Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Verse Chorus Verse...The Nirvana Story Part Two...Show # 163

In 1993, Nirvana returned with In Utero. This album was produced by Steve Albini (of the band Big Black, who produced The Pixies) and showed off a harsher heavier, dark sound of the band. Recorded in just two weeks, In Utero was initially rejected by the record company. Some of the tracks needed to be remixed, so the band brought in Scott Litt (REM) to remix some of the tracks. "Heart-Shaped Box", "All Apologies", and "Pennyroyal Tea" were remixed; The remix of "Pennyroyal Tea" would not be released officially until 2002. The album was a success again for the band, and it showed them going into another direction from its predecessor.

In Utero starts of with "Serve the Servants" a heavy dissonant sound rock song about issues with Cobain's father and teenage angst. "Scentless Apprentice" was a song lyrically pertaining to the book Perfume, and musically evolving out of a jam (all three band members get credit on this track). "Heart-Shaped Box" is next. Lyrically the song draws on various issues in a dark poetic style, the song can be looked at as having various meanings, but musically it is a flowing, loud, riffy beautiful song. "Rape Me" is a fast punk influenced track about portrayal in the media, that did cause some controversy, but it is an anti-rape song. Other fast punky tracks are laced all over the album such as "very Ape", "Milk it", and "Tourette's". Songs such as "Dumb", "Pennyroyal Tea", and "All Apologies" show of the bands pop side once again.

One of the other tracks on the album "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter", came about because of an article negatively portraying Kurt and his wife (Courtney Love) in Vanity Fair magazine; The song was originally titled "Four Month Media Blackout". Also the album was originally going to be titled I Hate Myself and I Want To Die or Verse Chorus Verse, both songs which Cobain had written (which would end up as B-sides to the album, along with a few other tracks written during the In Utero sessions). The title In Utero came from one of Courtney Love's poems. Lyrically Cobain takes a step up on In Utero drawing in more poetic images than he did before on Nevermind. The band would then go on a tour of the US also adding Germs guitarist Pat Smear to their ranks.

In 1993, Unplugged in New York was also recorded. The set contained a bunch of lesser known Nirvana songs and covers; The album would get release in 1994. During the period of 1993 Cobain would once again battle with drug addiction and in March of 1993 checked into rehab, cancelling a European tour. On April 8th, 1994 Kurt Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home. The issues that surround Cobain's death may never be known for sure, some fans believe that he was murdered but some believe that he shot himself.

After the end of Nirvana there were numerous post-humus releases. In 1994, Unplugged in New York (on CD & VHS) was released and the video Live! Tonight! Sold Out were released. In 1996, From the muddy Banks of the Wishkah (a collection of live material) was released. After Nirvana, drummer Dave Grohl went on to be successful in his band Foo Fighters, and Krist Novesellic went on to be in various side projects, then finding politics.

In 1997, Novesellic and Grohl started to assemble material for a Nirvana box set to mark the 10th anniversary of Nevermind. A legal battle then ensued for the future of Nirvana's legacy between Courtney Love, Krist Novesellic, and Dave Grohl. They couldn't agree on the material that was to appear on the box set, one song in particular "You Know You're Right" caused issues within the collective group. They eventually settled in 2002, Love wanted the final Nirvana song "You Know You're Right" (recorded in 1994) to be on a greatest hits CD. The song leaked onto the Internet in September of 2002 just before the release of the greatest hits CD. In October of 2002, Nirvana was released. It was a greatest hits compilation of the band which contained the singles of the band plus a few different versions of Nirvana songs.

In 2004, With the Lights Out a 3 CD and one DVD box set was released. The first disc of the set contained Bleach-era Nirvana rarities such as early demos and live recordings of the band. The second disc contained more Nevermind-era recordings, while the third disc contains In Utero-era Nirvana recordings and beyond. The DVD contains live performances a majority of which were taken during the Bleach tour, it also contains more rare songs in the DVD menus such as another demo of "All Apologies", and a demo version of "Lounge Act". Overall, the box set is an extensive look into the recording career of the band which included outtakes such as "Verse Chorus Verse" , and "Old Age" as well as much, much more. In 2005, Sliver: The Best of the Box, was released, it was a compilation of the best tracks from the With the Lights Out box set plus, two previously unreleased demos. In 2006, Live! Tonight! Sold Out! was released on DVD, and in 2005 a Classic Albums DVD was made about the Nevermind album. A DVD version of MTV Unplugged was released in November of 2007.

Currently there has been no official word about any further Nirvana releases, a Kurt Cobain solo album was also said to be in the works in 2000-2002, but there has been no word since then. There is said to be many tapes any recordings left behind, but no one knows for sure how much is left exactly. Whether or not there is other Nirvana releases, the band still has a large following and will always be known as the band that changed rock music for the nineties bringing the underground to the mainstream.

For more information on Nirvana check out Live Nirvana, and Nirvana Club. Also, there are two great books Come As You Are by Michael Azerrad and Heavier Than Heaven by Charles Cross.

What was played:

1. The Damned – liar
2. Adverts – one chord wonders
3. Alternative TV- action, time, vision
4. Undertones – my perfect cousin
5. The Saints – (I’m) misunderstood
6. The Demics – new york city
7. The Statics – rebel like me
8. Modern Pickles – teenage dropout
9. Hammersmith Gorillas – leavin’ town
10. The Dogs – slash your face
11. The Skids – sweet suburbia
12. Subway Sect – parallel lines
13. Prefects – things in general
14. Lurkers – shadow
15. Sturgeons – forward disorder
16. Fits – bored of education
17. The Poles – cn tower
18. Hot Nasties – I am a confused teenager
19. Teenage Head – disgusteen (alternate version)
20. Ramones – loudmouth
21. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers – born to lose
22. Generation X – ready steady go
23. Black Flag – wasted
24. Fugazi – margin walker
25. Mekons - where were you?
26. Modern Lovers - pablo picasso
27. Black Lips - i saw a ghost
28. Hot Hot Heat - 5 times out of 100
29. Young Canadians - don't tell me
30. Nirvana – talk to me (live unreleased)

Nirvana Videos:

Heart Shaped Box (SNL 1993)
Rape Me (SNL 1993)
Radio Friendly Unit Shifter (Live and Loud 1993)
Pennyroyal Tea (Live and Loud 1993)
The Man Who Sold the World (MTV Unplugged)
Where Did You Sleep Last Night (MTV Unplugged)
Drain You (French TV 1994)
Serve the Servants/Dumb (RAI Studios, Rome 1994)
Heart Shaped Box (Video)
You Know You're Right(Video)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

now got a comment