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  • 1:11:07 pm
  • Saturday
  • 25 May 2024

Unwrapping the Nirvana Box Set

For those who miss the comfort in being sad, the long awaited Nirvana box-set arrives in late November.

The National Association of Recording Merchandisers Conference recently previewed portions of the DVD which will be included in the forth-coming Nirvana box-set:

“From what I saw at (NARM)—which was amazing—I think it’s going to blow everyone away,” said Newbury Comics’ (Boston) music buyer, Carl Mello to Billboard Magazine. “It really will outperform any expectations that customers may have—even if their expectations are huge.”

Universal Music Group, Nirvana’s current de facto record label, recently confirmed the imminent release of one of the Holy Grails of rock music—the much anticipated, yet oft-delayed Nirvana box-set. Although it is still untitled, XFM Music Journal speculates it may be called “With the Lights Out.” The set would include 3 CD’s worth of officially unreleased recordings such as demos, rarities, live concerts and even solo Cobain recordings. The “Limited edition” set will include a DVD and all attendant bells and whistles. Some reports conflict on the issue of the normal release and the “limited edition,” but this is to be expected with Universal Music Group’s lack of confirmation on any details of the release. It is slated for late November.

NME currently reports that the 3 discs will contain 40 songs, including “With the Lights Out.” This first ever official Nirvana DVD release of any kind will include the rare Sub Pop promo for “In Bloom” (with requisite Krist Novoselic one-scene-he’s-bald-next-scene-he’s-hairy footage), a 1987 house party and other rare promos/footage of the band.

The box was originally set for release in Christmas of 2001 but was derailed by legal issues stemming from Courtney Love’s objection to the rewards former band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic might receive. The resulting compromise allowed for the big cash-in: Nirvana, the greatest hits—the only place to get the lost “You Know You’re Right.” Now, after years of law suits, pushing, and hoping—the box finally arrives. Many industry pundits project it outselling new works from the likes of U2 and Eminem—a hype for dated material only ever matched by the release of The Beatles’ Anthology series.

No word yet on inclusions such as liner notes, photos or design, but with all the effort being put into the actual musical content, Universal will most likely pull out all the stops—and nearly all the bills from our wallets (of which the many who’ve been holding their breath for this release will be more than happy to oblige). This release represents a victory for the Nirvana legacy; no bargain bin cheapie-release, no languishing in canonical purgatory while lawyers and judges duke it out. Finally, a significant chunk of one of the great American rock bands will belong to the adoring fans.

Tim Rogan
Saturday, 09 October 2004

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