Thursday, September 29, 2011


Never mind.  Forget it.  Oh well, whatever.  I feel stupid and contagious.  Punk may have been an outsider music in 1991, but the words sure spoke to a lot of under-30's, and quite a few older than that.  I remember walking into our local hip record shop and seeing the brilliant, arresting cover, and being told what was going on by the hardcore of the Moncton hardcore scene at the time.  Within a couple of years, those guys could actually get big-time record deals, members of Eric's Trip and The Monoxides.  Ya, Nevermind not only spoke to a lot of people, it shook the established rock world by the lapels and said, Entertain Us.

It's hard to separate the album from the tragedy that followed, now that we know just how torn Cobain was inside.  However, it's good to hear the music again, step back and consider if it holds up.  It does, of course, thanks to a flow of solid songs.  This was not just an album built on Smells Like Teen Spirit; following in succession are In Bloom, Come As You Are, Breed, Lithium and Polly, each different and powerful.  Cursed as it were to come out at the height of the CD era, when the art of lining up an album was lost, and all the best songs were stuck at the front, the remaining six tracks almost feel forgotten, but there's strength to them as well.  Quit hitting repeat on Teen Spirit, you geeks.

Now, the real question:  Should you upgrade?  On offer is this Deluxe Edition, which gives you two CD's, including all the studio and live b-sides (nine of them), the original pre-production demos with producer Butch Vig, almost a year before the official session (eight more cuts), the infamous Boombox rehearsals, demos recorded by the group on a blaster, including the first-ever Teen Spirit (eight cuts) and finally two BBC session tracks.  14 of the 18 cuts on disc two are previously unreleased, and you probably don't have many of the b-sides unless you're a collector, so at $19, this is not a bad deal.  What is a bad deal is the absolute lack of liner notes here, just a photo booklet.  I assume it's because they saved up the essays for the 90-page book that comes with the Super Deluxe Version.  They had to have something to offer to justify the whopping $130 price tag.  Yes, it's four discs and a DVD, but get this:  The DVD is the same concert as CD #4, Live At The Paramount, and you can buy that separately on Blu-Ray for $13.  That leaves Disc 3 as your only exclusive, and it's just a different, earlier mix of the regular album, done by Butch VIg himself instead of the official mixer, Andy Wallace.  Why?  I don't friggin' know, because that information is no doubt in the 90-page book, which didn't come in the basic Deluxe version.  It bugs me, but not enough to spend an extra $110 to find out.  I'm thinking Kurt wouldn't think this was a cool deal at all.  Times have changed in twenty years.

No comments:

Post a Comment