Short on liner notes, and lacking even a photo of the distinguished old crooner, this low-key collection of his contribution to urban blues seems poised to be a on more than a few bars jukeboxes these next few months. It’s always curious to see the artist looking back on his own work, and how it compares to the opinion of hardcore fans. ‘Red Right Hand’, ‘Tupelo’, ‘The Mercy Seat’, and ‘From Her To Eternity’, were all there, as they should be. It was the ballads that made me a little nervous, but given the right context ‘The Weeping Song’, and ‘Nobody’s Baby Now’ feel smoother than their original release.
Cave has always managed his career thoughtfully, and now that most of his new fans have never even heard of the Birthday Party, enough water has flowed under the bridge not to include any of his pre-87 work. ‘Do You Love Me?’, the grinding repetitive drone about the old ball and chain, or at least his relation to the feminine, shows off his talent for soul baring. “She has a heartful of love and devotion, She had a mindful of tyranny and terror, Well, I try, I do, I really try, But I just err, baby, I do, I error.”