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Archive for the ‘Nirvana’ Category

UMe’s Record Store Day Slate Features Nirvana, Frank Zappa, Classic Blue Note, Motown Funk and More

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38640_01_Jacket.inddWith Public Enemy’s Chuck D engaged as the Record Store Day Ambassador for 2014, it’s only appropriate that one of his own records is arriving this Saturday as a special limited edition vinyl platter. The new reissue of Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back will be joined on RSD by a host of other vinyl goodies from Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).   Previously unreleased music from Frank Zappa (previewing the upcoming 40th anniversary reissue of Apostrophe) and the seventies Motown pair of Rick James and Teena Marie will arrive from Universal, along with replicas of the first two releases ever from the venerable Blue Note Records, currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Nirvana make their mark on RSD with the first-ever seven-inch release of “Pennyroyal Tea” b/w “I Hate Myself and Want to Die,” originally scheduled for release in 1994 but pulled off the schedule in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Universal also has a special vinyl box, Superunknown: The Singles, commemorating the 20th anniversary of Soundgarden’s Superunknown.

Hit the jump for the full specs on each title courtesy of Universal’s original press release!

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Written by Joe Marchese

April 17, 2014 at 14:07

Release Round-Up: Week of September 24

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In Utero DeluxeNirvana, In Utero: 20th Anniversary Edition (DGC/UMe)

The grunge icon’s final album is greatly expanded in numerous formats for its two-decade mark, with B-sides, a new mix of the album and the band’s Live and Loud concert feature from MTV on CD and DVD. Check the post above to figure out which one suits you best!

1CD Standard remaster: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
1CD Expanded remaster: Target (U.S.)
2CD Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD/1DVD Super Deluxe Box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Live and Loud DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

WaitressesThe Waitresses, Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses (Omnivore)

We know what boys (and girls) like: two discs of the Akron, Ohio-based rock band, including both their LPs for Polydor and nine non-LP bonus tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way 20Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Virgin/UMe)

The singer/songwriter/guitarist’s third hit album is expanded as a double-disc set with B-sides and unreleased demos. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Mamas and the PapasCaptain Beefheart and His Magic Band, Safe as Milk: Mono Edition / The Mamas and the Papas, The Mamas and the Papas: Mono Edition / Deliver: Stereo Edition (Sundazed)

Sundazed releases these new masters of The Mamas and The Papas’ second and third albums, along with Captain Beefheart’s debut, on CD and vinyl for the first time in years.

Safe As Milk: Amazon U.S. – LP / CD; Amazon U.K. – LP / CD
The Mamas and The Papas
: Amazon U.S. – LP / CD; Amazon U.K. – LP / CD
Deliver: Amazon U.S. – LP / CD; Amazon U.K. – LP / CD

Woodstock 40The Band, The Last Waltz (Warner Bros./Rhino) / Various Artists, Woodstock: 40 Years On (Atlantic/Rhino)

These two Rhino box sets, originally released in 2002 and 2009, respectively, get reissued as budget-packaged editions in smaller boxes.

The Last Waltz: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
WoodstockAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Written by Mike Duquette

September 24, 2013 at 08:13

Milk It: Nirvana Lines Up Another Reissue Exclusive At Target

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In Utero TargetIn what appears to be a repeat of a successful formula and a sign of what it takes to get even the biggest catalogue releases to big box retail shelves, Universal will again pair with Target stores for an exclusive version of a Nirvana reissue.

Following 2011’s exclusive single-disc expansion of Nevermind – which put the first disc of the deluxe edition in its own jewel case, allowing fans to buy simply the remastered album and all the original B-sides in one set instead of any of the unreleased outtakes – Target will do the same for the forthcoming In Utero expansion next week. The remastered disc will feature the eight bonus tracks featured in the other deluxe formats, including six contemporaneous B-sides and two unreleased mixes of “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” by album producer Steve Albini. (Scott Litt remixed those songs and “Pennyroyal Tea” for singles.)

It is presently unclear if the two-disc In Utero will sit on shelves alongside its Target-exclusive partner, as was the case for Nevermind. A cursory look at big box retailer shelves often turns up little in the way of deluxe reissues; Target’s last non-exclusive packages of such kind, to this writer’s memory, were probably Universal’s reissues of U2’s Achtung Baby and The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls. (A Target edition of Michael Jackson’s Bad 25 had a bonus DVD, and a spring sale involved gift card incentives with the purchase of specially marked, previously-released entries in Sony’s Legacy Edition product line.)

All formats of In Utero hit stores next Tuesday, September 24. If a remastered, expanded one-disc set is what you want, pre-order the Target version after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 16, 2013 at 11:17

Posted in News, Nirvana, Reissues

Nirvana to Serve the Servants with Anniversary Reissue of Final LP “In Utero” (UPDATED WITH TRACKLIST 8/13)

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The above video repurposes a vintage advertisement to tell fans that UMe is planning a 20th anniversary reissue of Nirvana’s final album, 1993’s In Utero, on September 24.

In its own weird way, the video – featuring band members Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl being coached through a surreal lamaze class by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait – indicates how unusual the album was. In Utero was the polar opposite of 1991’s breakthrough Nevermind, with abrasive production by Steve Albini and considerably less accessible songs crafted by Kurt Cobain, who was clearly uncomfortable with his growing fame as the voice of a disaffected generation. (Almost seven months after the album’s release, Cobain died of a self-inflicted shotgun wound at 27.) Nonetheless, the album received critical acclaim and was certified five times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

UMe has confirmed “more than 70 remastered, remixed, rare, unreleased and live recordings” will be included on the multi-format reissue, which looks to include a single-disc remaster, a double-disc deluxe edition, a triple-LP deluxe edition and a super-deluxe box that encompasses three CDs and a DVD. Promised material includes “never-before-heard demos, B-sides, compilation tracks and live material featuring the final touring lineup of Cobain, Novoselic, Grohl and [second guitarist] Pat Smear…including the long-awaited release of the complete Live and Loud show from Seattle’s Pier 48 on December 13, 1993.” (Parts of that show, which will also be released on standalone DVD, were edited into a special for MTV in the band’s heyday.)

In Utero Deluxe

Today, Rolling Stone confirmed the contents of the super deluxe box:

  • Disc 1 features the original album with previously released B-sides and bonus tracks from the era, as well as Steve Albini’s unreleased mixes of singles “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies”
  • Disc 2 contains a newly-mixed version of the album (the band was famously skittish about Albini’s production, allowing Scott Litt to remix singles “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” as well as cancelled single “Pennyroyal Tea”; it’s unknown as of yet who’s behind this new mix) with 11 unreleased demos, including a never-before-heard song, “Forgotten Tune”
  • The Live and Loud concert on CD (Disc 3) and DVD (Disc 4), the latter also featuring both cuts of the video for “Heart-Shaped Box” and other live content from the band’s European tour

After the jump, all variants of the new In Utero are available to pre-order, as well as the full annotated track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

August 13, 2013 at 10:10

No. 1 with a Bullet: Boston Hardcore Band Anthologized with New Digital Compilation

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Bullet LaVoltaThe world of rock and roll is littered with captivating tales of what-ifs and alternate routes that pushed a musician in one direction instead of another. One such captivating story of late is that of Jason Everman, a seemingly unassuming Army Ranger today who at one point was a member of the Seattle grunge scene, playing in both Nirvana and Soundgarden before both rocketed to success in 1991.

What’s particularly interesting about that New York Times piece on Everman, other than its subject, is the byline: it was penned by Clay Tarver, himself a rock guitarist who was part of a great unsung band of the 1990s: Bullet LaVolta. The Boston-based hardcore punk outfit was one of many bands who made the jump to a major label in the early years of the decade, as labels started to catch onto new and unusual shifts in rock music at the time. (The band also featured two other members who’d find interesting successes down the line: vocalist Kurt “Yukki Gipe” Davis would later become an employee of music video game developer Harmonix Music Systems and have his latest band, The Konks, featured in the first entry in the Rock Band series, while drummer Todd Phillips formed the band Model/Actress with ex-Brainiac bassist Juan Monostereo.)

After a successful EP and LP on the independent Taang! label, RCA signed Bullet LaVolta and released their final album, Swandive, produced by Dave Jerden (engineer on Talking Heads’ Remain in Light and David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts as well as producer for Jane’s Addiction and Alice in Chains). Its street date? September 24, 1991 – the same day Geffen released Nirvana’s major-label debut Nevermind. (In what may be one of the most stunning bills of the decade, both bands shared the stage that night at local Boston club Axis, with The Smashing Pumpkins as the opening act.)

For whatever reason, Bullet LaVolta’s Swandive, with its hardcore riffs and clean production, was received much better by critics than fans, who would fly their flannel for the grunge movement over the next several years. (The band would decide to split within the year.) Now, over two decades later, RCA/Legacy celebrates the band with a new digital-only compilation, Force Majeure: The RCA Anthology (’90-’92). The 18-track set features a newly-remastered versions of Swandive, Gimme Danger (a part-live/part-studio EP released on Metal Blade Records and featuring a cover of KISS “Detroit Rock City”), a B-side cover of The Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer,” a 1992 live in-studio performance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s WBMR-FM and an unreleased demo recorded at the famed Ft. Apache studio in 1990. As an additional bonus, the set also features the original promo video for lead single “Swan Dive,” directed by Kevin Kerslake, hailed as “the Scorsese of grunge.”

Force Majeure: The RCA Anthology (’90-’92) is available now from Amazon; the set’s stunningly low price is as good as any an impetus to rediscover one of the best “side routes” in ’90s rock. Hit the jump for order links and the full track list!

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 17, 2013 at 11:40

Black Friday 2012: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa Lead Off Packed Slate of RSD Exclusives

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Here in the U. S. of A., Black Friday is almost upon us: that unusual date following the prior day of giving thanks, in which consumers make a mad dash to the local big-box store, mall or shopping center to procure bargains for the holiday season ahead.  Retailers are controversially beginning Black Friday “festivities” even earlier than usual this year, with many sales starting on Thanksgiving Day itself and not even at midnight but in the early part of the evening.  For a number of recent years, music buyers have had our own Black Friday, that day in April known as Record Store Day in which the aisles of our independent retailers are filled with hunters of collectible vinyl and CD releases.  Record Store Day has in the past sponsored a mini-RSD event on Black Friday, but this year, the titles on offer are as enticing and nearly as plentiful as those on the main RSD itself.  For some, this will be a source of frustration, for others, excitement.

This year’s line-up for Record Store Day – Black Friday brings titles from some of the biggest names in rock including The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Nirvana, plus cult favorites like Leonard Cohen, Lee Hazlewood and Frank Zappa, and country-and-western legends such as Wanda Jackson and Buck Owens.

After the jump and without further ado, we’ll fill you in on the crème of the reissued crop come this Black Friday!  Just click for your full list of the catalogue releases to watch! Read the rest of this entry »

The Second Disc Buyers Guide: The 100 Greatest Reissues of All Time, Part 17 (#20-16)

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We’re in the Top 20 of Rolling Stone‘s Greatest Albums of All Time list, going through the various reissues and expansions of each one! This time, we have a Boss, a champion of a ’90s rock revolution, a poet of the ’60s – and starting right now, the King of Pop himself. Read on!

20. Michael Jackson, Thriller (Epic, 1982)

Nine disparate songs, helmed by a producer of straightforward jazz and R&B, and performed by a 24-year-old former child star-turned-gawky but dedicated perfectionist. It sounds like it has the makings of a great album, but the best-selling album in history? It seems unconventional – but that’s what makes Thriller so good. There’s something for everyone, from the seven charting singles to the smorgasbord/soundtrack vibe of the whole proceedings, with or without the unforgettable videos on MTV. Michael would strive harder for greatness, for sure, but he’d never achieve it as effortlessly as he did with this one.

First released on CD not too long after the album’s release (Epic EK 38112), that pressing stayed in print for years. (There was a special repackage in Europe in 1999, packaged in a cardboard sleeve and with a Japanese-style OBI indicating Epic’s U.K. “Millennium Edition” series – Epic MILLEN4). A SACD edition was first released in Japan the next year (Epic ESGA 503) and ultimately released in the U.S. six years after that (Epic ES 38112).

The first of two expanded editions (Epic EK 66073) appeared in 2001, preceding the release of Jackson’s then-new album Invincible and arriving alongside reissues of Michael’s other Epic albums through 1991. Like the reissue of Off the Wall, this disc gives far too much space to audio interviews with producer Jones and songwriter Rod Temperton where written recollections would have done better. Still, this has the most bonus tracks out of this reissue program, featuring two demos (“Billie Jean,” the unreleased “Carousel”), the full version of Vincent Price’s delightful “Thriller” outro and “Someone in the Dark,” from the Grammy-winning E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook record Jackson narrated. (Nitpickers have valid complaints with some of the bonus material, though; “Someone in the Dark” is crossfaded with part of an interview with Jones – it would not be released properly until The Ultimate Collection box set in 2004 – and “Carousel” is edited down as well. That full version can be found on Italian pressings of the import compilation King of Pop (Epic 88697 35638-2, 2008).)

The other deluxe reissue, 2008’s Thriller 25 (Epic/Legacy 88697 22096-2), eschewed much of the bonus material from the last reissue (save the “Thriller” rap) in favor of mostly atrocious remixes of Thriller singles by of The Black Eyed Peas, Akon and Kanye West and a DVD of previously-released music videos (as well as Jackson’s iconic performance of “Billie Jean” on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Forever in 1983). The sole “unreleased track from the Thriller sessions,” a nice if slight ballad called “For All Time,” is almost certainly not from those sessions; co-writers Mike Sherwood and Jeff Porcaro had not collaborated before Toto’s Fahrenheit album in 1986. The Japanese import bonus track, “Got the Hots,” does indeed date back that far.

19. Van Morrison, Astral Weeks (Warner Bros., 1968)

It’s easy to laud these albums as ones that don’t sound like anything else at the time, but Astral Weeks didn’t, and doesn’t. Inspired by traditional Irish folk, blues, jazz and classical artists, it’s a dreamy song cycle that is the night to the bright daytime of “Brown Eyed Girl.” For all its popularity, though, it’s never been reissued on CD anytime past its initial release (Warner Bros. 1768-2); it was reportedly planned for expansion in the late 2000s, but cancelled by the artist himself in a fit of pique with the music industry.

After the jump, the Boss, the bard and the grunge explosion! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 21, 2011 at 12:18

Release Round-Up: Week of October 24/25

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It’s Tuesday, but most of the new music this week has already been out for a day. But assuming you were too busy to get out to the shops, here’s a look at what’s new. And there’s quite a bit!

Various Artists, Phil Spector Presents The Philles Album Collection (Phil Spector Records/Legacy)

Six of the first seven Philles albums presented in mono, along with a bonus disc of those delightfully out-there instrumental B-sides. Seriously, have you heard any of them? They’re crazy. In a good way, that is.

Diana Ross & The Supremes, The 50th Anniversary Collection 1961-1969 / The Temptations, The 50th Anniversary Collection 1961-1971 (Hip-o Select/Motown)

Two new triple-disc sets capture two of Motown’s greatest groups at their peak, with every A- and B-side from the listed periods contained therein.

Paul Simon, One Trick Pony / Hearts and Bones / Graceland / The Rhythm of the Saints / Songwriter (Legacy)

The first four are the 2004 Rhino reissues in jewel cases instead of digipaks (although Graceland is re-remastered), the last is a two-disc compilation handpicked by Simon himself with a big thick booklet for your persual. (Have you read Joe’s great review? You really should.)

Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam 20 (Sony Music Video)

Cameron Crowe’s celebratory documentary, now available for home viewing.

Various Artists, The Bridge School Concerts: 25th Anniversary Edition (Reprise)

Two new sets – a 3-disc DVD box and a double-disc CD set – capture 25 years of one of the best known (and, let’s face it, best) benefit concert series of all time. Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Paul McCartney, Sonic Youth and a host of other rock luminaries appear.

Howlin’ Wolf, Smokestack Lightnin’: The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 (Hip-o Select/Chess)

Four CDs of vintage blues goodness from The Wolf – including some tracks making their Stateside debut.

Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More: Deluxe Edition (Glassnote)

The great British roots-rockers’ major label debut, expanded with a bonus track, a live disc and a DVD documentary.

The Monkees, Head (Rhino)

A shiny new vinyl reissue of the cult classic album.

The Mamas and The Papas, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears / Strawberry Alarm Clock, Incense and Peppermints (Sundazed)

The original, classic albums in mono, on CD! (There are a few other notables coming from Sundazed for you ’60s fans, too.)

Yes, 9012Live: The Solos – Expanded Edition (Friday Music)

The first-ever domestic CD release of Yes’ overlooked live album/side project, with two live bonus tracks for good measure.

Deftones, The Vinyl Collection 1995-2011 (Reprise)

A limited edition collection of the alternative band’s studio albums, plus an album of non-album covers, previously only available as a Record Store Day exclusive. (It’s sold out online, but I’m sure it’s still up for grabs here and there.)

Nirvana, Nevermind: Super Deluxe Edition (Geffen/UMe)

Previously a Best Buy exclusive, it’s worth noting that this title is now available everywhere. Hooray!

Pink Floyd, Beatles, Nirvana, Doors Lead Off Record Store Day Exclusives On “Black Friday”

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For those of us who still savor the experience of shopping in a physical environment, Record Store Day has become a yearly tradition.  It’s sometimes frustrating and sometimes exciting, but few could argue with an event that spotlights the hard-working independent music retailers out there who believe that brick-and-mortar retail can still thrive in the iTunes era.  (Amen to that!)  A more recent offshoot of Record Store Day has been the mini-event held each Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving.  While crowds line up each year at Best Buy or Wal-Mart in the wee hours, a rare breed has been doing the same at the record shop in the hopes of obtaining a number of exclusive releases, most of which are on vinyl.  This year’s Black Friday crop boasts reissues from some of the biggest names in rock: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Nirvana, The Doors and so many more.

With Black Friday just around the corner, Record Store Day has revealed the full list of exclusive titles.  Among the highlights are a number of 7-inch single releases.   From The Beatles, a box set will offer four picture sleeve singles in a sturdy flip-top box.  Pink Floyd’s singles box is dedicated to The Wall, and consists of three 7-inch singles in picture sleeves.  Both box sets feature a Record Store Day-branded adapter and a poster.  Pink Floyd fans might also be interested in a release from Mick Rock.  Syd Barrett is remembered with The Photography of Mick Rock.  The box includes photographs of the legendary Floyd member plus a 7-inch single of “Octopus” b/w “Golden Hair” on yellow vinyl.  A limited, numbered 7-inch set from Bob Dylan offers four singles and includes a sticker of the artist.  Janis Joplin also gets the 7-inch box treatment; her Move Over! offers four previously unreleased picture sleeve singles, including six never-before-released tracks and two rarities.  The box itself includes a photo print of Janis and a temporary tattoo replica of her tattoo.  Joplin is also the recipient of a 180-gram vinyl box set containing four original albums.  The Doors’ L.A. Woman set includes four singles, the fourth of which consists of studio chatter.

Sundazed is offering a number of 7-inches from its deep catalogue.  The Yardbirds’ “Ha Ha Said the Clown” b/w “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor”  is a 1967 U.S. single that never received U.K. release, and “Ten Little Indians” is another U.S. mono single from the same year showcasing Jimmy Page’s experimental studio work.  Two more singles come from The Byrds.  “The Times They Are A-Changin’” b/w “She Don’t Care About Time” was originally earmarked for single release but that never happened; now, the Dylan covers arrive in their originally intended format.  These are joined by “Eight Miles High” b/w “Why” in their mono RCA Studios versions.  The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Alley Oop” b/w “Night Owl Blues,” another “single that never was,” rounds out the label’s releases.

After the jump, you’ll find more Record Store Day titles revealed including those from Nirvana, John Lennon and Pete Townshend, plus the complete track listings to each and every one of these releases we’ve discussed above!  Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Nirvana, “Nevermind: 20th Anniversary Edition”

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It finally happened.

After around 20 months at the helm of The Second Disc, I think I’ve finally stumbled over a reissue that feels…dare I say it…misguided. Not entirely misguided, mind you, but misguided enough that it took me far longer than anticipated to bang out some thoughts on the title at hand, to understand what it meant for all of us as collectors and enthusiasts of catalogue material. Not a total strikeout, but a hit that barely gets a runner to second base, when it should have been an out-of-the-park home run.

Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991) was a game-changer on so many levels. Alongside two releases by fellow lauded Seattle bands Pearl Jam (Ten) and Soundgarden (Badmotorfinger), they instigated a sea change in music and popular culture forever. Not only did they turn the tide away from traditional pop albums entering the upper reaches of the Billboard 200, but in the wake of the publication’s adoption of Nielsen SoundScan data for official chart placement, such diverse sounds became, temporarily, part of the mainstream (before the diversity ultimately burst the monoculture into tiny pieces, right as the Internet became mainstream).

The record was, at the time of release, estimated to sell 250,000 copies when all was said and done; the album in fact moved more than 10 million in the U.S. alone. Now, Nevermind is revisited by that music industry that was so undone in part by the album’s success – an industry where a million copies sold of any record is now staggering. Predictably, it’s being given the royal treatment, either as a double-disc deluxe edition (DGC/UMe B0015883-02) or a by-now-industry-standard 4-CD/1-DVD super-deluxe edition (DGC/UMe B0015885-00). By virtue of its artistic and commercial value, Nevermind certainly earns this status as a reissue. Was it necessary, though, doing it the way it was done?

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 3, 2011 at 11:10

Posted in Box Sets, Nirvana, Reissues, Reviews

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