Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds “The Boatman’s Call”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#335 in the Series) is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Boatman’s Call

Long cited as one of the world’s best (albeit relatively unknown) songwriters, Nick Cave at last came out with the classic album that many had suspected he was capable of.

And this time it was personal.

Considered one of the heirs to Leonard Cohen’s throne, his worked had often explored similar themes, not least the biblical.

However, due to its unremitting focus on matters of the heart, specifically the bitterness of broken relationships and their aftermath, The Boatman’s Call would seem to have more in common with Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks.

Sensing that these songs didn’t need much in the way of embellishment, his superb band of long-time collaborators (The Bad Seeds) take something of a backseat on this one, leaving the way clear for Cave to deliver a piano-led suite of stripped-down, straight from the heart missives.

A year or so beforehand , Cave had split from his first wife and shortly thereafter embarked on a relationship with singer/songwriter PJ Harvey and it’s the fallout from those parts of his life which helps colour these raw and emotional songs.

The stark “Into My Arms” which opens the album is powerful enough in its own right but it was lent an extra poignancy when Cave sung it at the funeral of his old friend , INXS singer Michael Hutchence.

From there on in he never lets up , delivering a what amounts to a master class in songs of love , loss and heartache from a man proving that he was now amongst the very best at his craft.

And if this all makes it sound like a terribly bleak listen listening experience then that’s probably because it is at times . But it’s also a terribly beautiful one ……….

— Stephen Dalrymple, Glasgow, Scotland

Track Listing

All songs written by Nick Cave

Side One

  1. “Into My Arms” – 4:15
  2. “Lime Tree Arbour” – 2:57
  3. “People Ain’t No Good” – 5:42
  4. “Brompton Oratory” – 4:06
  5. “There Is A Kingdom” – 4:53
  6. “(Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For? – 4:05

Side Two

  1. “Where Do We Go Now” – 5:46
  2. “West Country Girl” – 2:46
  3. “Black Hair” – 4:13
  4. “Idiot Prayer” – 4:21
  5. “Far From Me” – 5:33
  6. “Green Eyes” – 3:32


  • Nick Cave – Vocal , Piano , Hammond , Vibes , Casio
  • Mick Harvey – Bass , Guitar , Hammond , Bass Organ
  • Blixa Bargeld – Guitar , Piano Treatment
  • Thomas Wydler – Drums , Maracas
  • Conway Savage – Piano , Backing Vocals
  • Martyn P. Casey – Bass
  • Jim Sclavunos – Bells , Drums , Melodica
  • Warren Ellis – Violin

Posted by Stephen Dalrymple
I was so much older then , i'm younger than that now.........

Leave a Reply

Before you post, please prove you are sentient.

what is 9 plus 5?