old school nirvana

Artist: Nirvana

Title: Sliver / Dive

Released 1990 (no date on release)

Label: Tupelo

Format: CD single

Genres: Punk, grunge

This version of the famous early single features four tracks: the aforementioned title tracks and live versions of “About a Girl” and “Spank Through.”  This particular release of the single is a bit of a mystery as it doesn’t even mention where and when it was released, and doesn’t give any much credit or copyrite info. 

I found this a few weeks after I picked up the 7” reissue and was kind of surprised to see it just lying there, begging to be bought.  I almost feel like a completest since I now own both of them.

The first track is catchy and playful and “Dive” has to be one of my favorite Nirvana tracks.  The opening bass lick is unmistakable and the lyrics are unforgettable.  The live tracks are a nice addition to the single, making this worth picking up.  “About a Girl” is a tiny bit faster than the original, but that is not a bad thing.  And of course, the elusive “Spank Through” graces us with obscure glory.  I prefer this version than the one that appeared on “From the Muddy Banks of the Wishka.”  It seems every time we find this track, some aspect of the lyrics are different.  I guess that would only be problematic if you’re having a sing along in the car but how often does that happen?

The music here over all is great.  It features a nice range of the band’s early material, from the playful to the well formed and it reveals a bit of the intensity of their live shows.  The title tracks appear on the album “Incesticide” and the vinyl version of the single, as I have mentioned, has been reissued on Sub Pop in 2010.  The two live tracks, unless you find the correct bootleg, are only found here as far as I know.

I guess the only things I can say negatively about this are that it’s too short.  Well, obviously!  It is a single after all!  I guess I would have been satisfied with one more track tacked on.  The only other thing I can say is that it would be nice to know where and when the live tracks were recorded.  Maybe that’s just my inner geek talking, but I suppose that’s not a real big deal.

So the obvious question is whether or not this is worth a buy.  This is rare and out of print, which makes it more of a curiosity for the collector or the hardcore fan based on the prices, which according to the Discogs.com marketplace, start at $20 and go to about $35, though some have priced it higher.  That said, it might be best to pay the few bucks for the 7” despite the fact it only has the title tracks.  Though, I won’t lie; I like having this item in my collection because of the song selection and the fact that it is hard to track down.  But I wouldn’t want to pay out the nose for it, especially for just four tunes.

4.5 out of 5.

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About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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