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Nirvana - With The Lights Out (Cover Artwork)

Nirvana

Nirvana: With The Lights OutWith The Lights Out (2004)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: NotoriousGrayDavisNotorious Gray Davis
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A long defunct yet somewhat mildly influential band known as Nirvana put out a little something for people to buy the other day... Well, maybe not that little -- With the Lights Out compiles a comprehensive collection of authentic band rarities onto three CDs and 1 DVD. Only a nifty but bulky d.
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A long defunct yet somewhat mildly influential band known as Nirvana put out a little something for people to buy the other day...

Well, maybe not that little -- With the Lights Out compiles a comprehensive collection of authentic band rarities onto three CDs and 1 DVD. Only a nifty but bulky decorative box embossed with a tin/aluminum front cover and a spiffy, heat-activated graphic on the back cover could house it all -- plus a 70-page book filled with band images and assorted commentary on Nirvana's recording sessions.

High-rolling punkers with the bling can snag this supersized box set for about $40-$50. As for the rest of us, it makes the perfect holiday gift, so we can just put it on our wishlists to Santa Claus. I must note that many of these recordings are already available (in varying levels of recording quality) on bootlegs -- but since buying just two bootlegs would cost $40 anyway, why even bother?! Get the real deal dude.

After scraping the proverbial bottom of the barrel for more Nirvana-age to simonize to its legions of fans, board members of the multi-national corporation known as Nirvana, Inc. (aka Krist Novoselic, David Grohl and Courtney Love) had long wanted to release this box set, but long-standing legal issues (among themselves) had complicated their aims. Nonetheless, the year 2004 not only finally saw the release of the box set, but also a pleasant surprise of its increased size when Courtney Love contributed lots and lots of new tapes at the very last minute -- even some presumed to be lost forever.

So here's what you get with With the Lights Out:

Disc One contains lots of recordings from the pre-Bleach album era -- i.e. when Nirvana was less poppy and more Black Sabbathy, more grunge metallish. Lots of refreshing tracks such as the riff-heavy "Mr. Buttersworth" and the spastic upheaval of "Anorexorcist" represented early common Nirvana fare, as recorded from a radio show on KAOS. Back then, Nirvana took requests for covers during live shows, so they churned out a vainglorious cover of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker." My personal favorites on this disc are "If You Must" and "Pen Cap Chew," the real grungy, screamy thrash tracks that would start to slowly shape and chracterize the Nirvana sound that we all know and love.

Live early performances of the fast nihilistic political screed "Downer," the creepy "Floyd the Barber" and a surprisingly fast (by Nirvana standards anyway), bass thumping "Raunchola/Moby Dick," which are also a cool treat for super punk fans. Yes, Nirvana did play fast at one point.

Some solo Kurt Cobain tracks on Disc One highlight the band's ruminations with sonic experimentation. "Beans" gives me pause to worry about Kurt's mental capacities, whereas "Don't Want It All," "Clean Up Before She Comes," and early versions of "Polly" and "About a Girl" show new forays into bluesy and light Beatles-inspired pop sounds.

Early demos of "Blandest," "Token Eastern Song" (A.K.A. "Junkyard" on some bootlegs) and a somewhat slow "Dive" show Nirvana's maturation into the Bleach era. One of the most pleasant surprises on Disc One is "They Hung Him on a Cross," a Huddie Ledbetter cover sung by a somber Kurt Cobain -- this song literally rings like a hymn in church with its religious overtones. The demo of "Even in His Youth" actually sounds far more spontaneous and therefore superior to the version found on the Smells Like Teen Spirit single. Finally, a great demo of an electric version of "Polly" ends the disc, a good contrast to the Nevermind version since Nirvana played the electric version on occasion.

Disc Two showcases Nirvana during its period as an up-and-coming band on the Sub Pop roster with the Bleach album under its belt and and a capability to tour internationally. Kurt Cobain's early solo demos debut new songs "Lithium," "Been a Son," "Opinion," and "Sliver" -- all a portent to a more poppy Nirvana. Just hearing these versions of "Lithium" and "Sliver" sends the chills of earnest nostalgia down my spine. The heavy-weighted voice of Kurt wailing and strumming to "Lithium" alone just shows the promise of a great bluesy tune. Also hearing an early demo of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" (also known as "In the Pines" in some circles) would have made it all the better reason for it to later appear on Nirvana's "Unplugged" performance.

A powerful demo of "Pay to Play," the precursor to Nevermind's "Stay Away," showed the song as it should have been -- before the chorus lyrics were changed for the Nevermind album. "Pay to Play" was a thumping, screaming vituperative against Seattle bar and club policies that forced bands to 'pay to play.' The band churns out a modestly happy Velvet Underground cover of "Here She Comes Now" -- well, as blissfully optimistic as Nirvana could probably get, anyway.

An early demo of "Drain You" is without the long, drawn-out, death prattle-like drum middle and instead with a long, drawn-out guitar solo. I prefer the death prattle. The Smells Like Teen Spirit single version of "Aneurysm" appears here as a slower yet more powerful and spontaneous version than on the Incesticide album. This version just reiterates why "Aneurysm," a pagan anthem to heroin abuse, remains one of my favorite rock-star-type ballads. a song that just builds on itself and sputters and collides out of control towards the end.

The Nevermind album era is also reliably represented, starting with "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The earliest demo of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" appears with slightly different lyrics -- and will be the subject of the endless rock-music enthusiast scrutiny. And I won't take exception...just kidding, I will.

A cool remix of "Breed" shows up, plus rarities such as "Verse Chrous Verse" and "Old Age," which show both the happy-go-lucky and somewhat gloomy side of Nirvana -- more moaning, sad droning tunes and less screaming. Yes, Nirvana doesn't just scream -- they can moan and wail, too!

The traumatic dirge of spontaneity known as "Endless Nameless" and an early version of "Dumb," both taped from the John Peel's BBC radio show, appears on Disc Two. Yes, there is a definite time length for "Endless Nameless" (the hidden track on some early pressings of the Nevermind album): 8:45 -- golly, I was just as surprised as the next person.

Nirvana loved the Seattle grunge punks the Wipers enough to record some covers: the moderately fast "D-7" and the heavy riff fest of "Return of the Rat."

My favorites on Disc Two include the pulsating grunge screamer "Oh the Guilt" (featured on a split single with the Jesus Lizard) and the wayward screeching of "Curmudgeon."

Finally the Butch Vig mix of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ends Disc Two -- the song that launched (more than) a thousand alternative rock bands -- and the perpetual zealous platitudes of rock music critics. One wonders: where would Alternative Press magazine be today without this song? And Rolling Stone -- they would still be mired in kissing goofy hair metal asses -- they'd pucker up to lots of hair, stupid fashion antics and lots of insipid, flaming-lame solos. The Butch Vig mix is basically the Nevermind version with the drum signal boosted and guitars more crisp and not so smoothed over. I wished others could hear it on the radio as well as this -- raw and full of balls.

Disc Three contains the band output leading up to In Utero, and after. A Kurt solo acoustic "Rape Me" precedes a band demo of "Rape Me." The live demo has the song heavier than the In Utero version, and it's got Kurt's baby Frances crying in the background -- really representing a tender emotional moment for Kurt in his life.

The demo of "Scentless Apprentice" appears more like a improv jam than the formative stages of a song, with David Grohl shining while showing off his drum chops. But the raw finished end result of a demo "Heart Shaped Box" signals the darker turn for their sound.

What's wrong with a song called "I Hate Myself and Want to Die"? Geffen executives didn't take to it, so they put it on some compilation entitled Business and Nutbread (I think...). But we get the demo of that song, and it's unique to say the least: lots more feedback noise, Kurt's more sullen singing and a lot more crunchy guitars. And as any crust-punker knows: feedback noise is good -- a true sign of quality!

"Milk It" is demoed with different lyrics here. And there's nothing wrong with a song called "Moist Vagina," also demoed here, though I probably like the "All Apologies" single version better.

What's the most ridiculous sounding title that you could put on a song -- while stoned off your ass, nonetheless? How about "Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flowing Through the Strip"?! It's basically Nirvana's improv with a more loungey, elevator-music-type feel -- slowed down and paced. Maybe Nirvana, Inc. couldn't find another noteworthy title for the other improv jam, adroitly entitled "The Other Improv."

Lots of In Utero-era songs are demoed by Kurt acoustically -- redeeming an adage that the best songs have to sound good on an acoustic guitar first. (Rivers Cuomo of Weezer is living proof.) "Serve the Servants" and "Very Ape" are featured in its very primitive stages of development whereas "Pennyroyal Tea" appears ready to be ultimately the final single from In Utero.

During Kurt's suspicious downtime during the In Utero recording sessions, David Grohl put down "Marigold" to tape, a deliciously shimmering tune, which would later surface on the Heart Shaped Box single.

Nirvana had always performed and demoed the tune "Sappy" in varying capacities, but Kurt Cobain thought that he never could get it right, until he did in 1993. "Sappy" reflects so much of Kurt's sullen desperation beneath the veneer of a poppy chorus and a catchy chord progression, that it remains one of my favorite all-time Nirvana songs of today. I just wished it had been on the In Utero album--it's a way better song than "Very Ape."

An early demo of a Vaselines cover "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" has Krist Novoselic grabbling the spotlight on an accordian, just like during Nirvana's "Unplugged" performance.

Another great surprise is a demo of "Do Re Mi," a surprisingly sugary acoustic tune for Kurt Cobain, with Kurt tenderly churning out the chorus "Do Re Mi" -- it's nothing short of pop genius.

Finally, Kurt's solo acoustic performances of "You Know You're Right" and "All Apologies" round out Disc Three and the audio portion of this box set. "You Know You're Right" is the ironic, turbulent swan song for Kurt Cobain as he careens and meanders throughout the chorus: "Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain." "All Apologies" signals the epitome and the pantomime of despair for a disillusioned Kurt Cobain.

The DVD itself is a great refreshing look at the band itself, with performances varying from the earliest in Krist Novoselic's mother's house (featuring a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song") to a loud, production-heavy rock star treatment of their live sets. The mopey "Big Long Now," the grunge genius of the Sub Pop "In Bloom" video, the live version of the pop anthem "Sappy," and heavy performances of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Territorial Pissings," and "Scoff" are decidedly the great highlights on the DVD. The grainy video of "Love Buzz" contrasts nicely to the live production of "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam." The DVD shows enough of the lowlights along with the pinnacle of the highlights to merit repeat viewings. Plus, it shows some footage of the band's humble roots enduring hard-luck touring times. It's layered...and layering is good.

The enclosed booklet, resembling something to be put on a coffeetable, makes a nice conversation piece, and it outlays versatile moments of Nirvana's recording history, assorted commentary from band members, and musical rigamerole from Neil Strauss and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore. Plus, it's got some novelty shots of the band's live performances, publicity items, and pictures of the actual tapes of the recordings.

For hardcore Nirvana fans, this is the motherlode (and this odyssey of a review is proof) -- this is their redemption for rock star nostalgia. But this is also a poignant moment for punkers like yours truly, a former Governor of California. Nirvana helped turn lots of people onto punk and indie music. For us punkers, we're not living in Frank Sinatra's world anymore -- we've junked it and let a Seattle grunge band instead forge a new musical path. Then we reconstructed another one for ourselves from the smoldering, flaming wreckage. And now we have a box set to definitively close the chapter on the Nirvana influence -- and to pay tribute to the band that caused many to start caring about music again. Nirvana's B-sides and rarities were just as good as their Top 40 radio airfare. And now with the record laid mostly bare (because I know Nirvana, Inc. is still holding back little bits), all the rock critics can churn their flywheels, revise the record, and see just how profoundly musically great and talented Nirvana was and is.

Get this one, and get another one for your punk-minded friends. Get it for the nostalgia; get it to complete your music collection and get it for the incidiary music.

This box set gets and deserves my highest recommendation.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
HeroineBob (June 6, 2007)

So what ever happened to the Inuetero CD? how come that isn't on the CD list?

Anonymous (March 7, 2006)

Nirvana were so punk rock. I heard on MTV's 25 greatest albums of the last 25 years that Nirvana brought punk rock to America. THAT GUY WAS SO RIGHT! Without Nirvana we wouldnt have other punk artists like Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson. Ashlee and Avril totally brought punk into the mainstream after Nirvana.

PUNX NOT DE@D

Anonymous (November 16, 2005)

"If it weren't for Nirvana, we wouldn't have _________."

I defy you to fill in that blank with something positive.

-Thinker-

Anonymous (September 21, 2005)

BSD is a sack of shit

Anonymous (March 21, 2005)

I had never heard "Do Re Mi" and "Old Age" before and they are fucking awesome. And good DVD too btw. It's cool to hear and watch this early version of "Smells like teen spirit". People can say anything they want about it, this song has changed the world of rock music forever.

-CaliforniaÜberAlles-

Cos (December 14, 2004)

"" If you really are 16, BSD, you might not remember those days."

Or maybe I just have never read SPIN... Or interviews with Blink 182.

And neither of those speak for the underground, anyway.

-BSD"

Sticking your head in the sand isn't particularly punk rock, and neither is liking the Beatles for that matter. I didn't think you were trying to be too pure. Whatever duuuuuuuuuuude.

--Cos

DestroyPopRadio (December 14, 2004)

"Its not talked about much anymore, as Fugazi's star has faded a bit, they're more willing to give interviews, they don't tour as much, and we're all much more concerned with whether the Strokes/Hives/Interpol, et al. are legitimately cool or just more product of ridiculous hype by an overzealous English press."

If Joy Division took a crap, it would be Interpol. They have three good songs and they all start with single note guitar string riffs and sound like the singer has severe voice immodulation problems. But back to Nirvana and Courtney:

Did everyone hear about that show where the audience threw shotgun shells onstage at Courtney a few years back? She probably thought, "What a waste....I could've used these back in the day."

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

Ha, Ha, Ha!

Money for Courtney Love's coke habit?!

How about money for Courtney Love's legal defense fund?! That coked-up, crazed bitch is going to kill someone sooner or later...

Fabian Nunez
Speaker
California State Assembly

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

"somebody's gonna get lots of money...sure not us"

It goes straight into the velvet lined pockets of Courtney's crack dealer/pimp.

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

Or maybe I just have never read SPIN... Or interviews with Blink 182.

And neither of those speak for the underground, anyway.

-BSD
-neither do you so shuit the fuck up!

Anonymous (December 14, 2004)

Im more offended by the fact that spin would talk shit on Fugazi then this boxset. No one should talk shit about fugazi. The blink thing will not be commented on for the good of myself and all others reading.

Nirvana is good. Its as simple as that for me. Didnt change my life...(that goes to Green Day, which could be related back to Nirvana, but the point is that Nirvanas sound didnt grab me then, Green Days did) but a good honest hard working band. Kurt was a heroine addict kids, which makes him pretty scummy in my opinion, but he wrote some good songs.

Id buy this I guess....but not before i bought all of Fugazi and Green Days back collection.

GreenVandal! representin the kids of 1983

Anonymous (December 13, 2004)

" If you really are 16, BSD, you might not remember those days."

Or maybe I just have never read SPIN... Or interviews with Blink 182.

And neither of those speak for the underground, anyway.

-BSD

Cos (December 13, 2004)

Spin was talking a lot of shit during the whole grunge/Green Day-Offspring punk explosion in the 90's. They practically deemed Fugazi their whipping boy--the cool kid that didn't want to be interviewed, so they slammed them instead. They were brought up a few times in counterpoint to Nirvana's success and willingness to sign and bring the music to "the masses". Blink-182 talked some shit sometime around 99/00, calling their concert pricing ethics "stupid". If you really are 16, BSD, you might not remember those days.

Its not talked about much anymore, as Fugazi's star has faded a bit, they're more willing to give interviews, they don't tour as much, and we're all much more concerned with whether the Strokes/Hives/Interpol, et al. are legitimately cool or just more product of ridiculous hype by an overzealous English press.

--Cos

Anonymous (December 13, 2004)

somebody's gonna get lots of money...sure not us

Anonymous (December 12, 2004)

moldy---
alright, the rancid song was a mediocre example, ill give ya that. i just happened to be listening to that album that day. as for your argument....well, some of it might be a bit of a stretch, but i see where youre comin from. point taken.

---Xis

Anonymous (December 11, 2004)

i cant stand how everything written about nirvana on the internet (that i see, anyway) instantly becomes an argument about whether they were overrated or not. you dont have to like the songs, the beauty of nirvana was that they became the biggest band in the world and were, largely, a noisy, discordant band. and they had the balls to get even noisier and more discordant and raw AFTER becoming the biggest band in the world instead of just churning out more pop songs like "teen spirit." of course they werent totally original- no band is. bleach owes a whole lot to the melvins and mudhoney and nevermind should give the pixies co-writing credits. it doesnt mean there arent good songs on them. and with in utero, they DID create something new from all their influences. but the arguing is getting no one anywhere. and i guarantee that nirvana changed an entire youth culture more than anyone commenting on this site had.

sorry to go on such a rant. it couldve been longer haha. very, very good review. it summed up a lot of what i think about this set very eloquently. good job.

Anonymous (December 10, 2004)

"Sure, a lot bands never made it, but I think Fugazi are one of the only bands to turn down million dollar offers and catch shit for it (NOFX may have turned down big offers, but they never got nearly as much shit for being elitist as Fugazi)."

Where do you read this? The only shit related to their ethics I see them catch is that they now limit themselves touring...

-BSD

moldy (December 10, 2004)

To xis-

If your trying to say people who live in smaller and rural areas can't relate to punk music why pick a rancid song? Arn't there at least a hundred better bands with better songs about city life Fear's "I Love Livin' in the City" would have probably been my first choice.

But punk isn't all about the urban plight many deal with the attitudes and feelings of people that are usually different from the mainstream society and feel alienated. For instance Minor Threat, couldn't somebody from a rural area feel the same way about drinking, being betrayed or wanting/needing to stand with friends to avoid being beaten? (straight edge, out of step, stand up, look back and laugh) I think many of those songs could easily be understood by anyone espically a punker or just an alienated person living in a smaller town.

And can't the political themes of the Dead Kennedys be understood by anyone who is interested in politics, I sure not many of us on this site were old enough to be concerned about politics during reagans time which was when DK was around but arn't many of the messages universal and even apply just as much now as the did back then (Stars and Stripes of Corruption).

Same can be said with many bands such as Black Flag (jealous again, nervous breakdown, i've heard it before, damaged), or Bad Religion (part 3, voice of god is government, fuck armageddon(only one line specifically points to urban life "smog is ruining my lungs", but rural areas are still affected by pollution so it could be interperated in many ways)), Social Distoriton (ball and chain, moral threat, on my nerves), TSOL (sounds of laughter, code blue) and the list goes on.

But back to the band that started this rant Nirvana sang mostly about alienation and depression, very universal feelings for those of us who think different. I'm not even the person who posted that message earlier but I can relate. I got into Nirvana about 94, and being from a smaller town with out alot of alternitive resources it was like a breath of fresh air that sparked an interest in punk in me. I'll also admit that i hadn't listen to Nirvana much lately but have gotten back into them since this summer when i was hanging out with this guy who listend to them all the time and it made me remeber how much i enjoyed that band and how much they ment to me years ago.

Cos (December 10, 2004)

okay, the Dylan thing may be a bad example, but I think the general point was made

--C

Cos (December 10, 2004)

""Our generation is the only generation that would criticize a band for NOT selling out."
BS. It's always been that way. "

I'll refrain from reposting your whole quote, but I don't really get your point. Yeah, the Stones made it big while tons of other bands did, but that doesn't mean they didn't WANT to. And I doubt they got criticized for not wanting to.

My point was that I've heard more than a few times--from bands and journalists--that Fugazi is flawed because they WON'T play the game, that their politics are "self-limiting". Sure, a lot bands never made it, but I think Fugazi are one of the only bands to turn down million dollar offers and catch shit for it (NOFX may have turned down big offers, but they never got nearly as much shit for being elitist as Fugazi).

My point was that in almost every generation previous, artists/musicians would catch so much shit for "selling out". Now, Dylan would be stitched up in the press if he DIDN'T go electric. We've come full circle.

--Cos

Anonymous (December 10, 2004)

For every memorable “classic” Beatles song, there are five that are annoying novelty songs, four that are unbearably dated, three that are worthless R&B covers, two that are failed sonic experiments, and one that’s written by Ringo. If we wash all of those away from their dozen or so studio albums, we’re left with about half an album’s worth of decent material. We’ll throw in some mediocre old tracks, call it “One,” and it’ll move more copies than Kinko’s.

PsychoOS231 (December 9, 2004)

I guess I should double check what I type. sorry, I'm only human.
No one ever answered my question earlier here it goes again
Why is Andy Kaufman on the Nirvana box set cover?

PsychoOS231 (December 9, 2004)

That shit under me was worder poorly, i would take out The Doors and ACDC and put The Jam and The Specials in their place.

PsychoOS231 (December 9, 2004)

To the guy below, right on with the doors I would put The Jam and The Specials should be on that list.

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

oh yeah one more thing, for the guy/girl that made the 10 best bands list.....take the fuckin doors off PLEEEASE, i was so close to liking you
---Xis

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

1. "...which are also a cool treat for super punk fans. Yes, Nirvana did play fast at one point. "
Dont fuckin assume that just because i listen to punk that i require everything i listen to be like 300 bpm.
2. Ive said it before and ill say it again. Nirvana is overrated. Mid-90s grunge/alternative/whatever had many better bands. Alice in Chains, Mudhoney, the Melvins, Sponge, Soundgarden... many others.
3. Whoever thinks nirvana introduced punk to the mainstream...i seem to recall a point in 1977 when the sex pistols had the #1 album and single.
4. Apologies to the guy that grew up in bumfuck, kansas or wherever and shopped for music at kmart. Get over it. I know im gonna take all kinds of shit for this, but punk rock began as URBAN music, much like rap. Look at the Clash. What was their biggest influence? Reggae. Why? Because that was the urban music at the time. There was no rap back then, or at least not in any sort of form that 4 homeless guys from england wouldve known about. Fast forward to now. Were getting punk bands incorporating rappers, drum machines, and sampling, and writing about booty and weed. Why? Because now we have rap, and the 2 major urban music styles are again reacting with each other. Now am i saying that only city kids can listen to punk? of course not. but kmart shopper, whoever who are (sorry, i dont recall if you put a name) in middle america suburbia can probably relate to songs like, say, "Lock Step & Gone" or "Kill the Poor" about as much as the 15 year old rich girl wearin abercrombie could understand where DMX is comin from, even though thats what she listens to.
5. To steve the real bones, whatever the hell your name is....you ever date a girl named amy p?

----Xis

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

"Our generation is the only generation that would criticize a band for NOT selling out."

BS. It's always been that way.

Look at the UK rock/RnB scene... In the early 60's, there were tons of RnB based bands better than the Stones (the Pretty Things, The Yardbirds, The Birds, Them etc.), but The Stones played the game right and got the everlasting fame.

Like Chelsea... They formed in early 1976 or 1975... They didn't put out a record until the second wave of punk, though, in '79.

So when you come asking "why aren't Fugazi as well recognized?", no one says "they should have more music videos!"... People say "They don't play the game"... And, like it or not, playing the game is what gets bands everything in the end.

-BSD

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

They probably compare them to the Pixies because Kurt Cobain said he pretty much ripped off the Pixies when writing his material. That may be why. At least it seems like a reasonable explanation.

ringston (December 9, 2004)

"Thanks for the advice asshole" - no worries, so you like nirvana because they brought punk music to kmart and walmart? no need to get abusive.

DestroyPopRadio (December 9, 2004)

"2. Nirvana is not the most musically talented rock band of all time. They just took a simple formula (based on the Pixies)and ran with it--no secret or surprises there."

How in the world do people draw the Pixies conclusion all the time? Cuz Nirvana played songs soft and then loud? It's called fucking dynamics and people have been using them in music forever. If he ripped the Pixies as close as everybody thinks, then I probably would've actually listened to them.

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

"Maybe you should have searched for new music and values, instead of sitting in middle small town america waiting for 'grunge' & 'punk' to go mainstream."

Thanks for the advice asshole but when youre in 6th or 7th grade and the only place to buy music is kmart or walmart your choices are rather limited.

ThriveToFailure (December 9, 2004)

Relevant or not, I don't think I'm going to be rushing out to buy this.

Good review though.

(Score is for the lame-ass packaging - is there a reason it comes in a tin that won't fit on any CD rack or shelf in the country? Are we supposed to put it on display in some sort of Kurt shrine or something?)

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

"The thing is that Nirvana brought punk music and punk values to middle small town america before the time of the internet. When Nirvana hit if you lived in a town like mine you had no access to any sort of alternative music or culture and they were a sound that you never heard before. You either liked shitty country or shitty metal"

Maybe you should have searched for new music and values, instead of sitting in middle small town america waiting for 'grunge' & 'punk' to go mainstream.

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

Check out the cool flash FX on the new Backstreet Boys website!

www.backstreetboys.com/

-Chinatown

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

"The thing is that Nirvana brought punk music and punk values to middle small town america before the time of the internet. When Nirvana hit if you lived in a town like mine you had no access to any sort of alternative music or culture and they were a sound that you never heard before. You either liked shitty country or shitty metal"

that's a legit argument, thank the record company, there were a million nirvanas, and they got lucky, that was it

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

better listen to negative approach or bonecrusher than to this crappy hippie band

PsychoOS231 (December 9, 2004)

Social D. and Operation Ivy got me into punk not Nirvana.

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

The thing is that Nirvana brought punk music and punk values to middle small town america before the time of the internet. When Nirvana hit if you lived in a town like mine you had no access to any sort of alternative music or culture and they were a sound that you never heard before. You either liked shitty country or shitty metal. The only good music on the radio came from the classic rock station. NIrvana was incredable when I first heard them, many of the thoughts or feelings that i had were expressed by this band, i finally didn't feel alone and i dreamed of growing up and moving a big city, actually seattle at the time but chicago will do, experiening this thing called punk. Many of my first punk bands that i bought came from interviews with Cobain where he referenced them. I bough Damaged beacause i remeber Cobain talking about how much he loved black flag, i had never heard a song by them, i didn't know shit about them all i knew was they were punk and Cobain liked them (sold his record collection to see them play) and that was good enough for me.

The thing about this box set is that it won't get anyone new into nirvana, its not designed to do that, its for the fans that want just a little more from a band that changed thier lives for the better, which for me they did. I really don't expect much and from what i've heard theres only about 1 cd worth of music thats actually worth listening to. I really don't care. The reason that some many fans are looking forward to this is that Cobain left us so suddenly and permentaly that we've always been hoping for something more.

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

Cactus Jack says " bang bang!!!"

Kurt goes splat

Anonymous (December 9, 2004)

BSD also grew up on dick! AHAHA EATING THEM OMG SO CLEVER OMG ZZZZZZzziiiinnngggggggahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

" the Beatles can almost solely be held accountable for all the crap that came out of San Francisco in the late 60s. Relevent? Yes. Doesn't mean I have to like it (not that I ever said I hated the Beatles...at all)."

I was raised on psych, so I'd know that the Misunderstood (a band from the US, no less) were the first band to play that sort of music...

-BSD

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Great collection, well worth the $45 I spent for it!
-notfeelingcreative

PsychoOS231 (December 8, 2004)

I'd rather take a simple band like Minor Threat too than a boring ol Nirvana

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"Yeah, because I'm sure people interested in grunge are looking for ska/dub/reggae compilations...

-BSD"

I'm just saying if you want good musicn no matter what genre, get those. You'd be surprised at how many grunge fans like ska.

Cos (December 8, 2004)

Relevence? How's this for relevence: Nirvana was responsible for a million and one shitty-ass copy cats after them (Silverchair, Live, etc). Do I have to worship them because they were a million-selling band who influenced other million-selling bands? Nirvana invented a formula that was, in my high school years, absolute hell. On a similar note, the Beatles can almost solely be held accountable for all the crap that came out of San Francisco in the late 60s. Relevent? Yes. Doesn't mean I have to like it (not that I ever said I hated the Beatles...at all).

Again, all this talk about "they brought it out into the mainstream" is an absolute bullshit excuse, usually made by some apologetic rock critic who's lauding a band he knows in his heart isn't that good. In the 90's, you'd hear a rock critic in the same breath praising Nirvana for having "the guts" to sign to a major and make a video, and then slam Fugazi for turning down millions of dollars to sign big or saying the Pixies weren't as good because they never wrote a radio song and embraced the mainstream. Our generation is the only generation that would criticize a band for NOT selling out.

Outside of the "perspective of the music scene at the time," (again, I'm 25, so your Jedi mind-tricks won't work on me) I still don't like Nirvana all that much. Rather listen to Minor Threat. That's my opinion. Lick my balls.

--Cos

PsychoOS231 (December 8, 2004)

Why is Andy Kaufman on the cover?

joeg (December 8, 2004)

i started listening to bad religion, nofx, pennywise, and the ramones in about 1994 or 1995 (I was in 6th grade then, do the math)....i learned about those bands from surf and skate videos or from my siblings not from nirvana, ( i hate being "that guy" i just thought this would add some relevance)

(oh yeah, and all of those bands released albums before nirvana ever did)

its one thing to appreciate a band for originality or changing music, its another thing to appreciate a band for changing how major labels view music

- the other scott

Fuck relevance? Is it so difficult to deny nirvana's influence on the punk rock kids of today like myself (i'm 24 now) who would probably never have gotten into punk rock if it wasn't for nirvana? You can't even admit the kind of influence nirvana had on kids everywhere that maybe didn't have the alternative channels people like you had in being exposed to the bad religion's and the nofx's first through video games.
So what if NOFX released an album before nirvana did? I wouldn't know who nofx or bad religion would be if nirvana hadn't blow the doors wide open.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"And they'd be definitely in the Top 10 of greatest rock bands of all time."

(in no particular order)
Beatles
Stones
Beach Boys
Doors
Clash
Ramones
Led Zepplelin
Velvet Underground
AC/DC
Stooges

(OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE A LOT MORE)...i'm just trying to make the point that here are ten bands that should be in the top 10 that were around way before nirvana ever was

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Anyone who thinks that Nirvana was viewed positively much less ground breaking by "punks" in the early 90's is overlooking that Nirvana was embroiled in the continuing battle between the underground and the mainstream. Nirvana was often seen as the Good Charlotte of its time. I clearly remember being with a friend who was thinking about buying Nevermind, until a hoarde of 13 year olds came in and all picked up a copy. And then as it is now, popularity among 13 years old is terminally uncool for a punk band.
In hindsight though, I have to say that Nirvana was pretty good especially compared to the radio punks of today. They actually made legitimate rock music and did pave the way for mainstream radio to be listenable and MTV watchable for about 5 years until Britney and rap metal took over again. But they did not do anything different than the Police or Blondie had done about a decade before. The real difference is that Sting and Debbie Harry stuck around to get old and make adult contemporary music to taint their legend. And although Nirvana's impact on the mainstream was large and probably got a lot of people to try punk, I would dare to say that bands from about the same time period which never became "big", like Operation Ivy, Fugazi, and Youth of Today, had a much bigger influence on the bands which are most frequently tracked on this website.

KEDS, 33

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

sorry about that, sticky keyboard (i won't deny it)

- the other scott

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Nota bene: Clarifications:

1. Nirvana is not the greatest rock band of all time. They're just my favorite of all time. And they'd be definitely in the Top 10 of greatest rock bands of all time.

2. Nirvana is not the most musically talented rock band of all time. They just took a simple formula (based on the Pixies)and ran with it--no secret or surprises there.

3. Even though Nirvana isn't the greatest rock band of all time, they still are a preeminent influence on the rock music scene, alternative and indie. Nirvana's music has inspired so many others and spawned so many countless other rock bands. Plus without Nirvana, there wouldn't nearly be as renewed interest in the punk and indies scene. That's a fact.

Gray Davis

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"it would be good idea to try and understand the relevance of a band"

fuck relevance

i started listening to bad religion, nofx, pennywise, and the ramones in about 1994 or 1995 (I was in 6th grade then, do the math)....i learned about those bands from surf and skate videos or from my siblings not from nirvana, ( i hate being "that guy" i just thought this would add some relevance)

(oh yeah, and all of those bands released albums before nirvana ever did)

its one thing to appreciate a band for originality or changing music, its another thing to appreciate a band for changing how major labels view music

- the other scott

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"it would be good idea to try and understand the relevance of a band"

fuck relevance

i started listening to bad religion, nofx, pennywise, and the ramones in about 1994 or 1995 (I was in 6th grade then, do the math)....i learned about those bands from surf and skate videos or from my siblings not from nirvana, ( i hate being "that guy" i just thought this would add some relevance)

(oh yeah, and all of those bands released albums before nirvana ever did)

its one thing to appreciate a band for originality or changing music, its another thing to appreciate a band for changing how major labels view music

- the other scott

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"it would be good idea to try and understand the relevance of a band"

fuck relevance

i started listening to bad religion, nofx, pennywise, and the ramones in about 1994 or 1995 (I was in 6th grade then, do the math)....i learned about those bands from surf and skate videos or from my siblings not from nirvana, ( i hate being "that guy" i just thought this would add some relevance)

(oh yeah, and all of those bands released albums before nirvana ever did)

its one thing to appreciate a band for originality or changing music, its another thing to appreciate a band for changing how major labels view music

- the other scott

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"it would be good idea to try and understand the relevance of a band"

fuck relevance

i started listening to bad religion, nofx, pennywise, and the ramones in about 1994 or 1995 (I was in 6th grade then, do the math)....i learned about those bands from surf and skate videos or from my siblings not from nirvana, ( i hate being "that guy" i just thought this would add some relevance)

(oh yeah, and all of those bands released albums before nirvana ever did)

its one thing to appreciate a band for originality or changing music, its another thing to appreciate a band for changing how major labels view music

- the other scott

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"Overrated. If you want a good box set, buy any Trojan has put out. Those are gold."

Yeah, because I'm sure people interested in grunge are looking for ska/dub/reggae compilations...

-BSD

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

reading these comments makes me feel old...

arguing about whether or not you like Nirvana (now or then) and whether they were a “good” band is uninformed and ultimately irrelevant. It is similar to a metallica fan saying that led zeppelin was lame - metallica wouldn't exist without zepplin, nor would a lot of alt metal / punk bands exist without Nirvana - plain and simple (for those of you a bit on the young side, let me put it like this, there wouldn’t be a New Found Glory or Simple Plan etc without Green Day).

Anyway, was Nirvana the best band ever, probably not although this may be in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I prefer the Pixies (to which Nirvana owe some props) but then the Pixies didn't have the same impact on mainstream music that Nirvana did.

Regardless, unless you want to continue be called out as a sounding like a pimply adolescent (which you probably are) wearing a yellowcard shirt (which you probably are) it would be good idea to try and understand the relevance of a band outside of your own limited perspective (this goes for all the Beatle bashers as well).

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Overrated. If you want a good box set, buy any Trojan has put out. Those are gold.

Score is for Trojan. Nirvana gets less than a 1/2 star.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

the beatles wrote (not just performed, like elivs, michael jackson, britney spears ectc.) 27 number 1 hits. that was prior to rubber soul, sgt. peppers, and the white album

for the most part when you hear something you like, just remember that there is a huge chance that the beatles did it first

boba_fett (December 8, 2004)

High-rolling punkers with the bling can snag this supersized box set for about $40-$50.

and that is the best line of the review.

boba_fett (December 8, 2004)

You're Canadian, aren't you?

-BSD

yes i am.

i wasnt saying "who is gray davis?". i know he was the governer of california before anorld total recalled him and assumed the mantle of goubernator for himself. not all canadian know nothing about our neighbours.

i was wondering if it really is him. i always figured it was sarcasm cause it was too funny to be true, then i saw the post further down where he said he got a new job with some law firm... that got me.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Nothing this band put out was good.

blinkrules (December 8, 2004)

This is crap.
on a different note, I will be purchasing the new Lindsay Lohan album.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

BSD is getting cranky , must be time for his nap.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

I think that was my point, you idiot...

-BSD

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Are you kidding? Everyone who likes rock likes the Beatles. Everyone but wannabe punks and those groups, and I don't strive to differentiate myself from anything.

Seriously... The Beatles are rebellious now? They, along with the Rolling Stones, are the one band that both I and the Skynrd fans at school like.

-BSD

-Trust me everyone at your school likes the beatles. Stop trying to be all punk rawk just cause some people might like the same shit as you.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Are you kidding? Everyone who likes rock likes the Beatles. Everyone but wannabe punks and those groups, and I don't strive to differentiate myself from anything.

Seriously... The Beatles are rebellious now? They, along with the Rolling Stones, are the one band that both I and the Skynrd fans at school like.

-BSD

PsychoOS231 (December 8, 2004)

of course BSD is going to get a boner from the beatles. i mean, he's what, 14 years old or something? most kids at his school are probably listening to lil john right now, and bsd strives to be different, so he latched on to the beatles and tells everyone in third period how music sucks now. and they dont make real songs anymore like the beatles did. and that the beatles were the greatest blah blah blah. its a classic case of insecurity. dont worry bsd, you'll grow out of it

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

-There were alot of people like that at my HS. Thats funny stuff.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"Nirvana - "Unplugged in New York" remains to be one of the best CDs of all time. You guys can claim that Nirvana is so mediocre and blah blah blah, but there arent too many bands that can put out as good of a CD as that."

Alice In Chains Unplugged>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Nirvana Unplugged.

stevejonestherealbones (December 8, 2004)

of course BSD is going to get a boner from the beatles. i mean, he's what, 14 years old or something? most kids at his school are probably listening to lil john right now, and bsd strives to be different, so he latched on to the beatles and tells everyone in third period how music sucks now. and they dont make real songs anymore like the beatles did. and that the beatles were the greatest blah blah blah. its a classic case of insecurity. dont worry bsd, you'll grow out of it

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

the grunge genius of the Sub Pop "In Bloom"
what does that mean? in bloom was not involved with sub pop

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"I could sit here and pick apart albums, but with broad strokes, I can't picture anyone getting terribly enthusiastic about Ringo's songs. That's easy mark--they're good fun and all, but nothing noteworthy. Nobody would give a damn about them if he wasn't Lennon/McCartney's drummer. Also, some of John Lennon's latter output is questionable. I'm thinking of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" on Abbey Road (an album I happen to love), among others.

--Cos"

Ringo's songs may only work within an album (most of the tiem, there are some exceptional songs he wrote), but that's because they had to mix it up. An entire album of the same song writers would probably have been just as good, but much less varied.

And plus, if someone put out an entire record of Ringo songs, it would be heralded as "indie pop genius" or something.

-BSD

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Sorry... this was supposed to be my score.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

I'm a huge NIrvana fan, but this set is SHITE. THIS is what we've been waiting all these years for? It's good for a little nostalgia, but man, most of this stuff sucks donkey balls. You won't listen to it more than once.

You can find all this and even better stuff over at Easytree.org. If you need everything Nirvana put out, then get it, but otherwise, download the boots that have been going around for years and years.

joeg (December 8, 2004)

"and i dont know why you think all the nirvana bashers are young. i'm 29 and i didnt think much of nirvana 10 or so years ago, nor do i now."

I don't think anybody ever said ALL Nirvana bashers have to be young as I'm well aware there were people who did not like Nirvana back in 91 just as there are always people all over the world in the history of music who have not all liked a band/artist.

ringston (December 8, 2004)

and i dont know why you think all the nirvana bashers are young. i'm 29 and i didnt think much of nirvana 10 or so years ago, nor do i now.

ringston (December 8, 2004)

we now have a close second to the popular 'what is punk?' debate. its the 'does nirvana deserve their godlike status?' debate.

joeg (December 8, 2004)

I agree, most of the people bashing Nirvana were probably in their diapers while 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was wiping out all the hair metal bands. You don't have to like Nirvana but you should have some respect for them for opening the floodgates into this world of punk we all love. It may have been Green Day or Blink or whatever band that got you into punk but none of that is possible without Nirvana first breaking through and allowing punk rock (not some lazy media label called GRUNGE) to be heard.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

I am 25, and listened to Nirvana since they put out Bleach, but this band isnt all people make them out to be. Just because Kurt killed himself, his martyr profitability is being exploited to the point that I hate this band now. Their music is less and less relevant.....

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Overrated. If you want a good boxed set, get the Metallica one.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

...And get it to pad Courtney Hole's pockets, blah, blah, blah. Come off it, this box set is a waste of money.
Good band, even a revolutionary band, but they didn't give a fuck. And the fact that all this garbage has been compiled into a neat little box set goes against everything that made them revolutionary.
I wore out my copies of Bleach and Nevermind, but I can honestly say I haven't listened to either of them in over 9 years.
Nirvana died with Kurt Kobain and it's a damn shame attempts to ressurect both are still being attempted.
29

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"Overrated pretentious garbage, Cobain only wishes he was Jesse Lacey."

That's some funny stuff right there.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

I think everybody should put their age when they post. I am very interested to find out how old some of you regulars are. I think once we new the real age of these kids in here it would easily discredit them and we would know who to ignore.
southpaw954 3-18-80

Cos (December 8, 2004)

"The Beatles didn't put out any crap... Each of them as solo artists put out crap, but not as The Beatles.

-BSD"

The Beatles did so put out some crap. This doesn't dimish them as a band, but just highlights the fact that, despite what the baby-boomer controlled media will have you believe, they were not some untouchable entity. Not every Picasso was a masterpiece, y'know?

I could sit here and pick apart albums, but with broad strokes, I can't picture anyone getting terribly enthusiastic about Ringo's songs. That's easy mark--they're good fun and all, but nothing noteworthy. Nobody would give a damn about them if he wasn't Lennon/McCartney's drummer. Also, some of John Lennon's latter output is questionable. I'm thinking of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" on Abbey Road (an album I happen to love), among others.

--Cos

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

swingline, i love you.

swingline (December 8, 2004)

nirvana was so not good. i could barely understand what they were trying to say! they are nothing to creme my newly bought 250 dollar diesel jeans over. omg i look so cute in them M/ ^_^ M/ rock on !!!1

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"Overrated. You want good grunge to listen to STP or Soundgarden."

You are gay my friend. Gay.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

why has Nirvana attained legendary status? the most basic answer is that Kurt Cobain wrote the best melodies and riffs the 90's has witnessed. that's the honest fucking truth. he didn't give a shit about "grunge" (the guy has publicly stated how much he hated Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and bands of their ilk). what's so tangibly great about Kurt is his interviews. he almost never talked about Nirvana, he talked about his favorite bands. Husker Du, the Wipers, Fugazi, Meat Puppets, Black Flag, the Stooges, Mudhoney, Tad, Sonic Youthh etc. the guy was completely genuine, i don't think i've read an interview with him in which he didn't talk about how great these other bands were instead of how great he was.

to be completely honest, the success of Nirvana lay on the fact that the guy could write a fucking melody and a riff. Nirvana trasnscended genre and time period, the shit is timeless. Smells Like Teen Spirit doesn't sound old, Nirvana's contemporaries do.

i may get lambasted here, but i say in complete honesty that Kurt Cobain wrote the best melodies since the Beatles and the Beach Boys. if not the best, within the best 3. challenge?

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

'You're so lame'

uh-huh, keep telling yourself that hawthorne heights rocks...

WTF!??!?! Is Hawthorne heights is that like the new OC?

Jesse (December 8, 2004)

""id love to meet this gray davis character. maybe im gonna seem like a complete idiot but is it really him?"

You're Canadian, aren't you?

-BSD

Nice insult, why not attack his grammar mistakes while your at it?"

Too bad you used the wrong "you're" in that one. So ironic, it hurts.

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

'You're so lame'

uh-huh, keep telling yourself that hawthorne heights rocks...

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

"They look like the Hives in that pic on top of the page.

-Chinatown"

I know. The Hives were definitely the first rock band to wear suits.

Dumbass.

-BSD

Not-To-Regret (December 8, 2004)

"id love to meet this gray davis character. maybe im gonna seem like a complete idiot but is it really him?"

You're Canadian, aren't you?

-BSD

Nice insult, why not attack his grammar mistakes while your at it?

Anonymous (December 8, 2004)

Yea, whatever, everyone can bash them all they want but I give a lot of credit for Nirvana for getting me into rock and that basically led to punk. I agree, most of the bashing is coming from those who were born probably around '88 making their opinion a lot less valid. I think kurt was a damn good song writer and a good guitarist, not very intricate, but good.

You're so lame

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Yea, whatever, everyone can bash them all they want but I give a lot of credit for Nirvana for getting me into rock and that basically led to punk. I agree, most of the bashing is coming from those who were born probably around '88 making their opinion a lot less valid. I think kurt was a damn good song writer and a good guitarist, not very intricate, but good.

'Overrated. You want good grunge to listen to STP or Soundgarden.'

And, no the good stuff was seaweed, the gits, melvins, flop, fastbacks, etc. although most of the bands in seattle during that era were more 'punk' than 'grunge', they just got stuck with the 'grunge' label.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

this score's for heroin addicts who kill themselves leaving behind a wife, a daughter, and millions of depressed, loyal fans

- the other scott

dazed (December 7, 2004)

Sliver and Aneurysm are probably my favorite Nirvana songs, although I don't really think I need to get this.

The Live Wishkah CD or whatever is probably the best retrospective Nirvana's gonna get.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

They look like the Hives in that pic on top of the page.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

yeah, the box set is about half filler, but i personally see it as an inspiring track record in musicmaking. to think that these shitty demos spawned so many anthems in the midst of the bubble gum pop era of michael jackson, madonna, new kids on the block...

i think it reeks of hope for any aspiring songwriters out there today, who think that their shitty basement recordings couldn't amount to shit. even the simplest song could execute a dominating mall genre, shed some light on good raw music. at least that's something.

plus seeing kurt swinging his guitar around his head, then swan diving on top of it on the dvd, that's worth at least 4 bucks right there.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Overrated. You want good grunge to listen to STP or Soundgarden.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

I didn't know Andy Kaufman was in Nirvana.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

If you don't respect Nirvana for their contribution to the music industry then you probably weren't old enough to remember music before nirvana.

-Thats the dumbest shit ever! Why should we respect them? They were fucking boring.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

"id love to meet this gray davis character. maybe im gonna seem like a complete idiot but is it really him?"

You're Canadian, aren't you?

-BSD

stevejonestherealbones (December 7, 2004)

i dont give a shit whether i spell correctly or not

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

stevejonestherealbones (December 7, 2004)

the beatles sucked bsd. everyone knows that. they couldnt put out one cd with good singing. they wished they were the beach boys, but sadly, couldnt touch em. now nirvana, they are a band that put a naked baby on an album cover. if that doesnt scream suicide, then i dont know what does. what else.

yes it really is grey davis, the infamous pedofile. just kidding davis, youre allright.

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

boba_fett (December 7, 2004)

id love to meet this gray davis character. maybe im gonna seem like a complete idiot but is it really him?

anyway... i was young when nirvana hit it big and i still like them. so yeah. their popularity has to do with the fact they wrote catchy riffs and had an excellent song writer in kurt cobain. their sounds is accessible to any generation of punkers.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

The Beatles didn't put out any crap... Each of them as solo artists put out crap, but not as The Beatles.

-BSD

lastlifenick (December 7, 2004)

Che Guevara is such an asshole.

Cos (December 7, 2004)

I'm 25 and I don't like Nirvana. I was in junior high/high school when the whole grunge/"Alternative Nation" thing hit and it made me sick. I wasn't full of angst at 13 and I didn't hate my parents. It wasn't music made for me. I liked a few of the grunge songs at the time but Nirvana never did it much for me. The grunge thing actually pushed me into listening to underground punk--I'm sure Kurt would've been happy about that.

I'll stand by my opinion. And I fucking hate people who think that certain acts are beyond scrutiny, whether it be Nirvana or the fucking Beatles--who put out some crap too, it must be said. If this is your attitude, go read some hero worship in Rolling Stone or Spin. How many times have they put Kurt on the cover? Wanna bet they'll do it again for the box set?.

--Cos

gladimnotemo (December 7, 2004)

"You weren't there. You dont count. this box set was not made for you...."

you didn't blindly jump on the grunge bandwagon and ride it until the next big thing came along? Thank God I wasn't old enough to listen to them when he was alive.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

(To the tool who posted the half-star review about 5 or 6 below this one.)

Why does every rock band have to "Stand for something" ? Can't musicians just put out good music to listen to? Go fuck yourself you flesh twinkie!

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

"To anyone who was under the age of 12 when Kurt Cobain died:

YOUR OPINION DOESNT MATTER!!!

You weren't there. You dont count. this box set was not made for you. "

I think it's probably the opposite.

-BSD

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Not that a band really needs a position to be a great band but nirvana did talk about women's rights, gay rights, macho men, and krist did something for mtv on kosovo or bosnia im not sure which, and he has stayed active in politics since nirvana ended

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

"What did Nirvana really STAND FOR anyway? Did they have any type of platform on anything? Or were they just trying to show how easy it is to get signed with the equivalent of a year of collective musicianship abilities."

Platform? WTF are they politicians? It's great if a band has some views (which Nirvana did) but why on earth do they have to "stand for" something? It's about the music not just the message. Dipshit.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

If you don't respect Nirvana for their contribution to the music industry then you probably weren't old enough to remember music before nirvana.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Booooooooring....

Jesse (December 7, 2004)

If you read the lyrics and statements Kurt made, they were a very political band. They were all punk kids who grew up with 80s hardcore.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

OMFG! Nirvana are soooo cool and original.
And these recordings sound soooo amazing.
And they're worth owning! Because it's cool to pay for sub-par material if the band has such an amazing following of ideal-less punk wannabe kids!

What did Nirvana really STAND FOR anyway? Did they have any type of platform on anything? Or were they just trying to show how easy it is to get signed with the equivalent of a year of collective musicianship abilities.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

"Nirvana will always be fondly remembered as the band that nailed the coffin in hair metal (only to be resurrected by the hardcore scene a decade later--thanks Atreyu), but they're still a mediocre band. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is not the greatest song of the 90's. "Heart Shaped Box" is pretty fucking awful. Kurt Cobain had the attitude--which goes far in rock n' roll--but just not the tunes. Give me Soundgarden over this mess. I'm unimpressed"

Uh, you are so completely wrong COS! Soundgarden?? Please, soundgarden practically defines mediocre metal-grunge! Kurt did have songwriting ability, not just the rock attitude. Have you even listened to In Utero? Seriously. I can still listen to Nirvana's albums and enjoy them.

I do think the idol worship of Kurt Cobain has gone too far though... his personal diary, and now the leftover crappy recordings. Wait until it's in the used bin like the Washington Post review recommends.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

I must say I agree with Pitchfork's review more than this.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Good review for this site, but if you are using this review as a tryout for Spin I would suggest that you make it a little less personal, and more unbiased. Also, you did well reviewing a band that you obviously are quite educated about, but how would you review a band that you had never heard before? Just a thought. And to the people that are calling Nirvana "bland" and "overrated" you were probably too young to understand the significance of this band in their prime. Back then they really were heroes of a generation.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

ah kids, if you think Nirvana was "overrated" or "unoriginal", i gather you are very young, very foolish, or are just trying so hard to be that voice of dissent. there's a reason that professional music critics (read: people who know a fuck of a lot more about music than you do) hold the band in such high regard. how old were you little snots in '91 anyway?

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

"I Hate Myself... is from the Beavis and Butthead Experience."

thanks for clearing that up. i've been searching for business and nutbread on amazon.com for the past three hours.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

I Hate Myself... is from the Beavis and Butthead Experience.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Thanks all for reading my verbal vomit of a review--it's my noble attempt to land a gig at Spin Magazine.

But in the meantime--check this out dudes--I got a new gig at this cool prestigious law firm...

http://www.loeb.com

Gray Davis

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Nice, detailed review, though I assume you meant death rattle, and not prattle. The Wipers were from Portland, not Seattle by the way.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Kahlin is correct.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Gid damn i hate Nirvana but this was a good review,

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Great band, cruddy release. End of story

SilentStorms (December 7, 2004)

Ahahaha, well Bones, that comment was actually really damn funny! As for Nirvana, they got me into music. Props to them.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Nirvana - "Unplugged in New York" remains to be one of the best CDs of all time. You guys can claim that Nirvana is so mediocre and blah blah blah, but there arent too many bands that can put out as good of a CD as that.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

To anyone who was under the age of 12 when Kurt Cobain died:

YOUR OPINION DOESNT MATTER!!!

You weren't there. You dont count. this box set was not made for you. it was designed for us elderly punkers in thier mid twenties and up.

-Kahlin

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Like it or not this band was punk rock. Way more punk rock than what passes these days for punk. They were an important band that changed music as we know it today, especially in the mainstream. Did they invent some totally original music? Well not really.. but they sure as hell did it their own way and it was different than what most punk bands were doing at the time or prior. I haven't heard this but it sounds pretty shitty. I'll just stick to the stuff I already have.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

My review is merely 2 words: Sh1t Sandwich

jamespastepunk (December 7, 2004)

Omgomgomgsellouts!!!

Jesse (December 7, 2004)

I'm not going to deny that I like Nirvana. In Utero is a great album that I readily enjoy. I'm not a huge fan of any of their other work, but they hold significance. Sure, they were a mainstream band. Does that make them any less important in the musical spectrum?

No, they weren't the greatest band. No, they weren't revolutionary. But they took a strong punk influence and mixed it with catchy hooks. And they struck it huge. Kurt never wanted to be any sort of rock God. Their story is very similar to Rage Against the Machine. Rage went big with a political agenda, and realized that no one understood their message. People just bought Che Guevera shirts without even knowing who he was. In the same way, Nirvana was a mis-understood band. They made music with definite anger and disillusionment fueling it, and accidently became the theme song to a generation.

All in all, I still think this box is a bad idea. It further propagates hero worship of Kurt Cobain, something he wouldn't have wanted since he hated fame. When you think of Nirvana, just remember, mainstream audiences hadn't heard music this genuinely angry since the late seventies.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

i've had this for quite awhile and a lot of the tracks have some of the poorest sound quality i've ever heard. I have however not seen the dvd or the booklet. But that's not the point, nirvana crushed hair metal which if it were not for the Clash and a few others, the 80s might as well not have existed. I believe every single person can appreciate the fact that Nirvana crushed hair metal because hair metal was just a complete mockery to the music scene.

--fuckuaurora

sickboi (December 7, 2004)

I tell ya, the best Nirvana rarities album to get is a bootleg called "B-Sides Themselves". Great sound quality on all of the rare b-sides and covers.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

I always love Nirvana but after listening to all 3 cd's, I was very disapointing. Sound quality is so bad on almost all rarities tracks... For very big fans only...

-Louis

gladimnotemo (December 7, 2004)

How about just...

Disc 1 - old Nirvana songs that don't sound very good
Disc 2 - old Nirvana songs that don't sound very good
Disc 3 - old....yeah, the same thing

This band has been blown so out of proportion over the years...meh.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

what does "incidiary" mean?

did you mean "incendiary"?

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

This is not punk. Take your crappy ass review to SeattleGrunge.net. I know I will catch heat for this, but it is so true. Also, I am older than all you little boys and girls.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

turds

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

"and to all the haters, you'll know how i feel when ten years from now little kids are bitching about the relevence of a taking back sunday box set."

worse. analogy. ever.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

this is worth buying just for the b-sides from their singles, which used to be compiled in a set that cost about the same price as this box set.

and to all the haters, you'll know how i feel when ten years from now little kids are bitching about the relevence of a taking back sunday box set.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

i can't understand why there are so many Nirvana/ Cobain haters out there. maybe all these haters are young like 12-18 years old. even if you don't like Nirvana they are one of the few bands to take a punk-like mentality and make it relevant. Kurt might have sucked at playing guitar but he was superb song writer.

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Here's what I'll never get- unless you're at least three-quarters retarded, you should have the wit to notice Nirvana wasn't original, per se. They just got noticed. So then, what's left to them? They never really did offer much. Just cheap hooks and overrated songs.

Cos (December 7, 2004)

Nirvana will always be fondly remembered as the band that nailed the coffin in hair metal (only to be resurrected by the hardcore scene a decade later--thanks Atreyu), but they're still a mediocre band. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is not the greatest song of the 90's. "Heart Shaped Box" is pretty fucking awful. Kurt Cobain had the attitude--which goes far in rock n' roll--but just not the tunes. Give me Soundgarden over this mess. I'm unimpressed.

--Cos

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Props for a slavishly detailed review.

But the review is a microcosm of the same problem that afflicts this box set: way too much of way too little importance. Taken on the proper terms Nirvana was a good band, but this box set is for people who feel the need to not just admire Cobain's musical skill, but also the need to sort through his dirty underwear.

theundergroundscene (December 7, 2004)

If I were remotely a fan of Nirvana, I would cream over this.

I'm absolutely not.

joeg (December 7, 2004)

I said it before and I'll say it again, song by song reviews are unreadable, especially by fanboys. This article by the Washington Post is a little better:

Kurt Cobain would hate this.

He'd despise how, dead more than a decade, he's become the new Jim Morrison, a mall T-shirt icon worshiped for all the wrong reasons. He'd be disillusioned by the legal battles over the rights to his unreleased music.

And, man oh man, he'd be nauseated by this Nirvana box set

With the Lights Out," the much-anticipated rarities package, certainly has its moments. But most are on the DVD and in the 60-page booklet -- not on the three rambling CDs.

Remember when Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, boasted about having "the holy grail of rock-and-roll" hidden away? Remember the excitement of thinking that when the lawyers finally settled this mess, we'd all be privy to a lost treasure from the Seattle trio who turned rock on its ear in the early 1990s?

Love is either holding out on us, or she's delusional. Possibly both.

This is no holy grail. Not even close. But it's going to be a wildly popular, misunderstood Christmas purchase. Here's the problem: When Santa slides this sharply packaged box set into Timmy's stocking, he's probably not going to realize that the 81 tracks -- 68 of them previously unreleased -- are largely mediocre throwaways. That's why Nirvana never released them.

Unlike typical box sets, this is no greatest-hits-plus-outtakes cocktail. This is primal, sometimes cover-your-ears Nirvana leftovers: radio performances, third-tier tracks, a few Leadbelly covers and crude-sounding home recordings that Cobain never intended anyone to hear.

It's impossible not to imagine Cobain in one of his little sweaters, pulling a long, smirking drag from a cigarette and exhaling in frustration. Because nobody but the most die-hard fan will want to listen to any of these CDs straight through.

That's not to say that there aren't notable tracks on "With the Lights Out." The CDs are arranged in a rough chronology, creating a sort of career-spanning diary. The sound quality is occasionally atrocious (especially on the first disc), but it's still fascinating to hear Nirvana evolve from primitive Northwest sludge-rockers into grunge legends who shaped an era. On the very first track, when a kid at a 1987 house party shouts "Heartbreaker," you hear Cobain complain, "I don't know how to play it!" Then he plunges into a defiantly disjointed version of the Led Zeppelin classic. That's a hoot. But other tracks border on shameful voyeurism. Cobain fumbles through some of the acoustic home demos, which often are barely listenable.

Melancholy permeates "With the Lights Out." Maybe it's because we all know how this story ends. Despite poor audio, starkly beautiful acoustic demos of "You Know You're Right" and "All Apologies" are lonely, tear-inducing testaments to Cobain's memory.

Equally sad, though, is the fact that "With the Lights Out" just isn't quite what we'd imagined. There is no amazing lost song that you've been dying to hear. The hyped "Do Re Mi" demo from 1994 is . . . okay. The alternate Butch Vig mix of Nirvana's defining hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," isn't much different from the original. "Beans" is useless. And do we really need two subpar takes of "Polly" and "Rape Me"? Such padding screams cha-ching!, not holy grail.

The accompanying booklet and DVD are brighter elements of "With the Lights Out." The booklet provides an insightful, year-by-year band history, including rare concert flyers, photos, minutiae and an insider's perspective, from Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore.

For the Nirvana-obsessed, that and the DVD probably warrant this purchase -- although the DVD is mostly a hand-held camera affair. It begins with amateur footage of Nirvana slop-rocking in the Aberdeen, Wash., home of bassist Krist Novoselic's mom in 1988, then progresses to actual sweat-drenched gigs -- including drummer Dave Grohl's initiation show, which instantly tightens the trio. The DVD's jolting reminder is just how quickly Nirvana erupted. By the time the group performs "Talk to Me" in 1992 at Seattle's Crocodile Cafe -- by then, a rare nightclub gig -- Cobain dryly (if not apologetically) asks the enthralled crowd, "Do you know how much money we have?"

Not as much as Geffen Records will this holiday season. As Cobain suggested to me before Nirvana's breakout CD, "Nevermind," was released in 1991: "Throw it at a bunch of gullible 15-year-old kids who like Guns N' Roses."

And if your allowance isn't big enough to afford 50 bucks for this box set? No worries, kid. There will be plenty of these in the used bins after Christmas. It's one of the few things about "With the Lights Out" that would truly make Cobain smile

stevejonestherealbones (December 7, 2004)

this band is going to be the next nirvana. i'm digging it. cant wait for the full length

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (December 7, 2004)

Overrated pretentious garbage, Cobain only wishes he was Jesse Lacey.

Crookedsuperhero (December 7, 2004)

Nice review. Well, long review.

TheOneTrueBill (December 7, 2004)

I don't even really like Nirvana but I want to hear this stuff.

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