The youngsters of today will probably have heard the name Nirvana batted around whilst reading Kerrang talking about Puddle of Mudd (cheap imitators). But few will have actually heard anything past 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. And although 'Teen Spirit' is a classic song, it hardly represents the entire catalogue of Nirvana. So at last, for all the new 'would-be' disciples, we have a definitive collection of tracks to introduce them to one of the most musically and culturally significant groups of the last decade.
Although there are some glaring omissions (Breed, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle, Territorial Pissings, Negative Creep), this collection serves its purpose admirably. For new fans, it's the perfect introduction to Cobain's dark and mystifying world. For old fans, such as myself, it's a helpful reminder of just how great they were then and how fresh and stunning the music still sounds. The remixing of the tracks is also breathtaking, opening up the sound and making it even heavier.
'New' track 'You Know You're Right' (previously unreleased) is a fascinating number, giving us a glimpse of just where Kurt might have taken Nirvana or his own solo music. With a thrashing chorus, addictive lyrics that make you want to sing and shout along and Dave Grohl's classic machine-gun drumming, this is Nirvana in it's purest form - loud, aggressive, yet captivatingly beautiful. There is, of course, a hint of tragedy in the lyrics ('No thought was put into this / I always knew it'd come to this') with a similar self-fulfilling prophecy style that Richey Edwards demonstrated on the Manic Street Preachers' 1994 album 'The Holy Bible'. But for the last song they recorded together, despite personal issues and tension within the group, it shows that Nirvana were certainly losing nothing in talent and that they could still play incredibly tightly together.
A great album for beginners, a healthy reminder to disciples. Buy it!!