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Nirvana - Orange and Blue CD (album) cover

ORANGE AND BLUE

Nirvana

 

Proto-Prog

2.98 | 3 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is a pretty funny album. Not that the music is intentionally humorous, but more in how it came to be. Nirvana (UK) gets into a legal tussle with Nirvana (US) over rights to the band name, which ended up being settled without too much ado. As a result of the fame of Nirvana (US) and suicide of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana (UK) enjoyed a mild resurgence of interest in their music, almost by proxy. The original duo of Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulos had actually reunited in 1985 after a fourteen year hiatus and a couple years before Nirvana (US) were even a band. In the end the unexpected and tangential publicity led Edsel Records to release this collection of rarities and outtakes from early Nirvana (UK) sessions. The band even threw in a cover of the seminal Nirvana (US) hit single “Lithium”, although it admittedly is almost unrecognizable after being given an acoustic acid-folk treatment. Still holds up pretty well though.

It’s also interesting that the album title and first two songs are all veiled drug references, “Orange and Blue” a pop-psych number with trippy guitars, keyboards and helium-laced backing vocals; while “Lithium” of course is a song Cobain always insisted referred to religion as an opiate rather than the mind-numbing bi-polar drug treatment itself. Who really knows for sure?

The rest of the album is rather ant-climatic for most folks. Old fans of the band who managed to get their hands on a copy of this CD were probably interested to hear some of the stuff that was left on the cutting-room floor more than twenty years prior. Several of these tracks have been remixed, while others seem to have been included almost untouched from their original versions. “As Long As I Can See You” for example is a decent remix and is basically a mostly acoustic Donovan-sounding pop-psych tune; while “My Little Red Book” sounds like it may have been originally mono and was simply split across stereo tracks and otherwise left alone.

None of these songs stand out really, but as an historical collection the CD is worth checking out by fans of the band as well as anyone who wants to hear some rather rare and pretty tasty string arrangements from the late sixties (on “The Face at the Window” in particular). Overall this is really not much more than a collector’s piece, but I have to say that with the exception of “My Little Red Book” it’s at least as consistent as the band’s first couple of original albums and the production is better thanks to modern technology, so I’ll err on the side of positive and stick three stars on this one. If you are really interested in this band start with their first, second and fourth albums; this should be reserved for serious fans and those who have already explored the rest of the discography.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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