“Best of” albums are tricky. Is it genuinely representative of the artist’s discography, or simply a thrown-together collection of their biggest hits? Thankfully for us fans of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the band’s upcoming “best of” titled Lovely Creatures seems to be the former.
Comprised of the band’s best work from 1984 to 2014, the collection follows the group from the very beginning at they evolved from blues-influenced post-punk into the genre-shifting, heavy-on-the-lyrics ensemble we know them as today. Cave himself writes:
“This release is designed to be a way into three decades of music making. That’s a lot of songs. The songs we have chosen are the ones that have stuck around, for whatever reason. Some songs are those that demand to be played live. Others are lesser songs that are personal favourites of ours. Others are just too big and have too much history to leave out.”
The standard two-disc release is no slouch, but it’s on the deluxe version that the collection really shines, with three fifteen-track discs that break down a different decade for the band. The two-disc release features a 24 page photography booklet, while the deluxe version boasts a 250+ hardcover book containing “original essays, candid and personal photos taken by the band, family and friends, and reproductions of band memorabilia.”
Originally scheduled for release in 2015, the collection was put on hold after the death of Cave’s 15-year-old son and the subsequent 2016 album Skeleton Tree. Cave said to Telerama: “Well, it feels like a good time to celebrate thirty years of the Bad Seeds. It is late, but obviously my son’s death got in the way… Let me rephrase that, it sounds terrible. What I mean is that the whole thing got derailed. It became important for me to write, to make another record.”
Our sympathies go out to Cave; it's inspiring to see how how he has kept his stride as an artist in the wake of a tragedy.
Lovely Creatures is out May 5.
Post by Dan Goldsmith.