Murder Ballads

An album by NICK CAVE released in 1996.

I guess this was the album that really made him mainstream. Before this, I knew his name, but the only work by him I was aware of was just the Helpless cover he did on The Bridge - A Tribute To Neil Young. It wasn't until Murder Ballads I became a true fan. The songs with KYLIE MINOGUE and PJ HARVEY were playing everywhere, and you just couldn't miss this album back in the day. I was watching a lot of MTV back then.

While the hit duets on the record are good, it is the Song Of Joy that makes this album worthwhile. Starting like a classic gothic horror story, a stranger enters a house and starts to tell a story about his murdered family. While it's explicitly never said, it soon becomes apparent who the killer is. Also what happens after the story ends. One's imagination starts filling the gaps. Classic horror fiction.

Many songs of the album are based on folk songs and stories. Some of them are well known like Stagger Lee. However Cave's versions are unique and heavily rewritten and reinterpreted. The final song is a BOB DYLAN cover Death Is Not The End.

Last updated: 2023-11-17 14:41 (EET)