Nirvana’s finest album

For over a decade now Nirvana fans trawling through websites like Amazon have probably gasped with excitement as they saw previously unknown (to them at least) albums by their heroes with titles like All Of Us and The Story of Simon Simopath.

For as they were about to find out, before Kurt and the chaps pinched a Pixies riff or two and delivered a pair of the most over-rated albums in the history of pop, they made a few rather wonderful whimsical British pop sike albums.

They may only have been in nappies at the time, but the baroque, heavily orchestrated pop albums Nirvana left in their wake would easily dwarf their later grungier efforts. Interestingly Kurt, who had chosen the splendid nom de plume of Patrick Campbell Lyons, had affected a nasally but quite appealing singing style. Meanwhile Dave Grohl had also taken a very imaginative pseudonym of Alex Spyropoulos, and perfected the art of playing all manner of obscure instruments. As every Foo Fighters fan knows – he was wasted on the drums.

Nirvana mark one even played a few shows in the hipper London venues of the time and hung out with PopJunkie faves The Kinks, who would sadly not influence their later work at all.

Perhaps Nirvana’s finest hour then is All Of Us, a brilliant hotch potch of silky, psychedelic pop songs that stay in your head for days. It also features their first hits too in Rainbow Chaser, a heavily phased track with the most delicate of tunes, and arguably their best ever song Tiny Goddess, a Left Banke style lilt that would later be covered admirably by French folk ice queen Francoise Hardy.

Other highlights include the title track of sorts, The Touchables (All Of Us), the theme from the movie of the same name which features an unforgettable rabble-rousing chorus.

Sadly, having delivered their wonderfully chirpy soft pop masterpiece Kurt and Dave hit their wilderness years (primary school) which would see them suffer pain and angst – feelings all too familiar to anyone unfortunate enough to have heard their In Utero album.

Ironically I was fortunate enough to meet the real Patrick Campbell Lyons a few months before his namesake band released Nevermind. He told me that he was thinking of suing the other Nirvana for pinching his name. ‘Don’t waste your money!’ I told him. ‘That dodgy old American punk band will never amount to anything.’ How right I was too.


2 Responses to “Nirvana’s finest album”

  1. Roger Says:

    Ha, ha very funny! How do you expect to be taken seriously when you champion an obscure UK pop band over the brilliant REAL Nirvana. Nevermind changed the world, including England, and Kurt will be remembered for his amazing music long after many of your Limey heroes. Agree with you about the BJM though. Top band.

  2. Andy (drummer with the real Nirvana) Says:

    But Nirvana ARE the real Nirvana!
    How can a bunch of heavy metal worshipping hicks who stole the name (not to mention the idea for the Nevermind sleeve photo) 25 years after our heroes had cut half a dozen superb long players (the word obscure doesn’t really wash does it?) be the real one?
    Honestly, I ask you.

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