Over the years, Nick Cave has built a reputation as one of the most innovative and influential artists in contemporary music, to celebrate our current promotion in store, we’re taking a look in no particular order at five of our favourite Nick Cave albums.
Let love in
Considered one of Cave’s best works, “Let Love In”, released on April 18, 1994, received critical acclaim on release and holds a special place in fans hearts. The album marked a shift in the band’s sound, with greater emphasis on eclectic instrumentation and arrangements. Featuring a mix of ballads and rock songs that explore themes of love, loss, and desire, the album’s dark, haunting atmosphere and powerful lyrics have helped to cement it as a classic of alternative rock. In addition to its musical and lyrical merits, “Let Love In” has also been praised for its production values, which highlight the album’s richly textured arrangements and the interplay between Cave’s voice and the Bad Seeds’ instrumentation.
Essential tracks: Red Right Hand | Do You Love Me? | Loverman
From Her to Eternity
“From Her to Eternity”, released in May 1984, was Cave’s first album with the Bad Seeds, a deviation from his earlier work as the lead singer of the post-punk band The Birthday Party. Recorded in London and produced by Flood and Tony Cohen, the album features a mix of dark, brooding ballads and aggressive, blues-influenced rock songs, with Cave’s distinctive baritone vocals and literary lyrics taking center stage. The album is regarded as a highlight of Cave’s early career.
Essential tracks: Saint Huck | Avalanche | From Her to Eternity
The Boatman’s Call
The tenth studio album from The Bad Seeds, released in 1997, marks a departure from Cave’s previous work, focusing on more introspective and personal themes, with a stripped-down, acoustic sound. The album features sparse, piano-based arrangements, and Cave’s vocals are often accompanied by only a few instruments, allowing his lyrics to take center stage. The austere, acoustic approach was a conscious decision by Cave and the band, who wanted to create a more personal and introspective work that would focus on the lyrics and the emotions they conveyed. The Boatman’s call received widespread critical acclaim with many praising its emotional intensity and raw honesty.
Essential tracks: Into My Arms | People Ain’t No Good | (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For?
Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
The first attempt at a double album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the album features two distinct parts, with “Abattoir Blues” showcasing an energetic and rock-oriented sound with the lyrics often being politically charged and exploring themes of death, war, and religious extremism. While “The Lyre of Orpheus” focuses on more contemplative, poetic ballads, exploring themes of love, death, loss and is notable for its haunting melodies and ethereal arrangements. The album was recorded with a full orchestra and features a wide range of musical styles, from blues and rock to gospel and classical, with many praising Cave’s versatility and the album’s eclectic mix of styles and influences.
Essential tracks: Get Ready for Love | There She Goes, My Beautiful World | Cannibal’s Hymn
The Good Son
The Bad Seeds sixth studio album, released in April 1990 features a more economical, acoustic-based sound than Cave’s previous work, and focuses on death, religion, and love. This more minimalist approach to songwriting and production allows Cave’s lyrics and voice to take center stage, making the album a powerful and affecting listening experience. Its emotional intensity and raw honesty hold it in high esteem amongst Nick Cave fans.
Essential Tracks: The Ship Song | Foi Na Cruz | The Good Son