|This remarkable set contains 81 tracks, 68 which were previously unreleased.
The box set spans Nirvana's entire career, from a recording of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" at the band's first show in 1987 to solo acoustic performances from singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain in 1994. With The Lights Out features a 60-page color booklet with rare photos and liner notes by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and writer Neil Strauss.
The three CDs, arranged largely chronologically contains home and rehearsal demos, including for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (whose lyric "With the lights out" provides the set's title), "Rape Me," "Heart Shaped Box" and a trio penned by legendary bluesman Leadbelly.
Heard in the 12 previously unreleased solo acoustic tracks are such gems as "All Apologies," "Lithium" and "Sliver." Six previously unreleased radio performances range from "Anorexorcist" in 1987 to "Dumb" in 1991 (two years before it was on 1993's In Utero). Along with the remaining debuts are a handful of earlier issued, though rare, b-sides and demos as well as the original Butch Vig mix of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Highlighted on the With The Lights Out DVD is a previously unreleased video of nine songs performed in 1988 at bassist Krist Novoselic's mother's house in Aberdeen, Washington; the rare "In Bloom" Sub Pop music video, and 10 never-before-seen live performances. Noteworthy among them are debut renditions of "Pennyroyal Tea", "Smells Like Teen Spirit" both from early 1991. Also premiering is an unlikely performance of Jacques Brel and Rod McKuen's "Seasons In The Sun" shot at a Rio de Janeiro studio.
Nirvana debuted on album with 1989's Bleach (years later going platinum), followed by the EP Blew, each on Seattle-based Sub Pop. Drummer Dave Grohl joined in fall 1990 and soon after the band signed to Geffen Records. Nevermind (1991), propelled by the platinum Top 10 anthem "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and its landmark music video, hit #1 and is now 10 times platinum. Up next were the Top 40, platinum Incesticide (1992) and the #1, quintuple platinum In Utero (1993). In April 1994, Cobain committed suicide. Issued posthumously have been 1994's MTV Unplugged In New York (#1, quintuple platinum), 1996's live compilation From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah (#1, platinum) and 2002's "best of" Nirvana (#3, platinum).
"If you think you want it, you do. Rolling Stone
"...the music can be cathartic and it can be achingly intimate. The New York Times
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Includes bonus DVD disc and 60-page booklet.|
|"With The Lights Out" includes a DVD as well as a large booklet with pictures and liner notes.|
|Nirvana (US): Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar); Dave Grohl (vocals, drums); Krist Novoselic (bass guitar).|
|Liner Note Author: Thurston Moore.|
|Ten years after the death of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana fans finally got what they had been waiting for in the form of 2004's WITH THE LIGHTS OUT, an extensive three-CD/one-DVD box set spanning the deified rock band's career. Part of Nirvana's charm was its gleefully subversive aesthetic, and this trait is heavily featured on Disc One, which begins with a slaughtered version of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" at the group's first gig in 1987. Distortion and low fidelity reign on most of these songs (including "Anorexorcist", "Pen Cap Chew," and a demo version of "Even in His Youth"), and Cobain probably wouldn't have had it any other way.|
|Disc Two covers the band's uneasy transition to superstar status and features the crucial addition of drummer Dave Grohl, whose powerhouse percussion worked perfectly with Krist Novoselic's rumbling bass and Cobain's tortured vocals and fiery guitar playing. In addition to Cobain's solo acoustic tracks and demo versions of well-known songs, excellent B-sides and compilation tracks are presented here, including a gorgeous reading of the Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now" and a fierce take on Greg Sage's "D-7" that rivals the most intense Nirvana studio tracks. Covering the post-NEVERMIND years, Disc Three features acoustic readings of IN UTERO tunes, along with rarities like the stomping (and rather prophetic) "I Hate Myself and I Want to Die" and the emotive "Sappy." The beautiful booklet and the DVD of archival footage serve to further illuminate Nirvana's legacy, which extends far beyond this well-compiled set.|
Producer: Adam Kasper (Compilation)
|Down South Slangin 39|
Associated Artists and Works
|Cocktail Tribute to Nirvana ~ Various Artists|
|Vitamin String Quartet|
|Release Date : 11/23/2004|
|Original Release Date : 2004|
|Catalog ID : 0003727|
|Label : DGC|
|Number of Discs : 3|
|Studio/Live : Mixed|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00602498646649|
- Included in Rolling Stone's The 10 Best Reissues & Anthologies Of 2004 - "Remember him this way: exploding with invention, fighting the pain and winning."
- "[M]ostly great....[With tracks] that show the band experimenting in ways they never did on their album releases." - Grade: A
- "[A] volcanic eruption of Nirvana material....Cobain's early songs burn with thrash-metal energy, bratty humor, and, most of all, ambition." - Grade: A-
- 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]he prizes are the full-fledged Nirvana songs that got away....You can't top the naked demo of 'Heart Shaped Box,' which has doomier lyrics and a bent noise-guitar solo."
- 4 stars out of 5 - "A hardcore fan's wildest dreams fulfilled....It's consistently strong."
- 3 stars out of 5 - "[F]ascinating is a career-spanning selection of radio broadcasts beginning with an April '87 appearance....LIGHTS offers multiple perspectives on well-known material."