Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rather disappointing greatest hits collection, May 10, 2004, 17 Oct 2007
This review is from: Nirvana (Audio CD)
Eight years after Cobain's death, Kris Noveselic, David Grohl, and Courtney Love finally mange come to some sort of agreement and release NIRVANA, which is a greatest hits compilation. The biggest news about NIRVANA is its inclusion of "You Know You're Right," which is the last studio song Nirvana recorded. This is an excellent song, though why they open the record with it is beyond me. It should have been at the end, because the rest of NIRVANA is sequenced chronologically.
The problem with NIRVANA is, with only having three albums and a large number of b-sides to draw from, it still misses the boat. Courtney Love made it pretty obvious she wanted a hit album like The Beatles' ONE record. The Beatles had a very large number of hit singles. Recording for seven years, they scored twenty-seven number one hits. There was a very clear criteria to determine what made it onto One and what didn't. Whatever didn't top the charts didn't make it. For the consumer, this was a good criteria to assemble a best-of. ONE ran just under 80 minutes.

Nirvana, on the other hand, didn't have the same criteria to go by. Some of Nirvana's best material never made it big on the charts, though they're acknowledged classics. Each of their three albums, plus the B-side collection and MTV UNPLUGGED, have their own sonic textures and vibes. Nirvana's body of work works much better in the context of albums, because each of their three albums have very distinct personalities.

So what does all this mean to NIRVANA? It has a difficult job before it, and unfortunately, it fails. NIRVANA does not capture the essence of Nirvana. The material that does make it onto the album can't be faulted as obvious candidates for a best-of compilation.

What can be faulted is the tracks selected don't give us a clear picture of Nirvana's three studio albums. Moving from when they were unknown, Nirvana had a much more grungy, punk-informed sound on BLEACH which does not come through on NIRVANA. NEVERMIND, 1990s rock's most important record, has a glossy sheen and a very produced feel. Listening to BLEACH and then to NEVERMIND, this juxtaposition is very obvious.

IN UTERO, Nirvana's last album before Cobain's suicide, is volatile, abrasive, dark, and tortured. It's a very willfully difficult record, and stands as Nirvana's most cohesive artistic statement. Sifting through for radio hits on IN UTERO completely negates what Kurt was trying to say on that record. He was trying to cope with fame and bad personal relationships, and IN UTERO stands as his tortured cry. NIRVANA ignores this completely.

The biggest problem with NIRVANA is its running length. At only fifty minutes, it leaves out some obvious choices that are essential to the Nirvana canon. Where's "Aneurysm"? Where's "Verse, Chorus, Verse"? Where's "Something in the Way"? Where's "Polly"? Where's "Drain You"? Where's "Breed"? Where's "D7" (which is an awesome b-side)?

In the end, NIRVANA feels like a botched opportunity to represent one of rock's most influential and important bands. Stick with the original albums.

Originally issued on Amazon.com May 11, 2004
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.4 out of 5 stars (92 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (56)
4 star:
 (23)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Oxford, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,388