Kicking Against the Pricks is the third album released by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. First released in 1986, the album is a collection of cover versions. Like many of our favorite artists (Dylan, Springsteen), Nick Cave dove into “the great songbook from the past” and gave us an album that really stood out in 1986. It wasn’t country, and it most certainly did not fit that new-wave look of Nick Cave and The Bad Seed. They play the songs in a straightforward way, not trying to modernize or make them more rock’n roll. This album was very important in my journey back to traditional folk music and blues standards.
It still stands up very well, and is one of my favorite Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds albums.
The Singer (made famous by Johnny Cash):
My favorite song on the album is Hey Joe (together with The Singer), it is right up there with Jimi Hendrix and Willy DeVilles’ interpretations.
Hey Joe (Mick Harvey,David Sanborn,Toots Thielemans,Charlie Haden and the NIghtmusic Band):
“…often holding everything back is the key, as the creepout build of “Hey Joe” demonstrates. Even more striking is how Cave’s own vocals rebut the charges that all he ever does is overdramatize everything he sings — consider the husky, purring delivery on Johnny Cash’s “The Singer.”
– Ned Ragget (allmusic)
Kicking Against The Pricks on Spotify (missing Black Betty and Running Scared):
Sources: Allmusic, Wikipedia