Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (Mute) 

Nick Cave’s catalogue has never been out of print; indeed, much of it has been available for years at bargain prices.

Still, if you’ve missed out, Mute is giving all 14 Bad Seeds albums the reissue treatment, starting this week with the group’s first four sets.

Covers albums are rarely interesting, but 1986’s Kicking Against The Pricks (4/5) is a strong one.

Cave lends real menace to Hey Joe and Lefty Frizzell’s Long Black Veil, and gets away with playing a straight bat to Gene Pitney’s Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart.

Of the others, the best is the darkest: Cave’s 1984 debut From Her To Eternity (3/5) is closest in spirit to the singer’s work with the Birthday Party.

The Firstborn Is Dead (3/5) and Your Funeral … My Trial (3/5) from 1985 and 1986 respectively, both have their moments, but they’re spotty and suffer from sterile ’80s production.

And ultimately, there’s little to dissuade listeners that Cave’s making the best music of his life right now. WILL FULFORD-JONES