Nirvana: The Recording Sessions

Nirvana: The Recording Sessions

by Rob Jovanovic
     
 

Most books about Nirvana concentrate on Kurt Cobain's short tragic life and suicide, whereas this puts Nirvana's music center stage.

Over 40 recording sessions, including private recordings, made between 1982 and 1994 are painstakingly analyzed, from Kurt Cobain's first bedroom four-track demos through to the "new” tracks including the With The Lights Out box

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Overview

Most books about Nirvana concentrate on Kurt Cobain's short tragic life and suicide, whereas this puts Nirvana's music center stage.

Over 40 recording sessions, including private recordings, made between 1982 and 1994 are painstakingly analyzed, from Kurt Cobain's first bedroom four-track demos through to the "new” tracks including the With The Lights Out box set, Live At Reading, the 20th Anniversary Edition of Nevermind and the expanded Bleach.

The author draws on hours of interviews with those who worked on Nirvana's sessions, including engineers, producers, guest musicians and other collaborators.

Whilst this book was published in hardback in 2004 by Helter Skelter (gaining a prestigious Certificate Of Merit from the American Association For Recorded Sound Collections in the category for Best Rock Research), it was never officially published here. This new fully-updated paperback, from Soundcheck Books, is therefore the first chance that fans in North America have to read it.

Praise for the original hardback:
"a brilliant overview of the band's musical output" - NME; "Exhaustive And Impeccably Researched” - Metal Hammer; "… manna from heaven” Kerrang!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Unlike most exhaustingly informative fan authors, Jovanovic is a good writer and a perceptive critic'
www.expressmilwaukee.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780956642066
Publisher:
Soundcheck Books LLP
Publication date:
10/01/2012
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Rob Jovanovic is a well-respected full-time music writer having published books on Beck, R.E.M., Velvet Underground amongst others and worked with publishers as diverse as Orion, Aurum and Piatkus. He has also written a book on football cards and stickers for Orion.

Read an Excerpt

You Know You're Right [93] How appropriate that the 'great lost
Nirvana song' should have a slow, quiet verse and a fast, loud chorus.
Along with other Cobain classics (Smells Like Teen Spirit [59] and Heart-Shaped Box [73] to name but two) Kurt let the tension build through the verse, only to explode in the chorus - this time with the elongated enunciation of "pain".
As the only song that was completed in this last session it was another case of Cobain finishing lyrics at the last moment and even the title hadn't been set. "We bombed it together fast," recalls Krist Novoselic. "Kurt had the riff and brought it in, and we put it down. We Nirvanaized it." Dave Grohl remembers that they had worked on it at soundchecks through the last tour and that it was "Something to take our mind off playing Smells Like Teen Spirit every night." Touring guitarist
Pat Smear revealed that, "I got a cassette afterwards and Kurt said that
I could put my part on later. But we were back on tour and then things got wacky, well, you know the rest. Who knows, maybe he was just being nice so I wouldn't feel left out." At the session they needed just two practice runs to tighten it up and then they cut the master take in a single run through. Cobain then agreed to do a rare thing - four vocal takes - before finishing it off with a final guitar overdub. Then it was time to go out for pizza. For a long time no one discussed, or was even aware of the existence of this song, outside of a few people close to the band. Hole did perform a version of it called 'You've Got No Right' for their 1995 MTV Unplugged performance and then a live version started doing the rounds under the title of 'Autopilot'. This erroneous title came from a show in Chicago on October 23rd 1993. During the encore Dave
Grohl announced, "This is our last song it's called "All Apologies" as he thought that was what they were going to play. However they played an embryonic version of "You Know You're Right [93] but the bootleggers mis-heard him and thought he'd said "Autopilot" not "All Apologies".
The live version had many different lyrics, though most of them are semi-mumbled and very difficult to figure out.
In the late 1990s, as stories of the long-awaited box set began to circulate, it emerged that You Know You're Right" [93] was the last completed studio track and it started to take on mythical proportions.

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