With the Lights Out


With the Lights Out
With the Lights Out
Box set by Nirvana
Released November 23, 2004
Recorded March 1987 – March 1994
Genre Grunge, alternative rock, noise rock
Length 315:25
CD 1: 71:25
CD 2: 71:31
CD 3: 73:31
Label DGC
Producer Jack Endino, Greg Babior, Steve Fisk, Butch Vig, Steve Albini, Lance Bangs
Nirvana compilations chronology
Nirvana
(2002)
With the Lights Out
(2004)
Sliver: The Best of the Box
(2005)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Blender 3/5 stars [2]
NME (7/10) [3]
New York Times (Positive) [4]
Paste (Positive) [5]
Pitchfork Media (6.3/10) [6]
PopMatters (Neutral) [7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [8]
Spin (A) [9]

With the Lights Out is a box set, containing 3 CDs and 1 DVD, of previously rare or unreleased material, including b-sides, demos, rough rehearsal recordings and live recordings, from the American rock band Nirvana. It was released in November 2004. The title was taken from the lyric, "With the lights out, it's less dangerous" from the band's 1991 "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single.

"With the Lights Out" set a record for single week sales of any box set, with 105,760 units sold. As of 2007, it has sold over 925,000 units in the United States alone, according to Nielson SoundScan. [10] It has also been certified platinum by the R.I.A.A.

Contents

History

Rumors of a posthumous Nirvana box set, or anthology, first surfaced in the mid-1990s, not long after the death of the band's singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain in April 1994. It was eventually announced that a 45-track box set would be released in September 2001, to mark the 10th anniversary of the band's breakthrough album, Nevermind, but a legal battle between Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, precluded this from happening.

Much of the dispute centered on "You Know You're Right", a song recorded in January 1994 during the band's final studio session. Grohl and Novoselic had wanted it for the box set, but Love blocked the song's release, and sued them for control of Nirvana's legacy. Love's lawsuit asserted that "the parties have fundamentally different concepts of how to manage the musical and artistic legacy of Kurt Cobain", which resulted "in a stalemate of decision making."[11] She believed that "You Know You're Right" would be "wasted" on a box set, and instead belonged on a single-disc compilation similar to the Beatles' 1.[12]

In 2002, the legal battle was settled, and "You Know You're Right" appeared on the "best-of" compilation known as Nirvana. This paved the way for what became With the Lights Out, which arrived in November 2004 (and reissued in March 2009), over three years after its original release date but with more music than had originally been promised.

Packaging

With the Lights Out is packaged in heat-sensitive material which changes color when touched, revealing images of recording session tapes. [13]

It includes a 60-page booklet, which contains liner notes by Thurston Moore, of the American rock band Sonic Youth, and journalist Neil Strauss, as well as photographs and a chronological catalog of the band's recording history, including studio sessions, television and radio appearances, live performances and home demo recordings sessions.

Several songs on the box set are mislabeled, including "Vendetagainst" (mislabeled as "Help Me I'm Hungry," which was a name invented by bootleggers, and believed to be the song's title at the time) and "Seed" (mislabeled as "Don't Want It All"). The song "Annorexorcist" is misspelled as "Anorexorcist." Additionally, the true title of the song labelled as "Mrs. Butterworth" is unknown. [14]

The band's April 6, 1987 radio session at KAOS 89.3 FM in Olympia, Washington is mislabeled as being from April 17, 1987. [15]

Reception

With the Lights Out received generally positive reviews from music critics,[16] many of whom saw it as a valuable glimpse into the band's musical evolution.

However, several critics felt it contained too much second-rate material never intended for official release.[17][18]

Fans also accused the compilers of the set of lack of proper research. Handy cassette dubs were used instead of master tapes for some songs.[citation needed]

Track listing

All songs written by Kurt Cobain, unless stated otherwise.

Disc 1
  1. "Heartbreaker" (John Bonham/John Paul Jones/Jimmy Page/Robert Plant) – 2:59
  1. "Anorexorcist (aka "Annorexorcist")" – 2:44
  2. "White Lace and Strange" (Chris Bond) – 2:09
  3. "Help Me, I'm Hungry" (aka "Vendetagainst") – 2:41
  • From a boombox-recorded band practice demo tape (summer of 1987 in Washington)
  1. "Mrs. Butterworth" (aka "Unknown #2")  – 4:05
  • From Nirvana's first studio session (January 23, 1988 at Reciprocal Recording Studios in Seattle, Washington, produced by Jack Endino)
  1. "If You Must"  – 4:01
  2. "Pen Cap Chew" – 3:02
  • From a live performance (January 23, 1988 at the Community World Theatre in Tacoma, Washington)
  1. "Downer" – 1:43
  2. "Floyd the Barber" – 2:33
  3. "Raunchola" (aka "Erectum")/ "Moby Dick" ("Moby Dick" - John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page) – 6:24
  1. "Beans" – 1:32
  2. "Don't Want it All" (aka "Seed") – 2:26
  3. "Clean Up Before She Comes" – 3:12
  4. "Polly" – 2:30
  5. "About a Girl" – 2:44
  • From a studio session (June 6, 1988 at Reciprocal Recording Studios in Seattle, Washington, produced by Jack Endino)
  1. "Blandest" – 3:56
  1. "Dive" "(Kurt Cobain/Krist Novoselic) – 4:50
  • From a studio session for "the Jury", a Lead Belly cover band featuring members of Nirvana and the Screaming Trees (August 20 and 28, 1989 at Reciprocal Recording Studios in Seattle, Washington, produced by Jack Endino)
  1. "They Hung Him on a Cross" (Huddie Ledbetter) – 1:57
  2. "Grey Goose" (Huddie Ledbetter)  – 4:36
  3. "Ain't It a Shame" (Huddie Ledbetter)  – 2:01
  • From a studio session (September 1989 at Music Source Studios in Seattle, Washington, produced by Steve Fisk)
  1. "Token Eastern Song" – 3:21
  2. "Even in His Youth" – 3:12
  3. "Polly" – 2:36
Disc 2
  1. "Opinion" – 1:34
  2. "Lithium" – 1:49
  3. "Been a Son" – 1:12
  • From Cobain's boombox-recorded home demos (1990 in Olympia, Washington)
  1. "Sliver"  – 2:09
  2. "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" (traditional) – 2:31
  1. "Pay to Play" (early version of "Stay Away") – 3:29
  2. "Here She Comes Now" (John Cale/Sterling Morrison/Lou Reed/Maureen Tucker) – 5:01
  1. "Drain You" – 2:38
  • From a studio session (January 1, 1991 at Music Source Studios in Seattle, Washington; produced by Craig Montgomery)
  1. "Aneurysm" (Kurt Cobain/Dave Grohl/Krist Novoselic) (Smells Like Teen Spirit single b-side) – 4:47
  • From a boombox-recorded rehearsal demo (March 1991 in Tacoma, Washington)
  1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Kurt Cobain/Dave Grohl/Krist Novoselic)  – 5:40
  • From the studio session for Nevermind (May to June 1991 at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California; produced by Butch Vig)
  1. "Breed" (Butch Vig rough mix) – 3:07
  2. "Verse Chorus Verse" – 3:17
  3. "Old Age" – 4:20
  1. "Endless, Nameless" – 8:47
  2. "Dumb" – 2:35
  • From a John Peel radio session (October 21, 1990 at Maida Vale Studios, London, England)
  1. "D-7" (Greg Sage) – 3:46
  • From Nirvana's first post-Nevermind studio session (April 7, 1992 at Laundry Room Studios in Seattle, Washington; produced by Barrett Jones)
  1. "Oh, the Guilt" – 3:25
  2. "Curmudgeon" (Lithium single b-side) – 3:03
  3. "Return of the Rat" (Greg Sage) – 3:09
  • From the studio session for Nevermind (May to June 1991 at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California; produced by Butch Vig)
  1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Kurt Cobain/Dave Grohl/Krist Novoselic) (Butch Vig mix) – 4:59
Disc 3
  • Cobain's boombox-recorded home demo (May 1991 in Oakwood, CA)
1. "Rape Me" – 3:23
  • From Nirvana's second post-Nevermind studio session (October 25–26, 1992 at Word of Mouth Studios [former Reciprocal Recording Studios], Seattle, WA. Producer: Jack Endino).
2. "Rape Me" – 3:01
  • From a band practice demo tape (Winter 1992 in Seattle, WA)
3. "Scentless Apprentice" (Kurt Cobain/Dave Grohl/Krist Novoselic) (rehearsal demo) – 9:32
  • From Nirvana's final pre-In Utero studio session (January 19–21, 1993 at Ariola Ltda BMG, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Producer: Craig Montgomery)
4. "Heart-Shaped Box" – 5:31
5. "I Hate Myself and Want to Die" – 4:03
6. "Milk It" – 4:34
7. "Moist Vagina" (a.k.a. "MV") – 1:56
8. "Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through the Strip" (Kurt Cobain/Dave Grohl/Krist Novoselic)  – 7:33
9. "The Other Improv" – 6:24
  • Cobain's boombox-recorded home demos (Fall or Winter 1992 in Seattle, WA)
10. "Serve the Servants" – 1:36
11. "Very Ape" – 1:52
  • Cobain's boombox-recorded home demo (1993 in Seattle, WA)
12. "Pennyroyal Tea" – 3:30
  • From the studio session for In Utero (February 12–26, 1993 at Pachyderm Studios, Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Producer: Steve Albini)
13. "Marigold" (Dave Grohl) (Heart-Shaped Box single b-side) – 2:34
14. "Sappy" – 3:26
  • From a band practice demo tape (February 5, 1994 at Pavilhão Dramático, Cascais, Portugal)
15. "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" (Eugene Kelly/Frances McKee) – 3:57
  • Cobain's boombox-recorded home demo (1994 in Seattle, WA)
16. "Do Re Mi" – 4:24
  • Cobain's boombox-recorded home demo (1993 or 1994 in Seattle, WA)
17. "You Know You're Right" – 2:30
  • Cobain's boombox-recorded home demo (1991 or 1992 in Olympia, WA or Los Angeles, California)
18. "All Apologies" – 3:33

iTunes bonus tracks

19. Nevermind, It's an Interview, Pt. 1 - 17:41
20. Nevermind, It's an Interview, Pt. 2 - 18:13
21. Nevermind, It's an Interview, Pt. 3 - 17:46[19]

DVD

  • Rehearsal at bass player Krist Novoselic's mother's house, Aberdeen, Washington in 1988.
1. "Love Buzz" – 2:32
2. "Scoff" – :47
3. "About a Girl" – 3:05
4. "Big Long Now" – 4:22
5. "Immigrant Song" (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant) – 1:57
6. "Spank Thru" – 3:10
7. "Hairspray Queen" – 3:37
8. "School" – 2:53
9. "Mr. Moustache" – 3:47
  • 23 June 1989 Rhino Records, Los Angeles, California
10. "Big Cheese"(Kurt Cobain/Krist Novoselic)  – 3:13
  • 16 February 1990, Bogarts, Long Beach, California
11. "Sappy" – 4:27 [mislisted as track 12 on the cover]
  • Early version of song/early music video, while on Sub Pop
12. "In Bloom" – 4:28 [mislisted as track 11 on the cover]
  • 22 September 1990, the Motor Sports International Garage, Seattle, Washington
13. "School"  – 2:33
  • 11 October 1990, North Shore Surf Club, OLYMPIA, Washington
14. "Love Buzz" (Robbie van Leeuwen) – 3:40
  • 17 April 1991, OK Hotel, Seattle, Washington
15. "Pennyroyal Tea" [First performance] – 1:55
16. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Kurt Cobain/Dave Grohl/Krist Novoselic) [First performance] – 6:16
17. "Territorial Pissings" – 2:45
  • 31 October 1991, Paramount Theatre, Seattle, Washington
18. "Jesus Doesn't Want Me for a Sunbeam" (Eugene Kelly/Frances McKee) – 3:32
  • 4 October 1992, The Crocodile Cafe, Seattle Washington
19. "Talk to Me" – 3:35
  • 22 January 1993 BMG Ariola Studios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
20. "Seasons in the Sun" (Terry Jacks) – 3:40

Sliver: The Best of the Box

Sliver: The Best of the Box
Compilation album by Nirvana
Released November 1, 2005
Recorded 1985–1994
Genre Grunge, alternative rock
Length 74:34
Language English
Label DGC
Nirvana compilations chronology
With the Lights Out
(2004)
Sliver: The Best of the Box
(2005)
Icon
(2010)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [20]
Blender 2/5 stars [21]
Pitchfork Media (6.8/10) [22]

Recording and release

Sliver: The Best of the Box is a compilation album that contains 19 tracks pulled from the band's 2004 rarities box set, With the Lights Out, as well as three previously unreleased recordings: "Spank Thru," from the 1985 "Fecal Matter" demo, a 1990 studio recording of "Sappy", and a 1991 boombox demo of "Come as You Are".

Sliver: The Best of the Box opened at number twenty-one on the Billboard 200. In Japan, the album was released on October 25, 2005 under the alternative title Sliver: The Best of Nirvana +3 because three songs were previously unreleased on With the Lights Out.[23] As of 2007, "Sliver: The Best of the Box" has sold over 300,000 copies in the U.S. alone.[10]

Cover

According to Rolling Stone magazine, the title and cover photograph for Sliver: The Best of the Box were chosen by Frances Bean, the daughter of Cobain and Courtney Love. The cover photograph depicts a cardboard box filled with Nirvana and Cobain tapes, including a copy of the Fecal Matter demo. Some of the tapes have spilled out of the box and are strewn across the floor.[24]

Track listing

  1. "Spank Thru" (December 1985 Fecal Matter demo) – 3:45
  2. "Heartbreaker" (March 1987 show in Raymond, WA) – 2:59
  3. "Mrs. Butterworth" (Summer 1987 band demo) – 4:05
  4. "Floyd the Barber" (January 23, 1988 show in Tacoma, WA) – 2:33
  5. "Clean Up Before She Comes" (1988 home demo) – 3:12
  6. "About a Girl" (1988 home demo) – 2:44
  7. "Blandest" (June 6, 1988 studio session in Seattle, WA. Produced by Jack Endino) – 3:56
  8. "Ain't It a Shame" (August 1989 studio session in Seattle, WA) – 2:02
  9. "Sappy" (January 1990 studio session in Seattle, WA. Produced by Jack Endino) – 3:33
  10. "Opinion" (September 25, 1990 KAOS radio show) – 1:35
  11. "Lithium" (September 25, 1990 KAOS radio show) – 1:49
  12. "Sliver" (1990 home demo) – 2:10
  13. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (March 1991 boombox demo) – 5:40
  14. "Come as You Are" (March 1991 boombox demo) – 4:10
  15. "Old Age" (May 1991 studio session for Nevermind)  – 4:21
  16. "Oh, the Guilt" (April 1992 studio session in Seattle, WA) – 3:25 (Also a limited edition split single in 1993)
  17. "Rape Me" (May 1991 solo acoustic home demo) – 3:23
  18. "Rape Me" (October 1992 studio session in Seattle, WA) – 3:03
  19. "Heart-Shaped Box" (January 1993 studio session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – 5:32
  20. "Do Re Mi" (1994 boombox demo solo acoustic) – 4:24
  21. "You Know You're Right" (1994 boombox demo solo acoustic) – 2:30
  22. "All Apologies" (undated boombox demo solo acoustic, circa 1992) – 3:33

Charts

With the Lights Out

Year Chart Position
2004 Top Canadian Albums[25] 10
2004 Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[26] 16
2004 USA Billboard 200[25] 19
2004 French Albums Chart[27] 20
2004 Belgium Albums Chart (VL)[27] 21
2004 Belgium Albums Chart (WA)[27] 25
2004 Switzerland Albums Chart[27] 28
2004 Belgium Albums Chart[27] 29
2004 Norwegian Albums Chart[27] 31
2004 Austrian Albums Chart[27] 34
2004 New Zealand Albums Chart[27] 39
2004 German Albums Chart[28] 48
2004 Netherlands Albums Chart[27] 65

Sliver: The Best of the Box

Year Chart Position
2005 Billboard Top 200 (US)[29] 21
2005 Austrian Albums Chart [30] 26
2005 Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[31] 33
2005 Switzerland Albums Chart[32] 87
2005 German Albums Chart[28] 97

References

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r720088
  2. ^ http://www.blender.com/guide/back-catalogue/54983/with-lights-out.html
  3. ^ http://www.nme.com/reviews/nirvana/7562
  4. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 29, 2004). "'With the Lights Out' by Nirvana". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/29/arts/music/29choi.html. 
  5. ^ http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2005/02/nirvana-with-the-lights-out.html
  6. ^ http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/20403-with-the-lights-out
  7. ^ http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/n/nirvana-withthelights.shtml
  8. ^ http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/6636053/review/6648633/withthelightsout
  9. ^ http://www.spin.com/articles/nirvana-lights-out
  10. ^ a b . Nielson Entertainment. http://en-us.nielsen.com/tab/industries/media/entertainment. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  11. ^ Teri VanHorn. "Love Blocks Nirvana Release". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1444878/20010629/nirvana.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  12. ^ Jim DeRogatis. "A piece of Kurt Cobain". http://www.jimdero.com/News2002/CobainMar10.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  13. ^ http://livenirvana.com/official/
  14. ^ http://livenirvana.com/official/
  15. ^ http://livenirvana.com/official/
  16. ^ "Nirvana: With the Lights Out (2004): Reviews". MetaCritic. http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/nirvana/withthelightsout. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  17. ^ "Nirvana: With the Lights Out - PopMatters Music Review". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/n/nirvana-withthelights.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-02. "The majority of the material presented here will appeal only to a select group of hardcore fans, music historians and critics. Selling this box so hard to the casual fans will only result in sore feelings, because most people won't enjoy listening to helium-voiced four-track recordings of people singing about beans (as on "Beans")." 
  18. ^ "With the Lights Out". Pitchfork Media. http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/20403-nirvana-with-the-lights-out. Retrieved 2008-09-02. "Those hoping for a trove of overlooked gems will be disappointed, as too much of With the Lights Out sounds like nothing so much as a dull-edged instrument lifting flakes of material from the bottom of a barrel." 
  19. ^ http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/with-the-lights-out-box-set/id30525916
  20. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r803569
  21. ^ http://www.blender.com/guide/new/53695/sliver-best-box.html
  22. ^ http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/20404-sliver-the-best-of-the-box
  23. ^ (Japanese) "Sliver: The Best of Nirvana +3". goo. http://music.goo.ne.jp/cd/CDDORID624686-1/index.html. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  24. ^ Lash, Jolie (2005-09-10). "Unreleased Nirvana Due". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/7661197/unreleased_nirvana_due. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  25. ^ a b http://www.billboard.com/artist/nirvana/5316#/album/nirvana/with-the-lights-out/659925 With the Lights Out @ Billboard.com
  26. ^ (Japanese) "Oricon Weekly Album Charts for the second week of December 2004". Oricon. http://www.oricon.co.jp/search/result.php?kbn=ja&types=rnk&year=2004&month=12&week=2&submit5.x=20&submit5.y=11. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Swedishcarts.com". http://swedishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Nirvana&titel=With+The+Lights+Out&cat=a. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  28. ^ a b http://musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/artist/Nirvana/?type=longplay
  29. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p5034
  30. ^ http://austriancharts.at/search.asp?search=Nirvana&cat=a
  31. ^ (Japanese) "Sliver: The Best of Nirvana +3". Oricon Style. http://www.oricon.co.jp/music/release/d/624686/1/. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  32. ^ http://hitparade.ch/search.asp?search=Nirvana&cat=a

External links


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