Henry's Dream is the seventh album released by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, in April 1992.

Henry's Dream
Studio album by
Released27 April 1992
RecordedNovember–December 1991
StudioSound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, United States
GenrePunk blues[1]
ProducerDavid Briggs
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds chronology
The Good Son
Henry's Dream
Live Seeds
Singles from Henry's Dream
  1. "Straight to You"
    Released: 30 March 1992
  2. "I Had a Dream, Joe"
    Released: 31 August 1992

It was the first album to feature long-standing members Martyn P. Casey (bass) and Conway Savage (piano, organ, backing vocals), both Australian. Savage also performs a duet with Cave in the chorus of 'When I First Came to Town'. The album title is a reference to The Dream Songs, a long poem by John Berryman.[2]

Production edit

Nick Cave himself was unhappy with the production by David Briggs. Briggs preferred a "live-in-the-studio" method he had used with Neil Young. This led to Cave and Mick Harvey re-mixing the album, and ultimately to the Live Seeds recordings, as Cave wanted the songs "done justice". Cave later said, "He was a fucking nightmare, that guy. I know he’s dead now and all, but, fuck, man. I put a lot of energy into the writing of that record, and then for each day to see it drift away… it was a horrible, horrible experience."[3] Tony Cohen, who was engineer for the remix, said, "Briggs pushed them to play better, take after take. The performance was everything. But when it came to the mix, Briggs left all the faders in one spot."[4]

Songs edit

The lyrics of "Christina the Astonishing" are based on the life of Christina Mirabilis, a 12th-century woman generally regarded as a Christian saint.

"When I First Came to Town" is based partly on Karen Dalton's recording of the traditional song "Katy Cruel". Dalton's version was later issued on Original Seeds Vol. 1.

Of "Papa Won't Leave You, Henry," Cave said in 2005, "I like that song a lot. That was another one written in Brazil. It's this sprawling, lyrical thing. We were playing that [in 2000] as a very slow ballad on a different chordal structure altogether, which then became 'Darker with the Day' [from the 2001 album No More Shall We Part]. It had a different melody, but very slow and it made for a haunting thing. That song was composed over a long period of time and something that I would sing to my little son, Luke. It was kind of a nasty fucked-up lullaby."[5]

Cave later claimed the album's songs were heavily influenced by street beggars he saw in Brazil, where he lived for several years while married to journalist Viviane Carneiro. "They'd get their acoustic guitars with one or two strings and bang away and make a racket that had no sense whatsoever. It was very violent and seemed to come straight out of the heart. Very unmusical."[6]

Release edit

Henry's Dream was released on 29 April 1992 in the United Kingdom and on 12 May in the United States.[7] The album was released on CD, 12" vinyl and cassette. Although released on Mute Records, international distribution was handled by a number of associated labels. Indisc issued the album in Belgium, Liberation Records in Australia, Alfa Records in Japan,[8] Virgin Records in France[8] and Greece, and Elektra Records in the United States.[7] Australian pressings were available in a box set including with a three-track promo cassette and initial French pressings came with a promo CD including "Papa Won't Leave You, Henry," "Straight to You," "Brother, My Cup is Empty" and "Loom of the Land." Limited editions of other pressings came with an enclosed poster and T-shirt.[8] A second pressing of the album was issued on 13 February 1996 throughout Europe and the United States.[9] On 29 March 2010, Henry's Dream was reissued as a collector's edition CD/DVD set, including the remastered album, a 5.1 surround sound mix, bonus tracks, a short film about the album, the single's music videos, and exclusive liner notes.[10]

The album's two singles—"Straight to You" and "I Had a Dream, Joe"—were released on 30 March and 31 August, respectively. The singles were a moderate commercial success. Both singles charted in Australia, at number 96 and 75, respectively, and "Straight to You" charted at number 68 in the UK Singles Chart[11] and at number 7 in the Indie Chart[12] in April 1992. "I Had a Dream, Joe" also reached number 10 in the Indie Chart upon its release.[13]

Tour edit

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds promoted the album with an initial tour across Europe, North America, Japan and Australia in 1992. The tour consisted of five legs and fifty-five concerts,[14] and began in Norwich, England on 26 April 1992 and concluded in Brisbane, Australia on 12 December. In 1993, the band continued touring, adding a further two legs and twenty-three concerts in Australia, Europe and Israel,[14] beginning on 24 January 1993 in Melbourne and concluding on 10 June in Düsseldorf, Germany. During the tour, the band performed at several music festivals, including Pukkelpop,[15] the Reading Festival,[16] Livid, Big Day Out[17] and Via-Rock.

Selected recordings from the tour were featured on the band's first live album, Live Seeds (1993).[18] Video recordings from the band's two shows in the Paradiso in Amsterdam on 2 and 3 June 1992 are featured on the live DVD Live at The Paradiso, released alongside the band's tour documentary The Road to God Knows Where (1990) in 2006.[19]

Reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [20]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[21]
Los Angeles Times    [22]
Mojo     [23]
Q     [25]
Rolling Stone     [26]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [27]
The Village VoiceC[29]

Upon its release, Henry's Dream received generally positive critical acclaim. David Browne of Entertainment Weekly said that Henry's Dream "sets Cave's deep, dolorous voice and scab-picking lyrics to windswept, tote-that-barge arrangements" and "may finally demonstrate what the fuss is all about".[21] Holly George-Warren of Rolling Stone praised the album as "provocative – albeit harrowing – music".[26] However, The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau, in a negative assessment, wrote that "if this is your idea of great writing, you may be ripe for his cult. Otherwise, forget it—the voice alone definitely won't do the trick."[29] In a retrospective review, AllMusic's Ned Raggett noted that the album "showed the band in fierce and fine fettle once more" and described Cave's lyrics as "a series of striking, compelling lyrics again exploring love, lust and death", adding that the songs "showcase the Seeds' peerless abilities at fusing older styles with noisy aggression and tension" and citing "Loom of the Land" as "one of Cave's best songs ever".[20]

The remastered edition of Henry's Dream was also well received. BBC Music reviewer Mike Diver referred to the album, and the remaster of Tender Prey (1988), as "anything but poor albums" and said that even without former member Roland Wolf "the instrumentation loses little of its potency, and religious imagery remains prominent in Cave's wordplay."[30] Alexander Tudor of Drowned in Sound called the album "a masterclass in narrative songwriting" and referred to its songs as "favela-punk", adding that "the album's atmospheric centrepiece conveys the mystery of faith (and the weirdness of folk traditions), rather than just rattling out a pretty tune."[31]

Henry's Dream was included in a number of album-of-the-year lists, particularly in the United Kingdom. Melody Maker listed it as number 7 on their End of Year Critics List in 1992,[32] NME ranked it at number 5 on its end of year list,[33] and Vox listed it as number 14 in its Albums of 1992.[34]

Track listing edit

All tracks are written by Nick Cave

1."Papa Won't Leave You, Henry"5:54
2."I Had a Dream, Joe"3:43
3."Straight to You"4:35
4."Brother, My Cup Is Empty"3:02
5."Christina the Astonishing"4:51
6."When I First Came to Town"5:22
7."John Finn's Wife"5:13
8."Loom of the Land"5:08
9."Jack the Ripper"3:45
Total length:41:33

Personnel edit

Chart positions edit

Chart (1992) Peak
Australian ARIA Charts[36] 41
Austrian Top 40[37] 40
Dutch Top 100[38] 70
German Albums Chart[39] 59
Swedish Albums Chart[40] 49
New Zealand Albums Chart[41] 47
UK Albums Chart[42] 29

Singles edit

Year Single Peak positions
1992 "Straight to You" 96 68
"I Had a Dream, Joe" 75

— denotes a single was released but did not chart.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Let Love in is a nimble balance between menace and elegance". 18 April 2019.
  2. ^ "The Genius and Excess of John Berryman". The Atlantic Monthly. March 2013.
  3. ^ John Rbinson. "Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Album By Album". Uncut.
  4. ^ Tony Cohen with John Olson (2023). Half Deaf, Completely Mad. Black Inc. Books. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-74382-308-8.
  5. ^ Nick Cave: Sinner Saint: The True Confessions, edited by Mat Snow. (2015, Plexus Publishing)
  6. ^ Dwyer, Michael (July 1998). "Album by Album with Nick Cave". Rolling Stone Australia. No. 550. Sydney, NSW: Tilmond Pty Ltd. p. 41.
  7. ^ a b "Amazon.com: Henry's Dream: Nick Cave, Bad Seeds: Music". Amazon. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "Nick Cave Online – DISCOGRAPHY – NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS". nick-cave.com. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Amazon.com: Henry's Dream: Nick Cave, Bad Seeds: Music". Amazon. Retrieved 14 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Announce Surround Sound Remasters - Nick Cave News @ antiMusic.com". ANTI-. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  11. ^ a b "NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  12. ^ "The Indie Chart: April 1992". The ITV Chart Show. April 1992. Channel 4.
  13. ^ "The Indie Chart: September 1992". The ITV Chart Show. September 1992. Channel 4.
  14. ^ a b "Nick Cave Online – CONCERTS – NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS". nick-cave.com. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  15. ^ "Pukkelpop 1992 :: History :: Pukkelpop 2011". Pukkelpop. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Reading 1992 line-up". fatreg.com. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  17. ^ "Big Day Out Vault – 1993". Big Day Out. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  18. ^ Live Seeds (CD). Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Mute Records. 1993. p. 2. LC 05834.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  19. ^ "Amazon.com: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: The Road to God Knows Where: Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Blixa Bargeld, Thomas Wydler, Roland Wolf, Kid Congo Powers: Movies & TV". Amazon. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  20. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Henry's Dream – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  21. ^ a b Browne, David (8 May 1992). "Henry's Dream". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  22. ^ Cromelin, Richard (31 May 1992). "Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 'Henry's Dream' Mute/Elektra". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  23. ^ "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Henry's Dream". Mojo. No. 198. May 2010. p. 113.
  24. ^ Martin, Gavin (25 April 1992). "Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Henry's Dream". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  25. ^ "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Henry's Dream". Q. No. 68. May 1992. p. 73.
  26. ^ a b George-Warren, Holly (6 August 1992). "Nick Cave: Henry's Dream". Rolling Stone. No. 636. p. 57. Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  27. ^ Sisario, Ben (2004). "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 151–152. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  28. ^ Perry, Andrew (May 1992). "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Henry's Dream". Select. No. 23. p. 70.
  29. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1 December 1992). "Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  30. ^ Diver, Mike (18 March 2010). "Review of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey / The Good Son / Henry's Dream". BBC Music. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  31. ^ Tudor, Alexander (9 April 2010). "Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry's Dream (remastered)". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 24 August 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  32. ^ "Rocklist.net ... Melody Maker End of year Lists – The 90's". Melody Maker. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  33. ^ "Rocklist.net ... NME End Of Year Lists 1992". NME. Rocklist.net. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  34. ^ "Vox Magazine End of Year Lists ... 1990–1997". Vox. Rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  35. ^ a b Henry's Dream (CD). Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Mute Records. 1992. pp. 9–10. LC 05834.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  36. ^ "australian-charts.com – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry's Dream". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  37. ^ "Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry's Dream – austriancharts.at". Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  38. ^ "dutchcharts.nl – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry's Dream". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  39. ^ "charts.de". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 13 March 2012.[dead link]
  40. ^ "swedishcharts.com – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry's Dream". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  41. ^ "charts.nz – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry's Dream". charts.nz. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  42. ^ "NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 13 March 2012.