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The year 2000 saw the release of a three-disc Johnny Cash compilation with each disc bearing a one-word title indicating the thematic scopes of the chosen songs: Love, God, and Murder. One could do much the same for Nick Cave, if not for the inconvenient fact that, more often than not, he’s singing about all three at the same time.

For the past thirty years, Nick Cave has been leading his Bad Seeds on a winding tour through the sordid backwaters and heartfelt desires of humanity. His musical history goes back even further, however, to a band formed with several fellow art students in Australia in 1973. This band would eventually settle on the name the Boys Next Door, and release a debut album under that name in 1979. Cave’s principal notoriety begins when the Boys Next Door decided on yet another name, cranked their instruments up louder than their technical proficiency merited, and brought the Birthday Party screaming and clawing into an unsuspecting world.

Though the death-jazz rattle of the Birthday Party’s post-punk burned itself out in a few short years, it was enough to relocate the band from Australia to London in search of a more fertile artistic environment. Almost before the ink was dry on the Birthday Party’s death certificate, Cave and Birthday Party guitarist Mick Harvey had formed a new band, which, following a few embryonic name choices and live shows, would soon be christened Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.

The membership of the Bad Seeds has been a constantly malleable thing, with the group swapping out members and growing in size (and ability) at nearly every turn of their history. This shifting group of collaborators is crucially important, because for as much as Cave is an inimitable vocalist and singular songwriter, his music has always ebbed and flowed with the varied strengths of his compatriots. The web of connections that wend through the Bad Seeds is outrageously rich, from Blixa Bargeld’s Einsturzende Neubauten, Mick Harvey’s Crime & the City Solution, and Warren Ellis’ Dirty Three, to collaborations with Lydia Lunch, David Tibet’s Current 93, The Pogues’ Shane Macgowan, Johnny Cash, and on and on.

But of course, through it all, Cave has been the ringleader, cycling through a varied bag of vocal styles and personalities: a heroin-thin, lunging lunatic; an old-fashioned balladeer and crooner; a street corner prophet; a sex-mad lothario; a heartbroken mutterer; and a roguish raconteur. Given the scope and progression of Cave’s music and songwriting interests over the years, it can make just as much sense to mention him alongside household names like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Tom Waits as it does to mention him in the same breath as such outsider figures as Scott Walker, Michael Gira, or David Tibet. Beyond that, though, the man simply seems — to reach for an assuredly inapt word — inexhaustible. Though his body of work undoubtedly has its crests and valleys, the sheer pace with which he has kept at it suggests a steely professionalism (or at least, if you prefer, the fitful compulsion of the perpetually unsatisfied). By his own account, however, at least in more recent years he has approached his creative work with a dogged discipline: go to an office in the morning, sit at a desk and work, and then leave it behind at the end of the day.

Despite this current discipline, however, the wild, wooly diversity of the albums with which Cave has been involved makes this current task a daunting one, not only because of the sheer number of albums to be judged, but also because of the wretched difficulty in trying to find the proper basis for comparing albums as dramatically unlike as Junkyard and The Boatman’s Call. It seems to me, then, that the only fair way to engage in such an exercise is to approach each album with the assumption that it’s the best one, and then see what kind of argument it can mount in its defense. This methodology led to a few results that surprised me, with longtime favorite albums winding up lower than expected, and a handful of albums that I hadn’t mentally rated that highly at the outset steadily climbing up.

I’ve tried to excavate personal and historical context where it seems relevant to gauging an individual album, but for the most part I’ve tried to shy away from a one-to-one mapping of events in Cave’s own life to developments in his music. Such a biographical approach has much to recommend, and you can certainly do the biography thing here, if you like, hitting on some of the major points: English teacher father, librarian mother; father killed in a car crash when Cave was a young man; bands coming together and breaking apart in the midst of dramatic personnel changes; long-time heroin use; marriage, divorce, rehab, romances, break-ups, children, moustaches, and so on. But, what does that tell us about the art? It’s not always clear, and frequently requires working from shaky assumptions.

All of this aside, there would seem to be something in Cave’s vast and varied discography for nearly everyone to enjoy. If not for the apocalyptic racket and hushed, textural nuance for which the Bad Seeds are equally known, then at least for Cave’s words: he is a cunning lyricist and a master of detail, whether quotidian, surreal, or sadistic. To follow his development as a songwriter, arranger, vocalist, and lyricist across such a broad sweep of music is to watch someone obsessed with the power of language pick and scratch and tear at every scrap of his own limitations in service of pushing out, to whatever unknown form of expression is waiting.

(An important note: I decided not to cover EPs, which means that some of the Birthday Party’s finest material — from the Mutiny! and Bad Seed EPs — is not covered here in depth. I have incorporated mention of the material in passing here and there, however. I am not covering Cave’s soundtrack work with Warren Ellis, which is a decision made not as a declaration regarding the quality of those scores, but rather because in large part they are musical pursuits done in the service of someone else’s artistic vision. Finally, I am not covering live albums, which means that the posthumous album of live recordings from the Birthday Party is left out, despite the fact that the band was known for the destructive ferocity of their legendary (and legendarily violent) live performances. I also won’t be covering the Bad Seeds’ live albums. Though each one is excellent, if you happen to be curious, I might narrowly give the edge to the Abbatoir Blues tour’s double live album, simply for the range of material and sense of rejuvenation at play. And of course, as if to underscore the above point about Nick Cave’s relentless work ethic and artistic inexhaustibility, between the time I started working on this feature and the time I finished it, Cave and the Bad Seeds released yet another album, Live From KCRW.)

Start the Countdown here.

Comments (52)
  1. “Live seeds” is pretty great too.

  2. I dig this list. Tender Prey’s my fave and I’d probaly have Henry’s Dream higher. And thanks for an excuse to post this cause there’s a polar vortex out there and it warms my heart

  3. Picking a favorite Nick Cave album is like picking a favorite supermodel from the early to mid 90′s. There are no wrong choices here. That being said I absolutely love the first Grinderman record. Being middle aged my own damn self I love that Nick and the boys went back to the well and released a big and bombastic Rock ‘n Roll album. The last “WHOOO” on No Pussy Blues hits me deep in my sack. I kinda like the idea of Nick making albums forever and each getting more and more introspective and then on his 73rd birthday he releases some filthy and degenerate punk rock opus.

    At the end of the day… there anything cooler than Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds? Anything at all?

    • Being cool enough to admit you don’t like them is almost as cool.

      • fartbasket (INCREDIBLE moniker, btw) ….I hear ya’. I’ve had that feeling about Radiohead for decades now. I feel like I should go to IDGRA meetings. (I don’t get Radiohead anonymous)

        To each his/her own


    Initial thoughts:

    -Nocturama right where it belongs.
    -Thanks for giving “The Carny” it’s due. That was my introduction to the world of Nick Cave (through the movie Wings of Desire).Though the album on the whole is a little low.
    -Had no idea Cave wasn’t credited for the music on “Tupelo”. I feel stupid. That’s their first great epic imo.
    -Prayers on Fire is undoubtedly the best Birthday Party album, but I’d still have put it a bit lower.
    -Never understand why No More Shall We Part is so well regarded, but you’re not alone in thinking this so I won’t question it.
    -I would have put Murder Ballads higher but now that I think about it the second half is rather uneven. “The Curse of MIllhaven” is one of my personal favorites though.
    -I’m not comfortable putting Push the Sky Away so high with such little time to digest it, but I guess your writeup explains why well enough.
    -I don’t really like Henry’s Dream and would not have put it in my top 10. It is a turning point for them, production wise, but that doesn’t really justify such a high spot for me.
    -I’ve always felt From Here to Eternity was vastly overrated, especially among 80′s Cave releases — would have put it behind The Firstborn is Dead AND Your Funeral… My Trial. Apart from this, though, the top 5 is perfect.

    Wow, one of these lists that doesn’t make me want to smash my computer screen. Nice job.

    • Well done !, great list would probably rearrange your top ten a little , but your number one is spot on in my opinion , no more shall we part never really appealed to me as much as it did (does) to most fans, but overall I am not sorry I read this list, nice work !

  5. Anyone else surprised at how low “Your Funeral…My Trial” is?

    • Sad Waters is one of my favourite songs ever.

    • I think it’s arguably the best one. Certainly if you like the melodramatic, utterly bleak modes of his music – which are my favorite. It’s cheesy and over the top, but sometimes that’s exactly what I need in music.

      Sad Waters – Feels like a farewell to hope and humanity before we set off on our dark journey through the rest of the album.

      The Carney – well said in the writeup. Cave says it’s not really about anything deep, but the story from the lyrics seems more powerful than he realized when he wrote it, perhaps revealing layers of his psyche he didn’t consciously tap into at the time.

      Your Funeral My Trial – Sounds like the muttering of a man resigned to death or insanity. Perhaps the thoughts of the guy in Mercy Seat before he gets caught.

      Stranger Than Kindness – Though upbeat, it reveals itself as the most isolating, nihilistic song in his catalog.

      Jack’s Shadow – Kicking off the second half of the album, violently upheaving the relative calm of the first half with a murderous rage.

      Hardon for Love – well described in the writeup. This is the energy he taps into with Gridnerman, but to me it feels even more raw and visceral here.

      She Fell Away – The buildup of the heroin-laced tension that was about to explode in Tender Prey. More and more gripping with each listen – can’t help but think Cave was on the brink of death at this point in time. as he says “Sometimes I feel the end, it is at hand”.

      Long Time Man – perfect anthom for senseless gun violence, and America’s tendency to self-righteously glorify guns despite it. It’s a cover, but The Bad Seeds bring it out like Tim Rose couldn’t.

      it’s all tied together with Cave’s heroin-induced mania, Mick Harvey’s instrumental and creative mastery at its peak, Blixa’s sonic deconstruction of the guitar. I don’t know how Dan can say it didn’t achieve “swagger”. It is entirely stylistically coherent like no other album in his catalog except maybe Boatman’s Call.

      • Absolutely, spot on. Given the state of Cave at the time, it may be better to regard it as Mick Harvey’s finest hour, rather than Cave’s.

    • Yes, it belongs in the top 5 for sure.

  6. WTF man, Babe I’m On Fire is a MONSTER.

  7. Great list! I would have personally used the recent re-issue of Mutiny!/The Bad Seed as a (flimsy) excuse to get it on the list (right between Grinderman and No More Shall We Part) but I see your point.

  8. The Good Son and Your Funeral…My Trial should both be a lot higher, and some of the most recent ones (especially the Grindermen) a little lower.

    I’m with you on Push The Sky Away being easily their best in 10+ years though.

    Still, from my perspective (diehard fan for nearly 20 years), this was all in all a pretty great writeup. You may pat yourself on the back at your leisure.

  9. Nick Cave has been my musical backdrop for so many years. What a ride. I can’t choose between Let Love In and The Boatman’s Call … I won Let Love In as a teenager from a radio station. Back when CD giveaways was still a thing.
    I never quite got Murder Ballads, mainly cos I couldn’t stand the Wild Roses. But I loved the Peter Straub shout-out in The Curse of Millhaven (Blue Rose trilogy, anyone? anyone?).
    The Ship Song – the live one, esp, from Albert Hall – is easily one of my favourite songs of all time. What a song.
    No More … is too low though.

  10. The first thing that struck with me with this list – as has already been mentioned above – is how low Your Funeral…My Trial is. For me, it’s the first truly great Bad Seeds album, the one that really gave the Bad Seeds a true identity in terms of sound, as expansive and multi-facted as that sound may be. For me it’s right up there, with only Let Love In, Abatoir Blues/Lyre Of Orpheus and maybe Tender Prey rating higher.

    With that said, I’m in complete agreement with #1, amazing given the astonishing quality across the entire Nick Cave canon. If Your Funeral… established the Bad Seeds various songwriting modes, then Let Love In brings top-drawer examples of all of these: ballads in Nobodys Baby Now and I Let Love In; unhinged rockers in Jangling Jack and Thirsty Love; songs of unrepentent lust like Loverman; gallows humour in Lay Me Low, and of course one of his most iconic songs in Red Right Hand. It’s the closest thing to a definitive Bad Seeds album.

    In general this is a great list. Abatoir Blues/Lyre Of Orpheus is always a favourite for me as it was my entry point into Nick Cave, and I’m pleased to see Henry’s Dream fairly high up, as it sometimes gets a bad press. I too agree that it’s difficult to know exactly where Push The Sky Away stands in the grand scheme of things, but every listen seems to push it upwards in my estimation. I’ve never been that into The Boatsman’s Call; when I want Cave in reflective mode I tend to turn to the more interesting musical arrangements of No More Shall We Part, for me perhaps Cave’s most underrated album.

    In many ways though, as daft as it sounds, I think Cave’s entire discography is underrated. Cave’s unwavering quality (let’s ignore Nocturama) and diversity puts him alongside, if not above his peers, and yet because there is not one standout album in his canon, he’s not – in the eyes of those who compile these tiresome Best Albums Of All Time lists – judged to have released an album that can rank alongside Blonde On Blonde, Revolver, Rain Dogs and the like. Simply not the case.

  11. I’m really happy to see this list (great read) even if I disagree with a lot of it. I adore Your Funeral… it’s easily top 3 for me. All the birthday party stuff should be higher in my opinion as well, although undoubtedly their best record is the official live release. That said it speaks volumes about Nick Cave as an artist that one man’s 3′rd favorite is another man’s 18′th favorite.

  12. Kicking: higher
    Good Son: higher
    Grinderman/Lazarus period: overrated, lower
    Eternity: lower
    Nocturama: higher (yes! it has tunes.)

    But hey, thank you for this. The most consistently inspirational figure in music history?

  13. Can I have your job Dan Lawrence cause you clearly know fuck all about Nick Cave you just get into him in the past 5 minutes?

  14. Wow, not a lot of love for The Birthday Party. That band was pushing raucous, nasty sound that tied in with the abrasiveness of the post-punk days. In a way, the Grinderman project was an attempt to return to the unconscious noise of Cave’s early days (and for me the Grinderman stuff is good but much weaker). Guess the Stereogum folks prefer their ballads to their ball-out punk rock?

    Do agree that Nocturama is the worst Bad Seeds record by far. While it marked Cave freeing himself up and changing his writing methods to be more spontaneous, there are only a few decent tracks. Interestingly, I think No More Shall We Part is the best record, a balance of aggression and introspection. I also think Henry’s Dream is an under-rated gem.

    • Yeah, it all boils down to personal preference, but I’m surprised that there aren’t more people that prefer BP to the Bad Seeds. I think Cave’s at his best when he’s not taking himself all that seriously, and the Seeds material from the 80′s and 90′s can definitely forgo humor for grand drama. Though I rank Birthday Party at the top, I love the more recent Seeds and Grinderman releases for the renewed sense of silliness. Even the quietly creepy Push the Sky Away is full of moments that give it a feel of absurd levity.

  15. Wasn’t Stranger than Kindness written by Anita Lane?

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  17. Alot of flak on here for Nocturma .When the B-sides & Rarities came out, Nick Cave said it was his favourite record, I was struck by how good the outtakes were from Nocturama. So, I went back to that album and on further listens it opens itself up. I reckon its one of his best. People on here saying its his worst should go back to it and have another listen.

  18. Push the Sky Away better than Murder Ballads.. must be kidding me!! Murder Ballads is a masterpiece.

  19. I think ‘Kicking Against the Pricks’ is an underrated gem. This is a cover record but it’s also one of my all-time favorites. When I saw the Bad Seeds in 2003 for Nocturama – not one of Nick’s best, really, but the accompanying tour was great -, they came back on stage for the encore and played ‘The Singer’. That was such a treat! Besides, I don’t really agree with Let Love In being #1. It’s not well produced and though it has the popular Red Right Hands on it, I think it’s where Cave’s goth circus got a bit too far. Tender Prey or Boatman’s Call should have been #1 as they’re both much much better. Also, I would tend to consider Push the Sky Away a better album than Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus’ – which I love BTW. Anyway, I might be a bit picky on this but this is great list. You can’t go wrong with Nick Cave.

  20. Nocturama is one of my favourite albums.

    There’s a same kind of madness than with the earliest recordings, like in “Dead man in my bed”, with slightly distorted organs and raw sound. Not to mention “Babe I’m on Fire”, with 15 minutes of verses and chorus. You can hear how Cave’s voice is cracking at the end of the song. Simply great.

    The album also includes beatiful ballads with the opening tracks, Wonderful Life, He wants you, Right out of your hand.

    Bring it On is a great single, with a sarcastic video.

    Only track that is not my favourite pieces, is Rock of Gibraltar and even that song is a strong one compared to many others.

    To me, Nocturama was the last Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album with “classic” line-up. I didn’t really cared the later ones, until Push the Sky was released. That’s also a great album.

  21. A couple of recurring trends in the comments here:

    – So many different Nick Cave albums have been referred to as “underrated”, further underlining just how uniformly strong his discography is.

    - He knows how to keep all his fans onside. Those who loved the Birthday Party seem to find particular joy in Grinderman, whilst those put off by the relative levity of his recent releases seem to have fallen in love all over again with the release of Push The Sky Away.

  22. here’s my attempt at a ranked list. I’ve added the Mutiny/Bad Seed eps as a single release. I’m sure if I looked at this again tomorrow I’d move some things around

    Tender Prey
    You’re Funeral, My Trial
    Mutiny/The Bad Seed
    The Boatman’s Call
    From Her To Eternity
    Henry’s Dream
    The Good Son
    Abattoir Blues/Lyres of Orpheus
    Let Love In
    Push The Sky Away
    Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
    No More Shall We Part
    Murder Ballads
    The First Born Is Dead
    Prayers on Fire
    Grinderman 2
    Kicking Against The Pricks
    Hee Haw
    Door, Door

  23. Here’s my list.
    - I love The Birthday Party, but their compilation Hits is so good, that I never listen to the original records.
    - There’s no denying Let Love In
    - To me From Her to Eternity and The Firstborn Are Dead are almost a double album. I like the latter a little better than the former, so I think it’s strange they are so far apart in this list.
    - I think Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! is almost as bad as Nocturama (and it misses a banger like ‘Babe, I’m on Fire’). Grinderman 2 is pretty mediocre too.
    - I prefer Cave’s more kitsch-y ballads over the more earnest stuff (I don’t like earnest music in general for some reason, I guess it’s a character flaw.) Give me ‘The Weeping Song’ or ‘The Loom of the Land’ over ‘People Ain’t No Good’ anytime. So for me it’s The Good Son over The Boatman’s Call every time, especially since The Good Son also has The Hammer Song and the title track.

    Let Love In
    Henry’s Dream
    The Firstborn Is Dead
    From Her to Eternity
    Murder Ballads
    The Good Son
    Tender Prey
    Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus
    No More Shall We Part
    Push The Sky Away
    The Boatman’s Call
    Kicking Against The Pricks
    Your Funeral… My Trial
    Grinderman 2
    Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

  24. I wasn’t aware there was a ‘bad’ Nick Cave album…whats not to like!

  25. Nocturama was my introduction to Nick Cave, which I didn’t realize was his “worst” album to critics. I bought it not knowing anything about Cave when I was 14, just loved the song “Baby I’m on Fire” and the whole album. It’s funny when you buy something blindly and can fall in love with it, just cause you think it is good. Great article and Nick Cave is the man.

  26. I think, more shall we part should be ranked far higher on this list. I think on ‘as is sat sadly by her side’ Nick creates his finest lyric ‘ and god doesn’t care for your benevolence anymore than he cares for the lack of it in others, nor does he care for you to sit at windows in judgement of the world he created’ I’m not religious but that’s my favourite lyric of all time. A friend of mine calls this a pencil breaking moment.

    The list is great, and an excellent introduction to cave for any new fans which have joined in the last few albums. I feel that if you were more of a piano lover than a guitar lover then this would certainly be ranked much higher. I also note the absence of a mention for ‘Oh my lord’ which has lyrics remnant of Henry’s Dream and some of the fire and brimstone too as it cresendo’s.

    I’m gonna throw this out there – The boatman’s call gets way too much attention because of the persona life pj Harvey blah blah that it unfairly gets rated too high. While some of their best songs are here, your comments on into my arms are perfectly apt to describe this, there is filler I find some of the tracks such as green eyes etc to boring and find myself reaching again for and no more shall we part.

    regarding the birthday party they should rank lower unless you were to include the mutiny bad seed eps they pretty much merged it onto one album for European release ( or rerelease) so it has as much right to be there as your funeral my trial.

    pretty much dead on with the top three, for my taste, thanks for the article its great to see someone review nick cave and the bad seeds from a true fan perspective, too many good writers focus on him as a madcap figure due to his lyrics, this captures it well

    On Nocturama, you are right, its rubbish wonderful life is a lovely song but there are many lovelier nick cave songs, babe im on fire is good but goes on way to long.

  27. Two of the Cave recordings I listen to most are The Secret Life of the Love Song, a vivid insight into his life & writing process, along with stripped-down versions of classics like Sad Waters; and B-Sides and Rarities which is spilling over with brilliant little nuggets that didn’t make the albums (a cover of the Pogues’ Rainy Night in Soho, Come into My Sleep)

  28. Very interesting list to read. I myself have only been a fan for the last few years, so I’ve only gone through about half of his albums (I’m not a fast collector – like to take my time and really ingest them), but Let Love In was the first one I got; I’d always liked Metallica’s cover of ‘Loverman’ so I looked up the original and heard how much better it was.

    It’s very difficult to rank the ‘best’ album of such a long-standing and prolific talent. There really is something for everyone to enjoy, as each album has that very distinct personality and tone. It’s one of the reasons I love his music. For me personally, as much as I love Let Love In, The Boatman’s Call is the album that I always come back to. I got it a few summers ago, and listened to it in full almost every day. I almost always have to play it that way, finding it hard to skip tracks or only listen to a few. His verses speak so plainly and honestly, and the band plays just enough to accompany them perfectly. I also got it right after a breakup with a girl who had black hair and green eyes, so that might’ve had something to do with it.

  29. wait, the birthday party album isnt number 1?

  30. So, “Your Funeral… My Trial” is one of the worst Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds albums. Ok….

  31. “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” should be higher. That is all.

  32. This list is jacked as that kid on Meow Meow who sliced his pride off. Your Funeral… My Trial is the greatest, most consistent album of all time.

  33. To me he’s still on the top

  34. The boatmans call was the first album of Nicks I bought. I discovered them listening to Into my Arms on 95 bfm. Into My Arms was our wedding song. Since then I have got to know and love most of his work from Birthday Party til now. Can’t wait to see them play again. Erin.

  35. Dan Lawrence,

    Thank you for such a thoughtful article on Nick Cave’s discography. I’ve been on an obsessive-can’t-listen-to-anything-else 7 month long Nick Cave binge ever since initially reading. It’s been a work-refuge obsessively compiling this ranking, and I love the shit out of every single output (yes, even Nocturama). I feel bad for not giving as much love to Birthday Party, as I adore those albums, but it is a testimony to the Bad Seeds output that most records rank above the other projects. Cannot wait to see what he does next.


    1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call
    2. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus
    3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – From Her To Eternity
    4. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – No More Shall We Part
    5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey
    6. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away
    7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Let Love In
    8. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Good Son
    9. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Henry’s Dream
    10. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig
    11. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Your Funeral…My Trial
    12. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Kicking Against the Pricks
    13. Grinderman – Grinderman II
    14. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Murder Ballads
    15. The Birthday Party – Prayers On Fire
    16. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Nocturama
    17. Grinderman – Grinderman I
    18. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The First Born is Dead
    19. The Birthday Party – Junkyard
    20. The Birthday Party – Mutiny/The Bad Seed
    21. The Birthday Party – Hee Haw
    22. The Boys Next Door – Door, Door

  36. Junkyard should be top ten in my opinion.

  37. I have a tie for the number one, Grinderman, Let Love In, Dig Lazarus Dig, Tender Prey, Your Funeral, My Trial.

    And I wrote this column called Nick Cave Monday for a year:

    It started as a joke, then people took it seriously, thus….

  38. I won’t go as far as to list them all in order because the difference between 14 and 17, or 5 and 8, etc. is all negligible depending upon the mood, but just a few thoughts:

    No universe exists where Your Funeral…My Trial is the second worst Bad Seeds album. That’s just silly.

    I’ve always felt that Grinderman 2 captures the essence of what the band is supposed to be better than the first album. With the exception of “What I Know”, I feel like it’s more in your face, whiskey bottle waving in the air, balls and cock flying in the wind, throw some shit, kick some other shit, dirty filthy rough sex, party all goddamn night music. Obviously the first album has those moments too, and most people prefer it; G2 just gets to me I guess.

    Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus is loaded, I mean FUCKING LOADED, with great songs. “Cannibal’s Hymn” is one of my favorite Nick Cave songs ever.

    I would venture to guess that if you were to make this list 10 years from now, that Push the Sky Away would be top 3, if not the top of the pile.

    Murder Ballads was my first Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album, so of course I would place it higher than you would have. Something about Stagger Lee killing for fun and being such a disturbed soul that he would climb over 50 good pussies to get to one fat boy’s asshole, as well as Nick smashing Kylie’s face with a rock really struck a chord with me. I was hooked from then on.

    He’s a god, he’s a man, he’s a ghost, he’s a guru…

    • So glad I looked up your history and saw this post……

      I don’t own Grinderman 2. Which is weird cuz I fucking love Grinderman #1. I’m really weird when it comes to Mr. Cave. I like his over the top fuck the world songs and his sappy lovesongs but am just “meh” with the stuff in the middle.

      We are on the same page on this topic….as usual.

      • Yeah shit man, I’m going through looking up all the “worst to best” lists of my favorites because I wasn’t active in the comments section when they were published. I’m gathering my thoughts on the Tom Waits one next. I’m really disappointed this one only had 49 comments before I stopped by because Cave is such an enigma and cornerstone in music to me.

        Grinderman 2 is definitely work a few listens and hey, it’s Friday, which is the perfect day to blast it and go ape shit.

        I know what you mean by only liking the extremes because those are the songs of his I love as well, but even when the “meh” ones are playing I rarely complain or change it. He’s a boss.

        Great minds think alike.

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