On June 3rd 1985, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds released their second studio album The Firstborn Is Dead.

Many veteran post-punk artists have dabbled with Americana with disastrous results, but disaster was the point of of the album whose title was taken from the fact that Elvis Aaron Presley had been paired with a stillborn twin at his birth. The disaster mentioned above is written in lyrics of the song Tupelo, which is loosely based on the John Lee Hooker song of the same title—about a flood in Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis.

The album also features a cover of the Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash song “Wanted Man”, which Cash debuted live at San Quentin Prison on February 24th, 1969.

The Firstborn Is Dead was recorded at the famous Hansa Studios in Berlin. This session also marked the beginning of Nick Cave’s several year residency in Berlin (inspired to move there by Mark Reeder, and Blixa Bargeld.)


  1. Tupelo
  2. “Say Goodbye to the Little Girl Tree”
  3. “Train Long-Suffering”
  4. “Black Crow King”
  5. “Knockin’ on Joe”
  6. “Wanted Man” (Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash)
  7. “Blind Lemon Jefferson”

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