Sunday, October 20, 2013

Song Of The Week: 10/20/13

Song: "Negative Creep" (live)

Artist: Nirvana

Album: "Live At Reading"

Year: 2009

"Negative Creep" was originally released on Nirvana's album "Bleach" in 1989. The version I chose for my song of the week was taken from the 2009 release "Live At Reading", which was a recording of Nirvana's 1992 appearance at the Reading Festival, widely considered one of their best performances. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain has said that the song is mostly about himself, in that he sees himself as a negative person and he kind of loathes that fact. Nirvana formed as a band back in 1987 in Aberdeen, Washington where Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic were classmates. In 1988, the band worked on their first demos, enlisting the help of Melvin's drummer, Dale Crover. The band eventually settled on Chad Channing on the drum kit. Nirvana released the single "Love Buzz" on the now famous indie label Sub Pop. In 1989, the group recorded their debut album "Bleach" for just under $700, which was supplied by Jason Everman, who was added to the band as a second guitarist. After embarking on their first tour, however, Everman was let go by the band. In late 1989, the band released the "Blew" EP. The band was unhappy with Sub Pop though and began to seek out major labels. In 1990, Nirvana began working with producer Butch Vig on new material. They also kicked Channing out of the band. For the single "Sliver", Nirvana was helped out by Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters. Melvins frontman, Buzz Osborne, introduced Cobain and Novoselic to Dave Grohl, who previously played for the Washington D.C. hardcore band Scream. Within two minutes of playing together, Cobain and Novoselic knew they had their drummer. Nirvana would eventually sign with major label DGC Records. Then the music world changed forever! 1991 saw the release of "Nevermind". With the help of the smash single and youth anthem, "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Nevermind" blew up the charts. By Christmas, "Nevermind" was selling 400,000 copies a week in the United States. In 1992, the album leapfrogged Michael Jackson for the top spot on the Billboard album charts. "Nevermind" has gone on to sell more than 30 million albums worldwide and, to Cobain's dismay, made him the voice of "generation x" and put Nirvana at the forefront of the Seattle grunge movement, alongside Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. Everything was not all roses for the band at this time however. Tensions over songwriting royalties began to create a rift in the band. Eventually Grohl and Novoselic agreed to take less as Nirvana was Cobain's baby. In late '92, DGC released the compilation "Incesticide", which featured rare material and some old singles and covers. In 1993, the group decided that Steve Albini would produce the follow up to "Nevermind". Unhappy with some of the mixes, especially "Heart-Shaped Box" and "All Apologies", the band enlisted REM producer Scott Litt to remix some of the album. The final product would be "In Utero". This album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts and sold 3.5 millions copies in the U.S. For their first U.S. tour in almost two years, Nirvana added Pat Smear, formerly of The Germs, as second guitarist. The band also performed on MTV Unplugged, which is just a classic performance, one of the best the series has ever produced. 1994 saw Nirvana tour Europe, their final show in Munich, Germany on March 1st. No one knew then that this would be Nirvana's final show ever. Three days after this show, Cobain was found unconscious by his wife, Courtney Love, in their Rome hotel room. After being rushed to the hospital, Cobain finally stabilized and was well enough to return home to Washington. At this time, Cobain's heroin addiction was taking complete control of him. His family and friends staged an intervention and he agreed to go to rehab. After less than a week, he escaped the rehab, flew back to Seattle and on April 8, 1994, was found dead in his home from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Nirvana was done. Done from recording any new material at least. In late '94, "MTV Unplugged In New York" was released. This album would win a Grammy Award. The band also released "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!", which was a live dvd. In 1996, "From The Muddy Banks Of Wishkah" was released. This was a live compilation and the band's third album in a row to debut at #1. 2002 saw the release of "Nirvana", a best of compilation that featured the song "You Know You're Right", the very last song recorded by Nirvana. In 2004, the box set "With The Lights Out" was released. This set featured tons of unreleased material, including several early Cobain demo tracks. In 2005, the band released "Sliver: The Best Of The Box", a compilation of tracks from their box set, including three more unreleased tracks. 2009 saw the band release "Live At Reading", a cd/dvd of one of the band's greatest performances. That very same year, Sub Pop released a 20th anniversary special edition of "Bleach". DGC Records followed suit in 2011 and 2013 respectively on 20th anniversary deluxe editions of "Nevermind" and "In Utero". Though Nirvana's career was cut short by the suicide of Cobain, there is no doubt about the legacy they left behind. There are certain moments in rock and roll history that stand out as landmark moments. Beatlemania. Jimi at Monterey. Elvis' comeback special in '68. 1970's punk. "Nevermind" is one of those landmark times. Nirvana changed the musical landscape. In 2013, Nirvana was put on the ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. No doubt, they should make it on their 1st time.

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