Tender Prey

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Tender Prey
Studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Released 19 September 1988 (1988-09-19)
Recorded August–November 1987 at Vielklang Studios and Hansa Tonstudio in West Berlin, Germany; Trident Studios and Strongroom Studios in London, United Kingdom
Genre Post-punk
Length 54:34
Label Mute
Producer Flood, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds chronology
Your Funeral... My Trial
(1986)
Tender Prey
(1988)
The Good Son
(1990)
Singles from Tender Prey
  1. "The Mercy Seat"
    Released: 23 May 1988 (1988-05-23)
  2. "Deanna"
    Released: 5 September 1988 (1988-09-05)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[2]
Uncut 4/5 stars[3]

Tender Prey is the fifth studio album by Australian post-punk band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released on 19 September 1988 on Mute Records. Produced by Flood, the album was recorded during several sessions over the course of four months in West Berlin—where the band were based at the time of its release—and London and dedicated to Fernando Ramos da Silva.

Details[edit]

The album opens with frontman Nick Cave's signature song, "The Mercy Seat," which has been subsequently played at almost all of the band's live performances since 1988, and was later covered by one of Cave's influences, Johnny Cash, on American III: Solitary Man (2000). "The Mercy Seat" was released as a single in May 1988 prior to the album's release and "Deanna" was released in September. On the CD version, the video mix of "The Mercy Seat" is also included as the last track.

Upon its release, Tender Prey received positive reviews and charted in the United Kingdom and Greece. However, the album failed to chart in either the band's native Australia or the United States Billboard charts. The album was remastered and reissued on 29 March 2010 as a collector's edition CD/DVD set and in October 2010, was listed in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums, alongside The Boatman's Call (1997), in the Top 30.[4]

Cave later said, "It was a nightmare, that record. It is reflective of a group - particularly myself - who was just writing songs and there was no larger idea behind it. Sometimes some of the group was there, sometimes they weren't. I hear bad production and I hear bad performances as well."[5]

In 2012 it was added to the Australian National Registry of Recorded Sound.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Mercy Seat" – 7:17
  2. "Up Jumped the Devil" – 5:16
    • Nick Cave – Vocals
    • Blixa Bargeld – Guitar, Backing Vocals
    • Mick Harvey – Bass, Xylophone, Backing Vocals
    • Kid Congo Powers – Guitar
    • Roland Wolf – Piano
    • Thomas Wydler – Drums
  3. "Deanna" – 3:45
    • Nick Cave – Vocals, Hammond
    • Blixa Bargeld – Guitar
    • Mick Harvey – Drums, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
    • Kid Congo Powers – Guitar
  4. "Watching Alice" – 4:01
    • Nick Cave – Vocals, Piano, Harmonica
    • Mick Harvey – Bass
    • Thomas Wydler – Drums
    • Hugo Race – Guitar
  5. "Mercy" – 6:22
    • Nick Cave – Vocals, Vibes, Harmonica
    • Blixa Bargeld – Slide Guitar, Backing Vocals
    • Mick Harvey – Bass, Backing Vocals
    • Kid Congo Powers – Guitar, Backing Vocals
    • Roland Wolf – Piano
    • Thomas Wydler – Drums
    • Hugo Race – Backing Vocals
  6. "City of Refuge" – 4:48
    • Nick Cave – Vocals, Hammond, Harmonica
    • Blixa Bargeld – Guitar
    • Mick Harvey – Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
    • Kid Congo Powers – Guitar
    • Roland Wolf – Organ
    • Thomas Wydler – Drums
    • Backing Vocals – The Bad Seeds & Friends
  7. "Slowly Goes the Night" – 5:23
    • Nick Cave – Vocals, Hammond
    • Blixa Bargeld – Guitar
    • Mick Harvey – Bass, Xylophone, Backing Vocals
    • Roland Wolf – Piano, Organ
    • Thomas Wydler – Drums
    • Ian Davis – Backing Vocals
  8. "Sunday's Slave" – 3:40
    • Nick Cave – Vocals, Piano
    • Blixa Bargeld – Guitar
    • Mick Harvey – Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Bass
  9. "Sugar Sugar Sugar" – 5:01
    • Nick Cave – Vocals
    • Mick Harvey – Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Percussion
    • Kid Congo Powers – Guitar
    • Roland Wolf – Piano
    • Thomas Wydler – Drums
  10. "New Morning" – 3:46
    • Nick Cave – Vocals, Piano, Harmonica, Tambourine
    • Blixa Bargeld – Guitar, Backing Vocals
    • Mick Harvey – Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Bass, Organ, Backing Vocals
  11. "The Mercy Seat" (video mix) – 5:05 (CD only)

Note: Early issues of the CD version of the album had a track indexing issue in which "Sunday's Slave" and "Sugar Sugar Sugar" were indexed as the same track.

Credits[edit]

Writing[edit]

  • Tracks written by Nick Cave, except where noted.
  • Track 1, 9 & 11 (words: Cave, music: Cave / Mick Harvey)
  • Track 2 (words: Cave, music: Cave / Harvey / Roland Wolf / Blixa Bargeld / Kid Congo Powers)
  • "Deanna" is loosely based on The Edwin Hawkins' Singers version of the hymn "Oh Happy Day". Subsequently Cave issued an acoustic version of a medley of both songs. Hawkins' version was later issued on Original Seeds Vol. 1.
  • "City of Refuge" is noted in the credit listing as being inspired by a Blind Willie Johnson song "I'm Gonna Run to the City of Refuge". This was later issued on Original Seeds Vol. 1.

Personnel[edit]

Guests[edit]

  • Hugo Race – Backing Vocals, Guitar
  • Gini Ball – Strings
  • Audrey Riley – Strings
  • Chris Tombling – Strings
  • Ian Davis – Backing vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Tender Prey - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (Completely revised and updated 4th ed.). New York: Fireside. p. 151. 
  3. ^ "Nick Cave / Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Tender Prey CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  4. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Victoria: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9. 
  5. ^ Tracee Hutchison (1992). Your Name's On The Door. Sydney, New South Wales: ABC Enterprises. p. 183. ISBN 0-7333-0115-0. 
  6. ^ "From AC/DC to Indigenous languages, ten new titles added to the National Registry of Recorded Sound". Retrieved 30 August 2012.