CAVE, NICK & THE BAD SEEDS – Henry's Dream

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"Henry’s Dream is an album with two faces. Throughout the 1992 studio offering, art-goth sea shanties such as ‘Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry’ pull away at themselves, eventually giving way to uncharacteristically euphoric acid-tinged soul ballads, only to be replaced with more Vampiric evocations of Cave’s twisted soul. This constant back-and-forth between the anarchic and the radio-friendly is one of the most enveloping aspects of Henry’s Dream; it’s also one of the most frustrating.

Thankfully, Cave’s provocations paid off when the album hit the shelves n 1992. For critics and fans who remained unimpressed by Cave and company’s more anarchical offerings, Henry’s Dream, with its undeniably harrowing appeal, finally provided evidence of what all the fuss was about. For an audience waist-deep in the teen angst of grunge, Cave’s LP offered a more ornate depiction of melancholy, one that that seemed less Eddie Vedder and more Edgar Allen Poe. Cave, on the other hand, was far from satisfied with the sound of Henry’s Dream. The 2010 remastered version evens out some of the sonic peaks and troughs that plagued the original recording, but it still feels a little uneven on a thematic level.

Still, when Henry’s Dream settles into a groove it really shines. While it might have seemed a little sickly at the time, the album’s best moment comes with the arrival of ‘Straight To Me’, which features The Bad Seeds playing at peak ability. With its quasi-mysticism and Blonde on Blonde organ arrangements, it’s one of the most confident and euphoric examples of Cave’s songwriting. Today, that track stands out largely because it foreshadows 1997’s beloved ‘Into My Arms’. With 30 years of distance between us and Henry’s Dream, it’s easy to view the album as transitional. But that would be to assume Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds failed because they were unable to fully realise their vision for the project, whereas it’s equally possible that in falling short of their ideals, they came out with something far more fascinating." 

- Sam Kemp,

Papa Won't Leave You, Henry
I Had A Dream, Joe
Straight To You
Brother, My Cup Is Empty
Christina The Astonishing
When I First Came To Town
John Finns' Wife
Loom Of The Land
Jack The Ripper