New Nirvana

Oct. 4, 1996 -- A group that will never take a stage again, of course, is Nirvana, whose blazing career was stopped in its tracks by the death of leader Kurt Cobain. This week, however, the rest of the band released an explosive collection of archive concert performances called "From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah" -- named after a river running through Aberdeen, Washington -- the hometown of both Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic. We did some archive digging of our own and put together this report.

KRIST NOVOSELIC, Nirvana (on WFNX, Boston 9/30/91): Ann Arbor, Michigan... rocks. Italy is really fun to play. England, I mean we've been to a lot of places where, you can't name them. You can almost name the bad shows, but it's hard to name the good shows. It's a good time.

MTV: Seventeen of Nirvana's best performances are captured in all their celebrated on-stage fury on "From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah." The songs range from "Breed" to "Lithium," "Negative Creep" and

"Smells Like Teen Spirit," recorded between 1989 and 1994 in such cities as Amsterdam, Rome, Seattle -- of course -- and Reading, England. Assembled and annotated by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic, the album traces Nirvana's evolution from scuffling club dogs to certified arena stars.

KURT COBAIN, Nirvana: Playing these larger places, it's a lot easier for us, because we can actually breath. Instead of going on tour for like 5 years playing sweaty little clubs and sometimes choosing to play the wrong time of the year.

NOVOSELIC: Anybody who wants to have a good time can go for it, just rock out and just have a good time and really go for it, just writhing crazy. And anybody who doesn't want to can shift back on the perimeter and just rock out.

MTV: Although Kurt Cobain was deeply ambivalent about Nirvana's success -- and voiced his doubts in his own lyrics -- before the end, even he occasionally saw an upside to it in the sea of concert-hall

faces spread out before him.

COBAIN: I've been really surprised and happy to see the types of people that come to our shows. I know that sounds elitist, but I was really surprised to see that there are that many kids in every city that are just good nice kids.

KURT: By the way, the studio version of "Negative Creep" is featured on the soundtrack of a new documentary on the Seattle music scene, called "Hype," which'll arrive in theatres next month.