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Kicking Against The Pricks [CD/DVD Combo] Collector's Edition, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Kicking Against the Pricks
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Audio CD, Collector's Edition, Original recording remastered, May 19, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Deluxe digitally remastered and expanded two disc (CD/DVD) edition of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' 1986 album including a bonus DVD. Contains the remastered stereo album, a new 5.1 surround mix, a specially commissioned short film plus b-sides from the singles and exclusive sleeve notes. Kicking Against The Pricks was an all-covers album, recorded long before releasing a 'covers album' became the hip thing to do. Available in crystal clear digitally remastered sound - so you can listen to them how Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds intended. Mute. 2009

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Muddy Water
  2. I'm Gonna Kill That Woman
  3. Sleeping Annaleah
  4. Long Black Veil
  5. Hey Joe
  6. The Singer A.K.A. the Folksinger
  7. All Tomorrow's Parties
  8. By the Time I Get to Phoenix
  9. The Hammer Song
  10. Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart
  11. Jesus Met the Woman at the Well
  12. The Carnival Is Over

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 2009)
  • Collector's Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Collector's Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mute INg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,129 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. H. Orton VINE VOICE on June 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Lord knows what prompted them to cut this, but in the 1986 Post Punk/Alternative/Underground scene, a covers record was unheard of. Furthermore, to feature songs made famous by the likes of Johnny Cash, Gene Pitney &Tom Jones was perversely unfashionable to say the least.

Looked at this way, Kicking Against the Pricks is a big middle finger to fans & especially critics alike. But it was also a genuine ode to the music Cave & The Bad Seeds sincerely loved, which is precisely how they pull this stunt off.

In terms of ballads like "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" & the pure Pop embrace of "Something's Got A Hold Of My Heart", a startling side to Cave is revealed for the 1st time: Nick The Crooner. He genuinely gives his all to "Sleeping Annaleah", while the Bad Seeds provide suitably demented backing.

More than any other recording artist, Johnny Cash has the honor of being paid tribute to the most. This album boasts not 1 but 3 songs cut by the Man In Black. But you have to remember that Cash's resurgence of popularity was more a few years away. At the time, he was far from hip.

The brooding opener, "Muddy Water" is from Cash's 1979 Silver album, an obscure choice that fortunately did not escape Cave's notice. The same goes for Cave's menacing interpretation of the Cash rarity, "The Folksinger". As for "Long Black Veil", while the version here can't hope to compete with The Man In Black's, in terms of mood & atmosphere, it's certainly commendable. If some journalist wanted to coin a genre for these 3 I'd suggest, "Gothic Country".

The Bad Seeds' previous, First Born Is Dead was steeped in John Lee Hooker's influence & Cave launches into "I'm Gonna Kill That Woman" with merciless abandon.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One thing I always ask myself before buying a beefed-up version of an album I already own is whether or not there is enough value in the new package to warrant opening the wallet. In the case of Kicking Against the Pricks, the product description made it seem like there was and some of the amazon partner offers were attractive so I took the plunge.
As it turns out, there is little extra offered. The songs are the same as on the one I already own but on the remastered version, two of them are subtracted from the CD and offered on the DVD as "bonus tracks". The main benefit to getting this one is the variety of formats in which it can be listened which is useful only if you have a decent stereo system. I do and the sound is a vast improvement over the original. Other extras are one video and the ongoing project of having band members and fans natter on about Nick and his band at the point in his career the featured recording was made. That is interesting exactly once.
As for the body of work, Kicking Against the Pricks is an album which set Cave apart from his contemporaries and gave the musical world notice that his talent is far deeper than most suspected. This is an eclectic album of covers, and Nick covers his picks with panache. He covers the work of a wide array of artists, some of whom were the antithesis of cool. That surely surprised his fans and perhaps caused some of them to view those made newly cool in a new way. Johnny Cash, Gene Pitney, and Jimmy Webb all gained new admirers as a result of Cave's record. Here's what I like best: Muddy Water, Sleeping Annaleah, By The Time I Get to Phoenix, Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart, The Carnival is Over, and what is now a bonus cut, Running Scared.
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Format: Audio CD
Once I read an interview with Leonard Cohen, and he was talking - very wisely, as usual - on how Cave ate, digested and spitted out in his own way Cohen's song "Avalanche" (in Cave's "From her to eternity"). Well, yes, this is a cover album, but in its way it is profoundly a Cave's album. Cave is a great lyricist and musician, but he is also an interpreter of first class, because he manage to make other people's song in his own very peculiar sound. Some reviewers wrote that here Cave chose his favourite artists. I don't think it's completely true: I would rather say that he chose his peculiar themes, the same that we find in his own compositions - digging and burying, killing without a reason or for jealousy or beauty or love's sake, corpses that come up from the grave despite the rules of death, the power of natural elements and especially water as an image of time and changing (also epistemologically) as well as of the deepest and murkiest regions of the mind, breaking the law and death penalty, judging and killing and leaving... The quality of the songs is very good, but I think what really makes this album great is its inner thematic coherence, as different steps in a very contorted but eriching path Cave has been following since the very beginning of his career. Follow him, you might agree or disagree with him, but as every good artist he is always showing you the same things from new and more revealing points of view.
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Format: Audio CD
And, strangely, best Nick Cave album of all, considering his catalog of excellent and provocative original material (most of which you should buy, especially the stuff from around this time, like _From Her to Eternity_ and _First Born Is Dead_). I'm sure there is no other album out there whose title can be said to reference both a book of short stories by Samuel Beckett (to go with Cave's minimalistic tendencies) and the New Testament (to amplify his obsession with retribution and other biblical topics). Perfect company. The emotion he wrings out of these old and largely obscure songs is well-nigh unparalleled in the history of recorded music. Several of these are country songs by the likes of Johnny Cash and Earl Campbell, feeding beautifilly into Cave's Southern Gothic kick at the time. Then you have the heroin chic of VU's "All Tomorrow Parties" turned cowboy with yells and whips. Then there's gospel (sung rousingly in barbershop quartet style on "Jesus Met the Woman at the Well"--you'd swear you're at a tent revival). And then classic rock in the guise of a foot-stomping version of . . . Ram Jam's "Black Betty"? I'll just say that what the original possesses in Queen-like pastiche and excess, the cover compensates for in field holler mania. All of this is made all-the-more poignant by the very basic recording values at play here. The Bad Seeds thrive with a lead man on the edge between maudlin and mad; they play off him perfectly, making the bare-bones recording jump out at you with the virtue of frantic and impassioned playing alone. The only other place where you will hear such a range of emotion evinced from two or three chords is on a record of Lightnin' Hopkins or Leadbelly originals, making this one of the most visceral listening experiences you will ever encounter. Especially noteworthy is the extremely "out there" version of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe," where Cave pounds the piano within an inch of the hammers' lives.
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