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The Days Of Tape Trading Revisited
on March 18, 2015
Growing up as a Nirvana fan, I remember having a box of cassette tapes with live performances and demo tracks that got traded among friends. This was at the height of the band's popularity, so the general feeling was that a lot of this stuff would eventually come out on a future album. Things didn't work out that way, so having heard those tapes a lot of people know there is a massive trove of material that is still unreleased.
With The Lights Out feels a lot like those tapes, with a wide variety of material in varying quality. There are live recordings, alternate versions of released songs, and demo recordings of songs. 68 of these songs are billed as unreleased, which on paper is a great selling point. In the actual listening, though, be aware that some of these songs are very rough. The box includes 3 audio CDs and a DVD of various live material. The DVD is the weakest part of the set. It's probably something you'll watch once and never revisit. Even so, the 3 CDs are worth getting the box for if you're a fan.
As the band is long gone and the remaining material under tight control, this set is the closest I've felt to my younger days of tape trading in a long time. For fans of the group, it's pretty close to a must have.