Red Right Hand" is by far the most accessible of these as well as the most accessible song period out of his whole catalog, and no is a brilliant mixture of 60s-style organs and arrangements and his smoky croon, telling the methods and plans of Mr. Lucipher seems to act as an omen more than a celebration. "Tupelo" is pure insanity reflecting apocalyptic imagery while staying away from Biblical judgement seeming to commend the fact that evil will prevail with his saying that the bird will carry "the burden of Tupelo", the music genuinely unique, a feirce rumble and growling demon vocal that only they could pull off. "Stranger Than Kindness" is a wandering trudge thru the remnants of a world that has ceased to exist, reflected in both the sparce country-style rock and the ghostly lyrics. "The Carny" is another unforgettable classic, it [pulls] you into its twisted Flannery O' Connor-esque cavalcade of cicrcus freaks with its dueling vocals and enchroaching 'carnival passing thru the nine gates of hell' music, it gives you a sense of supernatural karma and peril as the dead carny comes back from the grave to get revenge on the ones that abandoned him.
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By A Customer on February 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's late. You take a shot of whisky. You find yourself looking around the bar, bits and pieces of memories past float though your mind.
You see her face. You smell her hair. Part of you wants to cry out for her love, but that last shot is now whispering to you, telling you to forget her. Maybe you don't have a choice.
Nick Cave is the preacher who not only speaks TO us, but who speaks FOR us, as well - for the late night romantics. "Straight to You", "Nobody's Baby Now", "Into My Arms" and "The Ship Song" all reach in and touch something deep inside.
"Where the Wild Roses Grow" is one of the most haunting and UNUSUAL love songs I've ever heard - a murderous love story. "The Weeping song" is an epic tale.
I've always been surprised that not many people have heard of Nick Cave. That's a shame...
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Format: Audio CD
I never understood Nick Cave's fixation with his uproaring, cheerful sounding song "Deanna", but it is the opening track on an album which is called "The best of Nick Cave" so apparently I must be missing something crusial here.

More understandable choises follow, like the Godfearing thunder of "Tupelo", the instant spoken word classic "Red right hand" and of course Nick's micro-epic tale of a dead horse "The Carny".

A couple of ballads are carefully mixed in, like "Into my arms" and "(Are you) the one I've been waiting for?" from the very overrated "The Boatmans's call", but nothing, I say again, nothing from the sublime "No more shall we part".

More classic songs from the mad preacher catalogue can be found, like "The mercy seat", to me still untouchable, for its message about "good and ungood" and its maniacal tension build-up. There is the omnipresent "The weeping song", which can't be left out of any serious Nick Cave anthology, just as his podium-trasher "From her to etirnity". (Being made an instant classic, partly because of the "live" performance in the movie "Wings of desire")

The real surprise is "Stranger than kindness", not much mentioned where Cave dwellers go, but to me still one of the man's most haunting songs.

But with the inclusion of "Henry Lee" and the cheesy Kylie Minogue duet "Where the wild roses grow" the choises become a little too obvious and less serious. Not only are they really not the best Cave has done in general or on the "Murder ballads" album specifically, they occupy space that should be left open for songs that are infinitely more important. What to think of early Cavian art like "The six strings that drew blood" from "The firstborn is dead" LP, "She fell away" or "Saint Huck"?
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