IT REALLY WAS A CRACKING DEBUT SINGLE (28)

Some facts and stats.

The debut 45 by Nirvana, in November 1988, had a limited run of just 1200, of which 1000 were hand-numbered in red ink and the remainder unnumbered.

It was the very first release of what is now referred to as the first volume of the Sub Pop Singles Club, a monthly subscription service run by the label. Volume 1 ran from November 1988 till December 1993 and issued one single per month to its subscribers, always in limited editions.

The a-side of the 45 was a cover of a song, originally released in 1969, by the Dutch band Shocking Blue. The b-side was an original Nirvana song.

The trip of players on the single are listed as Kurdt Kobain (vocals, guitar), Chris Novoselic (bass) and Chad Channing (drums). It was recorded at Reciprocal Studios in Seattle and production is credit to Jack Endino and Nirvana.

A slightly different mix of the song would also appear on the band’s debut album, Bleach as well as featuring on the Blew EP, released on license by the Tupelo Recording Company in the UK in December 1989.

There are currently two copies of the single up for sale on Discogs. One is from a UK dealer – it is #765. The dealer has graded it as ‘Very Good Plus’ in terms of the vinyl and the condition of the sleeve and is asking for £2,500. A bit of a bargain when you consider that the only other copy, from an American dealer will set you back over £3,600 depending on the exchange rate, although to be fair, this dealer states that the sleeve is near mint and that the vinyl, ‘is super clean with the exception of the tiniest hairline scuff, barely noticeable that does not affect play’ – oh and this copy is #115.

mp3 : Nirvana – Love Buzz
mp3 : Nirvana – Big Cheese

As debut singles go, it is of the raaaaaawk variety with hardly an indication that a revamped Nirvana, with a different drummer, would become the biggest band on the planet.

But you wouldn’t catch me paying anything like the above sums of money for a piece of black plastic just seven inches in diameter.

Imagine, though, if you did happen to have one and had persuaded the lead singer to autograph it……there’s someone on e-bay selling a copy of the single along with an accompanying letter from Kurt Cobain in which he extols the virtues of the debut to a close friend. The single itself isn’t signed but obviously the value is in the letter. The asking price is $39,999.

Bonkers.

JC

3 thoughts on “IT REALLY WAS A CRACKING DEBUT SINGLE (28)

  1. Must admit that this song and the whole first album went under my radar. When I first heard ‘Teen Spirit’ I thought it was the Pixies with someone on guest vocals. Little did I know…

  2. Bleach was and remains my favourite Nirvana LP. I’m never quite sure how best to describe the LP. How about “Post Punk Pop Rock”?

    For me the LP was immediately accessible and straddled musical genres in a way that few bands had done, particularly, for me, with rock music – not a genre that I’d say suits me. With incrasing numbers of indie/alt. and so-called c86 bands calling on the services of Steve Albini as producer my little world of music just got noisier/rockier.

    It’s the rockier part that surprised me. I’m quite a fan of what others may determine to be noise but the very nature of cock-rock never, ever appealled to me.

    As a Mudhney boy I was impressed by the considerate, feminist tones from Mark Arm. Mr Cobain’s take on this was also extremely welcome in what was, and remains, a sexist and hostile music business. I was in …

    At work – and I have witnesses – I played Bleach mostly every day – sometimes more than once each day. The energy was infectious.

    Love Buzz really did change things – quietly, at first. Then came the frenzy re: the 1st Uk tour and the very beginning of the “Fudge packin’ …” t-shirt wearing brigade. The buzz about the band ushered what was to come. The 2nd Uk tour still no Glasgow. By the 3rd UK tour Glasgow was abuzz with news of a Glasgow gig and so it came to pass.

    Enough of this reminiscing. I’m off to play Bleach – not the band, that’s another story …

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