TOTD: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with Kylie Minogue – “Where the Wild Roses Grow (Live at Koko)”
What’s an artist to do when he wants to pen a song for one of the world’s most successful pop stars? Write a murder ballad. And that’s exactly what Nick Cave did in 1995. You see, after wanting to do so, nothing seemed more appropriate than presenting Kylie Minogue with a haunting song. Lyrically, “Where the Wild Roses Grow” details Cave’s obsession with Minogue’s character. While filming 20,000 Days on Earth, Nick Cave brought out one of his close friends for a special performance at Koko.
The chorus hits you swiftly and quietly, with Minogue solemnly acknowledging her title as the Wild Rose. Cave’s haunting and brooding voice takes over as he paints you a picture of how he became fascinated with the woman. When Minogue returns, she’s singing sweetly and affectionately, unaware of her doomed fate. The two friends take turns gloomily singing, each providing a narrative on their short lived romance. With trust instilled in Cave, Minogue journeys with him to where the wild roses grow, where she ultimately is bludgeoned to death. Cave’s logical reasoning for murdering the delicate flower is that “all beauty must die,” and the belief that her beauty will be preserved in death.
It’s an unlikely pair, but the two are a match made in hell. Friends, whose musical talents are on opposite sides of the spectrum, are able to create a morbid and haunting murder ballad. It’s a favorite among many fans, that allows Minogue to be seen in a different light as well as showcase the depth Cave can create even for a princess of pop. What makes this performance particularly special is the video showcasing the fans singing along, that the song is well-received and appreciated.