14 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For those listeners who couldn't get past the sonic assault of Nirvana's grunge, this album made abundantly clear how brilliant a band they could be. In these sparer arrangements, Kurt Cobain's songwriting took center stage. And what brilliant songwriting it is. Stripped of its guitar attack, the nihilistic "On a Plain," becomes less guarded and more chilling, while "Come As You Are" gains the heart the original arrangement buried. The interplay of Cobain's guitar, Dave Grohl's subdued drumming, and Krist Novoselic's fragile bass lines, revealed musical communication the envy of any great jazz combo. But what makes this album so fearfully fascinating is what it revealed. Few albums are as naked and raw as this. Cobain's raspy voice uncovered layer upon layer of pain. Both on his own songs and well- chosen covers--including a version of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" that surpasses the original--Cobain exposed a tortured soul trying to find release in front of a crowd.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For those listeners who couldn't get past the sonic assault of Nirvana's grunge, this album made abundantly clear how brilliant a band they could be. In these sparer arrangements, Kurt Cobain's songwriting took center stage. And what brilliant songwriting it is. Stripped of its guitar attack, the nihilistic "On a Plain," becomes less guarded and more chilling, while "Come As You Are" gains the heart the original arrangement buried. The interplay of Cobain's guitar, Dave Grohl's subdued drumming, and Krist Novoselic's fragile bass lines, revealed musical communication the envy of any great jazz combo. But what makes this album so fearfully fascinating is what it revealed. Few albums are as naked and raw as this. Cobain's raspy voice uncovered layer upon layer of pain. Both on his own songs and well- chosen covers--including a version of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World" that surpasses the original--Cobain exposed a tortured soul trying to find release in front of a crowd.

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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.

ORIGIN
Aberdeen, WA
FORMED
1987

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