Nirvana (Nirvana album)

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Nirvana album cover.svg
Greatest hits album by Nirvana
Released October 29, 2002
Recorded 1988–1994
Genre Grunge
Length 49:38
Label DGC
Producer Steve Albini, Jack Endino, Steve Fisk, Scott Litt, Butch Vig
Nirvana chronology
From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah
With the Lights Out
Singles from Nirvana
  1. "You Know You're Right"
    Released: October 8, 2002

Nirvana is a "best-of" compilation album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released in October 2002.


Nirvana was released following the settlement of a long-standing legal dispute between Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and surviving Nirvana members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. Much of the dispute centered around the song "You Know You're Right" which was recorded during the band's final studio session, in January 1994. Novoselic and Grohl had wanted to release it on a long-delayed Nirvana rarities box set. However, Love blocked the song's release, and sued Novoselic and Grohl over control of Nirvana's legacy. Love's lawsuit maintained that "You Know You're Right" was a "potential 'hit' of extraordinary artistic and commercial value."[1] She believed that "You Know You're Right" would be "wasted" on a box set, and instead belonged on a single-disc compilation similar to The Beatles' 1.[2] In September 2002, it was announced by the Nirvana camp that the lawsuit had been settled, and that "You Know You're Right" would be released on "Nirvana, a one-CD history of the band."[3]


Nirvana was the third Nirvana album to be released following the death of singer/ guitarist Kurt Cobain in April 1994, and the first to feature studio material. The first track on the album is "You Know You're Right" which was also released as a downloadable single. The only song to appear from Nirvana's 1989 debut album Bleach is "About a Girl". Bleach producer Jack Endino saw "About a Girl" as a potential single and the song was later released as a single from the MTV Unplugged in New York album in 1994. The song "Been a Son" was originally a B-side from Nirvana's 1989 Blew EP, which itself was only a limited release in the United Kingdom, making the song a rarity. Nirvana's 1990 non-album single "Sliver" which was their last Nirvana only release on the Sub Pop label is the fourth track on the album.

The four commercially released singles from 1991's Nevermind album ("Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Come as You Are", "Lithium" and "In Bloom") are all included, as are three singles from 1993's In Utero album ("Heart-Shaped Box", "Pennyroyal Tea" and "Rape Me"). The version of "Pennyroyal Tea" that is included is a remixed version which was planned as a single in March 1994 from the In Utero album, however due to Cobain's death the single was recalled shortly after its release making this remixed version rare and hard to find until its inclusion on Nirvana. Also included is "Dumb" which was an album track from In Utero.

Two tracks from Nirvana's 1994 MTV Unplugged in New York album ("All Apologies" and "The Man Who Sold the World") are included, both of which had been released as promotional singles from the Unplugged album. Vinyl and Japanese CD versions of the album include two bonus tracks both from the MTV Unplugged in New York album; "Something in the Way", which had been a B-side to the "About a Girl" single and "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" which had been released as a promotional single from the Unplugged album. On CD versions of the album released outside of the US and Japan, "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" is the only bonus track.[4]

The album opened at #3 on the Billboard 200 with 234,000 copies sold. It has sold one million copies in the United States,[5] and has sold 2 million copies in Europe as of 2007.[6]

The album contains liner notes by music journalist David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine.

On June 23, 2015 Universal Music Enterprises announced that Nirvana was being re-released on 45rpm double LP, pressed on 200-gram heavy weight vinyl and packaged in a furnace black gatefold sleeve with liner notes and a digital download card for 96 kHz 24-bit HD Audio; as well as a 33 RPM single LP 150-gram standard weight vinyl edition which will feature a download card for 320kbit/s MP4 audio.[7] It will also be released as a Blu-Ray Pure Audio in high resolution 96 kHz 24-bit, available in three stereo audio formats: PCM, DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD stereo.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[8]
Blender 3/5 stars[9]
Pitchfork 7.0/10.0[10]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[11]

Several critics believed that Nirvana was too brief, and omitted key tracks. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that "the presence of a few more tracks, along with placing "You Know You're Right" at the end where it belongs, would have made this collection not just stronger, but possibly definitive. As it stands, it feels like a bit of a cheap compromise and a wasted opportunity."[12] Will Bryant of Pitchfork praised the album as "an artful selection of the band's most seminal material," but also dismissed it as "a party mix for parents who want to appreciate Cobain's Lennon-esque knack for great melodies without having to click past "Scentless Apprentice" or "Territorial Pissings"...utterly inoffensive: an impulse buy from Columbia House, perhaps, with no more artistic value than The Eagles' Greatest Hits or the Beatles' 1."[10]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Kurt Cobain unless otherwise noted:

  1. "You Know You're Right" (previously unreleased) – 3:38
  2. "About a Girl" (from Bleach) – 2:49
  3. "Been a Son" (from Blew) – 2:23
  4. "Sliver" (from Incesticide) – 2:14
  5. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (from Nevermind) (Cobain/Grohl/Novoselic) – 5:01
  6. "Come as You Are" (from Nevermind) – 3:39
  7. "Lithium" (from Nevermind) – 4:17
  8. "In Bloom" (from Nevermind) – 4:15
  9. "Heart-Shaped Box" (from In Utero) – 4:41
  10. "Pennyroyal Tea" (from In Utero, single remix) – 3:38
  11. "Rape Me" (from In Utero) – 2:51
  12. "Dumb" (from In Utero) – 2:34
  13. "All Apologies" (from MTV Unplugged in New York) – 3:51
  14. "The Man Who Sold the World" (from MTV Unplugged in New York) (David Bowie) – 3:47
Bonus tracks
  1. "Something in the Way" (from MTV Unplugged in New York) – 4:01 (appears on vinyl and Japanese CD copies only)
  2. "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" (from MTV Unplugged in New York) (Traditional; arranged by Lead Belly) – 5:08 (appears on vinyl and international CD copies only)

Charts and certifications[edit]




  1. ^ Teri vanHorn (2001-06-29). "Love Blocks Nirvana Release - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  2. ^ "A piece of Kurt Cobain". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  3. ^ Rasmus Holmen. "[NFC: The Internet Nirvana Fan Club]". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  4. ^ Enrico Vincenzi. "Nirvana discography in sections "Official releases and related promos" and "Promo only"". Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  5. ^ RIAA Database - Nirvana Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  6. ^ IFPI Platinum Europe Awards - 2007 Retrieved January 18, 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ a b Bryant, Will (2002-11-14). "Nirvana: Nirvana | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  11. ^ "Rolling Stone Music | Album Reviews". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  12. ^ Thomas, Stephen (2002-10-29). "Nirvana - Nirvana". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  13. ^ australian "Australian Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  14. ^ "Austrian Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  15. ^ "Belgium NL Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  16. ^ "Canadian Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Denmark Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Finland Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  19. ^ (The user has to select "Nirvana" from the drop down list) "InfoDisc : Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste" Check |url= scheme (help). Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  20. ^ "Holland Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  21. ^ "Italian Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  22. ^ "Oricon Weekly Album Charts for the third week of November 2002" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  23. ^ "New ZealandL Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  24. ^ "Norway Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  25. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  26. ^ "Sweden Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  27. ^ "Switzerland Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  28. ^ "UK Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  29. ^ "USA Chart Archives". Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  31. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Nirvana – Nirvana" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Nirvana in the field Interpret. Enter Nirvana in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  32. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2007". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  33. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Nirvana – Nirvana" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  34. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2007". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
  35. ^ a b "Nirvana" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  36. ^ "French album certifications – Nirvana – Nirvana" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  37. ^ "Italian album certifications – Nirvana – Nirvana" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved January 21, 2014.  Select Album e Compilation in the field Sezione. Enter Nirvana in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  38. ^ "Spanish album certifications – Nirvana – Nirvana" (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España.  Select the "Chart", enter 2007 in the field "Year". Select '' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  39. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Nirvana; 'Nirvana')". Hung Medien. 
  40. ^ "British album certifications – Nirvana – Nirvana". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Nirvana in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]

Preceded by
One by One by Foo Fighters
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
November 4–10, 2002
Succeeded by
The Best of 1990–2000 by U2