Aurora Borealis: A Nirvana Mixtape: 15 Essential B-Sides and Demos

Three albums, one B-sides compilation, several live efforts: That’s Nirvana in a nutshell. If you were one of the material-starved fans in the fall of 2004 that ponied up 60-something bucks for With the Lights Out, the then long-gestating box set project, you probably already came to the conclusion that there’s nothing really left to salvage. Sure, there’s always a proper release of the oft-discussed Fecal Matter demo tape, but really, that’s not much. Some might feel it’s time to “let go,” others may opt to keep relistening to what’s out there. Granted, there will always be Nirvana-related items in the pipeline, whether it’s more live recordings or DVD releases or reissues, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll feel the same sense of awe and wonder as you did, say, in 2002 when “You Know You’re Right” hit the radio airwaves or in November ’04 when you first spun “Do Re Mi” or “Beans”.

Fortunately, there are plenty of demos to lose yourself in. Plenty. It’s almost as if Kurt Cobain never left a four-track recorder or a boombox for five years. Because of this, there’s so much to pick and choose from. This week, in light of all the Nirvana-related hoopla out there, Consequence of Sound dove into the proverbial boxes and assembled a mixtape of the B-sides and demos fans oughta hear. (We think it’s even better than 2005’s Sliver: The Best of the Box.) To make it special, we gave it a title (Aurora Borealis) and attempted to sequence it like a Nirvana album – aka, capitalizing on the whole “loud, soft, loud” thing. Convenience comes easy with us, so we’ve provided an online playlist to consult as you read our own personal liner notes.

Enjoy Aurora Borealis (via Spotify).

-Michael Roffman

Feature artwork by Project Gutenberg.


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