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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The Videos

Moody, intense and more than a little scary, Aussie-born Nick Cave made a name for himself in the 1980s with his goth-punk band The Birthday Party, appeared in a Wim Wenders film (Wings of Desire), and continues his career as a cult icon with his band The Bad Seeds. This DVD compilation — a remaster of a 1998 VHS release — offers 20 videos from various stages of Cave's career plus brief comments from the band, who explain very early in the disc that they really don't like making videos. There are early-early-early works, like "In the Ghetto" and the little-seen video for Cave's campy, over-the-top cover of the blues classic "Stagger Lee." Some of the best videos are Cave's pairings with other artists — the notorious "Where the Wild Roses Grow," which ticked off Australians for its homicidal treatment of Kylie Minogue, Cave with ex-flame P.J. Harvey on "Henry Lee," and his teaming with Pogues singer Shane McGowan on "It's a Wonderful World." Cave's music is an ingenious mutation of a variety of styles, blending blues, punk, rockabilly, soul, and country to create a sound completely his own, and his sexy-creepy stage presence is equally unique. The too-brief comments on each video track are often hilarious (Cave opines that he and bandmate Blixa Bargeld look like "gay businessmen" in their video for "The Wedding Song"), and they're a nice accompaniment to the videos. Among the other selections are Cave nuggets like "Do You Love Me?" "The Ship Song," "Straight to You," and the unsettling ditty "Red Right Hand," which was released on 1996's "Songs in the Key of X," a compilation of songs used on and/or inspired by TV's "The X-Files":

You'll see him in your nightmares, you'll see him in your dreams
He'll appear out of nowhere but he ain't what he seems
You'll see him in your head, on the TV screen…
You're one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan
Designed and directed by his red right hand

Rhino Home Video's DVD release of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The Videos offers very good transfers of the 20 shorts, although some of the older ones came from less-than-impressive source-prints, looking washed out and a little fuzzy. The Dolby stereo audio is solid and very clean throughout. No extras, keep-case.
—Dawn Taylor

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