A look back in honor of Nirvana’s 2002 self-titled compilation of greatest hits FINALLY being released on vinyl.
The year was 2002: American Idol was only in its first season, Enron was a thing, the DC sniper was on trial, and Nickelback began their assault on our unassuming ears with How You Remind Me. We know better now Nickelback! The year of 2002 also brought us a Nirvana greatest hits collection complete with a previously unreleased track. Only available on CD at the time, Nirvana’s self-titled collection will now get a vinyl and Blu-Ray reissue on August 28th via Universal Music. Options include a standard 33rpm version, a 45rpm double LP pressed on 200-gram vinyl, high-definition digital audio, and Blu-Ray Pure Audio in high resolution 96kHz 24-bit in three stereo audio formats: PCM, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD stereo – for all the hardcore music nerds. Here are 10 geeky facts about songs featured in the collection:
- You Know You’re Right was the last song recorded by the band before Kurt’s death. The recording became the subject of a legal battle between the surviving members of Nirvana (Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic), who wanted the track on a box set, and Courtney Love, who insisted the song be placed on a single-disc collection. She saw it as a potential hit that would be wasted in a box set. She was right. Yes, Courtney Love was right.
- Kurt wrote About a Girl after a Beatles-listening binge. He was hesitant to put such a pop song on grunge record, but producer Jack Endino was excited about the track. Originally released on Bleach, the song didn’t gain notoriety until it was featured as the only commercial single from Nirvana’s infamous MTV Unplugged in New York album in 1994.
- The little girl dancing in the music video for Silver is Frances Bean Cobain, Kurt and Courtney Love’s daughter.
- The title Smells Like Teen Spirit came from Kurt’s misinterpretation of a phrase Kathleen Hanna (of Bikini Kill) spray-painted on his wall. She wrote, “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit,” as a reference to his girlfriend’s deodorant. He saw it more as a rebellious and anarchistic call to arms, not knowing that Teen Spirit was a deodorant brand.
- It wasn’t planned to have the extras destroy the set in the music video for Smells Like Teen Spirit. Kurt suggested that the kids smash it up at the end of the shoot. Now it’s one of the most famous videos of all time.
- In Kurt’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, a sign that reads, “Welcome to Aberdeen: Come As You Are,” was put up in 2005 to honor Cobain.
- Lithium is a song about a man who turns to religion after the death of his girlfriend to prevent his own suicide. The title was inspired by the famous Karl Marx quote that, “religion…is the opium of the people.”
- In Bloom was written with a twist of irony, as Kurt knew that many wouldn’t understand his music or the band’s message. He wrote a catchy chorus that people could blindly sing along to. “He’s the one who likes all our pretty songs, and he likes to sing along, and he likes to shoot his gun, but he knows not what it means.” The video, parodying 1960’s variety shows, won a MTV Video Music Award in 1993 – back when that meant something…kinda.
- Pennyroyal is an herb that can be used as an abortifacient. Kurt has given several different explanations for the meaning behind Pennyroyal Tea. Everything from his severe stomach pains, to being about a person suffering from depression. In his published journals, he simply states, “herbal abortive…it doesn’t work you hippie.” Noted.
- For their performance at the 1992 MTV VMA’s, Nirvana wanted to play Rape Me, but were banned from doing so by the network. They settled on Lithium, but not without Kurt sending MTV executives into a frenzied panic. At the beginning of the performance, Kurt started to sing and play Rape Me before switching to Lithium as previously planed.
Nirvana [2 LP]
Nirvana [Blu-ray Audio]
01. You Know You’re Right
02. About A Girl
03. Been A Son
05. Smells Like Teen Spirit
06. Come As You Are
08. In Bloom
09. Heart-Shaped Box
10. Pennyroyal Tea
11. Rape Me
13. All Apologies
14. The Man Who Sold The World