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Nirvana Orange And Blue album cover
3.04 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Orange and Blue (3:28)
2. Lithium (3:55)
3. Stone in the Water (3:44)
4. As Long as I Can See You (3:16)
5. Lost in Space (3:41)
6. Busy Man (2:51)
7. What Are We Gonna Do Now? (3:39)
8. Do You Dream? (3:08)
9. My Little Red Book (3:35)
10. Allison Smith (2:13)
11. The Face at the Window (3:36)
12. Our Love Is the Sea (3:11)

Total Time 40:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrick Campbell-Lyons / performer, composer
- Alex Spyropoulos / guitar, vocals, composer & arranger

- Keith Smart / guitar

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Remixed unreleased old material

CD Edsel Records ‎- EDCD 485 (1996, UK)

Thanks to Progman for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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NIRVANA Orange And Blue ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (57%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NIRVANA Orange And Blue reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Don't forget to feed the spider"

"Orange and blue" is a collection of tracks recorded by Nirvana in their early, Island Label days, but not released at that time. The reason many of the tracks failed to gain inclusion on the band's "Simon Simopath" or "All of us" albums is that the record company rejected them as being too deviant from the band's recognised style. In 1996, principal band members Alex Spyropoulos and Patrick Campbell-Lyons got together to revive the songs. Some of the tracks appear to be in their original demo form, while others such as the opening title track (with its drug related theme) have been substantially reworked for this album. Thus, while this might technically be deemed a compilation album, it contains new material.

Most of the songs here have a much more upbeat orientation, leading the record company to suggest to the band that they "Leave this to Spooky Tooth and stick to your chamber music". Tracks such as "Stone in the water" recall the psychedelic roots of the band, while others like "As long as I can see you" and "Lost in space" have clear BEATLES influences. The latter, which includes the phasing which made the band famous on "Rainbow chaser", tells a bizarre tale of an astronaut stranded in space for 10 years with a cactus, a female ant, and a spider. The advice from mission control is "Don't forget to feed the spider". Great stuff!

"Busy man" was the first song the duo ever wrote together, presumably after listening to a KINKS album! "What are we gonna do now", which is presented here in demo form although it has the quality of a completed song, is a fine soft ballad with sensitive echoed vocals. The final track, "Our love is the sea", is another touching soft ballad. It was originally intended for Francoise Hardy to record (she had covered "Tiny goddess"), but unfortunately the song never reached her; her loss.

There is the occasional turkey, the worst of which is "Do you dream". Even Campbell- Lyons, whose cod cockney accent adorns the song, declines to comment on it in the sleeve notes! "My little red book" is little better, the poor recording deeming it pretty much unlistenable.

Also included is a cover of Seattle grunge band Nirvana's "Lithium" recorded just after the death of Kurt Cobain. The recording of this track appears to have been part of the settlement between the bands over the use of the name. It is certainly worth hearing as this Nirvana manage to stamp their identity on the song, removing any hints of grunge in the process, while creating something substantially different to their usual soft melodic pop.

In all, a thoroughly enjoyable album which captures the true character of the band far better than their early albums. If only Island records had displayed more faith in them, and allowed them to cover a more diverse range of songs, the history of the band might have been so different.

Review by ClemofNazareth
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.


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