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The Bad Seeds

Following on from the Music Lovers entry on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, here is a selection of key recordings by various members of that band’s ever-shifting line-up. These musicians are renowned in their own right, and their individual projects are well-worth exploring for fans of the Bad Seeds’ albums. All items listed are available on the Kingston Library catalogue.

Album image (right):
White Lunar by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
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Door, Door
Boys Next Door

This is where it all began for Nick Cave and his Melbourne musician friends Mick Harvey and Rowland S. Howard. Released in 1979, this album shows a strong influence of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and the new wave sounds of the late ‘70s. Soon after the release of “Door, Door,” the band would change their name to The Birthday Party, move to London and forge an original new sound.

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Junkyard
The Birthday Party

The third album released by The Birthday Party represents the band at its peak. With noisy, abrasive guitars, hypnotically pounding bass and drums, and Nick Cave singing his dark lyrics like a man possessed, this music is not for the faint-hearted. However, those with open minds and open ears are sure to appreciate the energetic, exhilarating and highly original sound of The Birthday Party at their best.

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Delirium Tremens
Mick Harvey

Mick Harvey was a founding member of both The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds. Throughout the 1980s, he also acted as Nick Cave’s main musical collaborator and arranger. This release is the third in a series of albums on which Harvey reinterprets the songs of maverick French singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg. Harvey translates Gainsbourg’s brilliant French lyrics into English, and puts a modern spin on the inventive musical structures of the songs.

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Past Imperfect
The Wreckery

Fronted by original Bad Seeds guitarist, Hugo Race, The Wreckery were one of the most interesting and adventurous Melbourne bands of the 1980s. With a sound and image that merged dark blues, jazz and rock with a film noir aesthetic, this compilation provides a perfect overview of this influential and underrated band.

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Haunted Head
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds

American musician, Kid Congo Powers, has played guitar with numerous legendary cult bands including The Cramps, Gun Club, The Butcher Shop (with local rock legend Tex Perkins) and The Bad Seeds. The Pink Monkey Birds are Kid Congo’s current band, and they play a fun blend of psychedelic garage rock, go-go instrumentals, abstract beat poetry and raw rock ‘n’ roll.

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Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala
Einsturzende Neubauten

Formed in the early 1980s, Berlin band Einsturzende Neubauten pioneered the post-punk industrial music movement. The band is led by singer-guitarist Blixa Bargeld, who for more than 15 years was a key member of the Bad Seeds. This album, originally released in 1987, is considered by many music critics to be among the band’s best.

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Pop Crimes
Rowland S. Howard

Rowland S. Howard's final solo album is arguably his best. Featuring a stripped back band that allows Howard's unique, abrasive guitar playing to cut through the arrangements, this album is a dark and moody masterpiece that will impress fans of the Birthday Party.

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Autoluminescent
DVD documentary about Rowland S. Howard

This documentary features candid interviews with Rowland S. Howard and the musicians he worked with, as well as plenty of footage, photos and music from throughout his life and career. A great introduction to an influential Melbourne musician.

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The Dirty Three
DVD documentary about The Dirty Three

Melbourne band, The Dirty Three, feature the unusual line-up of violin, guitar and drums, and their music is mostly instrumental. Violinist Warren Ellis has been a member of the Bad Seeds for a number of years, and has also collaborated with Nick Cave on several film soundtracks. This documentary covers the Dirty Three’s first ten years, with plenty of great interviews and live footage to tell their story of struggle and success against the odds.

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White Lunar
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

Cave and Ellis have collaborated on numerous film soundtracks in recent years. As a double CD compilation of their soundtrack work, “White Lunar” is a great way to delve into this different facet of their music-making. While film soundtrack music is generally created to enhance movie images, the music on this collection stands on its own as a great, atmospheric listening experience.

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