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The Birthday Party (band)

The Birthday Party (band)

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The Birthday Party were an Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 band, active from 1973 to 1983.

Despite being championed by John Peel
John Peel
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE , known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004...

, The Birthday Party found little commercial success during their career. Though often indirect, their influence has been far-reaching, and have been called one of "the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s." While their early music was sometimes classified as gothic rock
Gothic rock
Gothic rock is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes...

, the band disdained the term, and their sound was very different from most goth music, closer to No Wave
No Wave
No Wave was a short-lived but influential underground music, film, performance art, video, and contemporary art scene that had its beginnings during the mid-1970s in New York City. The term No Wave is in part satirical word play rejecting the commercial elements of the then-popular New Wave genre...

. However, the Birthday Party did have an influence on deathrock
Deathrock
Deathrock is a term used to identify a sub-genre of punk rock incorporating horror elements and spooky atmospherics, that emerged on the West Coast of the United States in 1979.-Characteristics:...

, a genre related to gothic rock.

Despite their limited commercial success, the creative core of the Birthday Party have gone on to acclaimed careers: singer and songwriter
Songwriter
A songwriter is an individual who writes both the lyrics and music to a song. Someone who solely writes lyrics may be called a lyricist, and someone who only writes music may be called a composer...

 Nick Cave
Nick Cave
Nicholas Edward "Nick" Cave is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional film actor.He is best known for his work as a frontman of the critically acclaimed rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, established in 1984, a group known for its eclectic influences and...

, multi-instrumentalist
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

 and songwriter Mick Harvey
Mick Harvey
Michael John Harvey , is an Australian rock musician, composer, arranger and record producer. He is best known for his long-time collaboration with the singer and songwriter Nick Cave...

, and singer, songwriter and guitarist
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

 Rowland S. Howard
Rowland S. Howard
Rowland Stuart Howard was an Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, he played electric guitar in the post-punk group The Birthday Party. Howard died of liver cancer in December 2009, aged 50 years....

.

Early years and The Boys Next Door (1973–1978)


The nucleus of the band first met at the private boys school Caulfield Grammar School
Caulfield Grammar School
Caulfield Grammar School is an independent, co-educational, Anglican, day and boarding school, located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Founded in 1881 as a boys' school, Caulfield began admitting girls exactly one hundred years later...

, in suburban Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, in the early seventies. A rock group was formed in 1973, with Nick Cave
Nick Cave
Nicholas Edward "Nick" Cave is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional film actor.He is best known for his work as a frontman of the critically acclaimed rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, established in 1984, a group known for its eclectic influences and...

 (vocals), Mick Harvey
Mick Harvey
Michael John Harvey , is an Australian rock musician, composer, arranger and record producer. He is best known for his long-time collaboration with the singer and songwriter Nick Cave...

 (guitar), and Phill Calvert
Phill Calvert
Phill Calvert is an Australian rock drummer and producer best known for his playing in the influential post-punk band The Birthday Party with Nick Cave. His playing with the Birthday Party was noted for its use of tom-toms...

 (drums), with other students John Cocivera, Brett Purcell and Chris Coyne (on guitar, bass and saxophone respectively). Most were also members of the school choir. The band played under various names at parties and school functions with a mixed pre-punk repertoire of David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

, Lou Reed
Lou Reed
Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed is an American rock musician, songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and for his successful solo career, which has spanned several decades...

, Roxy Music
Roxy Music
Roxy Music was a British art rock band formed in 1971 by Bryan Ferry, who became the group's lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson. The other members are Phil Manzanera , Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson . Former members include Brian Eno , and Eddie Jobson...

, Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

 and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, among others.

After their final school year in 1975 the band decided to continue as a four-piece group, with friend Tracy Pew
Tracy Pew
Tracy Pew was an Australian musician, best known as the bass player for The Birthday Party.Born in Australia, Pew moved with his family to New Zealand in 1959, returning in May 1964...

 picking up the bass. Greatly affected by the punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 explosion of 1976 which saw Australian bands The Saints
The Saints (band)
The Saints are an Australian rock band, which formed in Brisbane in 1974 as punk rockers. Founders were Chris Bailey , Ivor Hay , and Ed Kuepper . Alongside mainstay Bailey, the group has had numerous line-ups...

 and Radio Birdman
Radio Birdman
Radio Birdman was one of the first punk bands in Australia along with The Saints. Deniz Tek and Rob Younger formed the group in Sydney, Australia in 1974...

 making their first recordings and tours, The Boys Next Door, as they were now called, began performing punk and proto-punk cover version
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

s, such as "Blitzkrieg Bop
Blitzkrieg Bop
"Blitzkrieg Bop" is a song by the American punk rock band Ramones. It was released as the band's debut single in April of 1976 in the United States...

" and "Gloria", and a few original songs. By November 1977 their set was dominated by fast original New Wave
New Wave music
New Wave is a subgenre of :rock music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, disco and 1960s...

 material, such as "Sex Crimes" and "Masturbation Generation".

The Boys' second guitarist, Rowland S. Howard
Rowland S. Howard
Rowland Stuart Howard was an Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, he played electric guitar in the post-punk group The Birthday Party. Howard died of liver cancer in December 2009, aged 50 years....

, joined in 1978, and about this time, the group's sound changed dramatically. The addition of Howard's guitar was certainly a catalyst (his later use of audio feedback
Audio feedback
Audio feedback is a special kind of positive feedback which occurs when a sound loop exists between an audio input and an audio output...

 being a hallmark of the group) but there were other changes, as well: their sound drew upon punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, rockabilly
Rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

, free jazz
Free jazz
Free jazz is an approach to jazz music that was first developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Though the music produced by free jazz pioneers varied widely, the common feature was a dissatisfaction with the limitations of bebop, hard bop, and modal jazz, which had developed in the 1940s and 1950s...

 and the rawest blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

, but defied concise categorisation. Many songs were driven by prominent, repetitive bassline
Bassline
A bassline is the term used in many styles of popular music, such as jazz, blues, funk, dub and electronic music for the low-pitched instrumental part or line played by a rhythm section instrument such as the electric bass, double bass, tuba or keyboard...

s and frenetic, yet minimalist
Minimalist music
Minimal music is a style of music associated with the work of American composers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. It originated in the New York Downtown scene of the 1960s and was initially viewed as a form of experimental music called the New York Hypnotic School....

, drumming. Though the band was tightly rehearsed, the instrumentalists often sounded as if they were on the verge of collapse, this quality only emphasising the newfound mania of Cave's singing, and his expressionist lyrics. In producer/engineer Tony Cohen
Tony Cohen
Tony Cohen is an acclaimed Australian record producer and sound engineer based in Melbourne, best known for his work with The Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in the 1980s...

 they found a willing accomplice to their experimentation and their refusal to repeat themselves; and in manager Keith Glass they found an enthusiastic financial backer. Glass' label Missing Link Records
Missing Link Records
Missing Link Records is a record store in Melbourne, Australia. The shop first opened in 1971, but was then called Archie and Jughead's, named after the comic. The shop's co-founders, David Pepperell and Keith Glass, established the shop as a much-needed rock record shop...

 released all of the early Birthday Party records.

Name change and relocations (1978–1982)


After recordings and moderate success in Australia (including hundreds of live shows) they headed for London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 in 1980, changing their name to The Birthday Party and launching into a period of innovative and aggressive music-making. Some sources say the band took its new name from the Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

 play The Birthday Party
The Birthday Party (play)
The Birthday Party is the first full-length play by Harold Pinter and one of Pinter's best-known and most-frequently performed plays...

; others (including Ian Johnston's Cave biography) state it was prompted by Cave misremembering, or intentionally misattributing, the name to a non-existent birthday party scene in the lengthy Dostoevsky novel, Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. This is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his...

. They resided in London, with trips back to Australia and tours through Europe and the U.S. before relocating to West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

 in 1982.

Above the barely-controlled racket, Cave's vocals ranged from desperate to simply menacing and demented. Critics have written that "neither John Cale
John Cale
John Davies Cale, OBE is a Welsh musician, composer, singer-songwriter and record producer who was a founding member of the experimental rock band The Velvet Underground....

 nor Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...

 was ever this scary," and that Cave "doesn't so much sing his vocals as expel them from his gut". Though Cave drew on earlier rock and roll shriekers; especially Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Though considered an innovator of punk rock, Pop's music has encompassed a number of styles over the years, including pop, metal, jazz and blues...

 and Suicide
Suicide (band)
Suicide is an American electronic protopunk musical duo, intermittently active since 1970 and composed of vocalist Alan Vega and Martin Rev on synthesizers and drum machines. They are an early synthesizer/vocal musical duo....

's Alan Vega
Alan Vega
Alan Vega For several years other sources stated that he was born in 1948 – see 'Myth' section is an American vocalist, primarily known for his work with electronic protopunk duo, Suicide...

, his singing with the Birthday Party remains powerful and distinct.

Final years (1982–1983)


For the Party, things had changed. Calvert was ejected in 1982; he was reportedly "unable to nail down the beats for 'Dead Joe' to everyone's satisfaction", and Harvey moved to drums. When Pew was jailed for drunk driving and petty theft early in 1982, Chris Walsh, Barry Adamson
Barry Adamson
Barry Adamson is a British rock musician who has worked with rock bands such as Magazine, Visage, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and the electronic musicians Pan sonic and Depeche Mode. Adamson created the seven-minute opus "Useless " remix for the latter band in 1997...

 and Howard's brother Harry
Harry Howard (musician)
Harry Howard is an Australian musician who played bass guitar in Crime and the City Solution and These Immortal Souls both also featuring his older brother, Rowland S. Howard. He then played guitar in Pink Stainless Tail for several years....

 replaced him for live appearances and brief studio work. Pew rejoined the band in July.

In 1982 a spin-off group with Lydia Lunch
Lydia Lunch
Lydia Lunch is an American singer, poet, writer, and actress whose career was spawned by the New York No Wave scene...

, Honeymoon In Red
Honeymoon In Red
Honeymoon In Red is a concept album released in 1987 as a Lydia Lunch album. Honeymoon In Red is sometimes referred to as a band or alternately as a collaboration between Lydia Lunch and The Birthday Party.-Music:...

, recorded an album which was eventually released in 1987. Harvey and Cave were reportedly so unhappy with the mixing and overdubbing done after their involvement that they requested their names be withheld from its liner notes. Howard and Pew apparently had no objections to being credited by name.

A tour in January 1983 found the group return to a five-piece, with Jeffrey Wegener playing drums and Harvey returning to second guitar. Wegener did not remain with the group, however, and they returned to a four-piece soon after. Later this year, Blixa Bargeld
Blixa Bargeld
Blixa Bargeld is a composer, author, actor, singer, musician, performer and lecturer in a number of artistic fields...

 from the German band Einstürzende Neubauten
Einstürzende Neubauten
Einstürzende Neubauten is a German post-industrial band, originally from West Berlin, formed in 1980. The group currently comprises Blixa Bargeld , Alexander Hacke , N.U...

 played guitar on the track "Mutiny in Heaven". Tension between Cave and Howard soon came to a head, but it was Harvey who first left the group – their final tour saw Des Hefner on drums. The Birthday Party disbanded in late 1983, due in part to the split between Cave and Howard, as well as work and drug-related exhaustion.

Post-breakup, legacy and influence


Several groups rose from the Birthday Party's ashes: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are an Australian alternative rock band, formed in Melbourne in 1983. The band is fronted by Nick Cave and has featured international personnel throughout their career.-Formation and early releases :...

 (featuring Cave, Harvey, Adamson, Bargeld and briefly Pew), Crime and the City Solution
Crime and the City Solution
Crime and the City Solution was a rock music band formed by Australian singer and songwriter Simon Bonney.They had four distinct line-ups: Sydney in 1977–78, Melbourne in 1979, and two groupings in Berlin from 1985–1990. The only common member in all four line-ups was Bonney.Other members included:...

 (featuring Harvey and Howard, later just Harvey) and These Immortal Souls
These Immortal Souls
These Immortal Souls was an Australian post-punk band based in Europe and active through the late 1980s and early 1990s.The band consisted of Rowland S. Howard , Genevieve McGuckin , Epic Soundtracks and Harry Howard...

 (featuring Howard).

Pew died from injuries caused by an epileptic seizure in 1986.

Due in part to their legendary status and to the continuing success of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party's back catalogue has been re-released on CD several times. In recent years Mick Harvey has overseen releases of rare or previously unissued recordings.

The Birthday Party's initial impact was on the Gothic rock
Gothic rock
Gothic rock is a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes...

 genre. According to New Musical Express, "The Party have been indirectly held responsible for the rise of a visceral new hardcore, ranging from The Sex Gang Children
Sex Gang Children
The Sex Gang Children are a positive punk group that formed in the early 1980s in England. Although the original group only released one official studio album, they remain one of the more well-known bands out of the early Batcave scene and have reformed for new albums and touring various times...

, through Danse Macabre to March Violets
March Violets
March Violets is a detective novel and the first written by Philip Kerr featuring detective Bernhard Gunther. Gunther investigates the murder of the daughter of a wealthy industrialist in Berlin as the 1936 Summer Olympics play out in the city...

." Rock acts that have cited The Birthday Party as an influence include LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem was a prominent American dance-punk band from New York City. It was fronted by American singer-songwriter and producer James Murphy, co-founder of record label DFA Records...

, White Zombie
White Zombie
White Zombie was a Grammy Award-nominated American heavy metal band. Based in New York City, White Zombie was originally a noise rock band. White Zombie are better-known for their later heavy metal-oriented sound...

, The Jesus And Mary Chain
The Jesus and Mary Chain
The Jesus and Mary Chain are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in East Kilbride, Glasgow in 1983. The band revolves around the songwriting partnership of brothers Jim and William Reid...

, Coil
Coil (band)
Coil were an English cross-genre, experimental music group formed in 1982 by John Balance—later credited as "Jhonn Balance"—and his partner Peter Christopherson, aka "Sleazy". The duo worked together on a series of releases before Balance chose the name Coil, which he claimed to be...

, My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter
Deerhunter
Deerhunter is an American four-piece indie rock group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, consisting of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art...

, Eugene Hutz
Eugene Hütz
Eugene Hütz , September 6, 1972) is a Ukrainian-born singer and composer, most notable as the frontman of the critically acclaimed New York Gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello. Hütz is also a DJ and actor.-Early life:...

 of Gogol Bordello
Gogol Bordello
Gogol Bordello is a Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999 and known for theatrical stage shows and persistent touring.Much of the band's sound is inspired by Gypsy music...

, Cocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins
Cocteau Twins were a Scottish alternative rock band active from 1979 to 1997, known for innovative instrumentation and atmospheric, non-lyrical vocals...

, The Jesus Lizard
The Jesus Lizard
The Jesus Lizard was an American alternative rock and noise rock band formed in 1987 in Austin, Texas. They were "a leading noise rock band in the American independent underground…[who] turned out a series of independent records filled with scathing, disembowelling, guitar-driven pseudo-industrial...

, Scratch Acid
Scratch Acid
Scratch Acid was an Austin, Texas noise rock group formed in 1982. When they first began, their lineup was Steve Anderson , David Wm. Sims , Brett Bradford , David Yow , and Rey Washam and Win Vitosky...

, Melt-Banana
Melt-Banana
Melt-Banana is a Japanese punk band that is known for playing extremely fast noise music mixed with experimental electronica and pop-based song structures. They have worked with artists as diverse as Merzbow, John Zorn, Mike Patton, and Discordance Axis...

, 16 Horsepower
16 Horsepower
16 Horsepower was an American alternative country music group based in Denver, Colorado. Their music often invoked religious imagery dealing with conflict, redemption, punishment, and guilt through David Eugene Edwards's lyrics and the heavy use of traditional bluegrass, gospel, and Appalachian...

, Big Boys
Big Boys (band)
The Big Boys were a pioneering band who are credited with helping introduce the new style of hardcore punk that became popular in the 1980s.-History:...

, Dinosaur Jr., and Tindersticks
Tindersticks
Tindersticks are an Indie rock band from Nottingham, England formed in 1991. They released six albums before singer Stuart A. Staples took on a solo career. The band reunited briefly in 2006, but more permanently the following year...

. U.S. indie label 31G Records released a tribute album
Tribute album
A tribute album is a recorded collection of cover versions of songs or instrumental compositions. Its concept may be either various artists making a tribute to a single artist, a single artist making a tribute to various artists, or a single artist making a tribute to another single artist.There...

 to The Birthday Party, Release the Bats.

In October 2007, Cave alone was inducted into the ARIA
Australian Recording Industry Association
The Australian Recording Industry Association is a trade group representing the Australian recording industry which was established in 1983 by six major record companies, EMI, Festival, CBS, RCA, WEA and Universal replacing the Association of Australian Record Manufacturers which was formed in 1956...

 Hall of Fame. During his acceptance speech, Cave took it upon himself to 'induct' the Australian members of the Bad Seeds (including Harvey), plus Howard and Pew from The Birthday Party.

Rowland S. Howard died 30 December 2009 of liver cancer
Liver cancer
Liver tumors or hepatic tumors are tumors or growths on or in the liver . Several distinct types of tumors can develop in the liver because the liver is made up of various cell types. These growths can be benign or malignant...

.

Members


Band members
  • Nick Cave
    Nick Cave
    Nicholas Edward "Nick" Cave is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional film actor.He is best known for his work as a frontman of the critically acclaimed rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, established in 1984, a group known for its eclectic influences and...

     – vocals, saxophone (1976–1983)
  • Mick Harvey
    Mick Harvey
    Michael John Harvey , is an Australian rock musician, composer, arranger and record producer. He is best known for his long-time collaboration with the singer and songwriter Nick Cave...

     – guitar, drums, keyboard, vocals (1976–1983)
  • Tracy Pew
    Tracy Pew
    Tracy Pew was an Australian musician, best known as the bass player for The Birthday Party.Born in Australia, Pew moved with his family to New Zealand in 1959, returning in May 1964...

     (deceased) – bass, vocals (1976–1982, 1982–1983)
  • Phill Calvert
    Phill Calvert
    Phill Calvert is an Australian rock drummer and producer best known for his playing in the influential post-punk band The Birthday Party with Nick Cave. His playing with the Birthday Party was noted for its use of tom-toms...

     – drums (1976–1982)
  • Rowland S. Howard
    Rowland S. Howard
    Rowland Stuart Howard was an Australian rock musician, guitarist and songwriter, he played electric guitar in the post-punk group The Birthday Party. Howard died of liver cancer in December 2009, aged 50 years....

     (deceased) – guitar, vocals (1978–1983)


Touring and guest musicians
  • Chris Walsh – bass (February 1982)
  • Barry Adamson
    Barry Adamson
    Barry Adamson is a British rock musician who has worked with rock bands such as Magazine, Visage, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and the electronic musicians Pan sonic and Depeche Mode. Adamson created the seven-minute opus "Useless " remix for the latter band in 1997...

     – bass (April–May 1982)
  • Harry Howard
    Harry Howard (musician)
    Harry Howard is an Australian musician who played bass guitar in Crime and the City Solution and These Immortal Souls both also featuring his older brother, Rowland S. Howard. He then played guitar in Pink Stainless Tail for several years....

     – bass (June–July 1982)
  • Jeffrey Wegener
    The Laughing Clowns
    Laughing Clowns, commonly misspelled as The Laughing Clowns are a jazz-influenced post punk band who formed in Sydney in 1979. In five short years, the band released three LPs; two mini albums; various singles and a batch of odds and sods compilations...

     – drums (January 1983)
  • Des Hefner
    The Scavengers
    The Scavengers were a New Zealand Punk Rock band, formed in 1977. In 1979 they moved to Melbourne, Australia, and became The Marching Girls in 1980.-History:...

     – drums (May–June 1983)
  • Blixa Bargeld
    Blixa Bargeld
    Blixa Bargeld is a composer, author, actor, singer, musician, performer and lecturer in a number of artistic fields...

     – guitar (1983, in-studio guest)

Albums


The Boys Next Door
  • Door, Door (LP, 1979)


The Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party
  • "The Birthday Party (LP 1980). Originally credited to the Boys Next Door. Later re-released and attributed to The Birthday Party. Re-released on CD in 1988 with the band's early recordings, under the title "Hee Haw" (see below; not to be confused with the "Hee Haw
    Hee Haw (EP)
    Hee Haw is the second release and first EP by the Australian post-punk band The Boys Next Door . The Hee Haw EP was released in 1979 by the independent label, Missing Link Records.-Background:...

    " EP of 1979).


The Birthday Party
  • Prayers on Fire
    Prayers on Fire
    Prayers on Fire, by Australian rock group The Birthday Party, was released in April 1981 on the 4AD label. This was the band's first full length release on an international record label . After leaving Australia to broaden horizons in England, the band returned to Melbourne to record this album...

    (LP, 1981)
  • Junkyard
    Junkyard (album)
    Junkyard is a 1982 album by Australian post-punk group The Birthday Party.The album was recorded with Tony Cohen at Armstrong's Audio Visual Studios in Melbourne in December 1981 and January 1982. Additional tracks were recorded in London's Matrix Studios with punk producer Richard Mazda in May...

    (LP, 1982) (UK
    UK Albums Chart
    The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

     #73)
  • A Collection ... (CD, after Junkyard)
  • It's Still Living
    It's Still Living
    -Birthday Party:* Phill Calvert — drums* Nick Cave — vocals* Mick Harvey — guitar* Rowland Howard — guitar* Tracy Pew — bass-Credits:* Engineer — Chris Thompson,* Mixed — The Birthday Party, Tony Cohen...

    (LP, 1985)
  • Best and Rarest (LP, 1985)
  • Hee Haw (CD, 1988)
  • Mutiny/The Bad Seed
    Mutiny/The Bad Seed
    Mutiny/The Bad Seed is a compilation album by The Birthday Party. It is compiled from 2 EPs recorded in October 1982 and released in 1983, The Bad Seed and Mutiny!, and was released in 1989. It is written by Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Rowland S...

    (CD, 1989)
  • Hits (CD, 1992)
  • Live 1981–82 (CD, 1999)
  • The John Peel Sessions (CD, 2001)

Singles and EPs


The Boys Next Door
  • "These Boots Are Made For Walking/Boy Hero" (7" single, 1978)
  • "Shivers/Dive Position" (7" single, 1978)
  • Hee Haw
    Hee Haw (EP)
    Hee Haw is the second release and first EP by the Australian post-punk band The Boys Next Door . The Hee Haw EP was released in 1979 by the independent label, Missing Link Records.-Background:...

    (EP, 1979)


The Birthday Party
  • "Mr Clarinet" (7" single, 1980)
  • "The Friend Catcher" (7" single, 1980)
  • Hee Haw
    Hee Haw (EP)
    Hee Haw is the second release and first EP by the Australian post-punk band The Boys Next Door . The Hee Haw EP was released in 1979 by the independent label, Missing Link Records.-Background:...

    re-edition The Boys Next Door single as The Birthday Party (EP, 1980)
  • "Nick the Stripper" (12" EP, 1981)
  • "Release the Bats/Blast Off!" (7" single, 1981)
  • Drunk on the Pope's Blood/The Agony Is The Ecstasy (12" EP; music by Lydia Lunch
    Lydia Lunch
    Lydia Lunch is an American singer, poet, writer, and actress whose career was spawned by the New York No Wave scene...

     on one side)
  • The Bad Seed
    Mutiny/The Bad Seed
    Mutiny/The Bad Seed is a compilation album by The Birthday Party. It is compiled from 2 EPs recorded in October 1982 and released in 1983, The Bad Seed and Mutiny!, and was released in 1989. It is written by Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Rowland S...

    (12" EP, 1983)
  • Mutiny
    Mutiny/The Bad Seed
    Mutiny/The Bad Seed is a compilation album by The Birthday Party. It is compiled from 2 EPs recorded in October 1982 and released in 1983, The Bad Seed and Mutiny!, and was released in 1989. It is written by Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Rowland S...

    (12" EP, 1983)
  • The Peel Sessions (12" EP, 1987)
  • The Peel Sessions (12" EP, 1988)

Video and DVD

  • Pleasure Heads Must Burn
    Pleasure Heads Must Burn
    Pleasure Heads Must Burn is video/DVD by The Birthday Party. Originally issued by IKON in 1984 in VHS format; in 2003 a DVD re-issue based on VHS cassette with additional tracks .- VHS tracklist :...

    (VHS, 1984)(DVD, 2003)
  • Mutiny! The Last Birthday Party (Directed by Heiner Muhlenbrock, DVD release 2008)

Further reading

  • "Inner City Sound", Clinton Walker
    Clinton Walker
    Clinton Walker is an Australian writer, best known for his works on popular music but with a broader interest in social and cultural history and theory....

     (Wild & Wooley, 1981; revised and expanded edition, Verse Chorus Press, 2005)
  • "Stranded: The Secret History of Australian Independent Music 1977-1991
    Stranded: The Secret History of Australian Independent Music 1977-1991
    Stranded: The Secret History of Australian Independent Music 1977–1991 is a book about the Australian independent music scene from 1979 until 1991, as written by author and music journalist Clinton Walker...

    ", Clinton Walker
    Clinton Walker
    Clinton Walker is an Australian writer, best known for his works on popular music but with a broader interest in social and cultural history and theory....

     (Pan MacMillan Australia, 1996) ISBN 0-7329-0883-3
  • "Bad Seed: A biography of Nick Cave", Ian Johnstone (1996) ISBN 0349107785
  • "The life and music of Nick Cave: An illustrated biography", Maximilian Dax & Johannes Beck (1999) ISBN 3-931126-27-7
  • "Kicking Against the Pricks: An Armchair Guide to Nick Cave", Amy Hanson (2005) ISBN 1-900924-96-X
  • "Nick Cave Stories", Edited by Janine Barrand (2007)

External links