By Ira Robbins
Updated January 15, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST
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Nick Cave and the Birthday Party coaxed lurid drama from ugly Australian guitar noise, influencing a generation of rock & roll antiheroes to search for beauty amid music’s bloody thorns. On this ironically titled retrospective, Hits, they roar, howl, and rail like a preacher on fire, relishing the ecstasy in the agony. A-

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