61 Songs, 3 Hours, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Kurt Cobain's tragic suicide so early in what could have been a long, brilliant career forced everyone involved with Nirvana to tread carefully on the band’s legacy. Infighting among the remaining band members and Cobain’s estate further stalled progress. Live albums appeared, but there was little else in terms of new Cobain music between 1994 and 2002. In 2004—a decade after his death—the wheels finally cranked out the expansive box set With the Lights Out, containing rare b-sides, live performances, demos, and even rougher rehearsal recordings. Considering Nirvana only released three official studio albums and a set of outtakes during its existence, the amount of previously unreleased material was much smaller than bands with more years to reference. Many brilliant moments here center on Cobain’s acoustic demos. The set is essentially chronological, starting with the Bleach era, following through to the Nevermind period and finishing with songs from the In Utero sessions. Serious fans need this collection, for in many ways it provides the most comprehensive and true view of the band. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Kurt Cobain's tragic suicide so early in what could have been a long, brilliant career forced everyone involved with Nirvana to tread carefully on the band’s legacy. Infighting among the remaining band members and Cobain’s estate further stalled progress. Live albums appeared, but there was little else in terms of new Cobain music between 1994 and 2002. In 2004—a decade after his death—the wheels finally cranked out the expansive box set With the Lights Out, containing rare b-sides, live performances, demos, and even rougher rehearsal recordings. Considering Nirvana only released three official studio albums and a set of outtakes during its existence, the amount of previously unreleased material was much smaller than bands with more years to reference. Many brilliant moments here center on Cobain’s acoustic demos. The set is essentially chronological, starting with the Bleach era, following through to the Nevermind period and finishing with songs from the In Utero sessions. Serious fans need this collection, for in many ways it provides the most comprehensive and true view of the band. 

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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.

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