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The Boatman's Call [Original recording remastered]

Nick Cave, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: 7.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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The Boatman's Call + Murder Ballads + No More Shall We Part
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 May 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mute / EMI
  • ASIN: B004KX5KRQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,810 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Into My Arms 4:160.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Lime Tree Arbour 2:560.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. People Ain't No Good 5:420.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Brompton Oratory 4:060.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. There Is a Kingdom 4:520.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. (Are You) the One That I've Been Waiting For? 4:050.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere? 5:460.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. West Counrty Girl 2:450.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Black Hair 4:140.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Idiot Prayer 4:210.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Far from Me 5:330.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Green Eyes 3:310.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

BBC Review

For their 10th album – and follow-up to the cheery Murder Ballads – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds explored more redemptive qualities. Originally released in 1997, gone were the menacing, troubled tunes of yore; instead, here was a selection of graceful, minimal, melancholic numbers that saw Cave reflect on spirituality, loves past and present, and almost atoning for past indiscretions. These are your actual songs of faith and devotion, and by Cave’s own admission his most personal album to date.

The opener is a modern-day classic. Into My Arms is a love song so perfect you wonder why any other composition of its kind bothers to go up against a ballad that all others should rightfully refer to as ‘Sir’. Cave opens his heart from the outset, the song beginning with the stunning line of "I don't believe in an interventionist God / But I know, darling, that you do". It’s such a gorgeous song that Peaches Geldof even has its lyrics tattooed on her (but don’t let that put you off). It’s also the only Bad Seeds tune you’re likely to hear at a wedding.

His brief dalliance with Polly Harvey, whom he became infatuated with after their Henry Lee duet on Murder Ballads, is referenced on Green Eyes, Black Hair and the more direct West Country Girl. Comparisons with Dylan and – more on the money – Leonard Cohen are no bad things either. The religious motifs of Brompton Oratory, an album highlight, and There Is a Kingdom lend an air of a man coming to terms with his place in the world, with subtle churchy murmurs over drum machines. The Bad Seeds themselves play a blinder, with gentle and sympathetic elegance throughout. 

It’s an audacious task trying to pin down the core essentials in The Bad Seeds’ catalogue, as there’s so much of it, but The Boatman’s Call would be labelled a classic in anyone’s canon. No band on their 10th album should have much more to say, but taking this turn for the reflective helped reignite The Bad Seeds and further secured their legacy. It is, in short, brilliant.

--Ian Wade

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
To say that all of Nick Cave's albums before this point had been solely about murder is slanderous. That said death, dirt, darkness and rage have tended to be recurring themes throughout his entire career. The watermark for this was his previous album 'Murder Ballads' which examined the actions of numerous psychos in intrepid detail. It charted the victims, tried to find reason within a serial killer's head and generally exhumed all possible blood and gore it could from its limiting themes.
So where did this simply stunning album come from? Is the man getting more sensitive with age? On this evidence it would certainly seem so. The gentle piano which sparks the album to life is as big a contrast to the content of 'Murder Ballads' as one could find. In fact, 'Into My Arms' is a truly fine, almost sickly sweet love song which, were it not for Nick Cave's howl and the 'smarter than the average bear' lyrics, could belong to Burt Bacharach.
Fear not. Cave has not become a complete softie. Though he has clearly found a muse of sorts this has not stopped him from seeing the dark side of love. The title 'People Just Ain't No Good' speaks for itself. Within love there are doubts and 'The Boatman Calls', as well as celebrating the joys it can bring, bears witness to the pain of it falling apart.
Some of the tracks, are better than others. 'Brompton Oratory' and 'There Is A Kingdom' don't stand out in the same way as 'Far From Me' and 'Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere' but that is not to say that they do not merit their place. As some of the very best albums do, 'The Boatman Calls' requires you to listen to everything, providing you with an emotional odyssey rather than a set of songs.
This is an essential album to anyone who appreciates genuinely heartbreaking songwriting. If you try it, you will be rewarded. And all this from the man who 'killed' Kylie Minogue.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Do We Go Now, But Nowhere? 15 Jan 2004
Format:Audio CD
Cave says it himself. The best love songs are the ones that deal with the more melancholic aspects of the emotion... jealousy, loss, betrayal, misery and so on. I share his viewpoint. For most, love is a painful sentiment too hard to express; even the best songwriters have at times been forced to rely on bland clichés and empty sentimental musings. Not Cave though. Here he is able to wrap his painful expressions in a number of metaphorical shrouds in order to create a more reflective experience for the listener... though, never does he feel the need to hide the more personal aspects of the songs.
The music always reflects the lyrics; so here we have Cave's signature piano style acting as the backing for his affecting baritone vocals. The bass is strong, the drumming slow, the strings distant and mournful... each of the Bad Seeds bring a unique angle to the emotional make-up of the music that creates an even more resonant listening experience. The songs are all cut from the same cloth, but the deft musicianship of the band means that each track has it's own musical signature. So we have slow, melodic piano ballads like the sorrowful and deeply religious Into My Arms; up-tempo instrumentation work like Idiot Prayer; and beautiful, but sobering string based confessionals such as Lime Tree Arbour, and my personal favourite, People Ain't No Good.
Cave's lyrics have never been better, as he leaves behind the over the top narrative ramblings of the previous album, Murder Ballads, and instead infuses his words with a sense of gutter-trash poetry and haunting religious symbolism.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Remarkable Progression 30 Mar 2004
Format:Audio CD
When you listen to the deranged row of The Birthday Party and early Bad Seeds albums like From Her To Eternity and Tender Prey, it is hard to believe that Nick Cave even lived till 1997, let alone lived to record this deeply sombre and moving album of piano ballads. The first line is "I don't believe in an interventionist God." So obviously from the start the intense tone of this head-spinningly brilliant masterpiece is set. Lyrically the album is impossibly romantic and I could offer practically any line from any song as a quote, so wonderful are the words to these beautiful songs. As with other most writers of this ilk Cave fell prey to drink and drug abuse during his career, and in common with the fabulous love songs of other noted indulgers Tom Waits and Shane McGowan, the music is best when pondering loss and pain. Cave's voice is tone-perfect throughout and this is arguably the best singer-songwriter album of the 90's. The Bad Seeds remain unintrusive but add to every song's atmosphere in a beautifully discreet way. Every music fan should own this album, it is Cave's finest, and maybe, just maybe, he is a better lyricist than Bob Dylan.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The album on which he bowed out for four years. 15 April 2006
By dynamitekid156 VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
After remaining tremendously prolific since the inception of his new band The Bad Seeds, by 1997 Nick Cave had over fifteen years with them and a relationship with PJ Harvey behind him. The previous year's self-parodying Murder Ballads album had made him a star, partly thanks to the censor-baiting 'Stagger Lee.' But, perhaps due to his breakup with Harvey, Cave chose once again to confound the expectations of those around him.

The Boatman's Call is like an anti-Cave album. Of course, Nick Cave had done ballads before, some beautiful, some tender, some ironic, but never before had he put together an entire album of crooning, skeletal songs rarely featuring more than a piano for company of the man himself. Often regarded as the best he ever made, I find it not quite so good; but it's certainly fractured and beautiful.

'Into My Arms' lets you know how the rest of the album is going to go. With little instrumentation, the Bad Seeds are all but absent across the disc. But when they do appear, it's worth it, lending polite synthesizers to 'Lime Tree Arbour,' or even a solitary bass guitar to 'Into My Arms.' What emerges is some of the most pleasant music Cave has ever produced (excluding 'Green Eyes') and certainly the most hymnal, as on 'There Is A Kingdom' or 'People Ain't No Good,' the latter remaining a staple in his live sets to this day.

I only really appreciated this album after seeing Nick Cave live; when you hear his punked-up, ravaged version of 'West Country Girl,' a mess of feedback and piano smashing, you'll long for the quiet sanctity of this album. A fitting end to the first phase of his career, before he re-emerged four years later.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought what I liked when I heard the extracts
After listening to various songs I made this my first purchase of Nick Cave & the bad seeds as I liked many of the songs but after repeat listening have found me really liking the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Walton
1.0 out of 5 stars Be wary of buying this CD
This CD arrived with all the correct labelling (even the CD itself), however, when you play it, Yazoo comes out of the speakers (just like other customer reviews). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andy
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY A CD FROM HERE!
I ordered The Boatman's Call by Nick Cave, an excellent album by the way. Amazon sent me the correct CD cover but....containing an album of songs by Yazoo! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Beauty
Nick Cave is an astonishingly honest and beautiful character and this is a fine fine album. This is a real inspiration musically and lyrically. Buy it!!
Published 10 months ago by Kevin Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars A truly great album, bought in good faith, but mine is a shoddy...
I love this album - Nick Cave pared-down to an absolute minimum. It is inexplicable that Mute haven't re-released it on vinyl, but then they appeared to do just that.... Read more
Published 14 months ago by R.B.R.
5.0 out of 5 stars More Exquisite Cave Ballads
Nick Cave's 1997 album The Boatman's Call is a great demonstration of this outstanding lyricist and tunesmith's ability to tone down his music and reveal his more subtle and... Read more
Published on 4 July 2012 by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep listening and you'll get it
I bought this CD for one song only called "into my arms".

It was for my mother's funeral as tribute to her. Read more
Published on 24 May 2011 by onlyme120
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This album is brilliant, the lyrics and the music. It is extremely moving. The 1st time I heard 'Into My Arms' I had tears in my eyes. Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2011 by kc0075
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
This is a superb album.
I can't say more than that.
I could listen to it all day.
Published on 25 Oct 2010 by Thomas Hardy fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Styx with Stones
St Nick casts his net and trawls the depths of the oceanic emotional under currents to bring to the surface those fragments normally kept hidden, jumping alive in his twilight... Read more
Published on 29 Mar 2010 by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
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