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Album Review

As an album title, Hits is an intentionally ironic misnomer for one of Australia's most influential rock bands of the late '70s and early '80s. Having "hits" was the furthest thing from the Birthday Party's collective mind over the course of five tumultuous years that followed the group's move to England from Down Under; the members reviled anything that hinted at mainstream acceptance. Ten years on, the intensity of this music is still frightening. It's a dense, mutant hybrid that evolved from punk, progressive rock, funk, and improvisational jazz, without directly owning up to any of these base materials. Vocalist Nick Cave (who has gone on to an equally creative solo career) didn't just sing about society's dark, depraved underbelly, he lived the experience right there on disc and on stage.

Customer Reviews

Don't be scared

Not even when Cave is telling you about stabbing a 6" gold blade through the head of a girl. I don't really know what to write to recommend this except to say that the music will definately have some sort of effect on you and will handsomely reward repeat listening. I first bought a BP album 15 years ago and it sounds better than ever now! A bit like Trout Mask Replica - nothing else is quite the same, and sometimes nothing else will do.

Nick the stripper

Feral, raw and nothing quite else like it. "Hits" probably refers to certain narcotic habits rather than chart damage. Many of these songs frequented John Peel's Festive 50 over a number of years. Is there a better murder ballad than "Deep in the woods"? Is there a more apocalyptic song than "Sonnys burning"? This is a weighty collection of songs that burn brightly on the darkest of Winter nights. Cave at his most menacing and most unhinged. Oh to have seen the Birthday party live in full affect....

Manchester cloud9 and the Berlin

Take me please OH!the memories
Best days of my life
Bring it on.


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...
Full bio