110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2011
The original CD release sounds A LOT better than the remastered version (more dynamic) .
The remastered CD is over-compressed to the point where there's clipping all over the place.
Dave Grohl's drums sound flat and lifeless now. It's a shame that such a legendary album
gets such a terrible treatment.
Google "Loudness War" to find out more about the technical details.
186 of 206 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2011
The good old loudness war. After getting Thin Lizzy's classic Chinatown Deluxe Edition, I noticed something. It wasn't mixed to maximum loudness. Yipee! Nirvana's Nevermind however was not so fortunate. To your average kid who solely listens to illegally downloaded MP3's on his ipod, this might sound fine, but not to me. It's just too loud. The music has no pop, nothing jumping at you. Very limited dynamic range. You can see for yourself in the customer images I have posted. Think of it as going to the movies and everything is the same volume. The explosions, the gunfights, etc at the same volume of say, a person speaking. Now that just doesn't make sense now does it? There's no oomph, no pop, nothing to make you jump out of your seat, and that's just what this deluxe edition accomplishes. The extras are actually pretty decent, and the packaging is nice apart from Universal cutting corners and replacing the hard outer plastic box with the DELUXE EDITION logo on it with a band that wraps around the digipack that you have to cut through to get to the goods, or you just get a plain little stick on it that reads DELUXE EDITION. It looks cool and all, but it doesn't cut it. I strongly suggest sticking to your original CD and come across the extras on your own. Universal does not deserve your cash on this one.
1. Smells Like Teen Spirit
2. In Bloom
3. Come As You Are
7. Territorial Pissings
8. Drain You
9. Lounge Act
10. Stay Away
11. On A Plain
12. Something In The Way
13. Even In His Youth
16. D-7 (live at the BBC)
17. Been A Son (live)
18. School (live)
19. Drain You (live)
20. Sliver (live)
21. Polly (live)
The Smart Studio Sessions
1. In Bloom (Smart Studios previously unreleased)
2. Immodium (aka Breed Smart Studios previously unreleased)
3. Lithium (Smart Studios previously unreleased)
4. Polly (Smart Studios previously unreleased mix)
5. Pay To Play (Smart Studios)
6. Here She Comes Now (Smart Studios)
7. Dive (Smart Studios previously unreleased)
8. Sappy (Smart Studios previously unreleased)
The Boombox Rehearsals
9. Smells Like Teen Spirit
10. Verse Chorus Verse (previously unreleased)
11. Territorial Pissings (previously unreleased)
12. Lounge Act (previously unreleased)
13. Come As You Are
14. Old Age (previously unreleased)
15. Something In The Way (previously unreleased)
16. On A Plain (previously unreleased)
123 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2011
in a 2009 article Bob Ludwig stated "People talk about downloads hurting record sales, I and some other people would submit that another thing that is hurting record sales these days is the fact that they are so compressed that the ear just gets tired of it. When you're through listening to a whole album of this highly compressed music, your ear is fatigued. You may have enjoyed the music but you don't really feel like going back and listening to it again. It's been really rough, folks, But it can get better and I think it will get better. I'm glad it's going to be over."
This is the same guy who's remastered this version of 'Nevermind' 2 years later to the very same loudness war standard he has criticised and seemed to suggest was reversing.
All the dynamic range on this classic album is gone. Which means there's no punch to the music, every song stays the same volume throughout so when a chorus kicks in it doesn't get louder than the verse and lift the song.
From what i've read over the years, Kurt loved using the quiet verse LOUD chorus technique, so for a band that was obviously about dynamics it's baffling that this remaster even made it onto a commercially available CD/download. A whole new generation of Nirvana fans are going to be robbed of the way this album should really sound as mastered dynamically in 1991 by Howie Weinberg.
UMG don't care, they just want your money, but that's ok, you don't have to give it to them, no matter how big a Nirvana fan you are, you can download the extra content for free 'illegally' after all they're offering you an inferior 'new' product when your original copy of Nevermind sounds perfect -- you just have to use that thing known as a volume knob or volume buttons.
"All the kids will eat it up, if it's packaged properly".
102 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2011
I have been listening to Nirvana since 92, collecting every thing I could, both official on non-official. My mouth was watering over this release since I now only buy vinyl records...but then I listened to it.
My main problem is with LP 1 (Nevermind Remastered) - This is the worst of it. Compared to my 2009 pressing, the cymbals have been nearly stripped of their presence. The beauty of Dave's crashing has been flattened down. It all sounds more like a badly mixed CD than a high quality vinyl. I thought my ears were playing tricks on me so pulled the remaster off my turntable and threw on my 2009 copy. While the new one made my ears ache, the original drew me right through to the end of a side, like it always does. The new version is devoid of any depth and there are obvious clipping issues. I'm afraid to turn this thing up for fear of that awful overdriven distortion creeping in. Kurt's vocals on parts of Lithium sound especially bad, artificially distorting. I didn't believe it on the first listen, but after comparing to the original there is no mistaking it. I'm am no expert but this does not sound like it is even analog sourced. The 2009 vinyl edition was remastered from the original analog master tapes. Buy that one while you still can.
Aside from this, the track listing shows UME has no idea what a person listening to vinyl records wants. Boombox demos are unnecessary on a audiophile medium, but they took it further and split them across 2 records. Logic would tell you they could have been on one separate LP so you could listen to it once and put it aside, but hey, what do I know? Keep in mind that as someone who owned all the Outcesticide CDs I do appreciate this, the problem is just with the execution. The demos really should have been a bonus download.
For the other material, I'm willing to settle since it's the only way you are going to get this rare material on vinyl. The highlight is actually the last side of the last record. Early versions of Drain You, Something in the Way (loud as hell, in a good way) and the standard Endless Nameless.
All in all, this could have been so much better.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
Could not believe how bad they remastered this, stick to your original if you have it or even the 180 gram reissue one, shame on you for releasing such a terrible work to us fans!! And destroying a great sounding album from a great band to this extreme! Makes no sense!! It is all about the money not the music!
239 of 300 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2000
.......and "Nevermind" still sounds fresh. How? Nirvana were just that damn good. Dave Grohl's drumming was not only powerful, but lightning-speed fast (my personal pick for the greatest drummer ever). Krist Novoselic's bass skills were amazing, melodic, furious, and catchy. And Kurt Cobain, well, what can't you say about the guy? I can sit here and say all these great (and true) things about Kurt, but I'll leave it at this: there is a reason Kurt is a legend, and this was proven numerous times before his unfortunate passing. All the classics are here, "In Bloom", "Lithium", "Come As You Are" (my personal favorite from the band), and, of course, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". But the album as a whole is amazing. "Drain You" is one of the best Alternative songs ever made. "Breed", "Territorial Pissings", and "Stay Away" are punk rock perfection. "Something In The Way" is haunting (it's far superior on their "Unplugged In New York" album), while "Polly" is a glimpse of Cobain's "softer" side at it's best. Even the worst ones here, "Lounge Act" and "On A Plane", are better than anything Creed will ever do (I guess that isn't saying much, but you get the point, those two songs are still brilliant). Cobain was a brilliant singer-songwriter, he could be filled with rage and self-doubt one second ("Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Something In The Way") and be funny the next ("Breed" and "Lithium"). From lines like "Here we are now, entertain us" to "I'm so ugly, that's okay, 'cause so are you", not many could even come close to the talent of Kurt Cobain. From start to finish, Nirvana made one of those rare albums that manages to pull everything out of the bare essentials (guitars, bass, drums) and make an absolute classic out of it. Some of these songs sound better on the band's live albums, and even "In Utero" was just as good as "Nevermind" (despite what some say), and even those two albums put together could not equal "Unplugged In New York"; but this still stands as a landmark for not only rock, but music in general. It was talent beyond anything mortal, that's for sure.
74 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2002
Nirvana's Nevermind sounds so cliche and overplayed today because a million and one bands have ripped off their innovative sound that molded grunge and rock music for the better. The musicianship of the album isn't complicated for the mostpart, as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Come As You Are" are typical songs for the early guitarist, but the song writing and arrangements are so well done that the need for anything profound and complex is immediately thrown out. Nirvana was a band who were great at what they did, needing only their honesty and emotion to get them across, not flashy 80's solos and glam attire.
Kurt Cobain's guitar work, as stated, was not complex, but was interesting, new, innovative, creative, and original, as he was one of the first artists to begin using the rhythm guitar to lead the melody without the choppy leads of 80's hair metal. His chord progressions are simple and basic for a large portion of the album, but throughout the entire recording his technique stays true to form, using original flowing riffs to carry the song when he does use his instrument as a lead. Kurt Cobain's guitar style has essentially motivated and shaped how the instrument has been used since 1991 and almost all of rock's song writing processes today. In equal impressiveness alongside his guitar skill are Cobain's lyrics and his vocal stylings, which always have an underwritten sense of urgency and need in them, supporting the hurt heard in his voice. Although he did not possess one of the greatest voices in music, and still does not, he used his singing well with the music, fitting the musicianship and instrumentation perfectly.
Chris Novoselic's bass lines are upbeat, catchy, and just as sincere as Kurt's guitar playing, his instrument carrying a melody all of its own instead of just following the bass drum and staying in the background, once again breaking away from the rock and metal stylings of the previous decade. Truly standout. Alongside him on the rhythm is Dave Grohl, who should've stuck with the drums instead of moving onto fronting the Foo Fighters in later years and taking up guitar duties. His drumming is solid and top notch on Nevermind, showing him at his best on the instrument he shines with.
Standout tracks in addition to the first six, all of which were hit singles, are "On A Plain" and "Something In The Way"'s acoustic strummings. One of the greatest albums of the 90's. You may think Nirvana is getting a bit old now and the sound too cliche, but try to listen from a perspective when all this was new to the scene and you will feel the truly groundbreaking effect on you it was meant to have.
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2006
I was 16 when it was released and I loved it then and I love it now. For me this is something I can listen to the whole way through without skipping songs. I think the 12 songs on this CD have aged quite well and fit well in any rock fans collection.
I have read the last 300 reviews and many people don't know what they are talking about. I didn't realize how polarizing this album was.
Music shouldn't be about technical guitar prowess or a 5 octave vocal range or hair spray. People shouldn't be caught up with genre labels like grunge, punk, emo, hair metal, nu-metal, alternative. Reviews of music shouldn't comment on the personal lives of the artist's drug use, death, or bizarre choice of mate. You shouldn't even care about how tastes in fashion and music changed after this (and other "grunge" acts) came onto the scene.
It should be about the songs and how you relate to them personally. If you don't like this that is fine, but the other superfluous [...]shouldn't be relevant in the discussion of the album, please feel free to get a MySpace account and [...]about it there.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
Not much can be said about this release, but there are two things that MUST be said.
First of all, the audio quality is horrible. Official release description sounded promising, throwing claims that made you believe they realized how wrong it was to compress the whole life out of the recording and thus went back to the original master tapes and mastered this record properly this time. After a really good "In Utero" remaster, it seemed like a very real possibility. But anyone who will spend their money on this Blu-ray audio disc, and who is not def or snobbish, will realize they've been shamelessly tricked into spending their money on a useless disc, contents of which they already had (I'm sure most of those who are interested in this Blu-ray disc already have this record in some form). They used their 2011 remaster for this release. That's everything you need to know about this release to keep you away from it. But for those who are unaware what I mean by that: 2011 remaster was horrible. It was compressed to death (by Bob Ludwig) losing its original power and listenability. Original CD may have had its flaws in regards to mastering, but compared to what the remastered version sounds like, you couldn't say there was anything wrong with the original CD. They also released an HDTracks high resolution digital download version 2011 using the same remastered source. And that is what you get here on this Blu-ray audio disc. It's an HDtracks version released on a Blu-ray disc. And that is after they have done a successful remaster of "In Utero". Those who might think that this release being of "high-
resolution" still offers some kind of an improvement over the standard CD released in 2011, should realize one thing: the difference between a standard and high resolution of a recording in digital form makes much less difference than an actual mastering. A recording ruined by horrible mastering cannot be saved by using the highest resolution possible.
Second thing is, a Blu-ray disc has a very high capacity, so a lot of audio material can be fit into it. Regardless of the mastering work, 2011 CD reissue had lots of bonus material. This Blu-ray disc, instead of providing all that additional material (at least so that you didn't have to switch between the discs), gives a listener three identical audio tracks of the original album, presented in different LOSSLESS stereo audio formats. All three formats are lossless, therefore if you have a PCM track on it, you don't really need compressed tracks like DTS HD-MA or
Dolby TrueHD (which are in essence PCM, because that's what they are when they are decoded), which were designed due to space limitations, to be used when a PCM track cannot be used on a disc due to its large uncompressed size. But they decided it's better to give a superstitious listener the choice of "different" audio codecs than include all the bonus material and make it a complete Nevermind 20th Anniversary set on one disc, in high resolution. By the way, the size of this disc with three identical audio tracks is around 10 GB, and that's out of 23.3 GB. Why did they waste the capacity of a Blu-ray disc? That would be an important question if the they hadn't used that horrible 2011 remaster. Because frankly, who cares as long as this disc offers absolutely no legitimate excuse to buy it?
Shame on Universal Music and on those responsible for the release of this Blu-ray disc. And don't be naive: there is absolutely no reason for them to make different remasters for different regions, like they used to do in the old days. In music business, they use the same master for all regions these days (make it once and then distribute digital copies), so don't expect that Nevermind Blu-ray from other regions can sound better.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2011
Overall, I'm very happy with this release. I've now had time to listen to all the CD's, watch the DVD and go through the book and am happy with my purchase. Having all of the demos, the early studio sessions, and the original Vig mixes are awesome. If you're looking at this product, you're obviously not the casual fan so my reviewing "Nevermind" will have little value. Instead, I'll discuss my overall feeling about each disc, the deficiencies of each disc, and the release as a whole as a way for you to decide if spending over $100 is really worth it to you...
Disc 1 - Original Album (remastered) + B-sides - I like the remaster for the most part, but to me the parts of the song with crunchy guitar almost seem to be turned up too loud in the mix, to the point where they break out of the field of a sound a bit, if that makes sense. Kurts guitar in Come As You are (not the solo) seems turned up too much in the mix also.
Disc 2 - The Smart Studio Sessions, The Boombox Rehearsals, BBC Sessions - Great disc with great quality early studio sessions and demos. This disc is awesome for getting a look at the creation of the Nevermind material from rehearsals, to early studio sessions, to a pair of early live performances.
Disc 3 - The Devonshire Mixes - Definitely an interesting CD and I love rockin' it. There are mostly minor differences in the sound and mix. An interesting document of the first draft of the completed album. For me, the On A Plain mix was the coolest of the different mixes, I loved the sound, especially the mix on Kurts vocals and the outro. This is a cool way to listen to the CD with more variety in the sound.
Disc 4 - Live at the Paramount CD - An excellent live concert with a ton of material - 19 tracks in all. Each song is played incredibly and Kurts vocals are right on. Incredible sound and performance all around.
Disc 5 - Live at the Paramount DVD - The 16mm film makes watching this concert much more interesting than the normal "concert on DVD." Kurt knocking down the mic stand during a song, and breaking his guitar at the end are cool as well. This could easily have been released as a theatrical release. Krist's statement "White boy funk sucks!" is also funny. Having the 4 videos from the album are also awesome to have together with the concert.
The Book - The book has high quality color pictures of the band during the time of the recording and promoting the album including pics of the infamous pool photo shoot, with the band in the pool. There are lyrics, expense reports, pictures of singles released, magazine articles, pics of the music video shoots, etc. Very thorough, color picture heavy book.
So here's what I would say are the main deficiencies...
#1 - Price - This was outrageously expensive. You can get the first two discs and the concert on DVD for right under $40. For The extra $70 I paid, I got the Devonshire mixes (Disc 3), a poster, and the book. Give a fair value of $15 to the Devonshire disc, and $5 to the poster, and you're looking at $50 for the book. The book is really nice but $50? It's also worth noting Anyone reading this is certainly going to pay more than $110 like I did because they're limited to 40,000 worldwide and have sold out so now you're going to be buying from a re-seller.
#2 - Remaster Of Original Album - Definitely wish the original album would have had a touch more care put into the remastering job - minor gripe.
#3 - Missing "Song In D" - Why this song was excluded on this $100+ "Super Deluxe" album is beyond me. It's an unreleased Nevermind sessions instrumental. Vig and Grohl were recently joking around about the fact that the song was not included on this set, and Grohl laughingly said "Sounds like another box set!" This 5 disc release of the original "single disc" album and they leave off that one instrumental? Uncool in my opinion. I certainly hope they don't make us poor fans buy another $100+ set to get that one song in the future.
#4 - Packaging - This set is highly prone to smudges and fingerprints and seems to have a horrible reaction to the oil on human skin. I've already put a few smudges that won't come off on the case and have to wash my hands before handling the set each time. I ripped all of the music from the CD's to high quality 320kbps mp3s so that I don't have to open it and mess with it all the time. Also, the CD's are slid into cardboard cutouts in the book, which is guaranteed to scratch the discs if you take them out more than a few times, regardless of how careful you are. The case is basically the exact size of a square record sleeve but is a little over an inch thick. If you're a product of the 90s (like me) and don't have storage for LP's, storing it can be a bit awkward.
These four issues make me drop a star to a 4 out of 5 rating, which is accurate for my level of satisfaction. I would never give mine up now that I have it and I love this set! The positives easily outweigh the negatives here and having official versions of all this highly bootlegged material is awesome to both benefit the artists, and get higher quality versions of this material.
I can smell a similar release in a couple of years for In Utero, which I look forward to.