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With The Lights Out Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, November 23, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2004 US 4-disc set comprising of 81 tracks across 3 CDs, of which 68 are previously unreleased, with rare live recordings, studio outtakes and home demos recorded from 1987-1994 plus DVD featuring previously unseen material including early home movies, rehearsal footage & secret recording sessions plus 20 full length videos, complete with 60-page booklet with liner notes from Sonic Youth's Thurston Mooore and unpublished photos. Universal.

Nirvana may have been the biggest thing in the music world in the early '90s, but the trio maintained an uncommon devotion to core fans who knew them when they were still sleeping in a van. Fending off the adoration of punk-rock dabblers in the media and their audience while simultaneously welcoming stalwart underground-music supporters, Kurt Cobain did things on his own terms--until it all came crashing down. A decade after Cobain's 1994 suicide and the band's demise, With the Lights Out remains true to the ethos that defined the band and the alt-rock revolution that rose and fell with them.

Eschewing the standard hits-sprinkled-with-rarities mix, this lovingly compiled three-CD, one-DVD collection is made up almost entirely of previously unreleased selections. The handful of previously heard tracks are obscurities along the lines of the group's cover of "Here She Comes Now," recorded for a 1990 indie-rock tribute to the Velvet Underground. But it's not the B-sides and compilation oddities that define this idiosyncratic set; rather, its spirit is captured in the bedroom demos, radio performances, and sloppy amateur video recordings that catch Cobain and cohorts developing from just another punk- and metal-inspired bunch of grunge rockers pounding away in the bass player's mom's living room into a band that defined an era. --Steven Stolder

Disc: 1
1. Heartbreaker (Live, 1987)
2. Anorexorcist (Radio Performance, 1987)
3. White Lace And Strange (Radio Performance, 1987)
4. Help Me I'm Hungry (Radio Performance, 1987)
5. Mrs. Butterworth
6. If You Must
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Opinion
2. Lithium
3. Been A Son
4. Sliver
5. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
6. Pay To Play
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Rape Me
2. Rape Me
3. Scentless Apprentice
4. Heart Shaped Box
5. I Hate Myself And I Want To Die
6. Milk It
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: DGC
  • ASIN: B00065XJ4S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,038 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

348 of 363 people found the following review helpful By James Krieger on November 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who has not gotten the new 3CD/1DVD box set "With The Lights Out" from Nirvana... This set is absolutely amazing. Many of the songs and demos that are on the set I have had for years now on cassettes that have found their way to me but on this set they have been cleaned and mastered fantastically. Then there are the songs and demos that have never seen the light of day... They speak for themselves.

There is some great humor here starting right off Disc 1 with the band at their very first gig about to launch into Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" and Kurt can be heard yelling in the background "I don't know this song!" Kurt's trippy demo of "Beans", with his harmonized vocal is hilarious. There are great "Bleach" era demos ("If You Must", "Pen Cap Chew"), to some killer sessions with Mark Lanegan doing Leadbelly covers. But here is where it hits the hardest...

The very last song (rumored) to have ever been recorded is a demo included here called "Do Re Mi" (sometimes referred in the past as "Dough, Ray and Me"). This demo (along with the acoustic "You Know Your Right") is the clear example of where Kurt was about to go musically... The melody is breathtaking, and the beauty of the composition is absolutely devastating knowing what was to come. The recording is Kurt himself with an acoustic guitar (probably at home, Courtney can be heard talking to him in the background as the song finishes) and the starkness of his voice with his lone acoustic sets up a landscape of undefinable melodic beauty. This song is worth the price of the entire set.

All you need to be reminded of the value of this set is to turn on the radio... Today's rock music genre is a a soul-less desolate landscape of 4th and 5th generation imitators of previous forms.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By cheikl on November 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
With The Lights Out is Nirvana's best release. Its combination of gritty home recordings, demos, b-sides and outtakes make any hard-core Nirvana fan love the band even more (if possible). But when I say "hard-core," I really do mean hard-core. With The Lights Out contains many unfinished songs, some poorly recorded, others too short or too long. Songs like Oh The Guilt and Curmudgeon were so overly grunge that they weren't released on Nirvana's maintstream albums. Very Ape, in the middle of a verse, was recorded over with Kurt Cobain randomly singing "A da da dum da da da da." This truly is Nirvana's greatest release, but for those who aren't regular listeners, don't waste your money.

For the fans, especially bootleggers, With The Lights Out is a dream. The set features the rarest of available bootlegs. Even the most avid bootleggers will only have 15 of these songs. Multiply that by 4 and you've got 60 extraordinarily rare songs, a bootlegger's heaven. I had only six of the tracks featured in the set, and i searched for hours. Most of the songs are better than those released mainstream. All the songs, rare or different versions, are amazing.

With The Lights Out serves two purposes. First, any songs that hadn't been released finally are. Second, it tells the short history of Nirvana. The first CD is filled with raw songs, horrible vocals and guitaring, and even worse drumming. The second CD is much better. Many of the songs are put together better and they sound great. The third CD is just as amazing, but it's also very emotional. As I listened to it, particularly You Know You're Right, Kurt Cobain's voice was incredible. The emotion in that CD, the knowledge that Kurt Cobain would kill himself, it makes listening madly depressing.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Fairy Hug's & Sugar Kisses on November 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After many years of waiting, Nirvana fans have what Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, at one time refered too as "the Holy Grail Of Rock Music." That has turned out to be absolutly no understatement. This 4 disc compilation (3 CD's + 1 DVD) is a must for any rock fan. With rare demo's, solo Cobain recordings, a few live tracks, some late 80's radio perfomances, and a few B-side's thrown in also. Whether you've been a Nirvana fan for years, or are just beginning to appreciate the music of this wonderful band, you will get everything in this package. It's not all polished, it's not all perfect, it's raw. It's rock. It's Nirvana.

Most compelling on this album is disc 3. Which hosts at least 3 unreleased demo's that Cobain made just previous to a concert tour in early 1994, which ended with him in a coma in Rome. Following his release from the hospital in Rome, within weeks, the enevitable happened. Cobain swallowed a shot-gun shell in the home he shared with his wife and child. Resulting in his tragic death and a brutal punch in the gut to music as we new it.

Included with these 1994 demo's is the much talked about song: "Do Re Mi," which can clearly show some of Cobain's influence from the poppy Beatles, which he adored through his whole life. The track begins with what seems like someone banging against a wall, perhaps a suitcase, or maybe just a box, to simulate the drums that aren't present. The vocals are pristine. Serious. Haunting. The acoustic guitar that Cobain plays reflects his not so perfect, but yet delicate guitar skills. At the end of the track, if you listen carefully, you can hear the entushiastic voice of Cobain's wife, Courtney Cobain, telling him: "That Was GREAT!
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Topic From this Discussion
Seasons of the Sun
officially no, bootleg yes
Feb 26, 2014 by M. Mont |  See all 3 posts
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