With The Lights Out - Box Set Release

With The Lights Out - Box Set Cover

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Geffen/UME is set to release the much-anticipated 3-CD/1-DVD box set With The Lights Out on November 23, 2004.

The box set contains 81 tracks, 68 which were previously unreleased.

The box set spans Nirvana’s entire career, from a recording of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” at the band’s first show in 1987 to solo acoustic performances from singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain in 1994. With The Lights Out features a 60-page color booklet with rare photos and liner notes by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and writer Neil Strauss.

The three CDs, arranged largely chronologically contains home and rehearsal demos, including for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (whose lyric “With the lights out” provides the set’s title), “Rape Me,” “Heart Shaped Box” and a trio penned by legendary bluesman Leadbelly.

Heard in the 12 previously unreleased solo acoustic tracks are such gems as “All Apologies,” “Lithium” and “Sliver.” Six previously unreleased radio performances range from “Anorexorcist” in 1987 to “Dumb” in 1991 (two years before it was on 1993’s In Utero). Along with the remaining debuts are a handful of earlier issued, though rare, b-sides and demos as well as the original Butch Vig mix of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Highlighted on the With The Lights Out DVD is a previously unreleased video of nine songs performed in 1988 at bassist Krist Novoselic’s mother’s house in Aberdeen, Washington; the rare “In Bloom” Sub Pop music video, and 10 never-before-seen live performances. Noteworthy among them are debut renditions of “Pennyroyal Tea”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” both from early 1991.
Also premiering is an unlikely performance of Jacques Brel and Rod McKuen’s “Seasons In The Sun” shot at a Rio de Janeiro studio.

Nirvana debuted on album with 1989’s Bleach (years later going platinum), followed by the EP Blew, each on Seattle-based Sub Pop. Drummer Dave Grohl joined in fall 1990 and soon after the band signed to Geffen Records. Nevermind (1991), propelled by the platinum Top 10 anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and its landmark music video, hit #1 and is now 10 times platinum. Up next were the Top 40, platinum Incesticide (1992) and the #1, quintuple platinum In Utero (1993). In April 1994, Cobain committed suicide. Issued posthumously have been 1994’s MTV Unplugged In New York (#1, quintuple platinum), 1996’s live compilation From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah (#1, platinum) and 2002’s “best of” Nirvana (#3, platinum).

With The Lights Out - Box Set

With The Lights Out - Track Listing

Disc 1

  1. Heartbreaker - Live, 1987 (first Nirvana show)*
  2. Anorexorcist - Radio Performance, 1987*
  3. White Lace And Strange - Radio Performance, 1987*
  4. Help Me I’m Hungry - Radio Performance, 1987*
  5. Mrs Butterworth - Rehearsal recording, 1988*
  6. If You Must - Demo, 1988*
  7. Pen Cap Chew - Demo, 1988*
  8. Downer - Live, 1988*
  9. Floyd The Barber - Live, 1988*
  10. Raunchola/Moby Dick - Live, 1988*
  11. Beans - Solo acoustic, undated*
  12. Don’t Want It All - Solo acoustic, undated*
  13. Clean Up Before She Comes - Solo acoustic, undated*
  14. Polly - Solo acoustic 1988*
  15. About A Girl - Solo acoustic 1988*
  16. Blandest - Demo, 1988*
  17. Dive - Demo, 1988*
  18. They Hung Him On A Cross - Demo, 1989*
  19. Grey Goose - Demo, 1989*
  20. Ain’t It A Shame - Demo, 1989*
  21. Token Eastern Song - Demo, 1989*
  22. Even In His Youth - Demo, 1989*
  23. Polly (solo) - Demo, 1989*

Disc 2

  1. Opinion - Solo acoustic, 1990*
  2. Lithium - Solo acoustic, 1990*
  3. Been A Son - Solo acoustic, 1990*
  4. Sliver - Solo acoustic, 1989*
  5. Where Did You Sleep Last Night - Solo acoustic, 1989*
  6. Pay To Play - Demo 1990
  7. Here She Comes Now - Demo 1990
  8. Drain You - Demo 1989*
  9. Aneurysm - Demo 1990
  10. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Rehearsal demo, 1991*
  11. Breed - Rough mix, 1991*
  12. Verse Chorus Verse - Outtake, 1991*
  13. Old Age - Outtake, 1991*
  14. Endless, Nameless - Radio appearance, 1991*
  15. Dumb - Radio appearance, 1991*
  16. D-7 - Radio appearance, 1990*
  17. Oh The Guilt - B-side, 1992
  18. Curmudgeon - B-side, 1992
  19. Return Of The Rat - Outtake, 1992
  20. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Butch Vig Mix - Recorded May, 1991

Disc 3

  1. Rape Me - Solo Acoustic, 1992*
  2. Rape Me - Demo, 1992*
  3. Scentless Apprentice - Rehearsal demo, 1992*
  4. Heart Shaped Box - Demo, 1993
  5. I Hate Myself And Want To Die - B-side, 1993
  6. Milk It - Demo, 1993*
  7. Moist Vagina - Demo, 1993*
  8. Gallons Of Running Alcohol Flows Through The Strip - B-side, 1993
  9. The Other Improv - Demo, 1993*
  10. Serve The Servants - Solo acoustic, 1993*
  11. Very Ape - Solo acoustic, 1993*
  12. Pennyroyal Tea - Solo acoustic, 1993*
  13. Marigold - B-side, 1993
  14. Sappy (retitled “Verse Chorus Verse” for release) - B-side, 1993*
  15. Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam - Rehearsal demo, 1994*
  16. Do Re Mi - Solo acoustic, 1994*
  17. You Know You’re Right - Solo acoustic, 1994*
  18. All Apologies - Solo acoustic, undated*

Disc 4 (DVD)

  1. Love Buzz
  2. Scoff
  3. About A Girl
  4. Big Long Now
  5. Immigrant Song
  6. Spank Thru
  7. Hairspray Queen
  8. School
  9. Mr Moustache
  10. Big Cheese - Filmed June 23, 1989 at Rhino Records (Los Angeles, California)*
  11. In Bloom - Sub Pop Video
  12. Sappy - Filmed February 16, 1990 at Bogarts (Long Beach, California)*
  13. School - Filmed September 22, 1990 at The Motor Sports International Garage (Seattle, Washington)*
  14. Love Buzz - Filmed October 11, 1990 at The North Shore Surf Club (Seattle, Washington)*
  15. Pennyroyal Tea
  16. Smells Like Teen Spirit
  17. Territorial Pissings
  18. Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam - Filmed October 31, 1991 at The Paramount Theatre (Seattle, Washington)*
  19. Talk To Me - Filmed October 4, 1992 at The Crocodile Cafe (Seattle, Washington)*
  20. Seasons In The Sun - Filmed January, 1993 at BMG Ariola Studios (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)*

Tracks 1-9 filmed at a 1988 rehearsal in Krist’s mother’s house (Aberdeen, Washington)
Tracks 15-17 filmed April 17, 1991 at The OK Hotel (Seattle, Washington)

* Denotes previously unreleased recordings

Release Dates

  • International - 22nd November
  • US & Canada - 23rd November

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November 9th, 2004