22 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2004 three-CD box set With the Lights Out was the long-awaited holy grail for Nirvana fans who’d been waiting for better-fidelity versions of rarities for so long that a decade passed. True to record-company form, three additional rarities were “discovered” as the label put together this highlight reel of the box for those who didn’t want to wade through the band’s every utterance. Those bonus cuts are an excellent 1985 demo of “Spank Thru” (from when Kurt Cobain’s band was called Fecal Matter), a 1990 studio demo of “Sappy,” and a raw boombox demo of “Come As You Are.” The highlights include a brutal live reading of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” acoustic solo demos of “About a Girl,” “Lithium,” “Rape Me,” “You Know You’re Right,” “All Apologies,” and “Sliver,” and rehearsal demos of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Rape Me,” and “Heart Shaped Box.” Sound quality can be wobbly due to sources often being old cassettes, and many of the best moments here are Kurt Cobain's solo performances.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2004 three-CD box set With the Lights Out was the long-awaited holy grail for Nirvana fans who’d been waiting for better-fidelity versions of rarities for so long that a decade passed. True to record-company form, three additional rarities were “discovered” as the label put together this highlight reel of the box for those who didn’t want to wade through the band’s every utterance. Those bonus cuts are an excellent 1985 demo of “Spank Thru” (from when Kurt Cobain’s band was called Fecal Matter), a 1990 studio demo of “Sappy,” and a raw boombox demo of “Come As You Are.” The highlights include a brutal live reading of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” acoustic solo demos of “About a Girl,” “Lithium,” “Rape Me,” “You Know You’re Right,” “All Apologies,” and “Sliver,” and rehearsal demos of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Rape Me,” and “Heart Shaped Box.” Sound quality can be wobbly due to sources often being old cassettes, and many of the best moments here are Kurt Cobain's solo performances.

TITLE TIME
3:44
2:57
4:04
2:31
3:10
2:42
3:55
2:02
3:31
1:33
1:48
2:08
5:38
4:09
4:19
3:24
3:21
3:01
5:30
4:22
2:29
3:33

About Nirvana

Even now, years after you first felt its edges, the chorus of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” still sounds too dangerous—too loud, too ugly, too upset—for any mainstream. And yet, Nirvana’s 1991 single didn’t just mark an unlikely breakthrough for the Seattle trio, it upended popular culture in ways we’ve haven’t seen since. Punk became pop, grunge became global vernacular, industry walls became rubble, and frontman Kurt Cobain became the reluctant voice of a generation in need of catharsis, all seemingly overnight. Though his 1994 suicide would see the band dissolve just as abruptly as they’d arrived, their story is now rock’n’roll parable and their influence still felt—as punks, icons, Hall of Famers, purveyors of haunting melody and often terrifying noise.

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