I’ve always had an obligation to creation, above all.
People think I’m a miserable sod but it’s only because I get asked such bloody miserable questions.
Everything’s dissolving, babe, according to plan
The sky is on fire, the dead are heaped across the land
I went to bed last night and my
moral code got jammed
I woke up this morning with a Frappucino in my hand
~Nick Cave (Abattoir Blues)
Get ready for Love:
|20 September 2004
|March–April 2004 at Studio Ferber in Paris, France
Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is the thirteenth studio album by the Australian alternative rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released on 20 September 2004 on Mute Records. It is a double album with a total of seventeen songs—nine on Abattoir Blues and eight on The Lyre of Orpheus.
The album was produced by Nick Launay at Studio Ferber in Paris in March–April 2004 and Nick Cave used The Bad Seeds line up of Mick Harvey, Thomas Wydler, Martyn Casey, Conway Savage, Jim Sclavunos, Warren Ellis, and James Johnston. It was the first album by the group for which Blixa Bargeld did not perform – English guitarist and organist Johnston, of the group Gallon Drunk, replaced Bargeld. Cave decided to split drumming duties for the two parts, with Sclavunos on Abattoir Blues and Wydler on The Lyre of Orpheus. According to Launay, the whole album was completed in twelve days.
Abbatoir Blues (live on Later with Jools Holland):
The album’s release was supported by the Abattoir Blues Tour, which travelled through Europe from 2 November to 5 December. In January 2007 a double live album and DVD was issued as The Abattoir Blues Tour. Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus’s last track, “O Children”, was featured in the 2010 film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and the song is referenced as an achievement in Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7. In March 2005, to complement the success of the double album, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released B-Sides & Rarities, a three-disc, 56-track collection of B-sides, rarities, and tracks that had appeared on film soundtracks.
From allmusic.com – Thom Jurek:
When Blixa Bargeld left Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds, who would have predicted his departure would result in one of the finest offerings in the band’s catalog? Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is a double CD or, rather, two completely different albums packaged in one very handsome box with a stylish lyric booklet and subtly colored pastel sleeves. They were recorded in a total of 16 days by producer Nick Launay (Kate Bush, Midnight Oil, Girls Against Boys, Silverchair, INXS, Virgin Prunes, et al.). Abattoir Blues, the first disc in the set (packaged in pink, of course), is a rock & roll record. Yeah, the same guy who released the Boatman’s Call, No More Shall We Part, and Nocturama albums has turned in a pathos-drenched, volume-cranked rocker, full of crunch, punishment — and taste. Drummer Jim Sclavunos’ aggressive, propulsive kit work is the bedrock of this set. It and Mick Harvey’s storm-squall guitar playing shake things loose on “Get Ready for Love,” which opens the album. As Cave goes right for God in the refrain — “get ready for love” — in the maelstrom, a gospel choir roaring “praise Him” responds. His tense, ambivalent obsession with theology is pervasive; he mocks the Western perception of God in the heavens yet seeks the mystery of His nature. … read more @ allmusic
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- Nick Cave – vocals, piano, production, mixing
- Mick Harvey – guitar, production, mixing
- Warren Ellis – violin, mandolin, bouzouki, flute, production, mixing
- Martyn P. Casey – bass, production
- Conway Savage – piano, production
- James Johnston – organ
- Jim Sclavunos – drums, percussion, production on Abbattoir Blues
- Thomas Wydler – drums, percussion, production on The Lyre of Orpheus
- Technical personnel
- Nick Launay – producer, engineer, mixing
- Lars Fox – digital audio editor
- Ian Cooper – mastering
|….. Bargeld’s departure seems to have shaken Cave and his cohorts in the best way imaginable. The Bad Seeds sounded reined in on Nocturama, a waste of perhaps the most distinctive backing band in rock. Here, they sound energised and unfettered. There is a surfeit of breathtaking moments: Hiding All Away’s finale, where they shift from queasy funk to full-on hellfire-and-brimstone mode; the angular repetitions of The Lyre of Orpheus; the opening of Windswept, with Cave singing “through the windswept coastal trees, where the dead come rising from the sea”, over a frantic, rolling backing of hammering piano and pattering drums, whose the cumulative effect is enough to give you motion sickness…. Abattoir Blues is packed with standard apocalyptic Cave imagery, but he sounds most horrified about a visit to Starbucks: “The sky is on fire, the dead are heaped across the land,” he moans. “I woke up this morning with a Frappucino in my hand.”You can’t really imagine anyone else in rock writing lyrics like that, but then, you really can’t imagine anyone else making an album like this. Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is an entirely unique return to form.
~Alexis Petridis (The Guardian)
Album of the day: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus:
– Egil & Hallgeir