What purpose does this gigantic new edition serve? Will it just lead to obsessive fans fighting over which mix is superior? Is it sacrilegious to tinker with Kurt's final studio recordings to this extent? No doubt, people will raise a cynical eyebrow towards the deluxe editions... However, the reality is that the "product", to use a cynical music industry term, is very good indeed.
Kurt Cobain passed 18 years ago and like when John Lennon passed, I was genuinely devastated. I was also in bad shape at that point. I ran into Kurt on a few occasions with Teenage Fanclub when they toured together in 1992/93. It was around that time I first met Courtney Love, Kurt's then partner. What's sad is he had really only just begun in music. I think some people just handle that level of attention better than others, and I think Kurt found it not just difficult, but impossible.
Pearl Jam are probably the only band I've ever known before they were famous. I had worn out tapes of the demos of their first and second albums months before release, followed them round the UK and US on several tours, drank with them, interviewed the band members many times and regularly written news stories about them for magazines around the world.
My first experience of the songs that made up Nevermind came at the Reading festival, where they were sandwiched between the UK grunge of Silverfish and the town's own shoegaze band Chapterhouse. That afternoon I heard Drain You, Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are and it was obvious that something big was on the horizon.