Kicking Against the Pricks

Performers Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Elektra | June 2, 2009 | Compact Disc

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Besides being noteworthy as an astonishingly good all-covers album, Kicking Against the Pricks is notable for the arrival of a new key member for the Seeds, drummer Thomas Wydler. Besides being a fine percussionist, able to perform at both the explosive and restrained levels Cave requires, Wydler also allowed Harvey to concentrate on adding guitar and keyboards live as well as in the studio, a notable bonus. Race reappears briefly to add some guitar while former Birthday Party cohorts Rowland Howard and Tracy Pew guest as well, the latter on some of his last tracks before his untimely death. The selection of songs is quite impressive, ranging from old standards like "Long Black Veil" to everything from John Lee Hooker's "I'm Gonna Kill That Woman" and Gene Pitney's pop aria "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart." Matching the range of material, the Seeds are well on their way to becoming the rock/cabaret/blues showband of Cave's dreams, able to conjure up haunting, winsome atmospheres ("Sleeping Annaleah") as much as a high-volume takes on the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties". This said, often holding everything back is the key, as the creepout build of "Hey Joe" demonstrates. Even more striking is how Cave's own vocals rebut the charges that all he ever does is overdramatize everything he sings -- consider the husky, purring delivery on Johnny Cash's "The Singer." Other winners include a masterful version of Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and the stately, album-closing "The Carnival Is Over," originally a mid-'60s hit for the Seekers. [The 2009 reissue of the album bumps the bonus tracks that appeared on the initial edition of the CD (a wrenching version of Roy Orbison's "Running Scared" and a rousing take on Leadbelly's"Black Betty") onto a second disc that also includes a 5.1 Surround Sound mix of the album and a couple videos.] ~ Ned Raggett

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: June 2, 2009

Genre: Alternative

Style: Rock & Pop

Number of Discs: 2

Label Name: Elektra

UPC: 724596941027

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– More About This Product –

Kicking Against the Pricks

Performers Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: June 2, 2009

Genre: Alternative

Style: Rock & Pop

Number of Discs: 2

Label Name: Elektra

UPC: 724596941027


Title Track Time
1.Muddy Water --
2.I'm Gonna Kill That Woman --
3.Sleeping Annaleah --
4.Long Black Veil --
5.Hey Joe --
6.Singer, The --
7.All Tomorrows Parties --
8.By the Time I Get To Phoenix --
9.Hammer Song, The --
10.Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart --
11.Jesus Met the Woman At the Well --
12.Carnival is Over, The --
13.Black Betty (12" B-Side) --
14.Running Scared (7" B-Side) --

Editorial Notes

Besides being noteworthy as an astonishingly good all-covers album, Kicking Against the Pricks is notable for the arrival of a new key member for the Seeds, drummer Thomas Wydler. Besides being a fine percussionist, able to perform at both the explosive and restrained levels Cave requires, Wydler also allowed Harvey to concentrate on adding guitar and keyboards live as well as in the studio, a notable bonus. Race reappears briefly to add some guitar while former Birthday Party cohorts Rowland Howard and Tracy Pew guest as well, the latter on some of his last tracks before his untimely death. The selection of songs is quite impressive, ranging from old standards like "Long Black Veil" to everything from John Lee Hooker's "I'm Gonna Kill That Woman" and Gene Pitney's pop aria "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart." Matching the range of material, the Seeds are well on their way to becoming the rock/cabaret/blues showband of Cave's dreams, able to conjure up haunting, winsome atmospheres ("Sleeping Annaleah") as much as a high-volume takes on the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties". This said, often holding everything back is the key, as the creepout build of "Hey Joe" demonstrates. Even more striking is how Cave's own vocals rebut the charges that all he ever does is overdramatize everything he sings -- consider the husky, purring delivery on Johnny Cash's "The Singer." Other winners include a masterful version of Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and the stately, album-closing "The Carnival Is Over," originally a mid-'60s hit for the Seekers. [The 2009 reissue of the album bumps the bonus tracks that appeared on the initial edition of the CD (a wrenching version of Roy Orbison's "Running Scared" and a rousing take on Leadbelly's"Black Betty") onto a second disc that also includes a 5.1 Surround Sound mix of the album and a couple videos.] ~ Ned Raggett
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