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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three-cds worth of Bad Seeds anomalies & rarities...
Long-term Cave-associate Mick Harvey is behind this long-anticipated three-disc compilation of the Bad Seeds less documented moments - taking in b-sides, out-takes, the odd lost-single, cover-versions & alternate-takes of songs that are familiar. These discs are packed- which more than compensates from the minimal artwork (no booklet, pics or anything beyond the source...
Published on 15 April 2005 by Jason Parkes

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some fascinating curios and some essential listens.
B-sides and rarities collections aren't always necessarily worth having. In some cases though, they can turn out to be stunning; Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series, or Oasis' The Masterplan, which is arguably their finest record. Nick Cave, a very prolific artist, is one who you would expect to have a wealth of brilliant b-sides.

B-sides and Rarities is not as good as...
Published on 22 Jan 2007 by dynamitekid156


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three-cds worth of Bad Seeds anomalies & rarities..., 15 April 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B-Sides & Rarities (Audio CD)
Long-term Cave-associate Mick Harvey is behind this long-anticipated three-disc compilation of the Bad Seeds less documented moments - taking in b-sides, out-takes, the odd lost-single, cover-versions & alternate-takes of songs that are familiar. These discs are packed- which more than compensates from the minimal artwork (no booklet, pics or anything beyond the source of each track). Far too many tracks to go into, but I'll offer up some personal highlights of this compilation...
Volume I opens a few years into The Bad Seeds, with acoustic-versions of 'Tender Prey' tracks which featured in Uli Edel's documentary 'The Road to God Knows Where' (& were given away in a limited edition single with 'The Good Son')'The Mercy Seat' is always great, but the version of 'Deanna' - put into a medley with gospel-standard 'Oh Happy Day' - really stands out here. A few of the early-b-sides are a bit formless (but kind of interesting...)- 'The Moon is in the Gutter' belongs to that strange-period where Cave played in a loose-outfit with Marc Almond and J.G. Thirwell (The Immaculate Consumptives); while 'The Six Strings That Drew Blood' is a re-worked version of a Birthday Party-out-take from 'The Mutiny Sessions.' There are further BP-connections with the appearance of their late, mythic bassist Tracy Pew on covers of 'Running Scared' & 'Rye Whiskey.' Things get stronger as the disc progresses- the excellent 'Train Song', a faithful rendition of CSN&Y's 'Helpless', 'God's Hotel' (which I never knew before this) & the amusing cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Tower of Song' - which is edited down from a drunken-generic exercise by The Bad Seeds! The two highlights of this disc remain songs from two average Wim Wenders films- the gorgeous '(I'll Love You) Till the End of the World'- which is easily up there with Tom Waits & was reportedly a fave of crime-writer James Ellroy- & 'Cassiel's Song', which comes from 'Faraway, So Close!' & reunites Cave & Harvey with former Bad Seed Barry Adamson (Cave would later collaborate on the brilliant 'The Sweetest Embrace' on Adamson's 'Oedipus Schmoedipus')...
The second-disc opens with a lost-single, a cover of 'What a Wonderful World' which features Shane MacGowan - co-singing Louis Armstrong's chestnut and singing Cave's 'Lucy' alone (as Cave tackles The Pogues classic 'A Rainy Night in Soho') There's a superior "acoustic" take of 'Jack the Ripper' from 'Henry's Dream' & an epic-take of 'Red Right Hand' intended for the awful 'Scream 3' (which comes after a Dirty Three collaboration from the X-Files album). The version of 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' (Blixa plays Kylie) is more of a curio & the alternate-takes of 'O'Malley's Bar' more for fans of Mark Radcliffe! There are a few lost-murder-ballads (Knoxville Girl, The Willow Garden) & the improvised 'That's What Jazz is to Me' (still one to skip...)- another highlight is the gorgeous 'Sail Away'- how didn't this make 'Let Love In'??? Easily up there with 'Nobody's Baby Now' or 'Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore'...
The third-disc is probably the strongest- covering the period when Cave conquered his demons & offered up several classic-albums in rapid-succession: 'The Boatman's Call', 'No More Shall We Part', 'Nocturama', 'Abbatoir Blues' & 'The Lyre of Orpheus.' These tracks are all easily on a par with anything there- highlights include 'She's Leaving You' (the flipside of 'Nature Boy'), 'Swing Low' (the flipside of 'Bring It On' & features the Blockheads), 'Grief Came Riding' (a 'No More..' out-take that features the McGarrigle sisters), a band-version of 'Black Hair' & the recent b-side 'Under This Moon.'
'B-Sides and Rarities' is great value, packed with alternate joys from The Bad Seeds career - a more expansive alternative to the best of a few years ago. I suppose the next job for Mick Harvey is compiling a box-set of live-performances!!!! One of the compilations of the year, without a doubt...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential album..., 30 Mar 2005
By 
John David Charles Hilton "Creative spark...." (Redcliffe, Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B-Sides & Rarities (Audio CD)
Nick Cave fans have been served well with releases recently and this set continues the trend. Coming in a slim box it houses three CDs worth of treasures. It is not complete but it is fairly encompassing. It includes B sides right up to the recent album. There are too many treasures to list them all. There is excellent B sides like Sail Away and The Train Song, rarities like the acoustic version of Jack the Ripper, God's Hotel and Rye Whiskey and unreleased gems such as There's No Night Out in the Jail and the Scream 3 version of Red Right Hand. The sound quality is excellent throughout. For Cave fans this is basically an essential purchase. For others this makes a good and cheap introduction to Nick Cave and would serve as an ideal companion to the best of compilation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So black, So simple, So good..., 5 April 2005
By 
Boris Cerkuc "boris2095" (Mostar, Herzegovina, B&H) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B-Sides & Rarities (Audio CD)
It's some kind of alternative "Best of..." by Nick cave and Bad Seeds. Three disc in simple white paper packaging, and all in simple shiny black box, but music (in chronological order of publishing)is fantastic. From sticky acoustic tracks like "Deanna" or "Mercy Seat" to last songs on compilation (b-sides of last singles)it's heaven for all Nick Cave fans. This three-discs compilation contains so many little jewels, so many fine songs...i'd like to say again - "Best of Nick Cave,from the other side"
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Collection, 5 April 2005
By 
Juan Mobili (Valley Cottage, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B-Sides & Rarities (Audio CD)
Usually, when a record label released a boxed set, I expect -when it comes to an artist I revere- to spend a large amount of money for those few songs that were unreleased or belonging to EPs I did not buy. In general, I am resigned to the fact that the rarities and occasional collaborations will be few and varying in quality, And I if buy these collections is due to my heart being hostage to my passion for having the complete works of someone I respect.
This could not be farther from the truth, when it comes to this collection. The material selected throughout this 3CD set -by the band's Mick Harvey, by the way- finds Cave and his esteemed Bad Seeds show a wealth of great songs. The quality of what's goes from very good and interesting to superb. Actually, some of these songs are inexplicable exclusions from his albums, given their depth and beauty.
On Disc 1, you get a thorough sample of Cave's fiercer output, when a certain "literate Punk" spirit reigned over the Bad Seeds' material. Selections like "The Moon Is In The Gutter," "Rye Whiskey" -which sways like you might, if you ever drank the stuff- or "The Girl At The Bottom Of My Glass, are great examples of such period.
In addition, there are some rare beauties like the stunning acoustic version of "The Mercy Seat," the tender melody of "The Train Song," the somber "Blue Bird." Also noteworthy are his version of Neil Young's "Helpless" and "Cassiel's Song" from the movie "Faraway, So Close."
Disc 2, in my opinion, is dominated by the mood, if not the songs, from Cave's "Murder Ballads" period, in which the acoustic rendition of "Jack The Ripper," the raucous multi-part "O'Malley's Bar," and "The Willow Garden" and the gorgeous "Where The Wild Roses Grow" with the original guide vocals by Herr Bargeld.
And then comes, to my taste, the best of the three CDs which is infused of Cave's most recent material, ranging from the "The Boatman's Call"s atmosphere of "Little Empty Boat," "Right Now I'm A-Roaming," and the band version of "Black Hair," to the moving and the outtake of "Sheep May Safely Grace." which anticipates the hymn-like ballads of No More Shall We Part."
Speaking of this last mentioned album, if you've been moved by the work contained in it as much as I have, you are in for an abundance of gems. Both, "Grief Came Riding" and "Bless His Ever Loving Heart," are Cave's poetry and melodies at their dramatic peak ("where beauty lies exhausted on the streets").
The great songs don't end there, with Nocturama being represented through the B-sides of several singles. Actually, if you already like Cave's most recent album, you may be further enthralled with it when listening to these songs. "Shoot Me Down" is stunning, and "Everything Must Converge" is the band at their most hopeful, a call to hope that has always been part of Cave's vision side by side with his dark denunciations.
All in all this is superb collection of songs that, to many, weren't known nor recognized. It is a tribute to a great band that three CDs worth of more obscure material can hold such depth of graces.
Whether you are a faithful worshipper already or a curious beginner, this collection is an excellent retrospective of an artist who has written some of the most remarkable material recorded over the last twenty years.
Cave's name does not only deserve to be mentioned along Tom Waits, or even Leonard Cohen -both obvious musical comparisons- but also it must be included in any list you may compile of those singer-songwriters whose music shaped your life.
I can't imagine any other future releases this year that can surpass this one, for reissue of the year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A relentlessly brilliant compilation, 24 Mar 2006
By 
Jayne Crean "Sapphyr" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: B-Sides & Rarities (Audio CD)
For reasons I won't go into here, I've spent the past few months with periods of enforced bed-rest and these three wonderful CDs kept me going up to the point that I looked forward to going back to bed again!
It's fascinating how many of the Cave/Harvey songs, that made it to the 'mainstream' albums, seem to have been 'rehearsed/experimented with' on these discs.
In January 2006, when I saw Nick Cave (piano/guitar - just!/vocals) with Warren Ellis (violin), Martyn Casey (bass) and Jim Sclavunos (drums), I found myself transported back to *these* recordings rather than the 'final' versions.
This is a great collection for newcomers to Nick and the band or, especially, for all Nick Cave collectors.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some fascinating curios and some essential listens., 22 Jan 2007
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This review is from: B-Sides & Rarities (Audio CD)
B-sides and rarities collections aren't always necessarily worth having. In some cases though, they can turn out to be stunning; Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series, or Oasis' The Masterplan, which is arguably their finest record. Nick Cave, a very prolific artist, is one who you would expect to have a wealth of brilliant b-sides.

B-sides and Rarities is not as good as you would expect from Nick Cave. It's a possibility that he simply chose not to record some material if he had enough for the next album already. But either way, each disc is unique, and each has a few gems. Sequenced mostly chronologically, while this album could be cut down to one disc fairly easily, this collection wouldn't be a complete experience without wading through all three discs at least once.

The first disc, covering most of the early Bad Seeds material, is dominated by that primal, hollering blues-rock they did so well. As such, a few of these b-sides are in fact album tracks, like 'The Train Song' or 'The Six Strings That Drew Blood,' simply being alternate takes if that. However, while the weakest disc, the first disc has some treasures. The main one is an acoustic version of 'The Mercy Seat.' A cacophonous masterpiece originally, here it's instead short and heart-rending and is fairly better off for that. There's also the faintly hilarious traditional song 'Rye Whiskey,' essential listening simply for the lyrics featuring the word 'beefcake.'

The second disc ups the ante somewhat. It opens with the Bad Seeds/Shane MacGowan shared single, 'What A Wonderful World'; a lovely rendition, it is however outdone by its b-sides. Shane MacGowan reworks 1990 makeweight 'Lucy' to wonderful effect; Nick Cave repays the favour by covering 'Rainy Night In Soho' in a restrained, wonderful style. Later in the disc, there's an indication of Cave at his wildman peak. For a Radio One session, instead of playing several songs, he simply splits up 'O'Malley's Bar' into four parts, bleeping his own swears (although sneaking in at least one f-word under the radar). There's also a vaguely disturbing version of 'Where The Wild Roses Grow' with the baritone-voiced Blixa Bargeld singing Kylie Minogue's guide vocal.

The third disc is the best of the three. Although the songs recorded for 2001's No More Shall We Part and 2004's double album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus simply sound like those albums, though not as good, elsewhere are some stunning songs. A few songs left of 1997's The Boatman's Call are utterly sublime, among Cave's finest; 'Come Into My Sleep' is a heart-rending epic, while 'Babe, I Got You Bad' is a fabulously obnoxious, strummy guitar number. You can see why they were left off; they don't really fit into any of his albums, especially not The Boatman's Call. Elsewhere his judgement was sound for other reasons; the domestic boredom of the lyrics to 'Right Now I'm A-Roamin' are breathtakingly bad.

And then there are the outtakes of 2003's Nocturama. One of Cave's weakest albums, it had its share of decent songs; but why 'Swing Low,' a slowly unfolding, brilliant song wasn't included is beyond human comprehension.

If you have all of Nick Cave's studio albums, then this is the logical next step. While by no means perfect, and containing its share of duds, this b-sides collection is absolutely worth buying to fully understand Nick Cave's music, to discover those undiscovered gems, and so that you can cut it down to your own single-disc compilation.
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B-Sides & Rarities by Nick Cave (Audio CD - 2005)
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