X Factor? My Arse! Or How To Do It Properly! – Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue

January 11, 2012

Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue: a more random music pairing you couldn’t hope to find. The diminutive pop princess and the tall, lanky, dark, goth rocker are at the furthest ends of a compass, musically speaking. And yet, they produced this belter of a tune. It must be the Aussie connection.

This song was written by Cave with Kylie in mind. According to Wikipedia, the organ of truth, he had wanted to write a song for her for many years – who knew? His inspiration for Where The Wild Roses Grow came from a traditional song called Down In The Willow Garden, about a man courting a woman and killing her on one of their dates. Where The Wild Roses Grow is on the album called Murder Ballads. With a title like that, it’s safe to say it would not contain the usual love songs.

I can’t remember where and when I first heard it, but it was a brilliant surprise. Baby, baby I love you songs can be good, but a story song is even better and this one is hauntingly beautiful. It had a good mournful sound, a dark story that swept you along and it was sung well by both artists. Cave’s dangerous growl is a good contrast to Kylie’s slight and breathy sound. I feel she’s a much better singer in this song than in many others she’s done before and since, though I know many people weaned on her frothy stuff will baulk at the idea of her doing a song like this. As far as I’m concerned, when she makes an effort as she did in this song, she’s actually very good. As for Nick Cave, the few tracks I’ve heard tell me he doesn’t make a bad song. Good stuff doesn’t get old.

You can get odd pairings on these so-called talent shows, but Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue have shown us How To Do It Properly.

X Factor? My Arse!



  1. Kylie… Mhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Still would.

    • LMAO! It pleases me that you got straight to the most important aspect of this musical collaboration, Pete!

  2. How would it feel to pick up the telephone and hear “After many years, I’ve finally written the song I’ve wanted to write for you……it’s about killing you!”

    • And what does it tell you about the person who says “yes, I’ll do it!”

  3. Hey, that’s not bad! I’m not a huge pop fan, but Kylie is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me or at least some of her music is! 🙂

    • Her later work I’ve enjoyed, but personally, I think this collaboration with Nick Cave is her best song. One of her earlier numbers I also liked was What Do I Have To Do?

  4. Love this Nick Cave and Kylie song. Kylie not usually my cup of tea but I guess you have to respect her for staying around in an industry where the average career lasts for less time than it’s taken me to write this comment.

    • It’s a great song, isn’t it? Yes, you do have to respect her for her longevity. In these X Factor times, that’s quite something. Or perhaps it was ever thus and we only remember the ones that lasted longer than the dunking of a tea bag in hot water.

  5. Huge Nick Cave fan, but this is probably one of my least favorite of his tracks. Good duet with PJ Harvey on Murder Ballads though.

    • I’ll have to go and find the Nick Cave and PJ Harvey duet on YouTube. I have no doubt it’ll be really good. I don’t know her stuff that well, but like Nick Cave, the few tracks I’ve heard I liked.

      I understand where you’re coming from, Anthony, particularly as you have a more extensive knowledge of his discography than I, but based on my small knowledge of both artists, if someone had said that Nick Cave and PJ Harvey were to do a duet, I would not had been surprised and I would’ve expected it to be good. Hearing about the coupling of Cave and Minogue, however, would’ve made me spit out my vodka, because I would not had expected it to work. But I think it did. And I also believe it’s better than anything they could’ve concocted in a similar vein on the X Factor. That’s why it’s here.

      As you mentioned PJ Harvey I may include her in this series at a later date.

  6. This is a great song and an odd pairing indeed albeit it works very well. I really like Cave’s melodic songs, more so than some of the heavier sinister ones. I said hello to him in the street once in Brighton after he had been a judge at the world beard and mustache championships which was being held in the town, random but true.

    Am liking your blog.

    • Only in Brighton! Doesn’t he live there now?

      Thanks for having a peep at my blog. You can comment on anything you like here. it would be most welcome.

  7. Yes I think he does live in Brighton, I know he did and assume he still does.


  8. Great Review..thanks..

    • You’re welcome! More to come soon…

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