This Week In Vinyl: Nirvana – Nirvana

This record is full of contradiction. There are some things I generally don’t do. Generally speaking, I don’t buy greatest hits records; from big box stores; of bands I’m not really that into. Generally speaking.

So, I had the team out at Target over the weekend. We needed bedding for the spare room. Bedding. You see where this is going. Sensing the impending doom of having to proffer an opinion on something I am utterly unqualified to opine upon, I thought (out loud), ”Hey don’t they sell records here?” I grabbed the dude and we took a walk over to check it out. Indeed Target sells records. Who knew? I did a quick once over of the limited selection, and didn’t find anything that was doing it for me. My eyes were drawn to the corner of this black record jacket tucked just behind Nora Jones. There was just one.

Nirvana is a greatest hits album released in 2002 and includes a number of somewhat more rare singles that were not commercially available earlier. As I previously stated, I try to avoid greatest hits records. I like hearing the music in the order preferred by the musicians when they made the record. But…

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not really a huge fan of Nirvana. There is a lot that I like about their music. But maybe it was the over saturation during a time when my musical scope was somewhat limited. Maybe it’s that I couldn’t really relate to what Cobain was talking about. I wasn’t really connected to what they were doing. That said, there are definitely bright spots, and this record has all of them. Likely making it the only Nirvana record I’ll need.

The first track of Side A is the last song Nirvana would record together in 1994. Given the band’s, and Kurt Cobain’s end, You Know You’re Right is particularly haunting. I only just heard it for the first time a couple years ago. This is probably my favorite Nirvana song. I have a few others, all the ones you know and probably love too, but You Know You’re Right stands out.

Listening to Nirvana with the clarity provided by this sound system is giving me a new appreciation for the music. Certain nuances of guitar tones, harmonies, and the locked tight relationship between Noveselic and Grohl are on better display here.

So maybe I broke some rules. I’m glad I did. Anytime I can have a reason to revisit music and gain a better perspective and appreciation for it is worth making a few compromises.

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