81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2002
The remaining members of Nirvana wanted the bands previously unreleased gem "You Know You're Right" to be released with a batch of other rarities in a box set of "new" material. Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, wanted to be able to use Nirvana's name and the much-hyped new tune as a bargaining chip in a new deal with Universal Records. She won in the courts, and now the song has been tacked on as the obligitory new track on a collection of 13 songs that have been released and heard a million times before.
Nirvana doesn't lend itself well to compilation because they only released 3 albums that each sound very, very different. It's not very expensive and a much more rewarding decision to buy each of the three albums rather than this cheesy "Greatest Hits" record, something it's hard to imagine a living Kurt Cobain authorizing. The songs are good, but a lot of the groups best work is missing here and the arrangement leaves a lot to be desired.
56 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2002
This is a very dry overview of Nirvana's career. I know the main goal is to assemble all of the hits on to one CD for casual fans intimidated by actual albums, but would it have been so hard to include some of the fan favorites that rank among the groups most essential work, if not their most well-known?
"Drain You" belongs here. "Polly" belongs here. "Aneurysm" should be here in some form (it was a hit off the 1997 live album and a highlight of Incesticide). "Love Buzz" was always a live staple and one of the standout songs from their debut. At a time when CD prices are reaching ridiculous new heights and other legendary performers like The Beatles and Elvis are seeing 30-song single-CD career overviews released, the Nirvana best-of CD should have featured a little bit more than it does.
The new song, "You Know You're Right", is typical Nirvana but enjoyable and emotional nonetheless. It stinks that hardcore fans will be driven to buy 13 songs they already have for this one new tune, but thats Geffen's plan now, isn't it?
58 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2003
It could not be more obvious how much of an income attempt this entire CD is. With the disc and Kurt Cobain's "Journals" out "just in time for the holiday season", it doesn't take a genius to figure it out: the exploitation is insulting. While every track on the disc is extremely good and complete (as well as remastered)you begin to realize just how bland it is. With a band like Nirvana, an artistic purging of the most unique kind, you'd expect a couple of non-singles on there. Really good songs that weren't radio-friendly but truly represented what the band was about in full context. Instead, you have a bevy of all of the hits, which obviously is to be expected of the average band. But the original idea (that probably would have happened had Courtney Love not gone into a seizure over it) was a boxset full of rareties and material true to the band. It would have marked the 10th Anniversary of the release of "Nevermind" and it most likely would have been awesome. This album takes it's place, and with the exception of "You Know You're Right" (the overly-hyped though still really good "last Nirvana song") it pales in comparison to what could have been. Forgive me. I'm somewhat selfish. I'm obviously grateful, yet somewhat let down.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
These "remastered" versions of classic Nirvana songs don't really sound that different from what we already have. But the difference between the sound quality of "You Know You're Right" on NIRVANA, versus the version you hear on the radio or on TV, well, it's so much better that I believe for the Nirvana fan it justifies buying this CD (unfortunately, they didn't release "You Know You're Right" as a single). It's much more clear, the bass is stronger, Kurt's voice is more crisp. It is also more intimate.
I had originally heard Courtney Love's version of "You Know You're Right," which she sang on a television special about six years ago. It's interesting to note that Courtney mistakingly sang the chorus as consisting of the single world "Hey" chanted over and over. That is not what Kurt sings. Kurt is singing "Pain." I can see where she would make the mistake. But somehow, hearing a recording made of Kurt only months before he died - albeit, his last recording with the band that made him famous - and realizing the message he was conveying, well, it's terrible. It's devastating. "Hey" is an attempt to reach out, salute, maybe even tease; Kurt's "Pain" is a solitary retreat into anger, guilt, and blame. It's interesting the difference one word can make.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2002
This cd does offer some new stuff despite the mass misperception.
1. You Know You're Right
2. Been A Son (different recording)
3. Pennyroyal Tea (remixed)
Other than that, it's all rehash! I personally love the new version of Been A Son which was mentioned in the book Come As You Are. It includes Chris's "tasty bass solo". Pennyroyal Tea's remix is much better than the In Utero version, although not entirely that much different. Finally, You Know You're Right is a good song, but in my opinion not worthy of being a "Greatest Hit".
It's true the cd lacks some hits including: Polly, Love Buzz, and Anuerysm. I recommend this cd to newcomers of Nirvana, but to hardcore fans, I'd spend it on something else. This cd is an obvious ploy to make money for Courtney Love, and lucky you, just in time for the holidays!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2002
Kurt does not live. Nirvana did not change the world. If they had, this disc would not exist just in time for the Christmas rush and no one would be making scads of money from its sales. It is a fairly comprehensive selection from almost the entirety of Nirvana's brief existence. The hits (the evergreen 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'; 'Come As You Are') are of course righfully included, as are several lesser-known and not-too-hard-to-find tracks. If you do not already have any Nirvana this is an excellent place to start, and quite possibly stop. The liner notes are pretty informative, too, and the packaging is attractively, if dutifully, stark and somber. Guess you can't really go wrong with this one, but it would have been nice if tracks from, say, the early Sub-Pop EP were included. The CD clocks in at only 50 minutes, which leaves much room for improvement.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2002
For a band that only put out 3 studio albums, the mere thought of a greatest hits compilation seems frivolous. It is, in Courtney Love's own words, a blatant attempt "to make millions of dollars". Keep in mind that this is the same woman who sold the rights to her late husband's own personal journals. The compilation itself is an unthoughtful and messily-arranged collection that to call Nirvana's best is almost an insult. Where are such fan favorites as Negative Creep, Drain You, Aneurysm, and Radio Friendly Unit Shifter?
Unlike the made-for-MTV punk bands of today, Nirvana didn't wrap filler songs around one or two singles and call it a day--each album is an experience, and deserves to be listened to all the way through. If you need an introduction to Nirvana, skip this and buy any of their studio albums. If you have all of their albums, invest in a CD burner, download You Know You're Right off of KaZaa or Morpheus, and make a compilation of your own favorite songs; it's what Kurt would have wanted.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2006
It's been the better part of ten years since Kurt Cobain killed himself, and the music charts are now in a sorry shape. It's only poetic justice, I would think, that Nirvana would suddenly come back to life to send one last single up the charts to show them all how it's done. Accompanying this last single is this excellent compilation - so excellent, in fact, that all the usual criticism reserved for compilations fails to apply. Even the cover is perfect - "Nirvana," no other words need be said, the band's name and reputation speak for themselves.
Let's face it: Nirvana's albums weren't perfect. Nevermind, for all the ground it broke, was basically a singles album, and In Utero was a deliberate attempt to shed their audience with ugly production and cacophony. But we forgave them their faults thanks to the freshness of the former and the brutal sonic force of the latter - and, of course, thanks to Kurt Cobain's charming insouciance. This compilation, however, collects all the best parts of both. And when I say "best parts," I do mean it. All the mainstays are here - "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Come As You Are," "Heart-Shaped Box" - but so are other songs that one wouldn't have thought likely choices for a compilation - "Rape Me" and "Dumb." Yes, they even included "Dumb", quite possibly Nirvana's best song ever! "About a Girl" makes an appearance here too, possibly the result of an attempt to include _something_ from Bleach; I suppose it'd have been better if they had picked the unplugged version, but the unplugged album gets represented here too - the beautiful cover of "The Man Who Sold The World" is here. There are even a couple of relatively obscure gems off Incesticide - the funny childhood story "Sliver" and the terrific "Been A Son."
Then there's the new song - "You Know You're Right," apparently the last song the band ever recorded. I don't think it's the best song they ever wrote, but it is in a way very definitive - it combines the loud/soft dynamics of Nevermind with some of the more ear-splitting moments of In Utero in the chorus. Cobain's voice in the verses is amazing - the bitterness and proximity to collapse are almost tangible - but it's the bridge to the chorus, in which he simply roars "pain," that's really remarkable. It is moments like these in which one understands why Nirvana's music still reaches so many people - with a roar like that with you, you can go take on the world.
His great pop talents aside, Cobain was not exactly the second coming of Keats. He was in many ways a product of, and poisoned by, the atrophied anticulture of the ennui-ridden youth of the postmodern age. However, talent will make itself known in any milieu; what made him stand out was his complete awareness of this, his inability to succumb to it or take it lying down, his resulting sadness and rage, and his remarkable ability to convey his emotions, even if his words weren't always clear. Thus we got moments like the wonderfully vicious "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the melancholy "Dumb," the resigned "All Apologies" or that everlasting anthem of all rejected outsiders, "Lithium." And by this alone, it could be said that he left the world he railed against in better shape than when he entered it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2002
This nirvana cd is a great addition to any Nirvana Fan's collection. It includes the best hits of nirvana and also the newest single from them (recorded right before Cobain's death) "You Know You're Right". It's a great song and really forshadows into Cobain's "suicide". This cd is a must have for any nirvana fan!
1. You Know You're Right (previously unreleased) - This is a TREMENDOUS song, and many nirvana fans will realize the hinting in here of Kurt Cobain's Suicide. Great song, excellent lyrics, and a groovy ending. Might get boring after a while. A-
2. About A Girl - About a girl that he almost went out with in his teenage years. The song is meaningful, and expresses his sadness for the girl. Great song, and Cobain's voice is strong. A
3. Been A Son - EXCELLENT LYRICS. A
4. Sliver - It's ok. Good lyrics, but I think the rythem of the song, and other key aspects may be missing. B+
5. Smells Like Teen Spirit - This song started nirvana's fame and fortune. While I don't like this song anymore, this song is probably one of Nirvana's best songs ever. It expresses his view of the world, with surprising lyrics, awesome addictivity, and a monster sound. A+
6. Come As You Are - Great song with amazing rythm. The meaningful lyrics and the awesome bass strings earns this song a good grade. A
7. Lithium - Yet, another song that expresses Cobain's life, and how he views the world. Overall, an excellent song. Editing the part in the song "Yeah, I don't have a god," to "Yeah, I dont have a gun," is ingenious. A
8. In Bloom - Most likely my favorite song from Nirvana's Nevermind album. It discusses the troubles in living a poor and struggling life. Cobain suffered it every day. "Sell the kids for food, Weather changes mood," and "He's the one who likes all the pretty songs And he likes to sing along And he likes to shoot his gun But he knows not what it means," are excellent lyrics. And with some thought, you can really disect them to their true meaning
9. Heart-Shaped Box - This is an excellent song. The lyrics are perfect, and the rythm is excellent, but after a while you get to see the real loopholes in the song. A-
10. Pennyroyal Tea - The first song that really hinted Cobain's suicide. The lyrics are better than perfect, and the meaning of the song is overwhelmingly sad. Such a song deserves more credit than there is available in the world. A++
11. Rape Me - Great song that does NOT promote rape. Meaningful song. A-
12. Dumb - The song is shrillingly sad. Cobain's smooth, soft, and sad singing really puts the effect on the song that it should have. This is a song about Cobain's highschool life. This song is just as perfect as Teen Spirit. Full credit. A+
13. All Apologies - Another great song, similar to Penyroyal Tea. Same concept, but not as meaningful or as exciting. Gets boring after a while. A-
14. The Man Who Sold The World - A cover of a David Bowie song. I cant rate this song on meaning since it isn't Cobain's writing, but I think Cobain adds a new demension to the somewhat boring version of Bowie's.
In all, GREAT CD and is for every Nirvana fan's collection.
24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2002
Okay, I'm going to make this review short and sweet. Mainly because all the stuff I would like to say has been said by many, and I don't want this review to look like a repeat. I loved Nirvana when I was in junior high, I loved them when I was in high school, and I still love them now while I'm in college.
I can't help but feel somewhat disappointed with this greatest hits collection. There's 14 songs. Now, for a regular album, that's a nice number, but for a greatest hits collection, I was expecting a few more songs. Yes, these are the ones that have been played on the radio and on MTV (a time when MTV actually played music videos! Those were the days!). A lot of their best songs are the ones that never got air-play. It's amazing how some of the junk today gets non-stop air-play and some of Nirvana's greatest songs never did. Just look at the album, "Nevermind." Every song on that album is pure gold, and a couple of them never even made it on the air, as with the other albums.
The new song, "you know you're right," while it is a very good one, it's not their greatest one. In fact, my fear is that the radio is going to play it so many times it's going to become annoying. ("Higher" by Creed, anyone?) It's a great song, but that's the only extra feature to the album.
Maybe I am only looking at what's NOT here as opposed to what IS here. Don't get me wrong, these are all great songs and I'm glad they made it on the album. I was just expecting a little more, I guess. Am I happy with it? Of course. Could it have been better? Yes it could've. But then again, that's the case with most things. Guess sometimes we just need to be happy with what we get.
I'm just thinking this could've been so much more, and I get the feeling I'm not the only one who thinks so.