Courtney Love is the definition of eccentric. Somehow, while managing to be over-zealous to the point of hysteria, she managed to secure a band, world-wide fame and notoriety, and a husband that would soon be labeled a genius. Yes, Courtney Love had a lot going for her, despite her claims that her father gave her LSD at the age of three. One fine April day, the gravy train ended with a shotgun blast, and Courtney was suddenly on her own, facing the decline of grunge (the music that led to all this wealth and prosperity), battling heroin addiction, taking care of her two year old daughter, Frances Bean, and (unless all those wacky conspiracies are true) mourning over her husbandís suicide. Itís rather understandable that someone might have the inexplicable urge to shove the barrel in their mouth if married to such a bombastic woman, but the puzzling thing is, the man could have just left. According to reports, thatís what he did. As unpredictable as Kurt Cobain could be, it came as no surprise that he would go AWOL on Mrs. Courtney Love-Cobain.
In early 2000-2001, controversy over the legacy of the infamous grunge band leapt into the forefront of everyoneís consciousness. Courtney Love and former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were engaged in a bitter public feud over the bandsí music, and one of the central argument themes was the unreleased final Nirvana song, You Know Youíre Right
. While Novoselic and Grohl felt it should be released with the long-awaited Nirvana box-set, Love, whose cash cow was presumably running low on milk, felt it had commercial aptitude, and should be released on a single-disc compilation. In the end, due to an internet leak, it was decided the best bet would be releasing it in Loveís favor. As such, we ended up with the 2002 greatest hits collection, Nirvana
Aside from the brooding and moody You Know Youíre Right
, youíd think that a greatest hits Nirvana collection would have a lot to offer. Well, thatís where youíre wrong. The album contains a grand total of fourteen tracks for the American version, and fifteen for the international collection. Aside from the severe shortage of songs the album offers, two of them (or three, depending) are from the bandís now-legendary Unplugged
performance. The entire album seems soÖ generic. In fact, it could be construed (and it is
possible) that the entire collection was created for the sole purpose of releasing You Know Youíre Right
upon the masses. This is, of course, not to say the album doesnít have itís share of pros, such as the immortal About A Girl
and the pseudo-self-conscious rocker Lithium
, but the album itself feels so wholly unnecessary that listening to it can be an angering experience.
With that said, the album that began my love affair with the band was undeniably this. I was rather young, and upon hearing all this talk about the notorious Smells Like Teen Spirit
, and due to the fact that this fiendish chatter had coincided perfectly with the release of You Know Youíre Right
, I rushed out and purchased the album without a moments hesitation. As I listened, I fell in love with the music, and the album became a favorite of mine due to the distorted power chords and heavy drumming and the melody in the riffs and Cobainís voice. Eventually, inevitablyÖ I moved on musically, leaving the album behind to man its station in the past. Recently, I picked up the album again, with the hopes of rekindling the joy I once garnered from it, or at least recognizing what caused it. Focusing intently, I listened to the album over and over again throughout the next two days, not once changing the CD rotation, and not once stopping, unless for sleep, shower, or school. As easy as the answer is to find, it truly took me this long to understand it all.
Listening to songs like In Bloom
, with itís ďheavy" main riff and thought-provoking lyrics now, itís easy to see why a kid would like these songs. Hell, itís easy to see why an adult would. The problem is, once youíve heard the songÖ Youíve heard it. And as a result, the song loses its replay value dramatically in a short period of time. While one could say such a thing about truly any song, the case here seems to be far worse, and in fact, that is one of the biggest problems with the album. Once youíve heard it all, thereís no reason to hear it again. Add unto this the fact that most of the songs are tremendously popular Nirvana hits that everyone has heard them more than their fair share, you end up with an album that never should have went into production in the first place.
The album is good. It boasts a fine collection of tracks overall, even if it is insufferably short. And even though the replay-value is almost non-existent, itís an okay collection to own, especially if your Nirvana arsenal is in stark supply of You Know youíre Right
. Overall, though, even the re-mixed Pennyroyal Tea
and the Blew
EP version of Been A Son
canít make this album worth your time or money. If you just have to have these songs, by all means, purchase the album. Or, you can cut the crap and just download it. Whatever you do, this album will be here, for better or worse.
You Know Youíre Right
Far too short
Replay value runs dry fast
Generic and unnecessary