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Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus [Double CD, Enhanced]

Nick Cave, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Sep 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Double CD, Enhanced
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B0002K73EO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,875 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Get Ready for Love 5:050.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Cannibal's Hymn 4:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Hiding All Away 6:310.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Messiah Ward 5:150.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. There She Goes, My Beautiful World 5:170.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Nature Boy 4:540.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Abattoir Blues 3:580.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Let the Bells Ring 4:260.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Fable of the Brown Ape 2:430.79  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. The Lyre of Orpheus 5:360.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Breathless 3:130.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Babe, You Turn Me On 4:210.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Easy Money 6:430.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Supernaturally 4:370.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Spell 4:250.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Carry Me 3:370.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. O Children 6:500.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

The latest Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds studio album, the double-CD set entitled Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, will be the 13th studio album and the follow-up to 2003's Nocturama. Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus was Recorded by Nick Launay at Studio Ferber in Paris in Spring 2004 by the Bad Seeds line-up of Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Thomas Wydler, Martyn Casey, Conway Savage, Jim Sclavunos, Warren Ellis and James Johnston and features the London Community Gospell Choir. The CD comes with the special packaging of a cloth-bound rigid slipcase.

BBC Review

Enough time has passed to be straight without fear of fan retaliation: 2003’s Nocturama was a misstep for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Though not a terrible record, it paled woefully when compared to what’d preceded it: several albums of nonpareil, damaged and daring rock music, a kind both emotion-stirring and crotch-clutching, from a band firmly contumacious to compromise.

Nocturama didn’t wholly lose the plot, but certainly capitulated to cliché. Which made its successor, the double-disc, two-albums-in-one set of 2004’s Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus, all the more remarkable. Perhaps Cave and company knew what they had in wait; that it’d be special enough to surpass whatever preceded it; that putting out a weaker disc in advance would only increase its impact, heighten critical intrigue and benefit subsequent examinations. If so, bravo gentlemen – it worked a treat.

Rightfully feted by a plethora of publications upon its release, these 17 tracks found Cave in imperious form, creativity running clean while the summoning of traits that’d helped define his career is treated with consideration for progression – there’s little revivalism here, few nods to past glories. Instead, the albums spark with a vibrancy that’d soon carry into the Grinderman set-up, and ring with a classic melancholy-versus-malevolence vibe as timeless as any favourites previously released under the Bad Seeds banner.

Reduced to the very simplest exposition, Abattoir Blues is the fast and furious record, Lyre the slower, seductive offering; but neither really plays things straight, the latter’s Supernaturally a sprightly saunter of a love song, the former’s Let the Bells Ring a lugubrious laudation of a passing.  Abattoir’s opener, Get Ready for Love, crackles with an energy that’d be felt again four years later on 2008’s Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!. The title track shudders with a lyrical moroseness – “Everything’s dissolving, babe” – but is lifted from a sullen repose by sweet, soulful backing vocals. Not that wallowing in Cave’s misery is to be avoided. Lyre’s titular opener, meanwhile, is a spectacle of storytelling which has one wondering how Cave’s novel-writing endeavours have, to date, failed to emulate his music-world achievements.

Two great albums, then, and recorded both fast – in under two weeks – and without the previously pivotal Blixa Bargeld, whose departure could have foreshadowed failure. But under Cave’s consistently accomplished marshalling, the Bad Seeds are always capable of overturning the odds, and this is the sweetest affirmation of that trait to date. --Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking 23 Sep 2004
Format:Audio CD
As Nick Cave's new album appears, most people will wonder just what he's going to try next after murder and the like. Simple: mixing nature and the ghost-like. Cave's new 2CD offering comes as a breath of fresh air. Underneath its beautiful packaging is a collection of immaculate songs which are both completely engaging and exhausting as Cave takes the listener on a characteristically dramatic and mesmerising journey.
"Abattoir Blues" is a CD with perfect dynamics as he weaves the dark and melancholic with glam rock. Darker moments like the chilling narrative of "Messiah Ward", or the infective, attitude-laden strut of "Hiding All Away" show the sheer force of Cave's talents. His voice is timeless, sounding almost as if it has been around for centuries only now sharing its tales. Surrounding these songs are others like single "Nature Boy" and the energetic "There She Goes My Beautiful World" which ensure that the mood never drifts into the overly downbeat. Their Gospel Choir backing vocals are triumphant and completely engulfing. Throughout, "Abattoir Blues" is a landscape which is mysterious, glorious, dismal and beautiful all at once.
And then comes "The Lyre of Orpheus", a thick and seductive collection of songs where Cave constantly changes the atmosphere: heavy, smoky bar on "Lyre of Orpheus", then comes the fresh-sounding "Breathless" and the hazy summer of the beautiful "Babe You Turn Me On". Perhaps the album's finest moment is in the closing track "O Children", where the Gospel Choir's power is at its peak. With gorgeous piano, heartbreaking and ghostly vocals by all finished off by the sparse arrangement, it is the album at its bleakest: devastating and totally, totally breathtaking.
One of the strongest albums I've heard in years.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Ready For Love! 23 Sep 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The reverence bestowed upon each subsequent Nick Cave album by the Critics unfortunately means that when a genuinely refreshing and exciting breakthrough occurs in what is already an extraordinary and incredible career, it too easily slips through the net. 'Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus' is such an epiphany. Cave rates this record as one of, if not the best of his career, and for very good reason. It simply oozes beauty. Where previous Cave albums have been predominately dark and foreboding in mood, this album pulses with life and hope. Aided by the London Community Gospel Choir and the ever inventive Bad Seeds, Cave's music soars, brimming with wit and passion and romance. Like all great art it makes you feel differently about the world; it reassures and challenges in equal measure.
From the head rush of the opener 'Get Ready For Love' to the celestial tranquillity of 'O Children', this is a mature record in the best sense of that overused phrase. Cave has finally found the perfect balance between songwriter and band leader, the Bad Seeds proving themselves one of the most exciting and dynamic groups in the business.
As a long time fan of Cave I have enjoyed most of his work. Yet, in recent years there have been reservations. There was conviction missing from 'The Boatman's Call'. 'No More Shall We Part', despite moments of greatness was just a little too long-winded at times. And after 'Nocturama' I feared his muse had completely bolted. However, my fears have been allayed. This is the most significant music Nick Cave has delivered since he wrote 'The Mercy Seat' almost 20 years ago. A double album of such beauty and majesty it demands comparison with the great man's own heroes - Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Nina Simone and the late Johnny Cash.
Nick Cave is damn right to suspect that this really is his masterpiece. It is nothing less than that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter sucked me in 23 April 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Hate to admit it but it was watching the latest Harry Potter that pulled me towards this album. Found out the featured track was O Children and ventured onto itunes thinking I'd buy just that one track. Had a listen to the others and thought to myself that this sounds like a lovely collection of songs. Of course I then bought it from amazon and glad I was too as the packaging on this double album is very nice. Given the album a couple of listens so far and love it - all the songs are different with a wide variety of styles. Can't recomend this highly enough - give it a listen. You wont be disappointed.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is a great double-set - easily standing as Nick's best work since The Boatman's Call and really offering astounding value for money - with both albums featuring tracks that could very easily rank amongst the best of Cave's respective career thus far. In a way, it's the album I've been wanting him to record for some time, with one side of the album (Abattoir Blues) featuring the heavier, more aggressive songs, whilst the second side of the record (The Lyre of Orpheus) features the more plaintive or melancholic tracks. Whichever you prefer is really down to personal taste... however, there's really no faulting the records as a whole, with both discs sure to delight the majority of Cave fans, old or new.
There's really too much quality material to cover in a 1000 word review, with both albums deserving of our full attention. However, I will say that Cave and the Bad Seeds are playing with a variety of different sounds, styles and ideas, mixing both the bleak and heavier sound of early Bad Seeds albums like Tender Prey and Let Love In with the more pastoral and reflective sound of The Boatman's Call and No More Shall We Part (with some of the wild eclecticism of Nocturama thrown in for good measure). As I've said before, the rougher, more exuberant stuff is on Abattoir whilst the sombre stuff is on Lyre, although both albums mix together a few disparate styles and genres, moving from the industrial rock of Cannibal's Hymn to the perfect pop of Nature Boy and the brilliant There She Goes My Beautiful World, whilst songs like Breathless and Carry Me take on both orchestral and psychedelic folk/pop influences... and to great effect, I might add.
If the music might seem a little strange at first, the lyrics are classic Cave, and probably the best of his career.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars UK Number 11...No justice
I know this review duplicates what has already been said but the music contained within is so wonderful that I want to share it with everyone. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Supportyourlocallibrary
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlikely twins
It's Nick Cave hence it's excellent. The Lyre of Orpheus shows the softer side of Nick while the name of Abattoir Blues tells it all - raw and dark and bloody.
Published 11 months ago by Drofn Gudmundsdottir
5.0 out of 5 stars CD
had wanted to purchase for sometime, got with fabrc cover and pretty good price. Can recommend this and particularly Dig Lazarus Dig.
Published 15 months ago by Peter Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Fall in love with Nick Cave again.
Religion - love it or hate it if you listen to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds it seems impossible to escape it, if Religious songs make you switch off do not buy this, but know you... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars An Astonishing Virtuoso Display
This 2004 (double) album by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds followed in the wake of his dark ballad masterpiece, 2001's No More Shall We Part and 2003's (by contrast) rather lacklustre... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Keith M
2.0 out of 5 stars Lack Of Interest
And so we come to the final three re-issues in what has been a beautifully compiled, mastered assembled and packaged set of albums. Read more
Published 23 months ago by South Perth Spurs
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing DD/ DTS 5.1 mix
This review is concerned solely with the DD/ DTS 5.1 mixes.

I've been a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds fan for a few years now and also enjoy listening to multi-channel audio... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Derek J. Johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I only started to appreciate Nick Cave about a year ago - my favourie tracks being Deanna, Red Right Hand, Do you love me etc. Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2011 by Michelle Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars nick cave in harry potter?
i was so very pleased to hear 'o children' featuring so prominently in the new harry potter film.
the film isn't bad, but hearing nick cave at such a great point in the film... Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by halo jones
5.0 out of 5 stars nick cave in harry potter?
i was so very pleased to hear 'o children' featuring so prominently in the new harry potter film.
the film isn't bad, but hearing nick cave at such a great point in the film... Read more
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by halo jones
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