Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (1984-2014) (Mute)

Heart-Shaped Box Sets

Heart-Shaped Box Sets

Romantic, explosive, misanthropic: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds are so volatile they should've imploded decades ago. Instead, the Australian poet laureate and his fluid collective have sustained a 30-plus-year career at least substantial enough for a 3-CD/1-DVD box.

A visionary songwriter individual enough to rate alongside Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell, Cave started out favoring blues-infused noise-scapes as settings for his gothic tales of fear and loathing. That changed radically over time, from the first decade's rabid rant & roll to the second's lounge-lizard-from-hell crooning and the third's eclectic art-rock. Curated by the band, Lovely Creatures chronicles the sweep of this iconoclastic ensemble.

Each disc essentially covers a decade, but the set gives more weight to recent work. The first CD pulls from seven albums, the second from five, and the third from three, with 2004's Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus culling the most cuts. The DVD compiles two hours from across the decades: TV performances, interview excerpts (including from a 2014 Austin City Limits taping), and bootleg YouTube videos.

That will lead to general die-hard disgruntlement – only one cut from 1984 debut From Her to Eternity? – and the set is nearly devoid of B-sides and outtakes. But it's a sharp look at how a major artist sees his own work, set to a soundtrack that's held up incredibly well. Further illumination comes in the Super Deluxe edition from a 250-page hardback book overflowing with scholarly essays, photographs, and reproductions of concert fliers, tickets, backstage passes, postcards, song drafts, and a bizarre fax depicting a self-drawn, nude Cave demanding "Don't forget."

Lovely Creatures proves that impossible.


  • More Heart-Shaped Box Sets

  • Metallica

    Master of Puppets (Remastered Deluxe Box Set)

    The Beatles / The Rolling Stones

    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Deluxe Edition)


    The Dirt of Luck, The Magic City, Ends With And


    Leave Home (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

    Hüsker Dü

    Savage Young Dü


    Automatic for the People (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

    David Bowie

    A New Career in a New Town (1977-1982)

    Bob Dylan

    Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981

    The Creation

    Action Painting

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
SXSW 2013 Records
Nick Cave
Push the Sky Away (Record Review)

Dan Oko, March 15, 2013

Phases & Stages
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, April 4, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bright Light Social Hour
Jude Vol. 1 (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Michael Toland
Texas Platters
Mark Deutrom
The Blue Bird (Record Review)

Feb. 8, 2019

Free Week 2019 Is in the Rearview Mirror, but These Homegrown Standouts Aren't
Free Week 2019 Is in the Rearview Mirror, but These Homegrown Standouts Aren't
10 local showcases that got us excited for what's to come this year

Jan. 11, 2019


Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle