The Nirvana Nevermind 20th anniversary reissue is now available as a 4-LP, 180-gram heavyweight vinyl edition featuring the remastered album and B-sides, the Smart Studio sessions, boombox rehearsals and BBC sessions (40 tracks in all), a remastered CD of the original album, and digital versions of the standard and deluxe editions.

When Nevermind exploded into earshot in the autumn of 1991, it was startling: a grenade detonating in your car radio. It sounded like the end of something (the 1980s? hair metal?), or maybe the beginning of something (“alternative rock”? “Generation X”?). Today, the album has become so encrusted with myth, that it’s hard to wrap your ears around it, to really hear it. In 2005, the Library of Congress added Nevermind to its roll call of the world’s most significant recordings. It’s a museum piece, a record that merits a display in the Smithsonian. And, of course, a doorstopper 20th-anniversary box set with fantastic B sides (check “Curmudgeon,” featuring the howlingest metal- dude vocal Kurt Cobain ever recorded) and stupefying live performances; plus demos, previously unreleased BBC sessions and eight cruddy-vérité “boombox rehearsals” of Nevermind tracks.

The extras offer history lessons – and help you hear Nevermind with fresh ears. The live versions of “Breed” and “Drain You” show why Nirvana may be the greatest power trio ever: The heave and thrust of Krist Novoselic’s bass, the Bonhamworthy attack of Dave Grohl’s drums, the tumult of Cobain’s singing, which proved screaming yourself hoarse could be as powerful, and as beautiful, as any vocal style. Compare the boombox demos with the finished LP – where Cobain’s songs were burnished to a fiery glow – and you realize it was pop, not punk, that turned Nirvana into the biggest band on Earth. As works of melodic craftsmanship, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Lithium” and “Lounge Act” are up there with the best of Buddy Holly, Smokey Robinson and other genius hook masters.


Feist Metals
Minus The Bear Highly Refined Pirates
Altar of Plagues Mammal
Bring Me The Horizon Count Your Blessing
Dinosaur Jr. Bug
Jack’s Mannequin People & Things
Minus The Bear This Is What I know About Being Gigantic
Misfits Twilight Of The Dead
New Found Glory Radiosurgery

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