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Live 1981-82

The Birthday Party

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iTunes Editors' Notes

Consisting of a London gig from 1981, a German show from 1982, and a version of The Stooges' "Funhouse" performed in Greece in 1982, Live 1981-82 is a definitive live album from a band that got even crazier in front of an audience. Considering the chaos found on The Birthday Party's studio albums, that's quite an endorsement. Singer Nick Cave may approach his job with the fervor of a Pentecostal preacher, but drummer Phil Calvert and bassist Tracey Pew represent the musical equivalents. The sonic clarity means "The Dim Locator," "Zoo Music Girl," and "Release the Bats" have never sounded better. "Dead Joe" grinds the notes into tiny pieces with a brutal, unflinching attack. It's impossible to convey the true power and anarchy present here. Few bands have ever attempted such freeform attacks on their instruments, their songs, and their performances. Guitarist Mick Harvey takes over on drums on the final tunes, including the long tortured wail of "She's Hit" and the groveling intensity of the muddily recorded "Funhouse." It's even more essential than The Birthday Party's studio releases.

Customer Reviews

Where's The Studio Stuff ?

Its a well documented fact that, as good as a live recording is, you need the studio albums. Don't get me wrong this is a fine selection of songs by a unique and ground-breaking band. But i-tunes needs at least Hits! (a very good best of compilation) to be added to its cannon. Hats off to you for including this live album though (its near impossible to find, believe me!!!) but you're not quite doing them justice. In the meantime if you just download "Release The Bats" it should whet your whistle for more!!

Go On!

I agree with Robotmonkey, but actually Nick The Stripper is the killer. What we need now is the Pleasure Heads EP.

Good. God.

A must have for anyone interested in the power of a band manifested through their live performances, this live album - culled from gigs in London, Germany and Greece - is also probably the best representation of The Birthday Party, the post-punk band from Australia formed by Nick Cave in the late 1970s. Of course, Nick Cave would later re-invent himself and form a new band in The Bad Seeds (although still retaining the dangerous heroin use), but that band excerised a certain amount of quiet restraint behind the often disturbing song material. No such thing here. Cave screams and bellows his way through the music- the effect being both terrifying and hilarious at the same time- and the tunes are borne along on Tracy Pew's fire-breathing, bulldozer basslines. Guitarist Rowland S. Howard also provides a suprising amount of dexterity to the whole affair- after all, for all of the seeming chaos of their sound, the band were actually tightly rehearsed (witness the precision start-stop of 'A Dead Song'). There are many highlights here; Cave yelling "OWWW" during 'Junkyard', the creeping ominousity of 'Nick The Stripper', the almost poppy-Pixies like 'Bully Bones', and the bands possessed, steaming version of The Stooges 'Fun House'. Worry your friends, scare your enemies into submission.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in Melbourne, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

The Birthday Party were one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s, creating bleak and noisy soundscapes that provided the perfect setting for vocalist Nick Cave's difficult, disturbing stories of religion, violence, and perversity. Under the direction of Cave and guitarist Rowland S. Howard, the band tore through reams of blues and rockabilly licks, spitting out hellacious feedback and noise at an unrelenting...
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