The twenty years’ re-issue of the most famous album cover of all time. Oh yeah, there is some music on it too, unintelligible lyrics included. After what is now more than thirty years, it still sounds good and fresh. The box contains three more discs with different versions of the songs, mostly not worth the effort to read the titles of, let alone hear them. I know, fans might love this collection, and prices online reflect that. The thirty years version that is out now is a lot better, containing live performances and lost material. I’m not going to buy this again though.
Nirvana’s second album, and the first with new drummer David Grohl. It was an instant success. In the first weeks it was selling 300.000 copies per week, growing to an impressive 30 million. It led to frustrations with singer Kurt Cobain, who never anticipated this much interest in his counter cultural and anti establishment outings. The album single handedly gave birth to the Seattle grunge sound (oh yes, I know there are earlier and better examples), but more importantly to a while new line of alternative music. Out with hair metal, in with punk, garage and grunge!
About that cover: photographer Kirk Weddle went to a pool with babies, took some pictures and edited in a dollar bill with a hook. There was some discussion about the rather exposed penis of the baby, when Cobain reacted that it was okay to put a sticker over it, saying If you’re offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile. So it stayed.
In 2021 Spencer Elden filed a lawsuit against what remained of the band, and the Estate of Cobain. He claimed damages, and that he, nor his legal guardians ever gave permission fo the picture. It was basically child pornography, he claimed. The case was dismissed twice and lasted until September 2022. One of the reasons for dismissal was that Elden profited from his being the Nirvana Baby (his term), and that he even had the name of the album tattooed on his chest. It seemed the baby really went for the dollar bill, but failed.