|Where the Wild Roses Grow|
|Single by Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds|
|From the album Murder Ballads|
|Released||2 October 1995|
|Recorded||1993 - 1995|
|Kylie Minogue singles chronology|
"Where the Wild Roses Grow" is a duet by Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kylie Minogue. It is the fifth song and lead single from the band's ninth studio album, Murder Ballads (1996), released on Mute Records. It was written by the band's frontman Nick Cave and produced by Tony Cohen and Victor Van Vugt.
The song received a positive reception from music critics and became the band's most successful single worldwide reaching No. 3 in Norway, the top five in Australia, and the top twenty in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and New Zealand. It also received a limited promotional release in the United States. The song was certified Gold in Germany in 1996 for 250,000 copies sold, despite never reaching the top ten in that country. It charted again at the bottom of the German Top 100 in 2008 because of digital downloads after it was used in a soap opera. "Where the Wild Roses Grow" was also certified Gold in Australia for selling 50,000 copies.
Cave was inspired to write "Where the Wild Roses Grow" after listening to the traditional song, "Down in the Willow Garden", a tale of a man courting a woman and killing her while they are out together. Cave arranged this tale as second of two B-sides, "The Ballad of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane" / "The Willow Garden", released on the CD-Maxi single version.
It reached number 8 in Triple J's Hottest 100 1995. In 2012, NME listed the song in the "100 Best Songs of the 1990s" at number 35.
In Molly Meldrum presents 50 Years of Rock in Australia, Cave described writing the song:
|“||"Where the Wild Roses Grow" was written very much with Kylie in mind. I'd wanted to write a song for Kylie for many years. I had a quiet obsession with her for about six years. I wrote several songs for her, none of which I felt was appropriate to give her. It was only when I wrote this song, which is a dialogue between a killer and his victim, that I thought finally I'd written the right song for Kylie to sing. I sent the song to her and she replied the next day.||”|
A CD of the track—which had Blixa Bargeld singing Kylie's lines—when sent to Kylie's parents' house (as she was staying there at the time) prior to her recording the song.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kylie first performed the song publicly on 4 August 1995 in Cork, Republic of Ireland.
According to the sheet music edition published by OnlineSheetMusic.com, "Where the Wild Roses Grow" is written in the compound time signature of 6/8 and is set in the key signature of G minor, at a tempo of 56 beats per minute.
The video for this song, commissioned by Emma Davies for Mute Records, shot by director Rocky Schenck and produced by Nick Verden for Atlas Films, shows Kylie in character, Eliza Day, apparently having been murdered by Nick Cave's character. We see her in ghost-like form and also in a river in a pose reminiscent of Millais' painting Ophelia. The video ends with Cave's character putting a rose in Kylie's mouth and closing her eyelids.
Nick and Kylie performed the song together live on stage in London on 3 June 2018, when Kylie made a surprise appearance during the Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds set at All Points East festival. Kylie appeared as a surprise guest at Coldplay's Enmore Theatre show in Sydney, Australia on 19 June 2014, where they performed the song as a duet
The song has been performed only a handful of times on tour by Kylie; the song was included on the Showgirl, Homecoming and For You, For Me tours, as an excerpt during a performance of "Red Blooded Woman". The chorus of the song was also performed throughout the Golden Tour, where Kylie presents a member of the audience with a single red rose. This was also a feature of the 2019 Summer shows. The song was performed in full with Nick Cave during Kylie's 'legend slot' performance at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival.
A guide track with The Bad Seeds guitarist, Blixa Bargeld, singing Kylie's vocal part was released on the compilation B-Sides & Rarities.
- 1996 ARIA Awards: 'Single of the Year', 'Song of the Year' & 'Best Pop Release'.
Formats and track listings
These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Where the Wild Roses Grow".
UK 7" single (MUTE 185)
UK cassette single (CMUTE 185)
EU CD single (CDMUTE 185)
Australian CD single (D1188)