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Nirvana – Nevermind 20th Anniversary Edition

Nirvana, Nevermind

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

IT’S been 20 years since Nirvana came to define a new Seattle sound (grunge) and their lead singer, Kurt Cobain, achieved iconic status. Perhaps the biggest tribute you can bestow upon the album responsible, Nevermind, is that it still manages to sound ‘young’.

Yes, the songs are world-famous, even often covered in a multitude of styles. But tracks like Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are, Lithium, In Bloom and On A Plain retain a timeless quality… there’s still the same buzz of excitement whenever, or wherever, you hear them played again, while the inner rock rebel wants to jump, thrash and scream his way around the living room, office, car or dance-floor.

Nevermind is an anthemic work in many ways. It defined a generation, as well as the city it stemmed from. It catapulted Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl from a critically acclaimed Aberdeen, Washington, cult band to generational spokesmen who had unwittingly created a cultural shift and musical touchstone.

It ultimately sold over 30 million copies world-wide and would come to be much more than one of the most successful and influential albums of its or any era, returning unaffected rock ’n’ roll integrity and passion to the top of the charts in its own [at the time] unique way.

To mark the 20th anniversary, as is so often the case with special albums nowadays, there’s a wealth of collector’s editions for the die-hard fans and the uninitiated.

The original album has been re-mastered along with the accompanying studio and live B-sides. The bonus material includes dozens of previously unreleased recordings, obscure B-sides, alternate mixes, radio sessions, studio rarities and live recordings.

There’s a previously unreleased bonus CD featuring Nirvana live at the Paramount, which takes in many of the Nevermind classics, as well as the infamous Rape Me (from follow-up album In Utero and the videos for Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are, Lithium and In Bloom.

And there’s another CD of Devonshire mixes of the key Nevermind tracks.

Among the collector’s items are the previously unreleased mixes of tracks like Polly, Lithium and In Bloom, as well as tracks taken from the Boombox rehearsals and several of the live tracks, including D-7, recorded live at the BBC, and the most famous works, which capture the raw excitement of seeing Nirvana live.

So, whether you already own Nevermind or are a ‘virgin’ newcomer, this really is an essential addition to any record collection that underlines why it has become such a landmark recording.

Track listing:

  1. Disc One
  2. Smells Like Teen Spirit
  3. In Bloom
  4. Come As You Are
  5. Breed
  6. Lithium
  7. Polly
  8. Territorial Pissings
  9. Drain You
  10. Lounge Act
  11. Stay Away
  12. On A Plain
  13. Something In The Way

B-Sides

  1. Even In His Youth
  2. Aneurysm
  3. Curmudgeon
  4. D-7 [Live At The BBC]
  5. Been A Son [Live]
  6. School [Live]
  7. Drain You [Live]
  8. Sliver [Live]
  9. Polly [Live]

Disc Two
Smart Studio Sessions

  1. In Bloom [Previously Unreleased]
  2. Immodium (Breed) [Previously Unreleased]
  3. Lithium [Previously Unreleased]
  4. Polly [Previously Unreleased Mix]
  5. Pay To Play
  6. Here She Comes Now
  7. Dive [Previously Unreleased]
  8. Sappy [Previously Unreleased]

Boombox Rehearsals

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit
  2. Verse Chorus Verse [Previously Unreleased]
  3. Territorial Pissings [Previously Unreleased]
  4. Lounge Act [Previously Unreleased]
  5. Come As You Are
  6. Old Age [Previously Unreleased]
  7. Something In The Way [Previously Unreleased]
  8. On A Plain [Previously Unreleased]

BBC Sessions

  1. Drain You [Previously Unreleased]
  2. Something In The Way [Previously Unreleased]