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First Born Is Dead Original recording reissued

14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, October 11, 1994
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1. Tupelo
2. SAy Goodbye TO THe Little Girl Three
3. Train Long-Suffering
4. Black Croa KIng
5. Knockin' On Joe
6. Wanted Man
7. Blind Lemon Jefferson
8. The Six Strings That Drew Blood
9. Tupelo (Single Version)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 11, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: 1985
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Mute U.S.
  • ASIN: B000003Z6G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,261 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By yorgos dalman on May 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Has an album ever had a more exploding `super nova'-like opening song than Nick Cave's second album "The firstborn is dead"?

"Tupelo" is a Godfearing, thundering preach about a lovelorn town that one could find easily in one of the old-testament books. Or could it even exist as a town-soon-to-die in "The revelation of John"?

Nick howls and whispers, both with the same ease, and the Bad Seeds are everlasting present with backing vocals and an extremely well performed musical sideshow.

After the rage comes the quietness. And this moment of quietness and contemplation comes in the form of "Say goodbye to the little girl tree". Tender, joyful and still as sharp as the guitar strings Blixa Bargeld is tipping on.

But as soon as the last notes have floated away, the Bad Seeds accelerate again, whilst Nick is going "Woohoo-hoo!", impersonating the locomotive that carries the pounding song "Train long-suffering".

"Knockin' on Joe" sets the tone for the following album "Your funeral, my trial", giving the audience the feeling they're listening to something old, older at least, not from 1985 when "Firstborn..." was released, but of something further away in time, yet still, or perhaps therefor: timeless.

Also worth mentionning is the Dylan cover "Wanted man", and Nick Cave simply hits the bull's eye with this one, making it totally his own and giving it a tension that remains unbreakable until the last notes.

This album has no weak spots, only good songs and better ones. And one of the most original outputs here is "The six strings that drew blood". Cool, minimal and understated guitar fiddeling, nonchalant whisteling, mesmerising singing, and a surreal story unfolding with every casually dropped line.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By WeezyBoPeep on November 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After the punk and righteous hip hop of the early 80's, things started to get a little rough for music, so a lot of people say...they have not listened to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds THE FIRSTBORN IS DEAD. This is the kind of album that could have come out in the 1950's or yesterday, and it would still be great. Actually, it is the timelessness of Cave's music that seems to draw a lot of his fans.

This album is so experiemental that it will blow your mind, but it is by no means silly. The guitar work and musicianship in general is of the highest caliber. You really can't go wrong with a Bad Seeds album, but if you don't own this one and you're a fan, I suggest buying it. It will give you a whole new perspective of where this guy comes from.

It includes a cover of Dylan's "Wanted Man" that makes every other cover of the song sound childish. "The Six Strings that Drew Blood," my personal fav, is a dark western-blues jam that reminds you of a heroin induced vision of a guitar player. "Tupelo," by far the most "hitworthy" song on the album, is amazing also.

In short, I don't recommend this album to just anyone, but to anyone who owns some newer Cave material who is looking to find more. You won't be disappointed...but give it some time to grow on you, because you may be surprised at just how different his older music is...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on July 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Although it's not as wild and frenetic as From Her To Eternity, The Firstborn Is Dead is a more focused effort featuring better overall playing from Cave & The Bad Seeds, and stronger songwriting. Drawing particularly on the deep well of American blues and folklore for this album, rather than Goth obsessions, Cave here has an album that is a bit different, lyrically and musically, from anything else in his catalog. Tupelo is incredible, one of his classic tracks, filled with all kinds of surreal imagery, and a commanding performance brings it across. Wanted Man which was written by Bob Dylan and recorded by Johnny Cash, is covered here, and to great effect. It only further signifies the album's theme. Slow, brooding songs like Knockin' On Joe, Blind Lemon Jefferson (the old blues theme again) and The Six Strings That Drew Blood serve to make this album totally excellent, and a masterpiece of dark imagery. When Cave sings on the Black Crow King "I am the King of nothing", you believe him. A decidedly good second effort.
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Format: Audio CD
This would be my personal favorite Nick Cave release. Great, haunting Bargeld twang, coupled with the most evocative lyrics Cave's ever written. The production is so sparse it's agonizing at times, but that's the beauty of the record; its dark, miserable simplicity. A natural progression from "Box for Black Paul", and an all-around great blues record. Buy it, but don't expect any "Birthday Party" lunacy. Expect the sound of an artist changing, stripping things down and creating a mood.
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By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I would just like to take this opportunity to point out that the previous reviewer is mistakenly talking about From Her to Eternity, Cave's first album. The Firstborn is Dead is quite good, though, even if nothing else on it quite matches the greatness of Tupelo.
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By GeoX on February 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
A good CD indeed. The obvious highlight is the single Tupelo, with its bizarre combination of apolcalyptic imagery and Elvis stuff, but more or less all the songs are good, from Black Crow King to The Six Strings That Drew Blood. Very blues, very good. Buy it.
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