Nirvana

When the album becomes Immersion

The Dark Side of the Box Set

Nirvana

Nevermind Limited Edition (Universal)

"There's more cameras in here than in a 7-11," cracks Nirvana's de facto stage announcer, bassist Krist Novoselic, midway through Nirvana's 1991 Halloween concert in Seattle. Certainly, Kurt Cobain's not talking – not with all the cameramen onstage. "So, like, 2 percent of you are dressed in costumes," observes Dave Grohl, a flail of hair, harmonies, and lean percussive muscle throughout. "Personally I think that's pretty lame." Filmed less than six weeks after the release of the punk trio's second album, Nevermind, Nirvana's performance comes off clean, well-lit, professional. Likewise, the audio-visual portion of this 4-CD/1-DVD 20th anniversary box mirrors the rest of the lavish repackage; despite the band's freight train pummel on the penultimate "Territorial Pissings" and a final fuck you from Cobain on the guitar demolition that began as "Endless, Nameless," Live at the Paramount – also included as a CD – comes off as otherwise bloodless. Joyless. That goes double for the lifeless remastering of the original LP, bolstered by B-sides and long-missing bonus track "Pay To Play." Three different protomixes of Nevermind flesh out the set, the first two packaged into the new 2-CD version of the disc, and the third – exclusive to this edition – now more dynamic than the remaster. Added guitar to an early "Immodium (Breed)" doesn't match the bulky price tag here, and only Nevermind's four MTV videos retain their eerie power, Grohl's whirlpool mane contrasting Cobain's severe, white-light charisma on the atomic "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Oh well, whatever, Nevermind.

**

READ MORE
More gift ideas
Collector's Disease
Thin Lizzy
Box sets as catalog ghetto

Raoul Hernandez, Dec. 23, 2011

Collector's Disease
Billy Joel
Box sets as catalog ghetto

Melanie Haupt, Dec. 23, 2011

More Nirvana
Rock & Roll Books
The Replacements: Waxed Up Hair & Painted Shoes
Picture Book

Michael Bertin, Dec. 6, 2013

Box Sets
Nirvana
In Utero 20th Anniversary Edition (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Sept. 20, 2013

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Eric Bee
The Eric Bee (Record Review)

Bryan Rolli, Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Platters
Canvas People
City Boy Slump (Record Review)

Bryan Rolli, Dec. 2, 2016

More by Raoul Hernandez
Rock & Roll Books
Altamont
Altamont

Dec. 9, 2016

Alejandro Escovedo Grinds Axes at <i>ACL</i>
Alejandro Escovedo Grinds Axes at ACL
Austin escapee kicks out the jams in his fifth taping for PBS

Dec. 1, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

gift ideas, Nirvana, 2011 gift guide

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)