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(This page is about the the Seattle-based band led by Kurt Cobain. For the 1960s British band of the same name, see Nirvana(2).)

"A great record by any standard."
(John Peel, 02 July 1993, on 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', #1 in the 1991 Festive Fifty)

were an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990. In the late 1980s Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album Bleach for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. … After signing to major label DGC Records, Nirvana found unexpected success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from the band's second album Nevermind (1991). … Nirvana's third studio album In Utero (1993), challenged the group's audience, featuring an abrasive, less-mainstream sound. Nirvana's brief run ended following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 … (read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel Edit

John Peel's Nirvana's07:37

John Peel's Nirvana's

Peel plays Nirvana for the first time, on 02 January 1989, followed by Nirvana(2).

In Margrave Of The Marshes, Peel's wife Sheila recalled that Nirvana were a band much loved by all the family and after Cobain's death, "John met the children off the school bus and broke the news to them in much the same manner as if it had been a close family member who had died" (hardback edition, pg 316). The DJ would play all three of the band's sessions back to back on 22 April 1994 as a tribute, select 'Nevermind' as one of his Top 20 Albums and make Sub Pop single 'Sliver' a Peelenium 1990 choice.

Peel discussed the band during an interview broadcast in his 60th birthday special on 31 August 1999:

The reputation of the programme over the years has spread overseas, and I’ve been lucky enough to be put on the mailing lists of various American record labels. And so it was that I got to hear Nirvana I suspect before most other people in this country. And their first LP, it only cost something like 600 dollars to make and it was just a storming record. When they came over we booked them to do sessions and I would like to say that I went along to the sessions and had a bit of a chat with Kurt and things, but it wouldn’t be true because I didn’t.

When they played Reading for the second time, when they were on the main stage, I said to their roadie or whatever, I said, ‘Look, is it alright if my children come and stand in the little area where I stand anyway just to watch the band? They won’t get in the way and they are not going to scream or do anything silly.’ And he went off to have a word with Kurt about it and Kurt came back and just said, ‘Actually, why don’t they just sit on the stage behind the band?’ They were wildly overexcited and whenever he changed guitars and things, he came over and sort of stood by them and on one occasion actually stood on my daughter Alexandra, who was the big Kurt Cobain fan at the time. I don’t think - she has probably been happier since, but she certainly hadn’t been happier up to that point, being trodden on by Kurt Cobain.

Festive Fifty Entries Edit

Peelenium Edit

Sessions Edit

Three sessions. All three were repeated on 22 April 1994 as a tribute to Kurt Cobain, who died on 1994-04-08.

1. Recorded 1989-10-26. First broadcast 22 November 1989. Repeated: 22 January 1990, 25 December 1992, 22 April 1994

  • Love Buzz / About A Girl / Polly / Spanx Thru'

2. Recorded 1990-10-21. First broadcast 03 November 1990. Repeated: 19 January 199122 April 1994

  • Son Of A Gun / Molly’s Lips / D7 / Turnaround

3. Recorded 1991-09-03. First broadcast 03 November 1991. Repeated: 29 December 1991, 22 April 1994

  • Dumb / Drain / ‘No Title As Yet’

Other Shows Played Edit

  • 16 June 1991: Big Cheese () Sub Pop
  • 31 August 1991: Smells Like Teen Spirit (CD Single) DGC (JP: "Big label stuff from Nirvana")
  • 28 September 1991: Smells Like Teen Spirit (album - Nevermind) DGC DGC 24425
  • 28 September 1991: Drain You (album - Nevermind) DGC DGC 24425
  • 07 October 1991 (Ö3): (JP: "I expect that my gorgeous fellow travellers on the Nachtexpress have been playing you lots of tracks from the new LP by Nirvana. In case they haven't, again, this is one that you shouldn't miss.")
    Territorial Pissings (LP-Nevermind) DGC
  • 02 November 1991: Even In His Youth (b/w Smells Like Teen Spirit)
  • 09 November 1991: Love Buzz () Sub Pop
  • 09 November 1991: Aneurysm (12" - Smells Like Teen Spirit) DGC
  • 15 December 1991: Beeswax (compilation album - Kill Rock Stars) Kill Rock Stars
  • 21 December 1991: Territorial Pissings (LP - Nevermind) Geffin (played for "our William if he's still up listening to his dad.")
  • 22 December 1991: Smells Like Teen Spirit (JP: "When I saw them supporting Shonen Knife, in Kilburn, London, they said something along the lines of, 'Of course, you realize, kids, that we're only using you to get to that Bryan Adams audience.' I laughed, but I wondered whether they had said that at all of the gigs.")
  • 01 February 1992: Beeswax (compilation album - Kill Rock Stars) Pulp Plastic
  • 02 February 1992: Molly's Lips (album - Incesticide) Geffen
  • 09 February 1992: Come As You Are (7") DGC
  • 23 February 1992: Drain You (live) (CDS-Come As You Are) Geffen
  • 01 March 1992: School (live) (CD Single-Come As You Are) Geffen
  • 14 March 1992: Mr Moustache (LP - Bleach) Sub Pop
  • 10 April 1992: Been A Son (12 inch - Blew) Tupelo
  • 17 July 1992: D7 (Peel Session) (CD single-Lithium) Geffen
  • 19 July 1992 (BFBS): D-7 (CDS - Lithium) Geffen
  • 19 July 1992 (BFBS): Curmudgeon (CDS - Lithium) Geffen
  • 07 August 1992: Return Of The Rat (7 inch Box Set – 8 Songs For Greg Sage And The Wipers) Tim/Kerr
  • 14 August 1992: Return Of The Rat (Box Set - Eight Songs For Greg Sage And The Wipers) TK
  • 17 August 1992 (BFBS): Return of the Rat (EP - Eight Songs For Greg Sage and the Wipers) Tim/Kerr
  • 22 August 1992: Return Of The Rat (4x7" - Eight Songs For Greg Sage And The Wipers) Tim/Kerr
  • 24 August 1992 (BFBS): Return of the Rat (EP - Eight Songs For Greg Sage and the Wipers) Tim/Kerr
  • 31 August 1992 (BFBS): Beeswax (CD - Kill Rock Stars) Kill Rock Stars
  • 04 September 1992: (JP on Reading: “Top of the bill were Nirvana. I managed to get my son Thomas and my daughter Alexandra on to the stage with her mates, so that they were sort of, they could see everything that was going on on the stage, and then when the band went off, to kind of regroup or do anything at all, they had to come and stand by where they were sitting. Obviously, they were very pleased to be in that position. Afterwards, I was hoping they were going to say, ‘Kurt turned round and said something really interesting’, or passed on some bit of gossip. In fact what they were saying was, ‘Oh, he winked at me’, or, ‘he trod on my foot’, so they were more impressed by the status of the artistes than anything else. The 90-minute set sounded pretty good to me. Kurt didn't look particularly fit, but then at the same time, what had been written about him in the papers and the tabloids and things didn't seem to be evidence of it anyway.”)
    Been A Son (EP-Blew) Tupelo
  • 06 September 1992 (BFBS): Been A Son (Live) (CD single - Lithium) DGC
  • 07 September 1992 (Ö3): Return Of The Rat (Compilation CD-Fourteen Songs For Greg Sage And The Wipers)' (Tim/Kerr) (JP says last time he saw Nirvana, they were "faintly disappointing...going through the motions. ... My daughter Alexandra has removed all the pictures of horses that decorated her bedroom and replaced them with posters of Nirvana. I suppose that's fairly significant.")
  • 16 October 1992: Molly's Lips (2x 7" EP - John Peel Session) BBC Recordings RR88871 / RR88872
  • 13 November 1992: Spank Through (v/a album - Sub Pop 200) Sup Pop
  • 22 November 1992 (BFBS): Here She Comes Now (split 7" with Melvins) Communion
  • 29 November 1992 (BFBS): Spank Thru (LP - Sub Pop 200) Sub Pop
  • 01 January 1993: Molly's Lips-Peel Session version (CD-Incesticide) Geffen
  • 10 January 1993 (BFBS): Been A Son (CD - Incesticide) Geffen
  • 15 January 1993: Breed (LP - Nevermind) Geffen - 1991FF50#48
  • 17 January 1993 (BFBS): Molly's Lips (album - Incesticide) Geffen
  • 21 February 1993 (BFBS): Oh, The Guilt (split single with Jesus Lizard - Puss / Oh, The Guilt) Touch And Go
  • 28 February 1993 (BFBS): (JP: “And in case you teeny boppers haven’t heard the new Nirvana record yet here it is."}
    Oh, The Guilt (Split 7 Inch with The Jesus Lizards) Touch And Go Records (JP: “Of course much anticipated and good to see that they haven't take the easy pop route and are still making good noisy records.")
  • 03 April 1993: Lithium 1991FF#25
  • 08 May 1993: Drain You 1991FF#16
  • 02 July 1993: Smells Like Teen Spirit (7 inch) DGC 1991FF#1 (JP: "I know there are those citizens who now pretend they never liked Nirvana at all. That is a great record by any standard. So I look forward to the new LP a great deal. Number one in the Phantom Fifty, Smells Like Teen Spirit of course. And I just hope the new LP hasn’t been too de-albinified, because obviously I like the stuff he does as well.")
  • 27 August 1993: Love Buzz (7 inch) Sub Pop
  • 04 September 1993: Milk It (7 inch – Heart Shaped Box) Geffen
  • 11 September 1993: All Apologies (CD-In Utero) Geffen
  • 11 September 1993: Serve The Servants (CD-In Utero) Geffen
  • 11 September 1993: Very Ape (CD-In Utero) Geffen (JP: 'As unveiled on the Friday Rock Show by the queen of rock herself.')
  • 17 September 1993 (BFBS): (JP tells how angry he had been with Nirvana's record company for sending a new record of theirs to another DJ on Radio One not noted for her love of such music when he had been playing their stuff for two years earlier than anyone else - the result being that he is amongst the first to receive their new album.)
    Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle (album - In Utero) Geffen
  • 17 September 1993 (BFBS): Scentless Apprentice (album - In Utero) Geffen
  • 24 September 1993 (BFBS): Very Ape (album - In Utero) Geffen
  • 24 September 1993 (BFBS): Serve The Servants (album - In Utero) Geffen
  • 01 October 1993 (BFBS): Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge (album - In Utero) Geffen
  • 25 December 1993: Rape Me (LP-In Utero) DGC FF#45
  • 25 December 1993: Scentless Apprentice (LP-In Utero) DGC FF#40
  • 08 April 1994 (Show on the day that Kurt Cobain's body was found. Peel worries that the mythologising will have already begun when one of the sadder basic aspects is the fact that Cobain had left a wife and daughter behind.)
  • 03 September 1994 (BFBS): Pay To Play (v/a album - DGC Rarities: Vol.1) DGC DGCD-24704
  • 30 September 1994: About A Girl (CD: MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen
  • 01 October 1994: About A Girl (acoustic version) (single) Geffen
  • 08 October 1994 (BFBS): About A Girl (album - MTV Unplugged In New York) GeffenGED 24727
  • 14 October 1994: About A Girl (acoustic version) (single) Geffen
  • 22 October 1994 (BFBS): About A Girl (album - MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen GED 24727
  • 05 November 1994: The Man Who Sold The World (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen
  • 11 November 1994: Dumb (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen
  • 12 November 1994: On A Plain (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen
  • 12 November 1994 (BFBS): The Man Who Sold The World (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen
  • 19 November 1994 (BFBS): Dumb (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen
  • 19 November 1994 (BFBS): On A Plain (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen (JP: "Even if nothing else, I mean like regretting Kurt's death as a death, but thinking about what he might have achieved if he hadn't died really sets you to wondering.")
  • 17 December 1994: About A Girl (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen FF#44 (JP: “Well, call me sentimental if you like, but it seems a sad irony that those two ended up next to each other in the Festive Fifty.” [Nirvana were one position above Hole in the F50.])
  • 23 December 1994: Where Did You Sleep Last Night (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen FF#40 (JP: "When I was a boy and growing up in Texas, we knew that as 'In The Pines', but everybody else calls it 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night', and so shall we on this occasion.... Our Flossie can play that on the guitar, so I'll dedicate that to her.")
  • 23 December 1994: The Man Who Sold The World (CD-MTV Unplugged In New York) Geffen FF#27 (JP: “Should have been a whole load higher, I reckon.”)
After 1994

See Also Edit

External Links Edit

Live Nirvana

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