As soon as I heard the idea about the 33 1/3 books I quickly snapped up a copy of one of my favorite albums of all time. I was a big Nirvana fan trudging through my teenage years and this was the perfect book to start reading.The book was slow to start. I had high expectations and recently had begun listening to this record again. I had the bright idea that I was going to listen to the record while I was reading the book. That only worked out some of the time. The book began with a lot of minor factoids about the band such as changes in B-sides guitar riffs , but nothing significant. There were several references to the “Lights Out” box set that I never picked up and probably still won’t. The Brazilian recording sessions were also over emphasized. Nirvana had so much more intrigue with the songwriting and all the behind the scenes stuff that I was really hoping to get a better picture of that.
As I got about half way through the book it finally got interesting. Gaar began talking to Steve Albini and his take on the process of recording the album. Albini has always been an honest and refreshing voice in the music industry and I really enjoyed his additions to the book. Gaar also got into the other band members’ perspectives on certain songs and ones they liked best, which was really what I was looking for. The end also talked about the videos that Kurt had planned for and the producers for the videos which developed into an interesting story. There was little mention of Courtney in this book and that was good and bad. I’m glad she didn’t dominate the end of the book and take away from the band, but Kurt and Courtney’s relationship did have a large impact on the album. Kurt’s eventual suicide was left to the end of the book and it was briefly mentioned and discussed. I ended up liking the book a lot once I had gotten about half way through. It was a worthwhile and interesting read and I look forward to the other books in the series. I just hope they start out a little better. 6/10