• In Stock

The Firstborn Is Dead


Release Year
2014

First Release
1985
€27.90
• Only 1 copy in stock •

The second Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album was recorded in late ’84 at Hansa Studios in Berlin. Co-produced by Flood and the band, it was rich with references to the blues and bluesmen, the American South, and especially to Elvis Presley. Its striking title was a nod to Jesse Garon Presley, Elvis’ stillborn identical twin. Cave seemed to be wondering whether The King, deeply conflicted, had suffered from survivor guilt, both at birth and in later years. “On those last concerts”, Cave also once observed of Elvis “just before he died, you see a man who fought an incredible struggle with life. It’s one of the most brutal things ever captured on film. In those pictures, it has a unique glow of heroism.”

There was something uniquely heroic, too, about The Firstborn Is Dead, one of the most brutal things ever captured on record. If its predecessor, the debut From Her To Eternity, had introduced us to a new howling wolf, here was a sly fox whose antipathy towards conventional vocal stylings and formulaic song formats invented a fresh vocabulary. Eschewing cliché, the album roared with pain and anger, rang out with the wit of a natural storyteller, and blossomed with the vitality of romance.

The Firstborn Is Dead was released in June 1985 and almost made the top 50. It’s an album that helped to define Cave’s new role, his niche on the map as fire-and-brimstone preacher and post-modern ironist, as a wizard with words, as a master of the heartfelt howl that’s tinted with a twisted smile. Much of his work since has taken the blues as a basis, before spiraling off into exhilarating new sparks and shards…


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