Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Nick Cave (vocals, piano, organ); Mick Harvey (acoustic & electric guitars, piano, vibraphone, bass, drums, background vocals); Blixa Bargeld (electric & slide guitars, background vocals); Barry Adamson (bass, background vocals); Thomas Wydler (drums).
While Cave wore his blues influence on his sleeve on his earlier solo recordings, this covers albums goes several steps further, revealing the full range of the artist's inspiration. While Cave does his unparalleled goth-blues thing on John Lee Hooker's "I'm Gonna Kill That Woman," that's only the beginning of the story. Cave convincingly tackles predictable proto-punk fare like the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties", but more importantly, Cave the balladeer makes his debut here.
From Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" to Mickey Newbury's "Sleeping Annaleah," Cave practices the brand of gloriously melodramatic crooning that would define his '90s work. Accordingly, Cave's singing began to develop here, from the crazed ranting of his early days to a more luxurious baritone. Blixa Bargeld's guitar also plays a role of increased importance--he would prove Cave's perfect foil for years to come.
Mojo (Publisher) (5/01, p.46) - "...Goth-baffling selection of blues, country, gospel and '60s pop standards..."
Pitchfork (Website) - "[C]ertainly, the Bad Seeds have never sounded more cheerful than in the sloshed group sing-along of the Velvets' 'All Tomorrow's Parties' and the cheeky, cowpoke reading of country ballad 'Long Black Veil'."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.79) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "His choice of songs astonishes...turning fellow Aussies The Seeker's lightweight folk song `The Carnival Is Over' into a funereal credit-roller..."