On Valentine’s Day, online cassette store Tapehead City released an exclusive, limited “Love Buzz Red” edition of Nirvana’s 1989 debut album, Bleach. Unsurprisingly selling out 500 copies, the company have now launched a Blew edition of the album to mark its anniversary.
The Blew edition commemorates the album’s opening track and will be limited to 1,989 copies, in honour of its release date. Pressed on a cobalt blue tape, the cassette released in time with the anniversary of Nirvana’s last-ever show on March 1st, 1994.
The track was a band favourite and was the second last song Nirvana played at their final show March 1st, 1994. Blew was the opening track on Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach, which was released by Sub Pop records June 15th, 1989. Although it did not chart upon release, it was well received by critics.
Even at the peak of Nirvana’s popularity, Bleach remained something of an afterthought, as Kurt Cobain acknowledged when he introduced About a Girl on MTV Unplugged in 1993: “This is off our first record. Most people don’t own it.”
According to Nirvana biographer Michael Azerrad, the track was accidently recorded one step lower than the band intended, contributing to its “extraordinarily heavy sound”. On the first day of the sessions, the band forgot they had already tuned down to their favoured Drop D, and dropped further to a Drop C.
Although several songs had been recorded in that tuning, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic said they “recorded over most of it, with things tuned back up a little. In fact, ‘Blew,’ with that growly bass, is the only survivor of that experiment”. Novoselic claimed Blew was perhaps his favourite song on Bleach “because it has a groove, and again, it’s the sole survivor of the Doom Pop experiment”.
Tapehead City released the cassette in homage to Kurt Cobain’s 27 years dead, and the day Nirvana played their final show. It released yesterday and can be preordered here.
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