I exceeded the character count for comments by about 2 1/2 times, so I decided to make it a post of my own!
Eek! Songs with the best basslines? But a lot of the best are Birthday Party ones! *sigh*
And "Best of" does not equal "best basslines".
Still, glad you allow Nick solo. I hereby submit track #1:
* Nick Cave & Tim Friese-Greene - There Is A Light
BEST EVER! Tim Friese-Greene produced the last few Talk Talk albums, genius. Amazing song, appears on the Batman Forever soundtrack, does not appear on the B-Sides and Rarities comp, presumably due to not being Bad Seeds. Oh well. So groovy, so dark, so impeccably arranged, such a great lyric!
* Saint Huck
Highlight from the amazing first Bad Seeds album. One of. I think yes to the bassline question, but amazing piano and whistling. Very very evil. Oh yes.
* In The Ghetto
When I was doing Kicking Against The Pricks I remembered that this was so awesome. Best version of this song too!
* The Carny
* Stranger Than Kindness
* She Fell Away
Probably my three highlights from Your Funeral, My Trial. There's other good stuff on it, but let's go with those three. Basslines? Well, does the organ line in the Carny count? The second is all blissful guitars, but still awesome. And the latter, kind of bass-line-featuring maybe.
is the only completely necessary song from The Firstborn is Dead (fantastic video to this song), although I think also:
* Say Goodbye To The Little Girl Tree
is beautiful too. I only have this on vinyl and can't be bothered to listen right now.
* The Mercy Seat
* Up Jumped The Devil
* City of Refuge
* Slowly Goes The Night
* Sunday's Slave
I'd include everything off Tender Prey except "New Morning" if I could, but these would do. Does The Mercy Seat's bassline count? And that string trio! This was what turned me on to Nick Cave I'd say. Obviously not when it came out (I was 14) but in later high school. Whoah!
Up Jumped The Devil - clearly this is ALL ABOUT THE BASSLINE. And the piano. And the evil cackle, and the vocal.
Note I didn't include Deanna. Oh well, I don't mind it, but not "Best of" to me. Certainly it's full-on bassline sheeit.
City of Refuge is one of those gospel-tinged acoustic-guitar-led things Nick does well at this stage. I hate gospel, but it's not like there's any of that kind of vocal stuff in this period of Nick! No bassline action here really.
Slowly Goes The Night, probably the first jazzy non-vicious Nick song that worked. Really great. Just as derivative of everything he's done, but that's never mattered.
Sunday's Slave, great groove, great melody, great bassline.
I think Kicking Against The Pricks is an absolutely wonderful album. I have no idea why two songs from it are on B-Sides and Rarities. It's still in print, and deserves to be. Neither of those songs are my choices though. Let's see:
* Muddy Water
-great delivery, nice violin line from Dawn Cave, ages before the advent of Mr Dirty Third.
* Hey Joe
-oh yes, oh yes. Surpasses the original. Murder Ballad, too.
* All Tomorrow's Parties
-there are a number of awesome covers of this. The Velvets' own version is of course wonderful, but this is probably my favourite. Blixa/chorus vocals, everything (bassline, guitars, piano, drums) powering through, Nick yelling in the background "Ha!" Never tired of it.
* By The Time I Get To Phoenix
-the sort of song Nick does really well, like Slowly Goes The Night from Tender Prey really. I guess this would be the only dispensible one from there.
* The Carnival Is Over
-nonironic Seekers cover. Unexpected, brilliant.
I didn't use to like The Good Son much, but I really do these days. The Ship Song can fuck off, but hey...
* The Good Son
Well, the story of the Prodigal Son is, after the Book of Job, the most evil of all the stories in the Bible. I like Nick dramatising the poor Good Son, who stayed at home. "And he curses his virtue like an unclean thing". Bassline? Well it pulsates away in the background nicely.
* Sorrow's Child
* The Weeping Song
All these great Brazillian-influenced songs! I would cut a few from this album if I could, but... I can't! The delivery on The Weeping Song in particular is unmissable.
* The Hammer Song
One of my favourites, and lo! Hear the bassline, hear the guitar with delay on it, hear the thump of the kettle drums. Groove ye.
Closest they come to the grooviness of "There Is A Light" as mentioned earlier.
I wouldn't include it except for the great string arrangement. Sticks in my head it does. Nice enough bassline, but not the feature.
* The Witness Song
Gospel much? But still, the piano grooving along, the lyric is pure poetry... Compelling, even I don't... really... understand ;) Similar in the way the lyric evolves to "The Mercy Seat" maybe. "Now, who will be a witness / when you're all to healed to see?"
Next, a brief foray elsewhere:
* (I'll Love You) Till The End of the World
from the awesome soundtrack to Wim Wenders' film Until The End of the World. The soundtrack to his Wings of Desire is of course a classic and has two Nick Cave songs. Another of his films in a minute... This song is deservedly on the B-Sides and Rarities comp.
Henry's Dream is the last great Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album IMHO. I don't know that I can leave ANYTHING off it for my best of. Literally. So much bassline action, so much acoustic guitar action, vocals, etc... I know they hated the original production and took it to Tony Cohen for his alcoholic drug-fuelled touch, which was no doubt worth it.
* Papa Won't Leave You, Henry
* I Had A Dream, Joe
These are sortof the same song.
Let's skip "Straight To You". There you go.
* Brother, My Cup Is Empty
I love all the commas in the song titles on this album! Another one in the vein of the first couple of songs...
* Christina The Astonishing
One of Tim's ex-girlfriends alerted me to how astonishing this song is. It's actually more akin to some of the earlier stuff in a way. No bassline really.
* When I First Came To Town
Heartbreaking. Unlike anything that came before really. It's the better brother to "Straight To You". Conway Savage's "Other vocals" are wonderful. "Now even the doors of the whores of this town/ are closed to me"
* John Finns' Wife
Note the consistently wrongly-placed apostrophe there. Oh well. A truly truly awesome song, so South American, so drenched in heat and darkness. Beautiful string lines too. Bassline? Well, in that Bad Seeds way, one-note basslines that are an integral part of the energy of the song.
* Loom of the Land
Almost missed it until I heard the sighing backing vocals. Sorry, you're in too.
* Jack The Ripper
So vicious, so cool. The sortof evil counterpart of the sighs in the previous track. Bass goes "whack whack whack whack whack whack whack whack". But it's all about the vocal.
Around the same time, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds did a version of his song
* God's Hotel
live on KCRW, which appears on their Rare on Air comp from 1994. Fantastic lyric, which was used by Paul Kelly too, but this version's much better. Is on B-Sides and Rarities.
Oops! Another Wim Wenders soundtrack. This time for the sequel to Wings of Desire, Faraway, So Close! and Nick does the title song:
* Faraway, So Close!
Doesn't appear on B-Sides and Rarities, presumably because it's a re-recorded version of a b-side or something from a couple of years earlier which is on that comp (forget the name). This version's better - if only for the backing vocals! Another awesome soundtrack from Herr Wenders all-round in fact.
* Cassiel's Song
Does appear on B-Sides and Rarities. Both these are credited to just "Nick Cave", but frankly it sounds like the Bad Seeds in the background. Lovely song, especially if you know the movie. Actually it succeeds better than the movie itself.
The soundtrack also features a song called "All God's Children" by Simon Bonney (lead singer in Mick Harvey's band Crime & The City Solution), which is one of the only God-centric song lyrics that this atheist finds utterly beautiful.
And so finally we get to Let Love In. He should've just stopped after this. Murder Ballads, schmurder ballads, not one is as good as all the ones he'd written previously. So:
* Do You Love Me?
Excellent production, excellent bassline!
More bassline love, Blixa backing vocals, all good. When Nick explodes into the chorus, oh yeah.
* Red Right Hand
No comment needed really. Probably everyone loves this song. Organs all over this record, I love the dubby thing in this one and "Do You Love Me?"
Some not-bad-but-not-great songs on this, like "Lay Me Low" and "Thirsty Dog", but
* Do You Love Me? (Part 2)
is fabulous. Some of the songs on this album point to a different direction they could've taken, but. They didn't.
I don't mind "Into My Arms", but much though I quite like the lyric, the song itself is pretty boring. I prefer
* Little Empty Boat
which is a b-side of the single.
I respect your beliefs, girl,
And I consider you a friend,
But I've already been born once,
I don't wanna to be born again.
Your knowledge is impressive
And your argument is good
But I am the resurrection, babe,
And you're standing on my foot!
Don't care for anything else off that album.
As previously discussed,
* God Is In The House
gets in for its sardonic lyric. It's a good song.
Other than that the wonderful "There Is A Light" listed at the top, I think that's it.
There's his "Mack The Knife" cover with various people on the September Songs comp of Kurt Weill covers from 1994, but it's not that brilliant..
Birthday Party songs I'm not allowed to include:
The Friend Catcher (distortion over limping bassline), Nick The Stripper (as you listen to this you realise how much the Birthday Party were all about the basslines), Release The Bats (see? bassline!), She's Hit (big glacial bassline), Junkyard ("I am the king/ I am the king"... bassline enters!), King Ink, Sonny's Burning, Jennifer's Veil (might as well be an early Bad Seeds track), and so on...
Can't remember which Boys Next Door.