Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – B-Sides & Rarities: Part II (2021)

Posted by Green on October 25, 2021as

320 | FLAC

While Part I captures the Bad Seeds rise from the chaotic ashes of The Birthday Party to become first-rate balladeers with a dirty streak, Part II channels the group’s evolution into more experimental and mature waters. With the majority of the songs being recorded around the ‘Push The Sky Away’ to ‘Ghosteen’ era, many of the numbers are sparse beauties, highlighting Ellis’ haunting synth work and Cave’s surreal, almost stream-of-consciousness lyrics. They’re songs of loss and love, of regret and memories and despite their often skeletal nature, heartbreakingly beautiful.

For those who prefer the swagger of old, the second half of this set may not get your pulse racing, but for those who adored this year’s ‘Carnage’ from the inseparable duo, there’s plenty to enjoy. Still, with this being a Bad Seeds – and not a solo release – there’s still some Grade A storytelling fare to be found. ‘Avalance’ is a forlorn masterpiece led by Cave’s twinkling piano as he sings of the forgotten, deformed, and outcast. A gem that stands proudly with his finest work. ‘Animal X’ sees the band marry the menace of old with a new sense of experimentation, perfectly capturing the Seeds metamorphosis into the studio outfit we’ve seen these past three albums.

Later on, ‘First Girl In Amber’ sees the band sonically atomize to such a level of spooky freeform that it wouldn’t be out of place on Radiohead’s ‘Amnesiac.’ Most staggering of all when considering this innovative change in direction is, despite being the least commercial material of The Bad Seeds career, the outfit and Cave are bigger than ever. Once the critically admired darlings of old goths and literature students, The Bad Seeds now headline festivals and pack out stadiums. This strange period for the group, one filled with grief and the dismantlement of their sound, has seen them connect with more people than ever. Cave’s raw honesty and relentless desire to connect with his audience have made him a beloved figure, like Tom Waits in a high collared suit.

‘B-Sides & Rarities (Part II)’ sees The Bad Seeds at their most daring, most direct, and most enchanting. It’s a must-own for fans and well worth exploring for those who like their songwriting to seep out of the parameters.

1. Hey Little Firing Squad
2. Fleeting Love
3. Accidents Will Happen
4. Free To Walk (With Debbie Harry)
5. Avalanche*
6. Vortex *
7. Needle Boy
8. Lightning Bolts
9. Animal X
10. Give Us A Kiss
11. Push The Sky Away (Live With The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra)*

1. First Skeleton Tree*
2. King Sized Nick Cave Blues*
3. Opium Eyes*
4. Big Dream (With Sky)*
5. Instrumental #33*
6. Hell Villanelle*
7. Euthanasia*
8. Life Per Se*
9. Steve McQueen*
10. First Bright Horses*
11. First Girl In Amber*
12. Glacier*
13. Heart That Kills You*
14. First Waiting For You*
15. Sudden Song*
16. Earthlings*

*previously Unreleased

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