Artist: The Birthday Party
Label: Missing Link
Producer: Tony Cohen, The Birthday Party
Cover art: Jenny, Poly & Evan
WEARING NOTHING BUT a loincloth, and with the word ‘HELL’ painted on his chest, a skinny geek twirls around a stripper pole in a circus tent before emerging into a burning Melbourne trash heap, where he cavorts with his bandmates, several psychiatric patients, and a goat. Those only familiar with Nick Cave as Australia’s answer to Leonard Cohen might be shocked to see this video for “Nick The Stripper”, which perfectly captures the carnivalesque hysteria of The Birthday Party’s Prayers on Fire.
We went from a raw garage band through experimentalism back to raw blues almost. It was kind of like that, we just ended up doing raw, violent experimental music.
Mick Harvey, Stranded, 1996
Formed: 1978 (as The Boys Next Door), Melbourne, Australia
Featured album: Prayers on Fire (1981)