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With The Lights Out (3 CD/Bonus DVD) CD (2004)

Artist: Nirvana

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Must have if you're really into Nirvana

by Ted Schnell on 12/1/2004

A lot of the material on these discs can be found on previously released albums but there are a lot of cool unreleased tracks like Verse Chorus Verse, Old Age, Token Eastern Song, Even in His Youth, Do Ri Mi, Blandest, and Return of the Rat. Although some of these tracks might have been released on singles as b-sides. But even the songs like Teen Spirit are cool to hear on this set because it's an earlier version (A better one I think, though the recording sucks). The DVD is pretty awesome too. They could have made it longer and included maybe some backstage non music stuff but oh well. They could have used more scenes from the Live Tonight video too. When's that coming out on DVD? The booklet that comes with it is a little bit of a let down. Nothing special there. I know there's a lot more rare tracks out there. Who knows why they didn't make it onto this set. Maybe the want hold some stuff back to milk it later on. Anyway in my opinion this thing is worth the price.

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by Tyko on 12/5/2004

This is officially the best compilation of songs in the world The only thing that comes close, is Led Zeppelin "How the west was won"

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Product Overview

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).


Label Universal Music Group
SKU 63919134
UPC 602498646649
UPC 14 00602498646649
Format CD
Release Date 11/23/2004
Author Nirvana
ReviewSource The Guardian
Review Nirvana's feat of moulding indie-band attitude, heavy metal, post-industrial noise and classic pop i
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Pitchfork
Review Those hoping for a trove of overlooked gems will be disappointed, as too much of With the Lights Out
ReviewRating 7
Product Attributes
Artist Nirvana
Label Universal Music Group
Music Format Compact Disc
Billboard A revelatory, emotional listen from start to finish, "With the Lights Out" crystallizes Cobain's tortured genius.
Rolling Stone If you think you want it, you do.
The New York Times ...the music can be cathartic and it can be achingly intimate.

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Recent Product Reviews

Excellent by on Dec 12, 2006

SWeett by Tyko on Dec 05, 2004

Must have if you're really into Nirvana by Ted Schnell on Dec 01, 2004