Music: Halloween LP 1 – Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads

Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsMurder Ballads, 1996

Not obviously Halloween scary – no ghosts or goblins, Nick Cave’s 1996 LP Murder Ballads is however one of the scariest pieces of music ever recorded. Inspired by old country or folk songs (called murder ballads) about death, tragedy and killin’, Nick gave it a new rock-n-roll spin. It begins w/ his version of the classic Stagger Lee (or Stacka Lee) and tips it on its ear. Swearin’, screamin’ and sodomizin’ Stagger Lee kills Billy (like the original) and proceeds to kill everyone else in the bar…”she shouted ‘My lord he can’t be dead’…Stag said ‘Well just count the holes in his muther-fuckin’ head'”. Duets w/ Kylie Minogue – Where the Wild Roses Grow and PJ Harvey – Henry Lee were the singles. Highlights include “The Curse of Millhaven”, a six minute hell ride through all the murders commited by 14 year old Lottie – ‘ Since I was no bigger than a weavil they’ve been saying I was evil That if “bad” was a boot that I’d fit it . That I’m a wicked young lady, but I’ve been trying hard lately, O fuck it! I’m a monster! I admit it!’ You see where this is going? Also notable is the beautifully horrific The Kindness of Strangers -“They found Mary Bellows cuffed to the bed, a rag in her mouth and a bullet in her head“. Give it a listen – put a couple songs on your Halloween playlist – It’s one of the best LPs of the 90’s, scary or not.

The Singles - Were the Wild Roses Grow & Henry Lee

Still from 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' video w/ Kylie Minogue

From 'Henry Lee' video with PJ Harvey

The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave


Posted on October 19, 2011, in Big Fan, Music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Interesting blog. I’ve just read your bit on Vampira and have definitely gotta check out that Plan 9 thing if I can find it. I’ve been looking for tunes to add to a playlist for a Halloween party and had completely overlooked Nick Cave so thanks for planting that seed in my head!

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