Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Reissues Due

Mute will release Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “From Her To Eternity”, “The Firstborn Is Dead”, “Kicking Against The Pricks” and “Your Funeral… My Trial” on April 7, 2009.  These are the first four releases in a series that will see the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ entire album catalogue digitally remastered and remixed in 5.1 surround sound.
Each deluxe double-disc collector’s edition contains the remastered stereo album, the new surround mix, a specially commissioned short film made by acclaimed UK artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard plus the b-sides from the singles and exclusive sleeve notes.
“From Her To Eternity” (1984)
In 1984 something new was born out of the ashes of The Birthday Party (Cave’s former band), some scratched old records by southern bluesmen, and the last days of the divided Berlin. The narrative art that Cave had begun to master in the later days of The Birthday Party flourishes on “From Her To Eternity”, in the sick humour of ‘Wings Off Flies’ and ‘A Box For Black Paul’. This is where we first see Cave’s lifelong exploration and fascination with the American South in ‘Swampland’.

“The Firstborn Is Dead” (1985)
“The Firstborn Is Dead” is an album rich with references to the blues and bluesmen, the American South, and especially to Elvis Presley.  Recorded in late 1984, but not released until June 1985, the title is a nod to Jesse Garon Presley, Elvis’ stillborn identical twin.

“The Firstborn Is Dead” is an album that helped to define Cave’s new role, his niche on the map as fire-and-brimstone preacher and post-modern ironist, as a wizard with words, as a master of the heartfelt howl that’s tinted with a twisted smile. Much of his work since has taken the blues as a basis, before spiraling off into exhilarating new sparks and shards…

“Kicking Against The Pricks” (1986)
In 1986, the year “Kicking Against The Pricks” – a cover album – was released, then 28-year-old Nick Cave was the object of both reverence and antagonism in the contemporary press. In interviews he’s baited, held up as genius, soothsayer and arrogant, autistic nutcase. “Kicking against the pricks” is a biblical lift, referring to an ox kicking in irritation at the sharpened rod – the goad or prick – used by the driver when tilling soil. It would seem there were plenty of goads and an abundance of pain to deal with in Cave’s life.

Due to a lack of new songs, as Cave was in the middle of writing his novel And The Ass Saw the Angel, a covers album paying tribute to everyone from Johnny Cash to Velvet Underground looked like the thing to do. In the end it would break him into a much wider audience.

“Your Funeral… My Trial” (1986)
While on previous works it wasn’t entirely clear whether he was in charge of his demons/obsessions, “Your Funeral…” now sounds like the watershed moment when a proper measure of artistic control was gained, to be subsequently built upon.

In “Your Funeral… My Trial” you see the erratic progress of Cave and his Seeds: a literate Australian obsessed with the illiterate American Deep South, backed by a motley Peckinpah-ragged band of Euro/Aussie players, peripatetically resident in London, Brazil, and Berlin. Sometimes you may have loved the idea of it all – torch songs on fire; abjection, narcotics, breakdown – as much as, if not more than, the actual recordings: Cave as cultured rock n’ role decadent, half Georges Bataille, half Jerry Lee Lewis; or, equal parts Edgar Allan Poe and Elvis Aaron Presley.

While the Bad Seeds’ lineup changed throughout their career, the original members appearing on these albums included Mick Harvey (The Birthday Party), Blixa Bargeld (Elnsturzende Neubauten), Barry Adamson (Magazine) and Thomas Wydler.

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