With the Lights Out

With the Lights Out

by NirvanaNirvana

CD(Digi-Pak / Bonus DVD)

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This is the box set Courtney Love didn't want you to hear. But after years in legal limbo, the Nirvana archives are thrown open on this collection of long-lost material. And the good news is, the quality and relevance of Kurt and company's unreleased work is positively stratospheric. Comprising three CDs and a DVD, With the Lights Out provides a sharply focused look at the tracks that slipped between the cracks of Nirvana's career, not to mention some nifty time-lapse glances at the development of songs that would later become favorites. The set is peppered with cover material that's quite telling, what with Kurt Cobain leading his mates -- at their first public performance ever -- through a barely-in-control version of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker," then later slicing out a tension-thick rendition of the Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now." The first disc is particularly heavy on previously unheard material, which ranges from bleak, In Utero–sounding scream fests like "Anorexorcist" and "Mrs. Butterworth" (the latter of which finds Cobain pondering suicide as far back as 1988) to surprisingly delicate home demos like the predawn mutter "Don't Want It All." It's revealing to hear the evolution of songs that spent a good deal of time simmering before their eventual release: The version of "Dive" here is markedly slower and more ragged sounding, while an acoustic take on "Lithium," performed by Cobain alone at a radio taping, points up the song's innate delicacy even more than the hit version. There's a goodly amount of acoustic material scattered across the set, notably the previously unreleased "Opinion" (Cobain's embryonic attempt at a '60s-style protest anthem) and three Leadbelly covers, highlighted by the gospel shout-along "They Hung Him on a Cross." The DVD component is equally illuminating, starting with an eight-song rehearsal taped in the basement of Krist Novoselic's parents' house, before an audience made up of the sort of mustachioed townies that Cobain would rail against on tracks such as "Mr. Mustache" included there. The disc is rounded out by a series of clips from far-flung live shows, notably the previously unreleased "Sappy" (later retitled "Verse Chorus Verse") and a homecoming show version of "Love Buzz," both dating back to 1990. Rife with danger, promise, and poignancy, With the Lights Out is a perfect distillation of the Nirvana legacy.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/23/2004
Label: Geffen Records
UPC: 0602498646649
catalogNumber: 000372700
Rank: 31885

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nirvana   Primary Artist
Pat Smear   Guitar
Dale Crover   Bass,Drums
Kirk Canning   Cello
Chad Channing   Drums
Kurt Cobain   Guitar,Vocals
Melora Creager   Cello
Jason Everman   Guitar
Dave Grohl   Bass,Drums,Vocals
Krist Novoselic   Bass
Dan Peters   Drums
Mark Pickerel   Drums
Kera Schaley   Cello
Aaron Burckhard   Drums
Dave Foster   Drums

Technical Credits

John Cale   Composer
Nirvana   Composer
Jimmy Page   Composer
Robert Plant   Composer
Lou Reed   Composer
Greg Sage   Composer
Jacques Brel   Composer
Jack Endino   Producer
Steve Fisk   Producer
Rod McKuen   Composer
John Paul Jones   Composer
Steve Albini   Producer
Peter Asher   Executive Producer
Ian Beveridge   Producer
John Bonham   Composer
Kurt Cobain   Composer
John Goodmanson   Engineer
Dale "Buffin" Griffin   Producer
Dave Grohl   Composer
Calvin Johnson   Engineer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
Thurston Moore   Liner Notes
Sterling Morrison   Composer
Krist Novoselic   Composer
Moe Tucker   Composer
Robbie Van Leeuwen   Composer
Butch Vig   Producer
Craig Montgomery   Producer
Fred Kay   Engineer
Vartan   Art Direction
Mike Engles   Engineer
Robert Fisher   Art Direction
Barrett Jones   Producer
Eugene Kelly   Composer
Frances McKee   Composer
Roger Kay   Director
John Silva   Executive Producer
Lance Bangs   Producer
Neil Strauss   Liner Notes
Michael Meisel   Executive Producer
Gillian Gaar   Contributor
Greg Babior   Engineer
Steve Brown   Director
Robert Novoselic   Contributor

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