March 3: Nick Cave – The Boatman’s Call (1997)


..It speak volumes about the album’s universality that its songs have soundtracked everything from Michael Hutchence’s funeral to Shrek 2.
~Stuart Berman (

The Boatman’s Call is one of his finest albums and arguably the masterpiece he has been promising throughout his career.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (

Into My Arms – live

Lime Tree Arbour – live


Released March 3, 1997
Recorded June—August 1996 at Sarm West Studios, London, United Kingdom
Genre Alternative rock
Length 52:07
Label Mute/Reprise
Producer Flood, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

The Boatman’s Call is the tenth studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released in 1997. The album, which is entirely piano-based and a departure from the band’s post-punk catalogue, remains one of the most critically acclaimed releases of Nick Cave’s career.

People Ain’t No Good – Live

Nick Cave

Brompton Oratory – live at MTV’s Live ‘n’ Loud

Recording for the album began at Sarm West Studios in London, United Kingdom in mid-1996, with “The Garden Duet”, one of the album’s outtakes, being the first song recorded. Though the bulk of The Boatman’s Call was recorded at Sarm West, further recordings — including overdubs — were later done at Abbey Road Studios.

Musically, the album’s tone is considered sombre and minimalist and marks a major departure for Cave and The Bad Seeds. Moving away from full-band arrangements and character-based narratives, the album’s music and lyrics move towards the more intimate sound of Cave’s solo voice accompanied by piano or a few other instruments. The tempo is also generally slow, reflecting many of the moods of the songs. Many of the lyrics seem to reflect on Cave’s personal relationships and spiritual yearnings at the time of writing. Some songs are thought to be directed at either the mother of Cave’s oldest son Luke, Viviane Carneiro (in “Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?”) or PJ Harvey, with whom he had a brief relationship around that time (as referenced in “West Country Girl”, “Black Hair” and “Green Eyes”).

nick cave pj harvey


With a crooked smile and a heart-shaped face
Comes from the West country where the birds sing bass
She’s got a house-big heart where we all live
And plead and council and forgive
Her widow’s peak, her lips I’ve kissed
Her glove of bones at her wrist
That I have held in my hand

West Country Girl – Live

Cave performed “Into My Arms” at the funeral of Michael Hutchence and demanded that the TV cameras be shut off for his performance out of respect for Hutchence. The song “People Ain’t No Good” was also featured in the movie Shrek 2. In October 2010, the album was listed in the top 30 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.

Track listing:

1. “Into My Arms” 4:15
2. “Lime Tree Arbour” 2:56
3. “People Ain’t No Good” 5:42
4. “Brompton Oratory” 4:06
5. “There Is a Kingdom” 4:52
6. “(Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For?” 4:05
7. “Where Do We Go Now but Nowhere?” 5:46
8. “West Country Girl” 2:45
9. “Black Hair” 4:14
10. “Idiot Prayer” 4:21
11. “Far from Me” 5:33
12. “Green Eyes” 3:32

nick cave live

(Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For?


Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Nick Cave – vocals (1-17), piano (1-3,8,11-13,15), organ (2,5,10-11), keyboards (casio) (4), vibes (3), keyboard (14)
  • Mick Harvey – electric guitar (6,10,13-14,17), acoustic guitar (5,7-8,12), bass (2), organ (6,13-14,16-17), vibes (3), bass organ (9), backing vocals (14), xylophone (16)
  • Blixa Bargeld – electric guitar (4-5,7,10-11,13-14,16-17), piano treatment (8), backing vocals (13-14)
  • Martyn P. Casey – bass (1,3-8,10-11,13-17), backing vocals (13)
  • Conway Savage – piano (5-7,10,14,16-17), backing vocals (5)
  • Warren Ellis – violin (3,7-8,10-11), accordion (9), piano (9), looped violin (13)
  • Jim Sclavunos – drums (6), melodica (12), bells (5,14), percussion (13), organ (15), bongos (16), tambourine (17)
  • Thomas Wydler – drums (2-3,5,7-8,10-11,13-17), maracas (4), backing vocals (13)
Technical personnel
  • Flood – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Chris Scard – co-producer, mixing
  • Paul Corkett – engineer
  • Paul Hicks – assistant engineer
  • Paul Wright – assistant engineer
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – additional production

Album from spotify:

Oher March 03

  • Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson (March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012) was an American guitarist, songwriter and singer of bluegrass, folk,country, blues and gospel music. Watson won seven Grammy awards as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Watson’s flatpicking skills and knowledge of traditional American music are highly regarded. He performed with his son Merle for over 15 years until Merle’s death in 1985 in an accident on the family farm.docwatson
  • Bob Dylan records master version of “Dark Eyes” in 1985.
    Here is a nice live version with Patti Smith: