by Paul Rutherford
Well, Nirvana fans - it looks like the
endless legal wrangling and backbiting between Courtney Love and the surviving
members of Nirvana has finally been resolved, and now the fans can reach
their own state of Nirvana, right? Dave Grohl’s doing all right for himself
with his Foo Fighters; but could it be that Krist Novoselic’s inability
to find post-Nirvana success with his projects (Sweet 75, Eyes Adrift),
coupled with the fact of Hole’s demise and Courtney Love’s complete failure
as an actress since her fluke performance in that Larry Flynt flick, have
made them realize that it’s time to milk their cash cow (the Nirvana catalog)
and give the fans what they have been waiting for – the definitive box
set? Wrong! Wrong, wrong, sadly wrong.
Instead, we get this CD - just in time
for the holiday shopping frenzy, because after all, cash is cash, and that’s
what Courtney wants from you. This is simply a collection of music that
any true Nirvana fan already owns, with the generous inclusion of one (yes,
count ‘em - one!) unreleased studio track from supposedly Kurt Cobain’s
last session before his alleged suicide in April 1994 - “You Know You’re
Right”. Of course, the question of whether Nirvana even merited a “greatest
hits” package is debatable. Yes, they were a fine band, but they only released
two major studio albums. Usually, a band puts out a compilation after they
have scored several hits over the course of many albums.
Naturally, it’s really a way for the band
and its label to score more cash by trying to get fans to purchase songs
they already have for a second time (or third or fourth in the cases of
Aero$mith and KI$$), but this type of compilation is also a benefit to
the new or casual fan, who can get the meat of the band’s output without
having to fork out for every album. Sadly, there won’t be any truly new
releases from Nirvana.
So what do you get for your $20, then?
The opening track “You Know You’re Right” is the only “new” song here.
It follows the tried-and-true Cobain formula - soft verses, blitzkrieg
chorus, soft, heavy, soft. It’s not a bad tune. I hated it at first, because
the hype left me hoping for so much more, but coming out of the radio speakers
after a steady diet of mallcore and Fred Durst, it hits like a blast of
fresh grunge/punk... well - Nirvana. But is it worth $20? More on that
The rest of the disc contains the four
bona fide hits from Nevermind, along with "Heart Shaped Box" from In Utero,
and "The Man Who Sold The World" and "All Apologies" off of Unplugged.
Hey! Wait! - I’ve got a new complaint. That’s only eight songs.
Can’t charge $20 for that. So they’ve added "Rape Me" and "Dumb",
two songs that were minor rock radio hits, and the excellent "Pennyroyal
Tea". But here is where some fans are complaining about the selection.
Where‘s "Polly", "Love Buzz", or "School"? Surely Nirvana had better
tracks than "Sliver", no? The tracks have also been remastered, which
was of interest to this reviewer, because Kurt himself has been quoted
as saying he felt "Pennyroyal Tea" could have been a hit if it was mixed
better, an opinion I share. Well, from what I heard of the track,
there seems to be not much of a difference.
"So it is worth your $20, then?"
My answer is a resounding “No!”, with one
exception. If you are a 12-year-old kid who‘s just getting into Nirvana;
and Daddy and Mommy got divorced, the phone‘s getting shut off, and money’s
so tight that your meager allowance will only let you buy one CD this holiday
season - then go ahead and buy this CD. It’s a decent enough introduction
to the genius of Kurt Cobain. But if you have no money troubles - you would
be far better off just spending the price of two CDs and picking up Nevermind
and In Utero. You’ll get nine of the songs off this CD, plus you’ll have
great songs like “Breed”, “On A Plain”, and all the other good ones they
To those who are already fans and have
the albums: You’re nuts if you buy this, absolutely insane. Just go download
“YKYR” and screw Courtney. (Ooh, the little Lars in my ear says , “No,
no - buy = good. Download = bad!” Well, screw him too). Whether downloading
hurts artists or not is a topic for another discussion but my two cents
is that if the label wants people to buy a product like this then they
should have made it a better product. Simply tacking one song onto a bunch
of songs Nirvana fans already own is a joke. Adding some more Bleach
songs would have made this a nice little compilation for someone who didn’t
feel like burning their own mix collection. A far better way would
have been to release "YKYR" as a CD single for maybe $3.99, with something
like "Verse Chorus Verse" or "In His Hands" as bonus tracks, as a
little appetizer for the hopefully forthcoming box. But no, the greed
machine milks that cow as hard as it can, so that’s why I say thumbs down
to Nirvana’s "Nirvana".
You Know You're Right
About A Girl
Been A Son
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
The Man Who Sold The World
to samples and Purchase this CD online
a friend about this article
What Do You Think?
Fanspeak removed due to spam and abuse