Ah, fuck, am I including B-Side collections now?? I guess that shouldn’t be much of an issue, considering that there’s only a tiny, Jeremy Beadle handful of artists I would even considering purchasing a B-Side collection of. Just so you know, Manic Street Preachers‘ last B-Side collection was back in 2003. The Bad Seeds released ‘B-Sides and Rarities’ part one in 2005, so the Manics are already embarrassingly behind schedule. Sort it out, Wire. Although, to be honest, I was all ready to announce that the inherent importance of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have lead to them releasing the first B-Sides collection to be featured on Necessary Evil, until I remembered that Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2016 B-Side collection made #31 that year, so there really is no rhyme nor reason to it. Also, the featured image to that blog post is Al Pacino shoving cocaine into his face in Scarface, so let’s not pretend any of us has any idea what’s going on around here.
What a collection though, aye? Ammi right? Ammi right? I’m right. ‘B-Sides and Rarities’ part one was no slouch at all, containing a smattering of wonder that showed how harsh the band’s quality control had been during the first two decades of their existence considering the excellence of some of their cast-offs. It was clear that the bar to entry onto a Bad Seeds album was more stringent and difficult to pass than the best American colleges even if your mother used to be in Desperate Housewives. There were also other bits and bobs that settled debates such as whether Shane MacGowan did the best version of Lucy. He did. Debate over.
OK, first off we all have to admit how ridiculous it is to rank The Bad Seeds’ albums, chiefly because of the fact that the form demands that certain albums need to be ranked toward the bottom of the list and be therefore deemed the band’s ‘worst’ albums or in some way ‘substandard’. Albums you or other weirdos like you might deem their favourites may well prop up the list and you may receive a jolting shock to your cultural sacks that you likely won’t recover from. The reason this list is likely to offend more than similar ones is because over the course of their nearly 30 years career The Bad Seeds have never released a bad album. I’d argue that they’ve never released even a subpar one. No, that one you’re thinking of? Get over yourself, that has brilliant moments and is number thirteen. The worst/least brilliant albums by The Bad Seeds would still be career highlights of lesser contemporaries like Pearl Jam or The Cure or The Beastie Boys. Just see this as 16 Bad Seeds albums ranked in order of their amazingness. If number 16 is your personal favourite, then your personal favourite is still an amazing album. Just be aware that ‘your personal favourite’ is subjective, while this list is official and objective. So it’s the 16th best. As long as you’re cool with that.
Perhaps my own personal perspective has to come into this. I first encountered Wavey Cavey and his Stinky Eggs as a precocious and hormonally operated thirteen year old with 1997’s The Boatman’s Call. This has probably meant that my entire idea of Nicholas and his Naughty Nuts has been through the frame of an achingly beautiful smack addict singing delicate odes to PJ Harvey (and probably, let’s face it, smack). If you’re disgustingly old enough to first come across The Bad Seeds when they first set sail in the 1980s- or even through Cave’s previous band The Birthday Party– then…
Well, then first of all you really are too old and decrepit to possess any worthwhile opinions. Your should be ashamed of your advancing years and retreat into functional alcoholism. I’m not explicitly saying that you should kill yourself, I’m just making sure that you’re aware that your death will have no real impact on the wider world and on a functional level you may as well kill yourself. OK? Good. Glad that we all understand.
Also, approaching The Bad Seeds from an ‘OG’ perspective may lead you to rate his earlier none more goth albums- the ones that are occasionally punctuated with distorted screams of “THE ORGAN GRINDER’S MONKEY FUCK’S THE VIRGIN MARY BLOODY CUNT WITH A RUSTY CRUCIFIX!”, and the like- a lot higher than I have. That’s cool. We’re all friends. But, scientifically, I’m correct and you’re wrong. And horrendously old. Seriously, what’s that smell? Oh. It’s you. That’s just what old people smell like. Ew.
Yeah, that title was a pun when I reviewed the american poetry club album. Makes less logical sense now, admittedly, but I like it. Hey! Two album reviews this year! Getting into some real Lestor Bangs territory now! This blog is fucking legit, yeah?
We* far too readily accept that whatever we do is simply good enough. We** accept what we are able to do at a scandalously young age. At the very latest when we’re about 18 or 19 and first enter university believing we’re already the finished article and want to spend the next few years convincing other people how fucking amazing we are, usually under the assumption that it’ll lead to increased opportunities to rub our genitalia against somebody else. Often though, it happens much, much younger. Many of the people you pass on the street, many of your closest friends and family, many of the people weird and/or dumb enough to read this very blog, basically decided at about 13 years old that you know all the things you can and can’t do, your likes and dislikes. You*** decided at that age that you shouldn’t really waste time overloading your dumb brain with any new talents or inspirations, so decided to spend the rest of your life getting angry and other people for not accepting you for who you are (and have been for decades).