You may well have spotted that this week’s run of posts have headings related to their catalogue number provided by the independent label for which the music was recorded. The labels each used common abbreviations for the releases – RUG for Domino, CRE for Creation, and HVN for Heavenly.
Today’s is a bit of a doozy in that regard in that the bosses at 4AD, having long adopted BAD as the abbreviation for any EPs and compilation albums, were able to enjoy a wry smile when The Birthday Party decided that their next four track offering, in March 1983 was to be named The Bad Seed, which meant it could be given a catalogue number akin to the actual name of the EP.
Little did anyone realise that, after a three-year partnership, The Birthday Party would take their leave of 4AD and shift over to Mute Records, for whom, in November 1983 they would release the Mutiny EP, but only after they had split up a few months earlier upon completion of a tour in their native Australia. Frontman Nick Cave would form a new band, who took their name from the title of that last EP for 4AD, and in June 1984, the debut single and album were issued by Mute.
The rest is history. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, having gone through almost as many personnel changes as The Fall, would remain with Mute right through to 2013 at which point things shifted to Bad Seed Ltd. Nobody would have predicted it at the time, but the Nick Cave of the 2020s now sells out 10,000+ capacity arena gigs in many parts of the world when back in the 80s, The Birthday Party were very much a cult act, which is no surprise given
“…they were one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early ’80s, creating bleak and noisy soundscapes that provided the perfect setting for vocalist Nick Cave’s difficult, disturbing stories of religion, violence, and perversity. Under the direction of Cave and and guitarist Rowland S. Howard, the band tore through reams of blues and rockabilly licks, spitting out hellacious feedback and noise at an unrelenting pace. As the Birthday Party’s career progressed,Cave’s vision got darker and the band’s songs alternated between dirges to blistering sonic assaults.
(Stephen Erlwwine, allmusic)
Bearing in mind that these four songs were at the tail-end of things, you should brace yourselves:-
mp3: The Birthday Party – Sonny’s Burning
mp3: The Birthday Party – Wild World
mp3: The Birthday Party – Fears Of Gun
mp3: The Birthday Party – Deep In The Woods
I warned you.