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Nirvana: Live At Reading

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Album Review

Certain concerts create a legend as soon as the final note ceases to ring. Nirvana's headlining appearance at the 1992 Reading Festival is one of these shows, a concert that arrived at precisely the right moment and stands as testament to a band at the peak of its powers...and right before things started to turn sour within the Nirvana camp. Despite the happy news of the birth of Frances Bean Cobain a mere 12 days before this August 30 festival, rumors swirled around Nirvana right up until the band hit the stage. Kurt Cobain took full advantage of these scurrilous stories, making his entrance in a hospital gown and wheelchair pushed by journalist Everett True. Cobain feebly reached for the microphone to croak out the opening lines of "The Rose," only to collapse onto the stage, milking the drama for a moment before leading Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl through a ferocious "Breed." This impish sense of humor has been obscured over the years, lost under the weight of the band's tragic legacy, along with the fact that Nirvana could actually be fun as well as furious. Live at Reading brings all this roaring back. This is Nirvana's purest blast of rock & roll: there's a boundless, invigorating energy here and, just as importantly, there's a sense of joy to the performances, a joy that bubbles to the surface when Kurt laughs during the intro of "Sliver" but can be heard throughout the show, as the band rushes in tandem, pushing the tempos on "Aneurysm" and "Territorial Pissings," ebbing and flowing as one. Hints of this could be heard on the live comp From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, but this is a complete document of Nirvana in full flight and one of the greatest live rock & roll albums ever.

Customer Reviews

As brilliant as it ever was

As a 15 year old who adored Nirvana when they played at Reading in the summer of 1992, a bootleg version of this dominated my listening over the years. It really doesn't get any finer than this and I can't urge you enough t buy it.
You see loads of kids today with Nirvana t-shirts born after Kurt passed and if you haven't heard it, get it listened to, this was what Nirvana was about - Nevermind is one of the best albums of all time but probably a little bit too polished - this is Nirvana at their rawest best.

The King of Grunge

I watched this gig at Reading and this band changed my life

You will always be missed Kurt RIP

An Anti-dote to the X Factor...This is the A Factor

Yes I was there and the atmosphere before they went on, "will they? wont they? Kurt's OD'd, the band have split up..." But they came on and did 20 plus songs and blew us all away. To say this show was great would not do it justice. It kept rock and roll alive and it was a little moment in our lives that we felt, well, real nirvana. Get this album, get all of their albums and buy the T-shirt and you will feel like you were there...It will live forever and it will show you just how bad X-Factor is. This is the A-Factor. Oh yes and all of you stop carping on about the price...You devalue the priceless nature of genius. For something this good you cannot put a price on it. And once you start doing this you will very slowly be drown into Simon C's little world.


Formed: 1987 in Aberdeen, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

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...
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