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fromheadtoheart flag Australia - Full Moon 228 - 04/04/15

From head to heart
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: The Good Son

Following our retroscope series going on for several years, here we go again. Yes, for one more year! Here's Speakers' corner's cousin; From head to heart. Luna Kafé's focused eye on great events, fantastic happenings, absolute milestones, or other curious incidents from the historic shelves'n'vaults of pop'n'rock. Blowing our ears and our head, punching our chest and shaking our heart, or simply tapping our shoulder. Making us go sentimental, but not slaphappy. This moonth we take a quarter of a century jump backwards, to 1990. He used to be one of the Boys Next Door before turning the bleak and gloomy feast into a Birthday Party. Then he went on a solo run, eventually backed by men dressed in black/dark suits, deadpan faces and dark glasses. Bad seeds. But good men. Good at heart. He has now wandered the Earth for more than 21,000 days. He has hit, kicked, crawled, crept, wept, cried, whispered, shouted, roared, screamed, rambled, waved, fallen, rised, leaped, bounced, ... you name it. From eternity and on. To infinity...and beyond!

coverpic

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
The Good Son
Mute Records

One more man gone, one more man gone, one more man
One more man gone, one more man gone, one more man
One more man gone, one more man gone, one more man is gone

Well the good son walks into the field
He is a tiller and he has a tiller's hand
But deeper down in his heart now
But he's lays down his queer plans
Against his brother and against his family

Yet he worships his brother
And he worships his mother
But it's his father, he says "Is an unfair man"

The good son
The good son
The good son

The good son has sat and often wept
Beneath a malign star by which the good son's kept
And the night time in which he's wrapped
Speaks of good now and it speaks of evil

And he calls to his mother, and he calls to his father
But they are deaf in the shadows of his brother's truancy

The good son
Well the good son
The good son
The good son

And he curses his mother, and he curses his father
And he curses his virtue like an unclean thing

The good son
Well the good son
And the good son

One more man gone, one more man gone, one more man
One more man gone, one more man gone, one more man
One more man gone, one more man gone, one more man
One more man gone, one more man gone, one more man
...

This album reminds me of an originally wild animal that has been trained at a circus or something. It's calm, clever and knows how to do its elegant tricks. But suddenly it manages to escape and runs away in rage. Nick Cave is clad in white on the cover, not the usual black, surrounded by innocent young girls in white dresses. The music is also unusually mild for the Cave we were used to at the time. He seemed to have rid himself of his heroin problem for awhile (he wasn't clean until the second half of the 1990s), was in love with a lady from Brazil and brought his Bad Seeds gang of Blixa Bargeld (guitar and backing vocals), Mick Harvey (bass, acoustic guitar, vibraphone, percussion, backing vocals), Kid Congo Powers (guitar) and Thomas Wydler (drums and percussion) to São Paulo for the recording. Here are apparently harmonic ballad stuff and soft violins, some parts are close to crooning, the Sinatra way. But occasionally it explodes in the fury of earlier punk days. The lyrics tell this is not a guy quite at peace with himself after all. Add gospel and drama, and there we are.

Quite shocking at the time. A classic in retrospect. One interesting point: several songs have kept their working titles:"The Ship Song", "The Hammer Song", "The Weeping Song" and "The Witness Song". Among the most famous and best here. The former was even a minor hit.

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