If The Smiths had called it a day after Meat Is Murder, and never released The Queen Is Dead, they would surely still be seen as one of the finest British bands ever - a perpetual legacy was assured soon after their second album. But on June 16th 1986, when the band released their third record proper, they entered an exclusive league that grants new membership once a decade at best. This DVD is a visual review of this groundbreaking record, it's writing, recording, production, release and legacy.
The blues had long been a potent undercurrent in the Birthday Party's music, so it wasn't all that surprising that Nick Cave embraced the sound and feeling of rural blues on his second album with the Bad Seeds, The Firstborn Is Dead. What was startling was how well Cave and his bandmates – Barry Adamson, Mick Harvey, and Blixa Bargeld – were able to absorb and honor the influences of artists like Skip James and Charley Patton while creating a sound that was unmistakably their own. The moody obsessions of rural blues – trains, floods, imprisonment, sin, fear, and death – seemed made to order for Cave, and he was able to tap into the doomy iconography of this music with potent emotional force; on "Tupelo," he makes a sweeping and disturbing epic of the rain-swept night when Elvis Presley was born, and "Knocking on Joe" is a tale of life on the work gang that communicates the pain of the spirit as clearly as the ache of the body.