Nirvana (Nirvana album)

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Nirvana album cover.svg
Greatest hits album by Nirvana
Released October 29, 2002
Recorded 1988–1994
Length 49:38
Label DGC
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 American rock band Nirvana. It was released in October 2002.


Nirvana was released following the settlement of a long-standing legal dispute between Kurt 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. The 2002 European 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 number 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.

2015 vinyl re-release[edit]

On June 23, 2015 Universal Music Enterprises announced that Nirvana was being re-released on 45 rpm 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]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[8]
Drowned in Sound 10/10[9]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[10]
Entertainment Weekly A[11]
NME 9/10[12]
Pitchfork 7.0/10[13]
Punknews 2/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[15]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[16]
Spin 10/10[17]

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."[18] 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."[13]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kurt Cobain except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
1. "You Know You're Right"   Previously unreleased 3:38
2. "About a Girl"   Bleach (1989) 2:49
3. "Been a Son"   Blew (1989) 2:23
4. "Sliver"   Incesticide (1992) 2:14
5. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nevermind (1991) 5:01
6. "Come as You Are"   Nevermind 3:39
7. "Lithium"   Nevermind 4:17
8. "In Bloom"   Nevermind 4:15
9. "Heart-Shaped Box"   In Utero (1993) 4:41
10. "Pennyroyal Tea" (Single remix)   In Utero 3:38
11. "Rape Me"   In Utero 2:51
12. "Dumb"   In Utero 2:34
13. "All Apologies"   MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) 3:51
14. "The Man Who Sold the World" David Bowie MTV Unplugged in New York 3:47




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. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Nirvana: Nirvana". Allmusic. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  9. ^ White, Peter (27 October 2002). "Nirvana: Nirvana". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. 
  11. ^ Browne, David (8 November 2002). "Nirvana". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  12. ^ Segal, Victoria (12 September 2005). "Nirvana : Nirvana". NME. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Bryant, Will (2002-11-14). "Nirvana: Nirvana | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  14. ^ "Nirvana - Nirvana (Greatest Hits)". July 10, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Rolling Stone Music | Album Reviews". Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  16. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Nirvana". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 589. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  17. ^ Klosterman, Chuck (January 2003). "Nirvana: Nirvana (DGC/Interscope)". Spin: 95. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  18. ^ Thomas, Stephen (2002-10-29). "Nirvana - Nirvana". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
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  20. ^ " – Nirvana – Nirvana" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  21. ^ " – Nirvana – Nirvana" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  22. ^ " – Nirvana – Nirvana" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Nirvana – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for Nirvana. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
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  26. ^ "Nirvana: Nirvana" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  27. ^ (The user has to select "Nirvana" from the drop down list) "InfoDisc : Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
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  37. ^ Nirvana Billboard Vinyl Albums Chart retrieved May 8, 2016.
  38. ^ "Nirvana – Chart history" Billboard Top Catalog Albums for Nirvana. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  39. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 2002". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
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Works cited

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