British-American documentarian and broadcaster Louis Theroux recently started a new podcast on Spotify, and his guest for the fifth and latest episode is Nick Cave; you can listen to their conversation below. The interview led at least three people write into his The Red Hand Files site asking where they should start with listening to his discography. "It seems that a whole lot of uninitiated people have come to The Red Hand Files this week following my interview with Louis Theroux," Nick writes. "I am afraid that I don’t think I am the right person to help you navigate my music though. My relationship to my songs is too entangled with their personal history, and I have no clear understanding as to which are the good ones and which are not."
"For instance," he continues, "I think that ‘Brompton Oratory’, which was recorded in one take on a Casio I found in a junk shop, is a way better song than ‘The Mercy Seat’, which took months to write, weeks to record and had multiple ‘producers’ mix it; for a whole lot of despairing reasons, I think Ghosteen is, by any metric, the best album the Bad Seeds have ever made, however The Bad Seeds song I love the most is probably ‘Sad Waters’ from Your Funeral, My Trial — I cried at its slippery beauty when I first played it to my then girlfriend, Elisabeth, as we sat on her bed in Schöneberg, Berlin; I think the song, ‘From Her To Eternity’, is probably the best early Bad Seeds song, primarily because of Blixa Bargeld’s extraordinarily eccentric guitar playing, although perhaps Blixa’s most inspired moment was his blood-curdling scream at the end of ‘Stagger Lee’; I think ‘The Spinning Song’ lyrics might be as good as I can do, although I have a soft spot for the amphetamine-fuelled lyrical lunacy of ‘The Curse of Millhaven’, as does my wife, Susie; I think, in hindsight, that I probably agree with journalist, Matt Snow’s, wounding summation of The Firstborn is Dead as “lacking dramatic tension”, but I think the song ‘Scum’, which I wrote about him in response, is a high point in the Bad Seeds’ catalogue of infamy; I think the oscillator solo on ‘Red Right Hand’ is the best thing on Let Love In, but — controversially — I don’t think ‘Red Right Hand’ is the Bad Seeds’ greatest achievement; and for a whole lot of complex, nostalgic and defensive reasons, I would prefer to listen to the album Nocturama than Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! any day of the week. I could go on! I think that ‘Shoot Me Down’ should have been put on the Nocturama record and ‘Babe, I’m on Fire’ should have been left off. And so on and so forth."
"But all this is highly subjective, super-confusing and completely debatable, and I know that actual Nick Cave fans out there, who have a long and hard-earned understanding of my music, would disagree with much of this stuff," Nick continues. He then invites fans to write in with their own picks for his 15 best songs.