Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds are in a rare and privileged condition that few rock bands achieve. Almost anything that is released to the public barring their name, or simply that of their leader, Nick Cave, is almost assuredly endorsed by their core audience, and usually welcomed by the mainstream audience as well.
This happens even though Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ journey has not been a typical one. Cave has become something of a cultural representative across the world, in spite of having few bonafide hits. His works can inspire artists to commission art galleries in Copenhagen, Germany. His online letters to fans get analyzed and dissected. And, any record or book release is greeted with the anticipation that only groups like Radiohead might receive.
Nick Cave has graduated to being viewed as a modern-day Bob Dylan. It seems that everyone has to have an opinion about this work. Considering all of this, as well as the Bad Seeds’ excellent and consistent back catalog, the time seemed only fitting for B-Sides & Rarities Part II. The album is comprised of outtakes, oddities, and songs that for one reason or another did not see the light of day during the 2006 and 2019 period.
B-Sides & Rarities Part II, much like the original work, is a beautiful scattershot of the Bad Seeds’ activities. Long-time fans are likely to find a treasure trove of new material and information into Nick Cave’s inner workings. Casual fans may also find worthy tunes if they dig hard enough.
However, the purpose of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ B-Sides & Rarities Part II is that of documentation. It’s something with which Cave has been obsessed. The aforementioned exhibition shows the songwriter providing great attention to preserving his work and legacy.
From Steve McQueen, Earthlings, or the cover of Leonard Cohen’s Avalanche, B-Sides & Rarities Part II is another opportunity of using the writer’s work to add detail to the portrait of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Few bands have put as much detail into making sure that the public views them just right.