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Murder Ballads [CD+DVD]

Nick Cave, Nick Cave & the Bad SeedsAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2013 $9.49  
Audio CD, Import, 2011 $16.44  
Audio CD, CD+DVD, 2011 --  
Vinyl, Import, 1996 --  
Audio Cassette, 1996 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 1996
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B004KX5KOO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,723 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Song Of Joy (2011 - Remaster)
2. Stagger Lee (2011 - Remaster)
3. Henry Lee (2011 - Remaster)
4. Lovely Creature (2011 - Remaster)
5. Where The Wild Roses Grow (2011 - Remaster)
6. The Curse Of Millhaven (2011 - Remaster)
7. The Kindness Of Strangers (2011 - Remaster)
8. Crow Jane (2011 - Remaster)
9. O'Malley's Bar (2011 - Remaster)
10. Death Is Not The End (2011 - Remaster)
Disc: 2
1. Song Of Joy (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
2. Stagger Lee (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
3. Henry Lee (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
4. Lovely Creature (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
5. Where The Wild Roses Grow (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
6. The Curse Of Millhaven (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
7. The Kindness Of Strangers (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
8. Crow Jane (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
9. O'Malley's Bar (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
10. Death Is Not The End (2011 - Remaster) [DVD]
See all 36 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered deluxe two disc (CD + NTSC/Region 0 DVD) edition of this 1996 album from the acclaimed singer/songwriter. This double disc edition contains the remastered stereo album on CD plus the new surround mix and a specially commissioned short film by UK artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard on the DVD plus the b-sides from the singles, videos and exclusive sleeve notes. Nick Cave formed the Bad Seeds following the end of his previous band Birthday Party. The Bad Seeds brought together former Birthday Party guitarist Mick Harvey (drums), ex-Magazine bassist Barry Adamson, and Einstrzende Neubauten guitarist Blixa Bargeld. EMI.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vicious...But Delicious December 18, 2001
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this CD after reading some of the reviews and I must say its some of the most downright chilling music I've ever heard. It isn't the lyrics, you can hear songs equally violent listening to rap. Its all in the musical arrangements and Cave's sinister vocal style. That combustible combination makes Murder Ballads a vicious yet delicious masterpiece.
Stagger Lee is simply stunning. I have heard old versions and they don't come close to what Cave has done after he adds his touch.
Where the Wild Roses Grow is a hauntingly beautiful and strikingly sordid song that reminds me of one of Joyce Carol Oates' early macabre short stories. Kylie Minogue's angelic vocals as victim are in sharp contrast to the evil that emanates from Cave's.
My favorite is the epic O'Malley's Bar, a tale of a man gone mad who ruthlessly and brutally murders everyone in his neighborhood bar but shrinks at the end from taking his own life. Appalling violence marks this fourteen minute saga from start to finish.
Songs of murder and violent death have been around since the days of antiquity, but here Nick Cave masterfully takes the genre to a new level. If you enjoy mystery, horror, a well-written and well-told tale, aren't too squeamish and are open to something unusual, then I highly recommend that you buy Murder Ballads. You won't be sorry.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything went black and I came down spinning... February 8, 2000
By elisa
Format:Audio CD
I have discovered that "Murder Ballads" is a great CD for the lovelorn. Several years ago, my five-year relationship with "the boy of my dreams" ended. Months later, I was still in a very dark place. I had always been an off-again, on-again Nick Cave fan, and didn't own every album. I was DJ-ing at the time, and someone gave me a promotional copy of "Murder Ballads."
Within weeks, it had become the soundtrack to my world. It was vicious, it was grim, it was hysterically funny. It was like the script of "Pulp Fiction," "Reservoir Dogs" or "Jackie Brown" as told through English folksong or Appalachian mountain tale.
I giggled with horrified glee as a loving family man and good doctor murdered his family with cold calculation on "Song of Joy." I guffawed as openly gay criminal Stagger Lee threw over expectant hooker Nellie Bound, to molest and murder her manly boyfriend. I cheered as Crow Jane efficiently gunned down the 20 miners who raped her, and laughed as a lovelorn boy was led astray by the beautiful ghost ("Lovely Creature") of a girl long since dead. I smirked and sighed at the overwrought tearstained drama of "Kindness of Strangers" and "Where the Wild Roses Grow." I loved the Nick and P.J. (Harvey) duet, "Henry Lee." I think we'd known for a long time that P.J. was Nick's perfect foil, and letting her play murderous mistress to Nick's faithless lover was perfect musical casting.
Finally, we were given the opportunity to hear Nick go postal on the local patrons of "O'Malley's Bar," and the local suburbanites of the town of Millhaven, in which Nick casts himself as a golden-ringleted, psychopathic fourteen year old girl.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying Beauty Taken To Its Obvious Conclusion August 29, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Similar to almost any other Australian music-lover, I'd heard "Where The Wild Roses Grow" countless times before I decided to buy this album. Indeed, my actual purchase may have been as a sort of "NOW, will you stop playing this song?" reaction. Regardless, this CD is simultaneously the most terrifying one I have ever listened to from start to finish and also the most amazing idea I have ever seen committed to CD.
The title says it all, Cave and his Bad Seeds have taken the age-old murder ballad and had their wicked way with it and would now like you to hear the fruits of their labour. Not all of these songs are old murder ballads, and those which are tend to be present with slight alterations or in lesser-known forms, but they all would not sound out of place at any time in history. The reason being that they deal with topics such as cold-blooded murder, obsessive passion and crazed hatred which are not alien to any culture.
The opener, "Song Of Joy", is full of typical Cave irony. The title refers to the wife of the singer - killed in a particularly brutal fashion, as the song reveals. Of course, the idea of naming such an unrepentantly nasty song "Song Of Joy" is only what we have come to expect from this tortured genius. Cave's wit surfaces with such moments as the description of the wife becoming sad and "Joy in name only". As the song goes on, Cave weaves in a reference to Milton's "Paradise Lost" (interestingly enough, the same section which gave him the title of an earlier song) and gives some very tantalising clues to the killer's identity. A word of warning, listening to this song at night as not overly recommended, the atmospheric nature of gloom is more than all-pervading.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange and magnificent December 7, 2003
Format:Audio CD
After repeated listenings, this remains one of my favorite albums of the past decade. It is strange, bizarre, dark, and sometimes utterly perverse, but somehow or other Cave has produced an album of great beauty and power. The premise is as the title would lead one to imagine: Cave collects nine songs somehow associated with murder. But the sheer variety of songs about murder is quite amazing. You find the comic as in "The Curse of Millhaven," the darkly nightmarish as in ironically titled "Song of Joy" (ironic because it tells the story of a man who has had his family killed by a serial killer) and the quietly tragic as in the beautiful "Where the Wild Roses Grow." Cave does his own version of the most famous murder ballad ever written, "Stagger Lee," his version incorporating only the nastiest and more prurient elements traditionally associated with the song. Finally, in the epic "O'Malley's Bar," Cave serves up a strange tale in which a man who is either insane or utterly amoral slaughters all the people in a bar, while he stops to admire himself in the bar's mirrors.
There really isn't a weak number on the album, but if there is a touch that truly marks this out as a special album, it is the ironic song that closes the album, a rather obscure Bob Dylan song entitled "Death is not the End."
In retrospect, this album, which summed up all the reflections on death and violence that could be found on Cave's previous albums, took the theme to a level where he had nowhere else to go. In a way, this may have prepared Cave's transition to a more religious perspective. I am reminded of the words someone spoke to J.-K Huysmans after he published AGAINST NATURE: the view of life express in it was so bleak that, his friend said, afterwards the only two options were the church or the noose.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Well done, but not exciting.
Not where I go when I think of the best Nick Cave. Cave's power comes from his ability to starkly expose your darkness as well as his own. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Daniel W. Bleier
5.0 out of 5 stars A MYSTICAL DREAM PUT TO MUSIC
I am not a voyeur nor am I an aficionado of murder. I do love great music and complex murder mysteries. Murder Ballads expertly combines both. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Eleni
5.0 out of 5 stars A great album from the 90's
There's a reason why it's their most famous album. The difference between Nick's lyrics, and the lyrics of some metal band, is that Nick puts his heart and soul into everything he... Read more
Published 1 month ago by dvd-addict91
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Cave!
It's a terrific album! A wide variety of musical textures. Of course, incredible lyrics. Then again, I'm quite biased. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kurk Schoner
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift!
My husband is very pleased with this! He loved it! Nothing wrong with the product. Everything was great with it!
Published 8 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Classic
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have a cult following for a reason. This is a dark, moody, emotion-provoking blend of songs that dwell in the world of the evil that men (and women) do. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kevin Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes!
This album kicks butt! Even better listening on vinyl. Bought it as a gift for my finance, he adores it as well
Published 10 months ago by Susiesaurus
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Edgy and NOT for the Youngsters
Nick Cave has a unique voice and is a singular lyricist. I'm not sure WHAT prompted this album, but he doesn't go for half measures... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Fritz R
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark&beautiful!
It's my 1st and favorite album of this awesome,deep&dark dude.Sick&twisted homicide put to beautiful music.No,the voice is not perfect pitch,but that's what makes it sell.
Published 10 months ago by margaret avila
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Any Collection!
If Let Love In (Collector's Edition) could not be considered a sufficient comeback after the rather weak Henrys Dream (Rm) (Enhanced), this album certainly can. Read more
Published 15 months ago by brotagonist
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