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CD REVIEW

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 1984–2014

by Bill Murphy on July 17, 2017
In theory at least, curating a “best of” package for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds would seem to be a fruitless task, primarily because they’ve never had any bona-fide hits—unless you count 1995’s mold-shattering murder ballad “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” with Aussie dance-pop singer Kylie Minogue, or the masterstroke of making “Red Right Hand” the opening theme song to the BBC’s popular Peaky Blinders TV series. Put the idea into practice though and, suddenly, another more obvious truth emerges: The band’s entire recorded output is so bloody good that in a truly just and discerning world, every song they’ve ever made would be a hit. At 45 tracks in total, Lovely Creatures nearly attempts to accomplish just that, and we have Cave himself to thank for it. Considering what he’s been through since tragedy struck his family in July 2015, it almost defies logic that he found the strength to complete the project. (If you need to get caught up, just watch last year’s One More Time With Feeling, and prepare to have your soul hollowed out and your mind blown.) “Lovely Creatures lost, for a time, its place in the narrative,” Cave writes in the collection’s afterword. “Now, it seems the time is right to recognize and celebrate the Bad Seeds and their many achievements.” Compiled with input from longtime Bad Seeds guitarist Mick Harvey, and packaged with essays, rare photos and unreleased archive footage (on a two-hour DVD that comes with the deluxe CD set), this isn’t just the best introduction you can get to one of the most visceral, ecstatically charged and hauntingly Byronesque bands in rock history. It’s the only one.

Authors: Bill Murphy
Artist: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Album: Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 1984–2014
Label: MUTE /BMG

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