September 24, 2011 12:18 am

Nirvana: Nevermind

The grunge landmark has been repackaged into the perfect balance between mainstream and underground

To mark the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind the grunge landmark has been remastered and repackaged. The remastered songs sound crisp but then again so did the original recordings, to Kurt Cobain’s annoyance: he wanted the album to be rougher.

In this, as with his hostility towards Nirvana’s fame, he was mistaken. Nevermind is the perfect balance between clean and grungy, tuneful and aggressive, mainstream and underground: it opened a path Cobain was too self-defeating to follow.

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The cheaper two-CD edition usefully brings the album’s singles’ B-sides together and some fine live tracks, alongside some very muddy rehearsal outtakes. A more expensive boxset edition is for serious Nirvana completists, though if it’s rarities you’re after, you’re better off with the 2004 boxset With the Lights Out.

Nirvana

Nevermind

(Universal)

4 stars

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