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plus 20 full length videos, complete with 60-page booklet with liner notes from Sonic Youth's Thurston Mooore and unpublished photos.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