Here’s something rather splendid, unusual and rare dragged from the back of the cupboard and given a listen to for the first time in ages.

Sixteen folk are or have been part of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds over the past 33 years (!!) since their inception.  Anita Lane remains the only fully fledged female member although many other women have performed on the various records and as part of the live performances.

She was part of the original Melbourne scene from which Nick et al would emerge – indeed she was the first of his many muses who would and have continually inspired him in many different ways – and in due course she would join and become an important part of The Birthday Party, including songwriting contributions to some of their most popular numbers such as Dead Joe

The title track of the first Bad Seeds album, From Her To Eternity, was attributed to the six members of the group, one of whom was Anita Lane; she left the band almost immediately after the album was recorded, but despite no longer being is a relationship with the singer she remained on good terms with him and the others, contributing lyrics to songs on later albums.

Her own, albeit ultimately low-key and rarely commercially successful solo career, began in 1988 with the release of these four songs on an EP entitled Dirty Sings on Mute Records:-

mp3 : Anita Lane – If I Should Die
mp3 : Anita Lane – I’m A Believer
mp3 : Anita Lane – Lost In Music
mp3 : Anita Lane – Sugar In A Hurricane

Her friends of old helped write the three original songs as well as joining her in the studio. The lead track has Barry Adamson as a co-writer (with whom she would collaborate further in years to come) and is very akin to sort of sound that would propel Julee Cruise to brief fame a couple of years later ; I’m A Believer isn’t the Neil Diamond number but an Anita Lane/Nick Cave composition while the strange and haunting (and Kate Bush inspired?) Sugar Hurricane sees a co-credit for Mick Harvey. All three of them, together with another bad seed – Thomas Wydler – were the backing musicians with Harvey doubling up as producer under the name of Dicky Russcombe.

And yes…..Lost In Music is a cover of the Sister Sledge disco classic. And to my ears, it’s an inspired cover.