- Audio CD (2 Nov. 2009)
- Deluxe Edition edition
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: CD+DVD
- Label: Universal
- ASIN: B002MRROKS
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 49 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,859 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Live At Reading
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Live At Reading
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The greatest lost rock band of the nineties played the Reading Festival twice in their career, but the excellent value CD/DVD set Live at Reading captures their headline show in 1992, rather than the incendiary afternoon slot the previous year which heralded their elevation to the big leagues. Those who saw both recall their return as patchy, the band looking tired in atrocious weather, the stuff of disappointment rather than legend. At times, such as the stumbling versions of "Polly" and "Sliver" captured here, that impression endures. But at their best Nirvana made the most gleeful racket any three men with drums and guitars have ever managed, and the highlights of their biggest ever British show, such as a pounding "Negative Creep" and the furious opener "Breed", where bassist Krist Novoselic just about wins an instrument thrashing contest with drummer Dave Grohl, are jaw-dropping for their casual intensity. With twenty five songs to choose from (one less on the CD), including great covers of punk obscurities by Fang and the revered Wipers and tentative early versions of In Utero standouts "All Apologies" and the ferocious "Tourette’s", the set sprawls yet never quite flags, though Kurt Cobain already looks uncomfortable even in front of an adoring crowd. But as a document of perhaps the most unlikely band ever to leap from bottom of the bill obscurity to festival headliners in less than a year, Live At Reading is not only fascinating, but a genuine illustration of Nirvana’s uniqueness.--Steve Jelbert
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Cobain knew himself that Nirvana would have never reached the wider audience they did without Grohl on the drums. His display here is typically staggering, the DVD in particular showing just how well the rhythm section worked. Cobain looks nerdy in his long doctor's coat, shifting around his part of the stage, frequently re-tuning his guitar before and during tracks. The DVD gives an excellent insight as to how Nirvana worked as a band and Cobain as a guitarist. He was clearly obsessed with the instrument and its dynamics - visibly smug that his partners could carry anything that he chose to do along at a blistering pace.
All of the favourites appear on here and it marks an interesting point between Nevermind and In Utero with many of the tracks from Bleach still featuring heavily on the set list. Nirvana fans should teasure this as it shows Cobain still happy and clearly enjoying the music,"this is our last ever show," he jokes, "until the start of our tour in November." - it's much better than the gaunt, depressed image we are left with from the unplugged performance.
For those growing up in the early nineties this fantastic DVD/CD set is likely to serve as than more than just a nostalgic trip down musical memory lane. It's easy to forget than Nirvana were not just a band - they became a social phenomenon. I was left with the impression that I was watching a piece of history going by.
Nevertheless, I thought I'd give them a try after many hard years of avoiding them, and boy am I glad I did.
The reason I bought this album is mainly because I tend to appreciate live music more than studio-recorded. Needless to say, I instantly fell in love with all the songs on the CD; there are the classics like 'Come as you are' and 'In bloom', but also some stuff I hadn't heard before. After listening to it once I went online to buy the DVD (which is phenomenal also) and now, a few months later, I have purchased all Nirvana's albums. I'd like to say I'm a hardcore fan, but I think I need to listen to all their albums a few more times before I can truly say that.
Nevertheless, this is definitely their best album, and I am determined to have at least one song (I'm looking at you 'Polly') played at my funeral.
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