Friday, May 27, 2011

1000 SONGS - DAY 51 - SONG # 79

DAY 51 - A song from one of your favourite albums

The second album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds has been the first album featuring Nick that I have bought. Afterwards I added some Bad Seeds records, almost all of the Birthday Party recordings, The Boys Next Door and work by soe other artists that featured Nioick as a guest-singer to my collection, but I have stopped to collect systematically everything connected to Nick. I once had the idea. to build a collection of (then:) vinyls featuring all the musicians that have either played in band with Nick or with somebody who had played with Nick. On the occassion of a gig of Jowe Head's Palookas (who fell under that category, as Jowe Head has played with drummer Epic Soundtracks (brother of Nikki Sudden) in the Swell Maps, and Epic has also been one of the drummers of Crime & The City Solution, when Rowland S. Howard, - former BND and BP member -, played the guitar in that band) I came to mplay one song with them, because this was the song the drummer sang and he wanted to be in front of the stage for that. So I myself had played with somebody that had played with somebody that had played with somebody that was a member of a band featuring Nick Cave. I had the feeling of having reached a goal in life, and, with respect to my financial situation I stopped the project.
Tupelo (lyrics by Cave, music credited to Barry Adamson & Mick Harvey), the opening track of The Firstborn is Dead relates to a song by John Lee Hooker about the flood that town had been drowned in and connects this theme to the birth of Elvis Presley, who stems from Tupelo and to the story about Elvis' twin who died at birth, this way setting up the main theme of the dead of the firstborn, which bears rich biblical connoations of sacrifice and substituting offerings, and of heritage (from Abraham to Pesach).

By establishing a link to John Lee Hooker, Cave also opens the main artistic effort of this recording, that seems to be (at least to me) an exploration of the blues genre. For example, songs like "Blind Lemon Jefferson" or "Say Goodbye to the Little Girl Tree" (music by Mick Harvey) are adaptations of classic blues schemes and themes. Here is another one, the wonderfully archaic "Black Crow King" (credited to Cave and Blixa Bargeld):

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