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B-Sides And Rarities Box set

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, March 22, 2005
$59.95 $39.98

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Spanning the full twenty-one years of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds illustrious career, this comprehensive three CD set, entitled B-Sides & Rarities, presents a thrilling and eclectic retrospective collection of material by the band, some of which has been deleted, featured on a disparate number of soundtrack albums or has never been officially released before. From the menacing 'The Six Strings That Drew Blood', through the distraught 'The Girl At The Bottom Of My Glass', the fragile beauty of 'Little Empty Boat', the outlaw romance of '(I'll Love You) Till The End Of The World', the plaintive 'Bluebird' through to the murderous attack of 'The Ballad Of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane', long term Bad Seeds aficionados, recent converts or the merely curious will find much to appreciate and enjoy in this landmark 56 track compilation.

In the two decades since Nick Cave (with multi-instrumentalist Mick Harvey, who co-ordinated this anthology) bolted the beloved chaos of his native Melbourne's Birthday Party to focus on a solo career informed in equal parts by Poe, Flannery O'Connor and Biblical goth-chic, he and the Bad Seeds have explored enough musical detours and career side projects to yield the 56 tracks that grace this set's three compelling discs. Variously anchored by the acoustic gospel intrigues of "Deanna" and "The Mercy Seat" and a fascination with American roots music that evinces itself with preternatural conviction on covers of Orbison's "Running Scared," Leadbelly's "Black Betty" and the traditional "Rye Whiskey," it's a forceful collection that further underscores the artist's ever literate, neo-cabaret charms. Fans will relish it as a trove of disparate riches, be they soundtrack cuts for Wim Wenders ("Till the End of the World," "Cassiel's Song" from Faraway, So Close) and others ("Red Right Hand" and "Time Jesum.." from The X-Files), cover project highlights (Leonard Cohen's "Tower of Song," Neil Young's "Helpless" and "There's No Light Out at the Jail," a loving, previously unreleased tribute to Australian country legend Chad Morgan) or such typically idiosyncratic Cave fare as the playful "That's What Jazz Is To Me" and murderous, three-part "O' Malley's Bar." --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Deanna (Acoustic Version)
  2. The Mercy Seat (Acoustic Version)
  3. City Of Refuge (Acoustic Version)
  4. The Moon Is In The Gutter
  5. The Six Strings That Drew Blood
  6. Rye Whisky
  7. Running Scared
  8. Black Betty
  9. Scum
  10. The Girl At The Bottom Of My Glass
  11. The Train Song
  12. Cocks 'N' Asses
  13. Blue Bird
  14. Helpless
  15. God's Hotel
  16. (I'll Love You) Till The End Of The World
  17. Cassiel's Song
  18. Tower Of Song
  19. What Can I Give You?

Disc: 2

  1. What A Wonderful World
  2. Rainy Night In Soho
  3. Lucy (Version #2)
  4. Jack The Ripper
  5. Sail Away
  6. There's No Night Out At The Jail
  7. That's What Jazz Is To Me
  8. The Willow Garden
  9. The Ballad Of Robert Moore And Betty Coltrane
  10. King Kong Kitchee Kitchee Ki-Mi-O
  11. Knoxville Girl
  12. Where The Wild Roses Grow
  13. O'Malley's Bar Pt.1
  14. O' Malley's Bar Pt.2
  15. O' Malley's bar Pt. 3
  16. Time Jesum Transeuntum Et Non Riverentum (by Nick Cave and The Dirty 3)
  17. O'Malley's Bar Reprise
  18. Red Right Hand (Scream 3 Version)

Disc: 3

  1. Little Empty Boat
  2. Right Now I'm A-Roaming
  3. Black Hair (Band Version)
  4. Babe, I've Got You Bad
  5. Sheep May Safely Graze
  6. Opium Tea
  7. Grief Came Riding
  8. Bless His Ever Loving Heart
  9. Good Good Day
  10. Little Janey's Gone
  11. I Feel So Good
  12. Shoot Me Down
  13. Swing Low
  14. Little Ghost Song
  15. Everything Must Converge
  16. Nocturama
  17. She's Leaving You
  18. Under This Moon

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Mute INg
  • ASIN: B00022LJH4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Troy Collins on March 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Twenty-one years in the making and totaling fifty-six tracks spread over three cds, "B-Sides and Rarities" sounds nothing like many other uneven career overviews. To Cave's credit it sounds more like one REALLY long album. A similar collection from a lesser artist would likely have all the hallmarks that a set like this would usually entail, the raw primordial early tunes leading up to the more refined but often overproduced later material. But with an artist of Cave's caliber, no such problem arises. As his egalitarian concept was formed early on, there is no obvious sea change to be found on the album. Despite its chronological order, it is still difficult to distinguish the earliest recordings from the more recent material.

Whether delivering gutter punk tirades, gospel hymns, folk blues, classic covers, torch songs or orchestrated pop ballads, The Bad Seeds acquit themselves without irony, despite the seemingly incongruous mix of genres. Cave's tendency to extol both the dark and light side of human existence is well documented and rarely so cohesively as it is presented here.

Almost all of the tracks are, as the title indicates, B-sides and are excellent studio recordings, with only a multi-part suite of Radio Broadcasts on "O'Malley's Bar" falling somewhere below the line audio quality wise. An added bonus is the inclusion of numerous compilation and soundtrack pieces that one would have to drop a fortune on to collect in their entirety. An orchestral version of "Red Right Hand," an acoustic version of "Deanna," and a duet with The Pogues' Shane McGowan on "What a Wonderful World" are highlights.
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Usually, when a record label released a boxed set, I expect -when it comes to an artist I revere- to spend a large amount of money for those few songs that were unreleased or belonging to EPs I did not buy. In general, I am resigned to the fact that the rarities and occasional collaborations will be few and varying in quality, And I if buy these collections is due to my heart being hostage to my passion for having the complete works of someone I respect.
This could not be farther from the truth, when it comes to this collection. The material selected throughout this 3CD set -by the band's Mick Harvey, by the way- finds Cave and his esteemed Bad Seeds show a wealth of great songs. The quality of what's goes from very good and interesting to superb. Actually, some of these songs are inexplicable exclusions from his albums, given their depth and beauty.
On Disc 1, you get a thorough sample of Cave's fiercer output, when a certain "literate Punk" spirit reigned over the Bad Seeds' material. Selections like "The Moon Is In The Gutter," "Rye Whiskey" -which sways like you might, if you ever drank the stuff- or "The Girl At The Bottom Of My Glass, are great examples of such period.
In addition, there are some rare beauties like the stunning acoustic version of "The Mercy Seat," the tender melody of "The Train Song," the somber "Blue Bird." Also noteworthy are his version of Neil Young's "Helpless" and "Cassiel's Song" from the movie "Faraway, So Close."
Disc 2, in my opinion, is dominated by the mood, if not the songs, from Cave's "Murder Ballads" period, in which the acoustic rendition of "Jack The Ripper," the raucous multi-part "O'Malley's Bar," and "The Willow Garden" and the gorgeous "Where The Wild Roses Grow" with the original guide vocals by Herr Bargeld.
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...and the only thing that keeps this collection from being perfect is the exclusion of a few songs that ought to (in my opinion) have been included. Where is Cave's awesome cover of "Mack the Knife"? How about "Let It Be" and "Here Comes the Sun"? I also greatly miss "To Be By Your Side," a song Cave did for a French movie (which is titled something like "Le Pueple Migrateur," but please don't quote me on that). I also really wish the piano songs from "Secret Life of the Love Song" were included, since that disc is one big long track, and you can't directly access the songs.

Ah, but those are just carps, really. What's here is great ... and there are THREE discs of it!

Disc One begins with an awesome acoustic version of "Deanna." I think my favorite song on this disc is "Rye Whiskey," a Cave arrangement of a traditional song, but there are several standouts, such as "God's Hotel," "(I'll Love You) Till the End of the World," and "What Can I Give You?"

Disc Two has Cave doing a cover of "What a Wonderful World," and while that's an idea that threatens -- in theory -- to tip over into ridiculousness, it's actually quite good; not sufficient to make me (or anyone else) forget Louis Armstrong, but fine in its own right. If you ever wanted to hear Nick doing country music, check out "there's No Night Out in the Jail"; you won;t regret it. The two classics on this disc, though, are "The Ballad of Robert Moore and Betty Coltrane" (which is as good a b-side as any I've ever heard) and "Time Jesum Transuentum et Non Revertentum," a marvelously gloomy song that originally appeared as a hidden track on an X-Files-inspired compilaion.
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