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and work forwards (chronologically speaking).
So start with the Birthday party's beginnings
People won't agree, but I reckon Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus is an excellent introduction to the various faces of Mr. Cave and His Bad Seeds. It worked for me, anyway.
but I would also get Your Funeral, My Trial and Let Love In and you'll have a good overview with an album from each decade of his magnificent reign (and my three favourite Bad Seeds albums). Your world will be darker; your life richer.
...as his career has a clear progression.
Though if someone just wanted to know an easy album to get into I would probably say Henry's Dream as one of the most accessible albums, it doesn't have the more extreme darker, demented and more atmospheric sides of some of the earlier stuff, though it is still a brilliant album.
Your third and final option is Tender Prey. This album has the previously mentioned darker side of The Bad Seeds first four albums but also starts to show the direction the next albums will take, it also has The Mercy Seat on it which is arguably The Bad Seeds finest hour.
...love how 4 posts in we have already recommended 5 different albums to start with, always a sign of a great band.
is a good overview of his career (although doesn't contain anything from the last decade). get that, then use it to decide what to buy next.
I'd start with his albums, then his novels, then his soundtracks....
Seriously though I would disagree with whoever said start at the beginning with The Birthday Party and work your way through. That's an awful lot of 'working through' something to get to his later styles which you may be a lot more into. I'd say:
-The best of if you want an overview to dip into
-Let Love In if you want a Bad Seeds record that shows him at his best
-Boatman's call is pared down piano led introspection is your bag (it is a wonderful record).
The man's a genius. Enjoy!
but i think that if you like the birthday party then you will also like later nick cave, and to my mind, i cant see anyone that would like later nick cave would be put off by early birthday party, so it seems kind of foolproof to me, plus this way you get the progression.
OK if you dont start at the beginning, get Tender Prey
but that's still a hell of a lot to get through before you get your first listen to 'Loverman' or 'Red Right Hand'.
best album he's ever done
... he has so much good stuff plus I would say you could probably separate the Bad Seeds output into 3 main periods. There is the first 5 albums which is very dark, melancholy and intense recordings.
Then, apart from Dig Lazurus Dig, the last 4 albums from The Boatmans Call onwards are the slower powerful ballads.
The 4 albums in-between have elements of both the other periods, plus containing more energetic and faster songs, with an alternative blues fronted by a mad preacher kinda sound to them.
They are all great but people might not like them all or might find others easier to get into.
Then went from there. Either way, his back catalogue is pretty intriguing and almost entirely brilliant, so it's hard to go too far wrong (except Nocturama, which is nowhere near as good as anything else). If not the best of, Let Love In is excellent.
he has a massive and generally high quality back-catalogue. Avoid Nocturama and the Boys Next Door album, initially at least, other than that though, you're laughing...
Personally I don't particularly like Henry's Dream or The Good Son (although there are brilliant songs on both), but most people seem to disagree, so it's obviously just me...
Let Love In is probably the most immediately accessible, and has some classics on it (Do You Love Me?, Red Right Hand), so that's probably not a bad idea to go for first. I'm not saying it's his best, mind, but good for a beginner.
Although it wasn't the first Bad Seeds album I owned, Tender Prey is what sparked the obsession for me. It does have The Mercy Seat on it, after all.
The Boatman's Call
Your Funeral...My Trial
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
it's pisses all over his other albums.
released after 2001. It's sanitised alt.MOR from there. Peak era is '79 - '94. Not a bad album between those years.
Well put European_son !
I heard Mark Radcliffe play "Into My Arms" on his daytime Radio 1 show about 10 years ago and I felt inspired to get The Best Of. That gave me a pretty good idea (if the tracks are re-ordered chronologically) of how the band (note I don't just refer to Nick - IMHO the band members have been crucial) has evolved. From there I gradually got album after album after album based on what my favourites on the comilation were. I think there are fantastic albums from every period of the band's career.
The Best Of is a good representation of his work and eras. You won't go wrong if you work from that.
I started off with The Good Son which is beautiful record didn't really prepare me for the live experience!
Maybe one day I'll love The Birthday Party but twenty years of trying has been futile. On paper they are everything I love but they are never something I choose to listen to. My loss know.