The Good Son is the sixth album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released in 1990. It was preceded by the release of "The Ship Song/The Train Song" single. "The Weeping Song/Cock's 'n' Asses" was later also released as a single. After an album as dark and intense as Tender Prey, some fans were disappointed to hear a relaxed and loving Nick Cave on this record. The change of mood was due in great deal to Nick Cave falling in love with Brazilian stylist Viviane Carneiro, and an apparently salutary spell in rehab which purged the despair and squalor of the previous two albums. However, today, most fans consider this album as a classic that was unfairly judged at the time. Indeed, "The Weeping Song" and "The Ship Song" are now Bad Seeds standards, and the relatively obscure closing track "Lucy" was resurrected in 1993 as a B-side of "What a Wonderful World", a collaboration of the Bad Seeds and the Pogues' Shane MacGowan.
All songs written by Cave unless otherwise stated.
"Foi Na Cruz" – 5:39
Singers: Clovis Trindade, Rubinho
"The Good Son" – 6:01
"Sorrow's Child" – 4:36
"The Weeping Song" – 4:21
"Father" Vocal by Blixa Bargeld
"The Ship Song" – 5:14
"The Hammer Song" – 4:16
Guitars by Mick Harvey
"Lament" – 4:51
"The Witness Song" – 5:57
"Lucy" – 4:17 (words: Cave. Music: Cave, Bargeld, Roland Wolf)
Piano on reprise section by Roland Wolf
"Foi Na Cruz" is based partly upon the traditional Brazilian Protestant hymn of the same title. The title translates roughly as "It Happened on the cross".
"The Good Son" - the opening is based loosely upon the African-American traditional song "Another Man Done Gone". A recording of this traditional song, by Odetta, later appeared on Original Seeds Vol. 1. The lyrics appear, at least in part, to have been influenced by the Cormac McCarthy novel Child of God, with references to a "malign star" and laying down "queer plans" appearing in both, as well as common themes of dislocation and rejection.
"The Witness Song" is based loosely upon the traditional American gospel song "Who Will be a Witness?".
Four of the songs on the album were left with their working titles ("The Ship Song", "The Weeping Song", "The Hammer Song", "The Witness Song").
Nick Cave – Vocals, Piano, Hammond, Harmonica
Mick Harvey – Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vibraphone, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Blixa Bargeld – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kid Congo Powers – Guitar
Thomas Wydler – Drums, Percussion
Arranged by Mick Harvey and Bill McGee
Violins - Alexandre Ramirez, Altamir Tea Bueno Salinas, Helena Akiku Imasoto, Lea Kalil Sadi
Violas - Akira Terazaki, Glauco Masahiru Imasoto
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