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Murder Ballads CD+DVD

Price: £9.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Murder Ballads + The Boatman's Call [VINYL] + No More Shall We Part [VINYL]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jan. 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Emi Catalogue
  • ASIN: B004KX5KOO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  Mini-Disc  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,224 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Song Of Joy (2011 - Remaster)
2. Stagger Lee (2011 - Remaster)
3. Henry Lee (feat. PJ Harvey) [2011 - Remaster]
4. Lovely Creature (2011 - Remaster)
5. Where The Wild Roses Grow (feat. Kylie Minogue) [2011 - Remaster]
6. The Curse Of Millhaven (2011 - Remaster)
7. The Kindness Of Strangers (2011 - Remaster)
8. Crow Jane (2011 - Remaster)
9. O'Malley's Bar (2011 - Remaster)
10. Death Is Not The End (2011 - Remaster)
Disc: 2
1. Do You Love Me Like I Love You (Part 9 : Murder Ballads)
2. Where The Wild Roses Grow (feat. Kylie Minogue) [2011 - Remaster]
3. Henry Lee (feat. PJ Harvey) [2011 - Remaster]
4. Stagger Lee (2011 - Remaster)
5. Do You Love Me Like I Love You (Part 9 : Murder Ballads)
6. Where The Wild Roses Grow (feat. Kylie Minogue) [2011 - Remaster]
7. Henry Lee (feat. PJ Harvey) [2011 - Remaster]
8. Stagger Lee (2011 - Remaster)
9. O'Malley's Bar (2011 - Remaster)
10. Death Is Not The End (2011 - Remaster)
See all 28 tracks on this disc

Product Description

BBC Review

Following on from Mute’s 2010 reissuing of expanded, audiophile-pleasing, remastered (5.1 and stereo) versions of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Tender Prey, The Good Son and Henry’s Dream, the label is giving the band’s remaining 90s albums the same treatment. So alongside this fantastic new presentation of 1996’s blood-splashed Murder Ballads, fans can pick up new editions of 1994’s Let Love In and 97’s exquisite The Boatman’s Call, as well as 2001’s underrated (and post-best of) No More Shall We Part. Things could get expensive, quickly.

Naturally, these releases are aimed at newcomers as much as they are long-standing admirers of Cave et al – the extras will appeal to the latter group, but all four albums are worth the time of an absolute beginner. Murder Ballads makes for a testing starting point though, as the frontman and his cohorts deliver an uncompromised vision of savage violence, presented in such detail that the squeamish are advised to skip to its heavy-hearted but PG-rated follow-up. But The Bad Seeds have always been about drama, about death and lust; about messing around with people that aren’t to be messed around with, chasing skirt that will only lead a man to madness. So why not take the plunge? Murder Ballads represents the very darkest depths of the band’s 90s output.

Two tracks from this set appear on the group’s 1998 best-of, and both are duets. The first, Henry Lee, features Cave’s ex-partner PJ Harvey – their break-up would inspire a number of songs on The Boatman’s Call. The second is Cave’s biggest UK hit single to date: Where the Wild Roses Grow, featuring Kylie Minogue. The pint-sized star’s presence does go some way towards explaining the song’s commercial success; but its video, included here, also played a significant part. A striking work inspired by John Everett Millais’ 1852 painting Ophelia, it sees Cave’s character lay Minogue’s to rest in a shallow pond after killing her with a rock (unsurprisingly, that part of the story isn’t shown). It’s a piece of pop history which retains its haunting quality to this day.

And there’s plenty more brilliance where those two came from. Stagger Lee is one of the finest foul-mouthed songs ever committed to tape, a swaggering tale of prostitutes and pistols, muddy roads and bloody murder – don’t listen to it in the car when taking your mum shopping. O’Malley’s Bar is novel-like in its detail of a furious killing spree. It’s an endurance test at over 14 minutes long, but not a second is wasted, Cave rambling with glee as the song’s antagonist sets about his wicked work. Opener Song of Joy is an unsettling curtain-up – it’s never completely clear whether the John Milton-quoting narrator has killed his own children or, in fact, he’s fleeing a similar fate.

The title says it all, really: Murder Ballads. You get just that and, given the musicians at work, everything’s expectedly brilliant. The extras, including talking-head contributions from St Vincent’s Annie Clark, photographer Steve Gullick and BBC Music reviewer Luke Turner (among various Bad Seeds, musicians and critics), are simply the sweetest icing on a deliciously crimson cake.

--Mike Diver

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"It's graphically and gratuitously everything that the title suggests, creating it's own dark, bloodstained world of random death and noir pulp fiction, while the Bad Seeds' orchestration is as dangerous and ominous as razor-sharp shards of flying metal. Murder Ballards is a severe, bullet-riddled masterpiece."
-- Classic Rock, June 2011 - 10/10

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2002
Format: Audio CD
I only got this album a week ago, yet i have found myself listening to it non stop since then. This is the first Nick Cave album i have ever bought and i have just fallen in love with it.
On first listen the album seems quite menacing and dark and the more i listened to it the more disturbing i found it. As i listened to Nick Cave's deep and brooding voice graphically describe scores of murderes, juxtopsed with a dark sick humour that accompanies it throughout the album, i often found myself with a smile on my face. This definatly made me stop and think like no other album has done. The album makes you look at things differently, gives you the account of murders through the eyes of the murderer so that you can empathise and even sypathise with them.
Murder Ballads has such power both in lyrics and music that is like listening to poetry. The album is perfectly ended with the Dylan cover of "Death is not the end" which just summes up the whole album. The song manages to blend lyrics such as "when your sad and lonely and you havent got a friend just remember that death is not the end" with an upbeat rhythm and chorus to create an excellant ending to a brilliant album.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Feb. 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have got all Nick Cave's albums and this one holds a special plce in my black little heart because it's the first one I bought. I was in a large music retailer one day and I picked up the headphones on the listening post and put them on just for a laugh. My ears wre hit by the chilling opening chords of 'Song of Joy'. I was astounded, never having heard anything like it before. I just stood there and listened to the rest of the album. This album is proof that death is a great subject for song writing, and it is much in the tradition of the blues storytelling of the American deep south and also the folk ballad tradition. The blues on the album are dirty, gritty and scary, listen to 'Song of Joy', 'Crow Jane', 'O'Malley's Bar'. The Ballads have beautiful melodies and terrifying subject matter. The duets with Kylie Minnougue, 'Where the Wild Roses Grow', and Polly Harvey on 'Henry Lee' have to be two of the best Murder ballad's ever written. The theatrical songs, 'The Curse of Milhaven', telling the tale of a serial killing 15 year old girl, and the final 'Death is not the End', a cover of a Bob Dylan song, are also great. Overall its a carthatic album if a rather bizarre one. It really does work and if you like it, I recommend you check out Johnny Cash's 'Murder' album and see where Nick got some of his influences from.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 31 Dec. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Tales of murder and death, sometimes hilarious though often heartbreaking... regardless of how far he goes with his lyrical content, Cave’s genius has always been in creating and sustaining a mood that the listener can totally lose themselves in.
Here the underlining concern is in the creation of a bleak and suffocating atmosphere, only occasionally broken by Cave’s amazingly dark wit and always-colourful use of language. The form is taken straight from the tradition of the English ballad, with confessional structures, biblical imagery, lurid subject matter and larger than life caricatures all jostling for our attention. It works because Cave doesn’t take it too seriously. Songs like Stagger Lee, The Curse of Millhaven and the epic O’Malley’s Bar seem to take their cue from cabaret, or at their most, musical theatre. It lightens the mood, making the more suffocating moments like Song for Joy - a shocking parable about a young doctor robbed of his family - less soul destroying. The two contrasting elements create a nice blend that takes the listener on an intimate journey into the deepest, darkest depths of despair.
As always, Cave is complimented by his wonderful Bad Seeds, who are here on fine form. The arrangements are atmospherically complex, though never what you would call cluttered; whilst an assortment of varied guest stars (such as PJ Harvey, Kylie Minogue and Shane MacGowan) add to the frenzied, 'don’t give a f-ck' spirit of the album. Cave has done better work than this... but never before, and most likely never again, will we ever see his appetite for horror, bloodshed and death in such an unashamed, and certainly uncensored approach as this. What else is there to say...?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JB on 10 Feb. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love this album. I wasn't a Nick Cave fan simply because I didn't really know his music until he duetted with Kylie Minogue. I then heard Henry Lee with PJ Harvey, and I decided to buy the album to hear more. And I'm glad I did.

This is a collection of breathtakingly original, genuinely spooky songs, each telling a story from beinning to end. Where The Wild Roses Grow, Death Is Not The End, Henry Lee are all brilliant, but then so is every track on this album. If you like original music that has something to say, this is an album for you.

Only, don't listen to it last thing at night. You may want to sleep with the lights on .........

Song Of Joy - despite the title, this is a harrowing tale of a doctor who turns up one night at a stranger's desolate house, asking if he will be given shelter for the night in payment for him telling the homeowner a tale of his life. He does not wait for an answer and launches into his story - how he married a young woman named Joy but soon after, she fell victim to a 'melancholy' that settled over the house, making her children as quiet as Church mice, almost as though Joyce could foresee her bloody end. One night the doctor came home from a house-call to find his wife and three children stabbed to death - the children still in their cots. Spookily, the doctor adds that they never caught the man responsible. Would you believe him - and would you let him stay the night??

Lovely Creature - this song is setting a man's worst nightmare to music. He takes a beautiful, well-dressed girl out for a walk, imagining that he takes her past the pyramids and all sorts of fanciful places, only to return home without her.
Read more ›
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