I'd like to start by telling you all something about Nirvana that you never knew before.... ummm.... hold on..... Well screw it, you guys know everything about Nirvana anyway. 8 years after Kurt Cobain's suicide (eh hem, "murder") Krist and Dave got back together, two fully successful musicians, Dave with the Foo Fighters, Garbage, Queens of the Stone Age and Krist with..... ok so Dave, the fully successful musician, and Krist got back together to put out a Nirvana Greatest Hits album. The end result is a career spanning, though average Greatest Hits cd, from a fantastic band.
1. You Know You're Right
You Know You're Right is the only song on here previously unreleased. And it's worth it. Kurt mumbles the verse, with that northwest drawl that would come to be copied by many bands to come (Like Seether). All is quiet until the tension mounting line "Things have never been so swell/I have never felt or fell", then all hell breaks loose into the chorus with "Pain!" It's a song that, when you consider what happened a few months later, symbolizes Kurt Cobain at the time. The second verse is even better with Kurt screaming the "Things have never been so swell" line. Dave's drumming is great, and Krist's basswork is pretty easy and average. The real credit here goes to Kurt's voice.
2. About a Girl
The "First Great song Kurt wrote" is a Beatles inspired tune, found on Bleach, and not much to gawk at. Mumbled verses, as usual, but no fun chorus that has become the best part of Nirvana's work. The solo is the best part, with Dave riding on a tambourine and Kurt putting a Bealtes-esque guitar riff over it. Easy guitar part, but good work done from Dave and Krist in the rhythym section.
3. Been A Son
The only song I consistently skip, Been A Son is a boring, song with nothing special at all. Dave pens it, which is an unexpected change, but I've always hated his voice. The solo is good, with distortion and jumpyness, but it's too short. The song sounds like it was recorded in a Tin Can as well. Probably the worst song off Incesticide to put on the Greatest Hits album.
Kurt's lament about a night at his grandmother's, it starts off with some excellent bass, and then explodes into the chorus. The song slowly builds up with each verse being much better than the last, especially when Kurt sings in the next octive of his voice. It's a short 2 minutes, and not one of the highlights of the album, but the better of the two Incesticide Songs.
5. Smells Like Teen Spirit
If you've never heard this song, then you need to hear it. Right now. This is the revolutionary song of the Nineties, the reason your listening to Green Day, Sum 41, and other alt-rock bands out there. Everything about this song is classic Nirvana. The mumbled verses, the 4 chord riff, the tom roll that is now copied by every drummer at one point or another. Oh and of course, The Famous Chorus. The scream that came to define a generation. It's impossible to copy Kurt's voice in this (Believe me I tried. I failed miserably). The solo drags, but it's really not noticeable. Perfection in a 4 chord epic.
6. Come As You Are
Chances are you've heard this song. You probably know it by heart. That watery bass intro, the gentle basic beat behind it, and Kurt's voice just being raw emotion as usual. Blink 182 actually nicked a line from this song "Take your time/Hurry Up/ The choice is yours don't be late" can be found with a very small variation in "Adam's Song" Excellent work done all around by everyone. Solo is repetetive, but then again, most Nirvana songs are. Beats the Unplugged Version.
Starting with a gentle bass Intro, Lithium is the closest thing to a ballad to be found in the Nevermind section of the hits. Oddly, you can understand everything Kurt says, and his drawl found in the last 6 songs is much less noticeable. The lyrics are funny at times (I'm so horny/That's ok my will is good). The Anthematic "Yeah" is the best part of the song. The song dies in the bridge, which is a real downer (haha), but is followed by a bass solo, which is greatly appreciated. It outstays it's welcome though.
8. In Bloom
A booming guitar-drum roll intro starts this song. But then it all drops out with Kurt singing the verse by himself (well, with Krist and Dave). The second verse contains my favorite line of all time "We can add some more/Nature is a whore." Great harmonies by Dave, a rarity in itself. The chorus outlines Kurt's obsession with guns, and it sounds ver hard, almost powerful. The drum work here is to be commended, so nice job Dave. The solo is weird, with the bottom dropping out over the distortion guitar riff. A Nevermind Classic, along with SLTS and Lithium.
9. Heart Shaped Box
Heart Shaped Box is a quieter, far darker song than anything found on Nevermind. Starting with that creepy guitar, and the mumbled pure passion verses, It announced that In Utero was not your Happy Go Boom Nevermind again. The chorus is unlike anything done by Nirvana before with Kurt screaming "Hey! Wait!". The solo is another bottom-drops-out effort and it works with the dark feeling of the song. Lyrics are weird and regard cancer eating, cutting yourself on Angel Hair, and zodiac signs (namely Pisces).
10. Pennroyal Tea
I like the way this song begins. Kurt singing melancholy words over the forlorn guitar. The verses are short, and lead directly into the chorus. The chorus has some great harmony work done by Dave, and the guitar is very clean. I don't know how to explain it, but i just love how it sounds. It's another sad song about nothing in particular, but once again Kurts emotion churns through. Hands down better than the Unplugged Version.
11. Rape Me
I originally thought this song was bland and boring, but i grew to like it. It starts with some 4 chord progressions similar to SLTS, and uses words like "Rape Me/Rape Me My Friend". The "chorus" is something strange and is easily forgettable. The bridge is what makes the song. Kurt's sliding vocals are something great. The song ends with Kurt Screaming RAPE ME at the top of his lungs. It's a sad song, as were most of the songs on In Utero, but it was a gem.
A slow song, Dumb uses Cello which is an immediate change. This one goes into the too depressing zone, and I'm not really a fan of it. It has some great vocal work done, but it has no catchy melody. Dave's drums are too loud over the gentle words of Kurt. The end drags on for far too long with the repeating line "I think I'm Dumb". Slow and depressing, Dumb fails to do it for me.
****MTV UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK****
13. All Apologies
While I am more of a fan of the In Utero Version, All Apologies is the only ballad that really made it big during Nirvana's career. The voices are strained, as would be expected during a live performance, but it leaves sort of a passionate edge to them that were not found on the In Utero version. The cello gives the song a subliminally dark attitude, which adds greatly to the song's live aura. The end drags on, and I was never a fan of that. Although it's worth the wait to get to Dave's harmonies at the end when he's alone with Kurt. Fantastic song.
14. The Man Who Sold the World
My favorite song off this cd, The Man Who Sold the World is a David Bowie song, that Nirvana Owns. The sliding guitar at the beginning, compiled with fantastic basswork done by Krist, leads into a great Definining Nirvana song. The way Kurt more or less hums the words leave the audience with an impression that he had not grown cynical or silly with fame, but rather wiser, seeing the world for what it is. Krist's scale done on bass is a melodic mark of excellence, giving the chorus an edge. The end is great, with that sad, hopeful guitar leading the way. This song is genius. Own's David Bowie's version. A perfect ending to a Greatest Hits album.
This is the perfect solution for any person looking to get into Nirvana. It has everything one might want from the band. There are all the classics, along with some hidden surprises. If all these songs were on one studio album, then I'd undoubtedly give this a 5. But it's a greatest hits, and really all the works been done. A buy for any person who's Nirvana collection doesnt include everything Nirvana's done.
You Know You're Right
Smells Like Teen Spirit
The Man Who Sold the World
Excellent songs, as would be expected from any Nirvana Album.
Most of the songs are recognizable.
As far as greatest hits cd's go, this one was above average.
Been A Son
Needed "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" off of the MTV Unplugged album on the US version.
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