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Prayers on Fire CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B000006ZCD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,644 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

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Amazon.co.uk

Having relocated, after one album, from their native Australia to England, The Birthday Party proved too much even for a post-punk London scene greedy for novelty. Led by drawn, gangling vocalist Nick Cave and addled, introspective guitarist Roland S. Howard, they set about provoking their audience with a brutal mix of rabid psychobilly, country blues and an ear-splitting mess of near-industrial percussion. Prayers On Fire (its title neatly capturing Cave's onstage persona--a hell-spawned and gothic Deep South preacherman) was as incendiary as the band's gigs. Though an aggravating shambles, it was hypnotically intense, featuring such deliberately barbarous live favourites as "Zoo Music Girl" and "Nick The Stripper", and also "King Ink", later the title of one of Cave's books. Poetic, violent and clearly drug fuelled, even today it explains the furore that led The Birthday Party to quickly move on to Berlin, then split altogether. --Dominic Wills

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 7 Aug. 2001
Format: Audio CD
The Birthday Party's first 'proper' album (released in 1981, it was preceded by an eponymously-titled collection of EPs and singles) is a bona-fide rock classic. Although many critics prefer its successor, Junk Yard, for me Prayers on Fire has the edge, largely because of the inclusion of the terrifying Zoo Music Girl and King Ink. Although the band's arty, jazz-influenced sound was startlingly original, Cave's demented screaming and taste for self-degradation ( e.g. Figure of Fun, Nick The Stripper) recall Iggy Pop in his prime with The Stooges. As is the way with great talents, Cave built intelligently on rock's history and heritage without seeming merely derivative, and in so doing, produced a record that still sounds fresh and original after two decades. An essential purchase!
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Format: Audio CD
When this album landed on these shores it was hard to believe that something so right had suddenly splashed down amidst some of the worst music being commited in the u.k.It was post -punk time and everyone seemed to be self conscious and austere ,no show of emotions..a cooling off period...Then,BAM!Prayers On Fire arrived like a drunken Uncle at a Family Barbecue....One listen to Zoo Music Girl,the opening track ,will set up the onslaught to come ..Superb baby-Burundi drumming with a boiling brutal bass sat atop...itchy-scratchy guitars wading in through separate channels and then the booming tone of Mr.Nick Cave arrives...his lyrics a cut-up psychobabble of animal lust and cradled desire...And its got a singalong chorus too!It ends with a faded out trumpet the band still burning underneath..A brief rest and then a great drum and bass motif usher us into 'Cry'which features a slightly more subdued Cave until the chorus rips the top of your skull off! The power in this band is luckily captured forever on this album as they had yet to begin the transition toward their own take on world weary blues with the drummer,Phil Calvert,taking a backseat more often than not.Their poppunknewwave influences are still apparent on many tracks and also occasional displays of silliness(Capers)autobiographical confession (Nick The Stripper)and near perfect rock (King Ink)...At the heart of all this is a band at the top of its awesome power about to look inside itself and piece by piece,hack itself apart.
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Feb. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Here seemingly Nick strips to the music inside his head. The blues had not come to be the main tour de force on this, but jazz, pere ubu, pop group, iggy, punk, james chance and whatever pre punk jollies he\they listened to, were strained, filtered and re interpreted. All eventually surfaced in this act of self denigration and aural mutilation. Live it was cacophony incarnate.

On the album textures, structures and violence jostle to the fore. Live, and the album which followed it was full on aural violence, a punk noise Stooges, stethoscope in hand to hear the sound of the world cracking apart. Loud, loud guitars, screams of utter dread, with bass and drums keeping the mojo intact, some semblance of linear sanity whilst Nick evoked the Demons of Frankie Teardrop, James White and Screaming Jay Hawkins.

A tour de force, as King Ink comes to town and sniffs around whilst Nick the Stipper is on all fours, playing alongside Raw Power for get up and go motivators to blast into a Friday night to Thursday night reverie before finally hitting the the stage floor of the normal world. Zoo Music Girl is another ripple of the muscles as the music screams its desire. "Yard" is a saxophone plea to the gods of pathos. These were the explorers of an interior volcanic extreme, as music devolved into fop. The lyrical cut ups expressed the latent violence circulating the environs of the 80's hanging over from previous eras.

It slows down in force between the hard blast and the silent scream to provide a sense of balance. The album marked an ongoing tete a tete between Nick and Rowland over musical direction, with Rowland contributing Capers, Ho Ho and Dull Day, with an extra track on the Cd of Blundertown.
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Format: Vinyl
1. 200 Music Girl
2. Cry
3. Capers
4. Nick The Stripper
5. Ho-Ho
6. figure of Fun
7. King Ink
8. A Dead Song
9. Yard
10. Dull Day
11. Just You And Me
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b56c96c) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b828744) out of 5 stars arguably the best introduction to this groundbreaking lot 26 Dec. 1999
By Miklós Hoffer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The first full length album by the Birthday Party already shows them in all their glory. You either love 'em or hate 'em for their blues oriented anarchy. This howling and raging beast creates a danceable jungle. Not as abstract as it's follower probably the best introduction to their dark but exciting world.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b828798) out of 5 stars Music For Madmen 13 Sept. 2008
By Whorehey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It's hard to imagine the now older, more focused Nick Cave ever ran this machine that is The Birthday Party. It's nearly schizophrenic to think this was the same man that shells out dark ballads in his sleep. But as exceptional as some of the Bad Seeds music may be, The Birthday Party make them sound like music for librarians. They were absolutely brilliant and Prayers on Fire shows Nick Cave at the top of his powers.

While the first 2 tracks were hints of things to come on the follow-up and even more maniacal "Junkyard", the real genius lies in the slower numbers. Capers, Nick The Stripper, and my personal favourite track, King Ink, not only shows a band that controls their jazzy chaos to a science, but shows Cave as a competent beat writer and introduces Genevieve McGuckin as a fitting juxtapose on Capers. Rowland S. Howard even stands in as a ghoulish vocalist on Ho-Ho to compliment his strangling no-wave guitar riffs. From start to finish, the album is perfect.

It's a crime this band would only release 2 full length albums and a number of EPs. But a band like this couldn't survive long. Any loyal fans that swear by The Stooges "Fun House" will be exhausted after hearing this one. And they were just getting warmed up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b828bd0) out of 5 stars Shiny spiky sonic horror 5 Oct. 2000
By Nicholas Lockwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I dunno. It's really hard to impress the uninformed with the power and energy of this band. This epitomises the fervour and feeling (sometimes I think naieve when put into the context of modern writing and recording - though not a bad thing) of the post punk era, NOT Britney Spears, thats for sure. Even though the Birthday Party's last releases (Mutiny in Heaven et al) and the following album (Junkyard) are, to me, better in their fullfilment as albums, Prayers On Fire is a baptism by fire - brave, gregarious and terrifying, but nonetheless thought provoking on where music can take you. King Ink is probably the most truculent song I'd heard when I first heard it - the band probably laughed their heads off after completing it! Drop your guard, and leave your preconceptions of what music is about at the cloakroom and listen.
HASH(0x9b828f9c) out of 5 stars The demons yet to be released 31 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have owned this album since it was first released in 1981. The purchase was a result of being a "Boys Next Door" fan. What a shock!! I was lucky enough to get a chance to see the Birthday Party perform most of these songs in London. This was a band to see live and gave me greater appreciation of this recording. I think their finest work and gives insite to the later work of Nick Cave. No track is as good as Release the Bats however King Ink, Nick the Stripper and Cry stand out. Certainly pushes the limits of contempory rock.
HASH(0x9b828d2c) out of 5 stars One of the best bands ever 12 Sept. 2014
By Kurk Schoner - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Nick Cave, Roland S. Howard, Tracy Pew, Mick Harvey, Phil Calvert, need I say more? One of the best bands ever.
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