Thursday, 23 June 2011

20th Anniversary reissue of "Nevermind". Really?

This September, I think we may be able to create a new alternative to renewable energy. The solution is simple. We did up Kurt Cobain's grave, then when Nirvana's classic album "Nevermind" is reissued to celebrate its 20th anniversary, with a 4-CD set, including previously unreleased tracks, rarities, BBC session recordings and B-sides, as well as a DVD featuring unseen footage of the band in concert, Cobain will spin in his grave uncontrollably. At this point we attach generators to Kurt, and hey presto! Infinite energy! God, I'm sick.
Seriously, I love "Nevermind" and all, but it seems surprising that the remaining band members would allow the album to be honoured in this way. When I listen to tracks from "Nevermind", particularly "Smells Like Teen Spirit", as much as I enjoy it, I can't help but feel a morsel of guilt for doing so. It's because I'm fully aware that "Nevermind" is basically responsible for ruining Kurt Cobain's life, with tracks like "Teen Spirit" and "Lithium" becoming anthems for a generation for misunderstood teenagers and giving Cobain the position of a leader of this generation. A position that he was clearly not willing to take. Cobain did not take well from the amount of fame he received from the album and it's evident that it gave a perception of him and Nirvana to the public that he was not keen on having. Nirvana was presented as a band who just made popular radio-friendly Alternative Rock. An image they had a go at destroying on 1993's "In Utero" with tracks like "Milk It" and "Tourette's". "Nevermind" can also be seen in this way, as it's been claimed that it has been an influence towards many bands who I just know Kurt would have detested. Maroon 5 being a good example. So as I say, I feel a little guilty whenever I listen to anything from Nevermind, as I know it's from the album that turned Nirvana into reluctant superstars and led to Kurt Cobain's heroin addiction, morbid depression and suicide in 1994, causing an increase of sales of "Nevermind", a cause he was most likely trying to prevent.
Perhaps all the extra material to come with the albums reissue will do more to take away Nirvana's radio friendly image. For all we know, the disc of unreleased tracks may be tracks deemed unsuitable for "Nevermind" and are more like songs found on "In Utero" and the live DVD is most likely to include the bands infamous refusal to play "Teen Spirit" onstage. Speaking of which, though the BBC recording Sessions ought to be interesting, I imagine I'm not the only one who associates Nirvana's appearances on the BBC with this:

In spite of all that was caused by the album, I cannot possibly deny that it is a great collection of Alternative Rock. I guess for this re-issue, we will have to focus our attention away from the artists, and focus on the masterpiece that is, "Nevermind" itself.

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