on 12 July 2000
I remember buying "Bleach" when it was first released in 1989,and it was so fresh compared to the other alternative music of that time. it was one of the most outstanding releases from the Sub-Pop label and is still one of my favourites... Nirvana became less and less underground from then on but "Bleach" is a definite must-have album from the Grunge era. From real down and dirty heavy stuff like "Negative Creep" to slow ballad type music like "About A Girl" this album is quality from start to finish. It rocks!
on 5 October 1999
They had total control over the album,as it says on the back cover it was made for just $606.17 Dollars. Sub Pop released it and then Nirvana was born. Kurt was angry that 'Love Buzz' was the biggest song of the album as it was a cover. Such songs as 'School, Negative Creep and Floyd the Barber' prove that this band was the back bone of the Seattle scene with songs like these this will make you want to start your own band. You will dance, rock and totally enjoy this album through and through.
on 25 January 2002
its true that this album doesnt have the same class that in utero had, but Nirvanas style changed when they created Nevermind. There are some amazing tracks on it like mr. moustache, downer, about a girl etc. for a debut album it is clear that this is a damn good album. it is also clear that they put loads of effort into writing and performing their music when they started. This is a brilliant grunge album which needs to be listened to a few times to be truly appriciated, it is more grungy instead of pop like Nevermind seemed to be so if you want a change from listening to the more recent Nirvana albums then definutly get this'n. The drumming of Chad Channing is impressive and all of the songs are performed brilliantly by the whole band, with a lot of effort i feel from Kurt.
on 2 January 2001
Unless you're a die-hard Melvins fan, I don't see how you can give this album 5 stars? Nevertheless, this is a great CD, definitely worth buying if you're a Nirvana fan. Not their best piece of work, but it's a debut (which cost about $600.00 to make). Songs like 'About A Girl' and 'Love Buzz' contain the sort of melody normally associated with Nirvana, while 'Negative Creep' and 'Mr Moustache' produce a dirty and aggressive sound, which you normally associate with the underground. The guitar work is slightly mediocre, but Krist Novoselic's bass is more influencial and the drumming from Chad Channing is excellent. However, the lyrics are very disappointing, especially during 'Downer' where Kurt Cobain attempts to be THE political rebel. Overall, an excellent album if you like pure grunge, but technically not as good as 'Nevermind' or their best album - 'In Utero'. This is only the beginning for Kurt Cobain, who becomes a messiah for the grunge/punk genre.
on 26 March 2003
It would be wrong to give this album 5 stars, as it isn't 5-star material - as much as I'm a Kurt Cobainiac, I must admit that they didn't start churning out the really good stuff until Grohl jumped aboard and Nevermind was released.
But that isn't to say that this isn't any good - Floyd the Barber is brilliance, and About A Girl is one of my personal favourites. When you think that this is Nirvana's first studio recording (they started as a live band), it's quite good - but it's done in such a way that the thing has the aura of an "inside joke" - almost as if Cobain balked at the band taking off (he didn't, of course).
If you enjoy the work of Nirvana, this album is interesting, as it helps to see where the band started off. Also, this album is like someone explaining the key line of a story you don't understand - when you listen to this album, most of Nevermind and In Utero becomes alot clearer. A must have for any rock/Nirvana entheusiasts.
on 24 July 2002
Even though this is a tackily produced album there are some tracks on it which demonstrate the melodic prowess that made Nirvana great. It opens with a cool grungy tune 'Blew' in which Krist's bass is more noticable than usual and then delivers 'Floyd the Barber' a highly likable song about a nightmarish visit to the barber shop. 'About a Girl' is probably the most sophisticated track lyrically and musically and is just as enjoyable on this as it is on MTV Unplugged. School is another rocking track that should appeal to any rock fan as it has a nice riff and strong bass line coupled with Kurt screaming the amusing line 'Won't you believe it's just my luck? - NO RECESS!!'
Love Buzz is a good cover, originally recorded by some obscure Dutch group called 'Shocking Blue' (another example of Kurt's reverence for little known bands). The remaining tracks are coarser and less melodically defined than the first five, Paper Cuts is enjoyable for Kurt's hair-raising wailing if nothing else and tracks like Negative Creep and Scoff offer strong riffs from start to finish without approaching anything near great musicianship.
Chad Channing's average drumming highlight's even further the importance of Dave Grohl (and a bigger record label) in Nirvana's later commercial success.
A debut album to be proud of.
on 18 January 2003
First things first DONT make this your first Nirvana album. If you've heard Nirvana on MTV (boo) or Radio and want to get into them then make Nevermind or In Utero your first purchases. If this was the first Nirvana album i heard i would probably not listen to them again simply because you need to have the "ears" for it. Bleach is quite rightly held in high esteem by most Nirvana fans because it is simply a must-have Grunge album. This is their sludgiest album by far and great songs like Blew,School,Love Buzz and Negative Creep show that Nirvana could do heavy. About A Girl is a Nirvana classic and i prefer this version to the Unplugged one. The album is only let down by Chad Channing's drumming and a few songs later on in the album which just seem out of touch with the rest of the album. If you already own Nevermind then this album is a MUST, but dont go thinking its going to sound anything like it. Also people who say Bleach is Nirvana's greatest album need to check their heads. :P
on 14 June 2002
When Nirvana is looked back upon, all people think about when it comes to albums is Nevermind and In Utero. However, Bleach is BETTER than those two, and is in an awesomely different style.
All the tracks are clever-with deep hidden meanings and good lyrics.
The opening of the album-Blew, is an awesome opener to set the tone fro the album. We then have the dark Floyd the barber, followed by the amazing 'About A Girl'.The interesting grunge song 'School' is next, followed by another feature track-Love Buzz. Paper Cuts and Negative Creep are both amusing songs, and Scoff and Swap Meet are surprisngly great. MR Moustache is a good strike out at Macho types, and sifting is a blistering track. The last two tracks let it down somewhat though-Cobain gets all political in both Big Cheese, and Downer. However, it is a fitting end to a great debut album from the Seattle based rock group-highly recommended.
on 29 June 2015
My first copy of 'Bleach' was bought in 1992 on vinyl from HMV in Reading. I was somewhat intimidated by the ferocity of the album at first, but grew to love and admire it. For me, this low-budget recording is one of the most significant albums of all time.
I actually prefer the shorter, 11 track version of 'Bleach', even though I like the extra songs 'Love Buzz' and 'Downer'. Having said that, the album could have been better still as a longer version, perhaps with a second disc, with brilliant recordings such as 'If You Must', 'Pen Cap Chew', and 'Blandest' left in the can for years. Other great material, such as 'Big Long Now' and others ended up on the rarities collection 'Incesticide'. 'Spank Thru', Nirvana's most complicated song, initially found a home on the 'Sub Pop 200' sampler.
Kurt Cobain introduced an extreme form of music to the mainstream, using intelligence, a great, expressive, 'whisper to a scream' rock voice, and a unique ability to communicate angst, depression, and a world-weary view of life, as well as having a superior gift for song structure, however strange or far-out the material was.
On 'Bleach' Kurt demonstrates a fascination for words with different meanings which sound the same. On the later hit 'Teen Spirit' he sings "hello, hello, hello, how low". Here, on 'Bleach' he uses the words stain/strain/shame in 'Blew', and shaved/shamed in 'Floyd The Barber'. Many other examples of this can be found on other songs such as 'About A Girl'.
Another interesting feature of 'Bleach' is the brief lyrical content. Songs such as 'Blew', 'School', 'About A Girl' and 'Negative Creep' actually contain very few lyrics. This may not be noticeable because of the changing ways that the words are articulated and repeated. Even the cover of Shocking Blue's 'Love Buzz' uses fewer lyrics than the original.
The song 'Paper Cuts' is very unusual musically and lyrically, and conveys something sinister. 'Sifting' is remarkable in the way it communicates a kind of 'attitude' and alienation from society.
I have always thought of 'Mudhoney's' classic 'Superfuzz Bigmuff' album (released by 'Sub Pop' in 1988) as an excellent companion piece to 'Bleach', as well as one of the key albums from the Seattle grunge scene.
To me, 'Bleach' is the definitive Nirvana album. A lingering feeling still persists that the aforementioned 3 songs 'If You Must'/'Pen Cap Chew'/'Blandest' belong with/are missing from, the record, and could have added even more to an already classic release.
on 4 November 2000
Bleach is easily Nirvana's best album, followed by incesticide, and outshines Nevermind as a work of pure passion and energy. Whereas Nevermind only had Breed and Territorial Pissings, Bleach has a slew of amazing sonic nastiness that floors the listener when he first hears it. Negative Creep is a scream along classic and Blew has one of the best basslines of all time. Kurts fantastic screeching guitar work and asome of the heaviest riffs of all time make this the must have sub pop title. Along with the work of Tad, Mudhoney, and the Melvins, the classic Seattle rock album.