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on 18 April 2011
Nirvanas first studio album "Bleach" gets the deluxe treatment for its 20th year anniversary; it now comes complete with a booklet full of early pictures of the band as well as eleven songs recorded live in 1990. It didn't cost that much to make at the time, just over 600 dollars and would go mainly unnoticed until after "Nevermind" exploded and Nirvana became a household name.

This is the third time I have bought this album and it still sounds as raw as it did way back then, with its guitars tuned all the way down. It's not like "Nevermind" that got the polished treatment by Andy Wallace. It contains some of the bands best material such as the two opening tracks "Blew" and "Floyd The Barber". There is the brilliant first ever single "Love Buzz" which is a cover of the 1969 song by Shocking Blue. "About A Girl" shows of what a great songwriter Cobain was and also shows his sensitive side. "Negative Creep" is still one of Nirvana best songs, the brilliant "School" still sounds great today. "Big cheese" which wasn't included on the original 1989 release but would be for later releases is kept for the reissue as is "Downer".

The remastering job does make the album sound better without over doing it, the booklet full of pictures is a nice touch, even though some lyrics would have been nice, Chad Channing who drums on the majority of the tracks is no Dave Grohl yet his playing suits the album. The highlight of the live concert is the inclusion of "spank Thru", "Molly's Lips which is a cover of a song by The Vaselines and the brilliant "Dive".

While "Nevermind" was the coming out party for Nirvana and final album "In Utero" probably contains their best work, "Bleach" is just as essential as either of those albums.
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on 28 August 2014
I never review things on Amazon, but I have to say that this album is really worth discussing and praising.

In my mind, Nirvana's "Bleach", their debut album is an absolute milestone in grunge music. Although many Nirvana fans believe that the Nevermind's sheen and polish is what makes their music so timeless, Bleach (and later In Utero) would prove this theory incorrect. I only got into them properly around six months ago - and although Nevermind was amazing, I always felt more drawn towards the more abrasive, natural sound of In Utero. After properly "consuming" both albums, I decided to buy Insecticide (as I heard it was sort of like a Bleach starter course) and enjoyed it, however I felt like the record missed the consistency and decent song rotation. Bleach fills in all of those gaps and also manages to slide somewhere in-between the poppy songwriting of Nevermind and loud, noisy production of In Utero (albeit on a much lower budget - $600, in fact).

Full of sludgy riffs, Cobain screams and downtuned guitars, this really is a grunge record through-and-through - with strong hints of pop music coming through on songs like "About a Girl" (inspired after a long listening session of Meet the Beatles) and their cover of "Love Buzz" (you will NEVER be able to get that bassline out of your head!). Although it wasn't defined as "grunge" at the time, this album really helped to pioneer the genre and to bring more attention to other artists on the Sub Pop imprint a the time. With most of the record done on a one-take basis you can't help but think that the songwriting has had tons of effort put into it, with the exception of the lyrics as Cobain confessed. Although it may be easy to analyse them, Cobain stated that most of the lyrics on Bleach were about "nothing" and should be treated that way. With such tight and pounding instrumentals, it's not too difficult of a task to disregard the lyrics entirely and just appreciate the melody of the vocals. Often, Cobain helped to emphasise Nirvana's use of dynamics (that they would later be famous for) - track 4 on the album titled "School" makes this clear when the lyric "You're in high school again" gets pushed out of Cobain's vocal chords with extreme velocity and power, helping to re-introduce the pounding chorus effectively.

Regarding the low production budget, there is evidence of this on the album. Drums (especially the symbals) sound a bit plastic-y, background vocals are relatively low-fi and the bass guitar sometimes booms in the mix, but I believe that this adds to the charm of the album and is refreshing after hearing the extremely polished quality of Nevermind. The 2009 remaster by George Marino helps to correct dull spots in the mix and helps to produce more definition in the low end. Drums sound less plastic-y and vocal effects have been turned down to increase clarity. Although it is far from Nevermind quality, it serves its purpose and matches the content of the album. I really couldn't imagine it to be any different after listening a few times.

Another benefit of the remaster is that you get a bonus live show of a performance in 1990. I haven't listened to this yet, but I've heard it's an entertaining and well-performed show. The packaging is very high-quality and the photo book is a nice touch too.

Playing-wise, both Kurt and Chris are seamless with each other's playing. It feels very comfortable and results in delivering great energy throughout. Nirvana's first studio drummer Chad Channing also lays down interesting grooves on songs like School, however on some tracks it feels as if this istyle s sacrificed for a cool-sounding drum fill or added complexity, which offers very little substance. The band ended up replacing him in 1991 because of this, however honoured his talents on Nevermind by keeping some of Channing's written drum parts the same (such as the intro to In Bloom and Breed).

Overall, this album was a brilliant start for the group and shows that they didn't need a large production budget to make a great album. Although it is their "darkest" sounding album, if you are a fan of In Utero it won't come as much of a surprise. Coming to stores in summer 1989, it was the beginning of the Seattle grunge movement that would make waves across the world for years to come. Recommended. A

If you are only just getting into Nirvana, I would go with this album rotation - Nevermind, then In Utero, then MTV Unplugged/ Incesticide and finally Bleach. You will not regret it!

Favourite tracks:
Track 1 - "Blew": Brilliant bass riff, lazy guitar matching Kurt's vocals creates a very strong melody. Channing provides a heavy backbeat with numerous double kicks. One of the best-sounding songs production wise on the album.

Track 3 - "About a Girl": Showcases Kurt's songwriting ability and foreshadows the pop side of the band that would be emphasised on later albums. Instantly recognisable guitar riff.

Track 4 - "School": A short, riot-inducing track with a feedback-laden guitar intro before heading into a distorted single-note riff played by the bass and guitar. Great vocals, dynamics used well. Channing enjoyed himself on this one.

Track 5 - "Love Buzz": Cobain's vocals are brilliant. Krist does his thing, providing the main meat of the track.
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on 22 December 2011
It was great putting this on and hearing the first Nirvana album again. Their more famous tracks from Nevermind have a more standard pattern of riff, verse, chorus, verse, solo etc. and it sounds great, but Bleach has a more unique, raw feel. Sometimes just a single line screamed over and over again to thudding beats and harsh guitar riffs. There are exceptions, like the "pop song" of the album - About A Girl which is more standard.

My personal highlight was the live version of "School" but every track feels like a classic. Must have for any Nirvana fanand my favourite of their CD's.
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on 10 September 2014
Got this as only have it on Vinyl and cant get the record player out as the kids wont leave things alone!!
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on 20 November 2015
Everything is oke ;-)
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on 19 December 2015
great
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on 4 October 2014
Goods received as described, delivered on time.
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on 22 August 2013
bought this nirvana album to add to the collection of others , its a good album that does not fail to deliver, good to here Cobains voice again
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on 8 June 2016
grandson loved this cd just as much as slip knot
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on 2 October 2015
Excellent edition of an excellent album. The booklet is especially precious as it contains some never-published-before photos of the band.
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