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Listen to a Strange Version of Nirvana’s ‘On a Plain’


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There's only one week to go before Nirvana's massive Nevermind reissue arrives (unless you ordered it from somewhere that isn't Best Buy), and Seattle's The End 107.7 jumped the gun a little and premiered a trio of unreleased cuts culled from the disc. Because there aren't any unreleased Cobain tracks laying around, the LP's curators focused on compiling demos and alternate versions of the album's tracks to provide listeners with a sense of how Kurt crafted his masterpiece. Two of the songs posted at The End do just that -- check them out here.

The Smart Studios demo of "Breed," then known as "Imodium," is grittier and grungier than the version that sits between "Come As You Are" and "Lithium" on Nevermind. It's not a radically dissimilar version, but it gives a sense of how the album would have sounded had Butch Vig not produced it. The "Boombox Demo Version" of "On a Plain," however, is the kind of unearthed treasure The Amp hoped would show up on the reissue: an early, fuzzed-out rendition of the song where the verses are filled with completely different (and intelligible) lyrics, as if Cobain made up words on the spot. The finished version is still the definitive "On a Plain," but here the track is presented in a striking, embryonic stage.

The last of The End's exclusives is the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from the Live at the Paramount DVD, a higher-tempo version of the revolutionary single that's still similar to pretty much every live "Smells" released up to this point. For a two-decade-old live recording, though, it's a relief to hear that the audio quality is crisp and unblemished, unlike all those Nirvana bootlegs we spent major bucks on back in the day.

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