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Last Nirvana Song Recalls Band's Heavy Grunge Sound
10.30.99 | Sonic Net

Track with working title 'Know Your Rights' expected to be on unscheduled, upcoming box set.
Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports:

Nirvana's last recorded song — which had languished undiscovered among unfinished works by the band — captures the Seattle trio in a "grungier" and "screamier" mood than their previous final singles, according to the song's producer.

Producer Adam Kasper (Foo Fighters, Verbena), who worked on the recording with the pioneer grunge-rock band, said the song — with the working title "Know Your Rights" — is "a little bit grungier and a little screamier over the chorus" than "Heart-Shaped Box," from In Utero (1993), the final studio release from the band considered one of the most influential groups of the past decade.

The cut was completed several months before singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain's April 1994 suicide. It's likely the only finished, unreleased studio track from the band, Kasper said.

"['Know Your Rights'] is a pretty cool tune. ... [With] almost a 'Heart-Shaped Box' (RealAudio excerpt) kind of approach," Kasper said Friday (Oct. 29). "It's not 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or anything," he added, referring to the Nirvana song that became the anthem for the grunge generation, "but it's a nice one to hear."

Kasper said that "Know Your Rights" got that working title because that was the phrase Cobain sang in the chorus.

Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, now frontman for the Foo Fighters, told the BBC that the final song Nirvana recorded would be included in an upcoming box set. Though Grohl did not name the song, Kasper said it was likely that he was referring to "Know Your Rights." Kasper produced the Foo Fighters' upcoming third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose (Nov. 2).

The sessions that produced the song were "from like February '94 or something," Grohl was quoted as saying to the BBC's Radio 1, as reported in an article posted to the BBC website Oct. 14. "We went in to do a demo session and recorded one song, and not many people have heard it all — maybe a handful of five or 10 people."

The sessions also represented a turning point of sorts for the trio, Kasper said, with Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic contributing song ideas to complement Cobain's wealth of material.

"There were six or seven things [they were working on], but ['Know Your Rights'] is the only one I would say is a complete song, a single and everything," Kasper said.

Unlike performers such as The Artist, formerly known as Prince, or Bruce Springsteen — who are known for squirreling away numerous unreleased cuts — Nirvana have relatively few songs in storage, Grohl told the BBC.

"Most of what we recorded from 1990 to 1994 has been released or heard — maybe if it's live stuff, I'm not sure — but I think the real jewels of that box set will be the really weird stuff that was recorded before I was in the band," Grohl, 30, was quoted to have said.

Grohl joined Nirvana in 1990, after the group had released its debut, Bleach (1989). A special edition of that album, which is expected to include unreleased songs, will be issued next year by Sub Pop Records.

Regarding a release date or track listing for the Nirvana box set, "Nothing at all is set even in wet concrete," Geffen Records spokesperson Dennis Dennehy said Friday. Dennehy said the multi-CD collection is being worked on, but he didn't know what will be included or when the collection will be released.

"We always make time to get [Nirvana work] done," Grohl was reported to have said. "But at the same time, it's nice to look forward to something rather than ... digging through a library of a past that you miss or that was so great."

Grohl reportedly told the BBC that he's been working on the box set in between other projects. Novoselic has written about his participation on his official website. Kasper worked as an assistant engineer on In Utero and said he wound up doing some additional recording with the band following the tracking for that album. Those post–In Utero sessions ended up being the last ever by the band.

"A couple months after In Utero was finished, we did some sessions at a studio by Dave's [Grohl] house [in Seattle]," Kasper, 33, said.

"It was fun; it was just four guys hanging out. Kurt was kind of here and there, he put some time in, but he was a little flighty. The days when he didn't show up, we just did Dave's songs, which he ended up doing for that first [Foo Fighters] album.

The producer said Novoselic also has numerous other tapes with songs Novoselic wrote, songs Grohl wrote and jams by Cobain that were never fleshed out. "['Know Your Rights'] is finished, but the other ones only have scratch ideas. This one is one you could put out right away."

Nirvana's breakthrough, Nevermind (1991), included such landmark grunge singles as "Come As You Are" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Lithium." The record has been cited by many critics as the most important rock album of the decade.

The box set will be the band's third posthumous release, following the live discs MTV Unplugged in New York (1994) and From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah (1996). The latter included such songs as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (RealAudio excerpt of live version).

New Nirvana Video... Kinda.

Last Sunday night (the 24th), MTV debuted a 'new' Nirvana video on their alternative music program, 120 Minutes. The video-- Rape Me-- is taken from Nirvana's 1993 Saturday Night Live preformance.

Also, recently, Smells Like Teen Spirit supposably appeared on VH1's program 'Pop Up Video.'

Nirvana Tribute Album In The Works!

Nirvana Gets Tribute Treatment By Sex Pistols' Steve Jones, Producer Ronnie King
Oct 21, 1999, 11:00 am PT

Nirvana is next in line to get the tribute treatment from Cleopatra Records. Steve Jones of Sex Pistols fame and rap producer/studio musician Ronnie King, formerly of Joykiller, are producing six songs each for the compilation, which is tentatively due in the spring of 2000.

Jones and King have only just begun working on the project in the past week or so in Los Angeles, so at this point the only band confirmed is punk rockers Total Chaos, who will be covering Nirvana's "Breed" from the band's 10 million- selling Nevermind, according to King. The band, which is also contributing "Seventeen" to the Sex Pistols tribute album on Radical Records, is scheduled to record the song Friday (Oct. 22), and while King says they may add some keyboards to it.

King (whose credits include work with Tupac Shakur, Coolio, and Mark Wahlberg) is also working on putting together an "all-star" band with some rappers to cover a song or two. King says the band might include MC Lyte, Big Syke from Thug Life (the rap crew led by the late Tupac Shakur), rock drummer extraordinaire Josh Freese, and himself on keyboards. A song hasn't been chosen yet, but King says that he's toying with the idea of doing a rap version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Jones couldn't be reached by deadline about his part of the tribute record.
-- Carrie Borzillo

Everything Zen? I Don't Think So.

All Star Daily Music News
Bush's Gavin Rossdale Speaks Out On Nirvana
Oct 19, 1999, 4:55 pm PT
Bush's new album, The Science of Things, has not only opened up some new territory for the stadium dwelling Brits, but it has also seemingly put the past into the proper perspective.

"Before there was a concerted effort to sound or to have similarities to the Pixies and to Polly Harvey and nods to the spirit of Nirvana and stuff," says Bush singer and guitarist Gavin Rossdale about critics' early complaints that the band's sound was too derivitive. "But I thought that was really always over exaggerated. There were many more bands with way closer ties [to other acts] like mad, madly. I think for instance when the Smashing Pumpkins came out they sounded a lot more like Jane's Addiction than we try to sound like -- because we're always compared to -- Nirvana. Gish was like a blueprint of Jane's Addiction. Jane's Addiction didn't really have the God-like status that Nirvana had because obviously Kurt [Cobain] killed himself."

The newly outspoken Rossdale continues with is his rant about the injustices of comparisons in the two group's music: "It's kind of ironic. I remember reading stuff about Kurt saying that he felt he was in the most hated band in the world and then of course there was that terrible tragedy and he shot himself and you become defied beyond the realm. So if you have like the tiniest bit of spice from them you're in shit, especially if it sells!

"But I never used to talk about them," continues Rossdale. "Now I've sort of moved on. The record definitely doesn't sound like anything to do with Nirvana. I was scared to talk about them for a while and yet they were such an important band. And it's stopped me listening to them. That was the worst part."

A healthy and helpful attitude given the fact that Rossdale believes Bush are playing with ex-Nirvana striker Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters on New Year's Eve.

Bush taped VH1's Hard Rock Live Tuesday (Oct. 19) night in New York.

Three More Books Sure To NOT Be On Oprah's Book Of The Month Club List
AllStar Daily Music News

While it seems like book store shelves are cluttered with them already, there are currently three -- yes, three -- more Nirvana-related books coming out in the near future.

Kurt St. Thomas, who did the 1992 Nirvana interview CD, Nevermind: It's an Interview, with Troy Smith while the two were Music Director and Production Director, respectively, at Boston alternative station WFNX, has handed in his history of the band with Smith again to St. Martin's Griffin. The book, Nirvana: The Chosen Rejects, is due early next year.

Charles R. Cross, Editor of Seattle's premiere music paper The Rocket, has been working on a biography of Kurt Cobain, highlighting a lot of his early years, for Hyperion Press. The book is titled The Will of Instinct, A Biography of Kurt Cobain, and is due next September.

And, now for the plug part: allstar Managing Editor, News, Carrie Borzillo has just inked a deal with Carlton Books for a timeline-style on Nirvana, including nearly every date and major happening in the band's career with quotes from interviews conducted for the book from people involved or those who where there, and quotes culled from previous interviews around the world. She will be on a month-long sabbatical to work on the book from Oct. 25-Nov. 22 and can be reached during that time at

As previously reported (allstar, Sept. 24), 2000 will also see the re-release of Nirvana's first album, Bleach, by Sub Pop and a box set of the band via Geffen.

At Last! More Box Set News!
Thanks to Roman!
BBC Online - Radio 1 - News
october 14, 1999

Dave Grohl been giving Radio 1 some exclusive details of the much anticipated box set from his former band, Nirvana, which up until now had been shrouded in secrecy: "The last song we ever recorded will be on there. That was from like February '94 or something. We went in to do a demo session and recorded one song and not many people have heard it all - maybe a handful of five or ten people", he explained. "Most of what we recorded from 1990-1994 has been released or heard - maybe if itfs live stuff I'm not sure - but I think the real jewels of that box set will be the really weird stuff that was recorded before I was in the band".

The box set's been pulled together by a friend of the band, called Chris, who's based in Seattle. Dave explained why he's not more hands-on: "He really took the live record that came out a while ago into his own hands and was going through live tape. He put that together and said 'Are you guys cool with this?' and we all said 'Yeah! Sure'." But Dave says doing a box set is much more demanding: "Usually, when there are decisions to be made they'll say 'Hey, you guys think of this idea and we'll think of this idea' and we're 'Oh yeah, sure'. And I'm busy doing Foofighters stuff and we always make time to get that done", he says, and adds: "But at the same time it's nice to look forward to something rather than reverting and going back and digging through a library of a past that you miss or was so great".

Roumer No More...

Thanks to
In a recent Foo Fighters interview, Dave Grohl confirmed that Nirvana did record a demo session, with new material, in early 1994.

"DG: Adam Kasper is from Seattle. He was the last person to record Nirvana, and he recorded the demo session that we did, I think in January or February of '94, and he was just so nice and mellow and quick."

Nirvana's Bleach Reissue Now Slated For 2000
Sep 24, 1999, 11:35 am
CDNow: All Star Music News

The planned 10th anniversary reissue of Nirvana's debut indie LP, Bleach, won't see the bottom of a CD bin in 1999 as Sub Pop Records, the label on which the album originally surfaced in 1989, is now eyeing a 2000 release date.
According to a source, bassist Krist Novoselic is currently working with label reps to decide which bonus tracks should be on the album along with gathering liner notes for its release. A Nirvana box set has also been in the works.
-- Kevin Raub


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