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|Single by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds|
|from the album The Firstborn Is Dead|
|Released||29 July 1985|
|Format||12" vinyl, 7" vinyl|
|Recorded||December 1984 at Hansa Studios, Berlin, Germany|
|Songwriter(s)||Barry Adamson, Nick Cave, Mick Harvey|
|Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds singles chronology|
|The Firstborn Is Dead track listing|
Background and production
The song was written by Barry Adamson, Nick Cave and Mick Harvey in mid-late 1984. Using biblical imagery, the song describes the birth of Elvis Presley during a heavy storm in Tupelo, Mississippi. The song is loosely based on the John Lee Hooker song of the same title, which also focuses on a flood in the same town. The "looky looky yonder" motif that is featured in the song is derived from a song of the same name recorded by Lead Belly, usually found as part of a medley which Cave himself covered under the title "Black Betty" on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' third album, Kicking Against the Pricks.
"Tupelo"'s b-side, "The Six Strings That Drew Blood", was recorded in March 1985 at Trident Studios in London and was a re-recording of a song Cave originally recorded with The Birthday Party during the Mutiny EP sessions in 1982. The original version of the song is included on The Birthday Party's Mutiny/The Bad Seed compilation album. "Tupelo" was released on 29 July 1985.
All songs written by Nick Cave except where noted.
- Standard 7" vinyl
- Standard 12" vinyl
- "Tupelo" - 5:01
- "In the Ghetto" (Mac Davis) - 4:08
- "The Moon Is In The Gutter" - 2:38
- The Six Strings That Drew Blood - 4:50
- SikTh covered the song on their album The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait for Something Wild.
|UK Indie Chart||1|
- "Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds :: Firstborn Is Dead". Aquarium Drunkard. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
- "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- "Nick Cave Discography on "From The Archives"". From The Archives. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
- Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.