Originally Posted by hipster_bebop_junkie
That makes sense. Your general beef with it seems to be more with Andy Wallace's work, then. I would suppose listening to the deluxe edition will satisfy you. I was referring more to the general identity, structure and dynamic of the songs when i mentioned that there weren't many differences between the rough stuff and the final record.
I see "Bleach" more lined up with the general aesthetic of Sub Pop's roster at the time, and probably wouldn't link it to SST Records strictly. "In Utero" is certainly great (and my favorite Nirvana album) but it's certainly flawed, even in some parts of the production. Having heard Steve Albini's mix, i don't consider that Scott Litt's work actually damaged the record.
I sort of agree with you on your commentary towards the "Curmudgeon" and "Even In His Youth" B-sides. Those are wonderful songs in terms of dynamics and performance. I would recommend you to get a copy of the January 1 of 1991 session that i mentioned before. Nirvana recorded "Aneurysm" which ended up on "Incesticide", "Oh The Guilt", an embryonic version of "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" without vocals, "On A Plain", an early version of "All Apologies", and then killer versions of "Even In His Youth" and "Token Eastern Song". The raw power of this specific recording always made me wish to have a chance to listen to the actual master tapes of the recording sessions that spawned "Nevermind" in hopes that there were similar gems in there, i thought it would be possible judging by all the things that have been said about the whole process. I don't know if it would be worth to wait another decade for those, though.
As for your opinion about the "Nevermind" songs being shitty on record as opposed to their live versions, i have to say i somehow agree with that, and not only in the case of this particular album (although of course i wouldn't dare to deny its merits). I believe Nirvana's charm lies in the mighty power they had when performing live. I barely ever listen to any of the albums, but i'm still interested in getting whatever Nirvana live recordings that i'm missing in my collection.
However, the Incesticide version of "Aneurysm" is terrible. I think I was in junior high when they debuted the Muddy Banks version on MTV and it totally rejuvenated my interest in the band. But the "album" cut is really lame, IMO.
You mentioned that I should hear the Albini mix of Utero.... do you have it by any chance? I, despite having been a Nirvana fan since they were still together, have NEVER heard that recording, and I've always wanted to.
Actually, I didn't even know it was "out there".
Nevermind definitely has its moments, don't get be wrong. "In Bloom" is great on that record, as is "Drain You", which was my favorite Nirvana song for years. But "Come as You Are" sounds like shit... so does "Territorial Pissings" and "Breed". Punk rock and billboard pop have never mixed well enough for my liking.
In Utero is the gem. "Milk It" is one of the heaviest things ever laid down to tape. I think In Utero is their true masterpiece, no question, and that "All Apologies" is the "All You Need is Love" of our little x-generation (of which many here are probably not part of). "Dumb" is so perfectly quiet and solemn and sincere, and hearing it is like taking an auditory valium. And one can never undersell the ferocity and menace of "Frances Farmer..." Yeah, they got their sound DOWN on Utero. But I'd still kill a small child to hear the original Albini mix. Help a brother out?
Thanks for the interesting commentary!