Like most of the boatman's call album, this one is very sparse - it's essentially the piano and Nick's voice. The lyrics are Nicks best ever effort though I reckon - it's him trying to decide if someone really is the love of his life: "well we would know, won't we?/ stars would explode in the sky/ But they don't, do they?/ Stars have their moment, and then they die."
It really does repay listening to about a hundred times - very moving.
from The Boatman's Call (Mute LC5834), available on CD
Ah - yet another classic about killing women. Cave is excelling himself here - it opens with the immortal line 'there is woman-pie in here.' This one breaks from the standard Birthday Party template - first drums, then bass, then nick, then guitars - by doing all the above, but with the mental leap of playing it at a quarter of the normal speed. The highlight is the inevitable moment when Nick says 'And all the girls across the world.....
MAGNIFICENT. Why didn't the sugarhill gang sing it that way?
As far as I know, this the only song bassist Tracy Pew is credited with writing. His part is pretty obvious. It's the bass line.
from Live 1981-82 (4AD CAD9005) available on CD - Junkyard (Mute)
Seriously, this one is brilliant. Nick's love song to both his new-born child and the chaotic city he was living in at the time (Sao Paulo) is an utter feast for those who love language: Nick rolls off such lines as
I thought about my friend Michel
How they rolled him in linoleum
And then shot him in the head
A bloody halo like a think bubble
Was circling his head
And I bellowed at the firmament
It looks like the rains are here to stay...
I mean - can you imagine The Strokes or Kula Shaker coming up with something like that?
Meanwhile, the music - well, Nick apparently had to say to his band - 'can't you just stay on E minor?', but such is the genius of the bad seeds that they layer it expertly and it sounds absolutely fantastic.
This was the first bad seeds song I ever got into - I remember putting it on, doing something else and having to stop as I realised I was listening to something quite out of the ordinary. If you are interested, the whole album is really really good - in my top 5 ever. I know Nick hates it, but he is quite wrong to do so.
from Henry's Dream (Mute) available on CD - Live Seeds (Mute)
05 Feb 02 ·delicado: I agree, this is a wonderful track. I'm amused to find that I had misheard the lyric. I remember being corrected several years ago (by you) on 'firmament' (I thought it was vermin). My latest mistake was to hear 'pink' where it is actually 'think'. 'Think' makes more sense I guess, but 'pink' is more disgusting. 18 Aug 03 ·Cyninglich: I have to admit it took me quite a while to straighten out some of the lyrics myself... especially the magnificent last lines: "And with her kisses bubblin' on my lips/I swiped the rain and nearly missed..."